The best New York theatre bars for food and drinks
Part of the classic New York theatregoing ritual is going for pre- or post-show grub. Be it just drinks or a full lunch or dinner, complete with dessert, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to try near any theatre in New York. It can get overwhelming to decide between them, though, and sometimes, they’re all booked up. Why not save yourself the decision-making — and the stress of getting to the show on time after your meal — and have your meal right at the theatre?
In addition to regular concessions stands that offer snacks and a limited cocktail menu, some theatres have fully-stocked bars complete with all types of drinks, alcoholic and not, and even appetizers and meals. If you’re seeing a show at one of the venues below, check out their menu and grab your food and drinks there! A couple of these theatre bars are also open to the public, so you can try them out even if you’re not seeing a show there (yet!).
Feinstein’s/54 Below is well-known for its constant lineup of concerts. There’s always at least one show going on each night, and most of them feature Broadway stars either singing curated set lists in their own solo concerts, or banding together to belt the tunes from a famous musical, writer, or pop singer.
No matter what kind of show you see at the cabaret-like Feinstein’s, you’ll enjoy cocktails and food while you do — the venue offers a full dinner menu and table service during the show. Forget pre- or post-show dinner; you get it all in one with a Feinstein’s trip. Feinstein’s is also open to the public in the early evening for dinner, but once ticketed events get underway at night, you have to reserve your spot in advance to go.
Feel like you’re among New York’s literati at The Library, a supper club tucked away in the mezzanine of The Public Theater. There’s a vast array of craft beer, wine, and seasonal cocktails available, and a full dinner menu of dishes that use local ingredients. Fittingly, as a restaurant in a theatre, the food menu is divided into Act One (small plates and bar bites), Act Two (appetizers like salads, soups, and bigger shareables), Act Three (entrees), and Curtain Call (desserts).
If you’re looking for dinner and a show, however, Joe’s Pub is the way to go. Unlike The Library, Joe’s Pub is a ticketed space like the Public’s traditional theatres, so you’ll pick your show and date ahead of time. Like Feinstein’s, Joe’s is set up like a cabaret space, with table and bar seating in front of a stage. You can catch all kinds of performances, usually various types of concerts, and enjoy full food and drink service while you do.
One of the Pershing Square Signature Center’s signature features is its café and bar. Currently, the Signature Café has a full bar where you can purchase beer, wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy either during the show or beforehand at one of the many tables in its huge lobby. The Signature Café also offers food, but since the pandemic, only pre-packaged foods and snacks are available, and you have to eat those at the lobby tables. Nonetheless, if you’ve got a pre-show craving for a quick bite or drink, the Signature Café has you covered.
The Claire Tow Theater Bar and Terrace at Lincoln Center Theater
The Lincoln Center Theater building has three performance spaces, but only one full bar, and that’s the one outside its smallest theatre. The Claire Tow Theater Bar and Terrace opens one hour before performances there and stays open after the show ends, so theatregoers can hang out afterward. Grab your beer, wine, cocktails, and small plates from the bar, and leisurely enjoy them on the adjacent outdoor terrace overlooking Lincoln Center. The Metropolitan Opera has a similar food-and-drink bar for audiences at its operas.
Cedric’s isn’t just a bar — it’s practically a full-out restaurant right at the venue. You see it right when you walk into The Shed’s main entrance: a spacious lobby with plenty of comfy chairs, tables, and a bar on the rightmost wall. In addition to alcoholic (craft beer, cocktails, and wine) and non-alcoholic (coffee, tea, and soda) drinks, Cedric’s offers shareable plates, salads, and sandwiches. Get there early to order your food and drinks and have a sit-down, pre-show meal without stress. You won’t have to rush to the theatre afterwards since you’re already there! The bar is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Manderley, Gallow Green, and The Club Car at the McKittrick Hotel
The McKittrick Hotel has not just one, but three bars that you can go to for a drink and a show all in one experience. One is Manderley, a concert hall and cocktail lounge with the vibe of an old-fashioned jazz parlor. You can get a ticket to any show at the McKittrick Hotel. Catch live music, a sultry song-and-dance revue, or a magic show like Speakeasy Magick, all while sipping on unique cocktails like the Old McKittrick or (naturally) the Manderley.
Gallow Green lives up to its name — the rooftop bar is covered in enough greenery to make you feel like you’ve left the concrete jungle. Gallow Green offers more food than Manderley, and both the food and cocktail menus rotate with the seasons. Plaid tablecloths, cozy couches, and comfort food make you feel like you’ve escaped to a homey cabin while still indulging in fine dining.
Finally, The Club Car is a performance venue that doubles as a bar, and it’s modeled after a vintage train car. Dining and drinks are all part of performances at The Club Car, and those shows range from plays to circus revues to concerts. Get a ticket for dinner and a show, and stay late into the night for more performances and more libations.