The Best NYC Theatre District Bars
Have you found yourself with 30 minutes to kill in Midtown before your Broadway show starts? Or maybe the curtains just closed on tonight’s performance and you’re not ready to throw in the towel quite yet. Whether you’re hitting a pre-show happy hour with your friends or grabbing cocktails after a Broadway play, here are the best spots for a pre- or post-theatre drink in New York’s Theatre District.
The Best NYC Theatre District Bars
Located behind The Iroquois Hotel lobby, this small secluded bar is a great place for a pre-show cocktail. Try a classic cocktail, a reserve cocktail or ask for the Keeper’s Choice: you request a spirit, style, or flavour and let the bartender do the rest. This hidden gem specializes in pre-prohibition cocktails so stop by for a spell and order a drink, but don’t ask for vodka, it wasn’t a sought-after spirit during the Prohibition so they don’t carry it.
Address: 49 W. 44th St.
Rum and live music – what more could you ask for? The show must go on at this swanky, candlelit, wood-panelled piano bar serving up classic cocktails well into the night. You’ll forget you’re a stone’s throw from the high energy Times Square when you’re listening to live jazz riffs and sipping a funky old-fashioned made with rum after your night on Broadway.
Address: 228 W. 47th St.
Sometimes a cold beer is just what you need before you settle in for a night of theatre. Beer Culture is a cosy spot (read: fireplace, old brewery signs, simple pine bar) for every beer lover with a dozen rotating drafts and more than 500 bottled brews. If need a little help, the bartenders would be delighted to guide you to the perfect drink. Satisfy your pre-show cravings with a craft beer or simply a good old PBR.
Address: 328 W. 45th St.
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This British-style tavern tucked inside the William hotel features wood-beam ceilings and moody lighting and all of the English fare and British brews you could ask for. The Shakespeare is the perfect stop before seeing a classic show, or a not so classic one. Try a classic cocktail, a cask ale, or a British fizz to wash down your fish & chips and bangers & mash.
Address: 24 E. 39th St.
Rooftop bars in New York can often be overpriced and overcrowded but that’s not the case at this 30th-floor bar. Once you maze your way to the top (through hallways, up a service elevator, a flight of stairs or two, etc.), you’ll find a posh lounge and a DJ spinning upbeat tracks. Be sure to make a reservation to save your spot before your show – and don’t forget that the lounge is closed on the weekends for private events.
Address: 200 W. 39th St.
Who says the fun has to end when the show is over? Fishbowl, an upscale game room with a 5,000-gallon fish tank centrepiece, holds all of your favourite arcade staples, such as Skee-Ball and Ms PacMan. The fun spot is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays so grab your date and get to bowling, with a cocktail in hand, of course.
Address: 210 W. 55th St.
Located above Joe Allen, this converted Victorian brownstone will become your go-to post-show spot. This bar is meant to be hidden as there isn’t a sign out front. Your cocktail comes with a small refill pitcher surrounded by ice to keep your drink cold. If you’re lucky, you may see one of the stars from your show grabbing a drink, as well.
Address: 324 W. 46th St.
Glass House Tavern is the perfect place to dine before a Broadway. Come in before or after seeing a show to indulge in lunch, brunch, or dinner. And no trip would be complete without a glass of wine or a classic cocktail. Make sure to tell your server if you’re dining before a show and they’ll serve you in a timely manner so you can have a relaxed evening.
Address: 252 W. 47th St.
Where to stay in NYC
Choosing where stay in New York can be a daunting task, there are many neighbourhoods for all interest and budgets. Our top picks are the Meatpacking District, Soho, Theatre District and Midtown. Wherever you choose, it is very easy to get around as long as you choose a hotel close to a subway!
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