Don’t let the bright lights of big chains in the Theater District distract you. Instead, let NYTG Restaurant Guide: Hell’s Kitchen show you all the food and drink options that aren’t franchises or fast food.
Try these five great restaurants off the beaten path:
Margarita fans, rejoice – this west side Mexican restaurant is known for the quantity and quality of their cocktails. With beverages served in three sizes (“Bebe”, “Papa”, and “Mama”), it’s up to you to see how much you can handle. Be warned that these drinks are strong. $17 for the Mama margarita seems steep, but one will have you reeling like you’re having a tequila-fueled weekend in Cabo. Make sure you allot yourself some recovery time. For food, order the guacamole, a menu favorite that pairs well with their $10 lunch specials.
Arriba Arriba! is located at 762 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
At this music-themed restaurant, diner staples like Disco Fries, Meatloaf, and Fried Chicken share the menu with Seared Coriander Crusted Tuna, Massaman Curry, and a Lemongrass Beef and Arugula salad. All-day breakfast features picks from their Brunch menu, like the Frittata and “Chelsea Boy Special” (grilled chicken, egg whites, sautéed spinach). There are many vegetarian and gluten-free options; unfortunately they don’t include some of Vynl’s more titillating offerings like Cheeseburger Egg Rolls (with Thousand Island dressing) or Elvis’ Revenge (peanut butter, bacon, banana tempura, and honey on brioche). It’s a popular area spot, but it’s worth the wait (parties are usually seated within 5-10 minutes).
Vynl is located at 756 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
This Asian-fusion restaurant is perfect for a pre-theater meal or cocktail. Grab a Fig-A-Tini (fig-infused vodka, triple sec, lime juice, and muddled orange) or a Frounk Frink (lychee-infused sake, coconut rum, lemon juice, and honey syrup) before your show. If you’re in the mood for Vietnamese food, the Pho Bo is lauded by OBAO fans for its tender beef and flavorful broth. Traditional dishes like Pad Se Eiw and Tom Yung Kai soup are available for Thai food enthusiasts. Finish off the meal with Iced Tea Flan, a desert as refreshing as it is decadent.
OBAO is located at 647 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Cocktailers with discerning palates will love the creativity of Bea’s drinks. Bases of vodka, whiskey, tequila, and gin are mixed with unique ingredients like spicy honey syrup, chocolate bitters, and grapefruit zest to deliver drinks that pack a powerful (and flavorful) punch. The staff know their way around a liquor cabinet, and they’re happy to help you pick your poison from their extensive selection. Snack on small plates like the Duck Turnover, Tuna Tar Guac, and Pulled Pork while you imbibe. Non-meat eaters will enjoy the Roasted Beet Salad or Ricotta, served with grilled bread and rosemary honey.
Bea is located at 403 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
Rudy’s Bar and Grill
If you’re looking for a hole in the wall to call home for a few rounds, there’s no better place than Rudy’s. This classic HK dive bar has been serving beers since Prohibition ended in 1933, and its patrons have included Drew Barrymore, Al Capone, and Frank Sinatra. Draft beer prices range from $3 to $5 (a pitcher of Rudy’s Blonde costs a cool $8). Plus, each beer you purchase earns you a free hot dog! Toppings are limited, but there are several street-meat vendors within a stone’s throw of Rudy’s door who may accommodate you if you ask nicely.
Rudy’s is located at 627 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
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