The food and drink surrounding a trip to Broadway should be just as memorable as the show. Broadway fans, before or after a show, head to the Theater District to experience it all firsthand. Check out these five venues, all of which provide a place to grab a drink, relish the nightlife, and encounter the magic of Broadway all at once.
Best of NYC Broadway Bars: Don’t Tell Mama (Theater District)
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Don’t Tell Mama is at the heart of Restaurant Row, and puts patrons in the middle of all the theater action. This bar boasts a restaurant, live piano, and two cabaret showrooms, so you’re covered no matter what kind of time you seek. You'll be entertained by a talented singing waitstaff and pianist — and you're welcome to sing along. From 9pm onward (after the live piano music from 5pm to 9pm and happy hour from 4pm to 8pm), the Broadway-belting staff is there to keep you entertained and well served. If you believe life really is a cabaret, there's also an open mic night that welcomes audience members. 343 W. 46th St., 212-757-0788, donttellmamanyc.com
Best of NYC Broadway Bars: Bar Centrale (Theater District)
Have you ever wondered what it felt like to hang out in a covert speakeasy? Bar Centrale unlocks the mystery. The entrance is unmarked, so anyone who isn't in on the secret would think this bar is simply another vintage brownstone. Don’t pass by this unassuming nightspot if you need a sip of something special before or after a show — especially if you’re also feeling peckish. In addition to the wine and beer menu, Bar Centrale has a wide variety of food to sample, including the shrimp cocktail, a Maine lobster quesadilla, and a dependable favorite, the flatbread pizza. 324 W. 46th St., 212-581-3130, barcentralenyc.com
Best of NYC Broadway Bars: Sardi’s (Theater District)
Sardi’s is synonymous with Broadway, and it’s known worldwide as a terrific watering hole — although you may find yourself staying for lunch or dinner. An icon in the Theater District, you’re sure to catch fans of the stage shooting the breeze here. Caricatures of Broadway celebrities hang on the walls, including the immortal Kermit the Frog, who dropped by when the Muppets took Manhattan. 234 W. 44th St., 212-221-8440, sardis.com
Best of NYC Broadway Bars: Joe Allen (Theater District)
Fans of Bar Centrale should also be sure to check out the related Joe Allen restaurant for an extensive menu of wines, beers on draft and by the bottle, and genuinely great grub. It's a singular venue with a Broadway-themed décor celebrating a deep dive into the shows of yesteryear. Since being gifted a poster for the less-than-memorable show “Kelly” back during the restaurant’s opening year, more and more memorabilia of shows that flopped have come to take one last bow here. 326 W. 46th St., 212-581-6464, joeallenrestaurant.com
Best of NYC Broadway Bars: Cielo at the Mayfair (Theater District)
You can't love New York and Broadway without craving a great Italian meal as part of your stay. Dining at Cielo focuses on Italian cuisine and a cozy ambience. Visiting this venue feels like being in an exclusive cave-turned-restaurant — and you’re on the VIP list. You're sure to be keeping company with other Broadway fans while you’re here, as it’s steps from the Book of Mormon theater, so why not share your enthusiasm for show business over a drink? 242 W. 49th St., 212-489-8600, cieloatthemayfair.com