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5 Pre-Show Diners to Visit Now That Cafe Edison Is Closed

Viva La Corned Beef.

The exterior of the former Cafe Edison on West 47th Street in the theater district.
(© Tristan Fuge)

When the vaunted Cafe Edison shut its doors, a diner-sized void was left in the hearts of many in the theater community. Edison had been the old reliable of pre-theater dining, always there for a quick sit-down bite before a Broadway curtain. Where will the hungry masses eat now?

We at TheaterMania have some suggestions. Never fear, there are still plenty of fast, affordable, delicious midtown eateries that will welcome you with open arms before a show. Many of them offer menus similar to (or dare we say better than) Cafe Edison. Do you believe in life after love? You will after reading this tasty listicle.


1. Westway Diner, 614 9th Avenue (between 43rd and 44th Streets)
The Westway Diner is under the Sleepy's showroom on 9th Avenue between 43rd Street and 44th Street.
(© Zachary Stewart)

Devotees of Cafe Edison will find comfort in the familiarity of Westway. The menu features all your favorite Edison dishes, including Nova Scotia lox, blintzes, and pastrami sandwiches as far as the eye can see. The prices are comparable, with some dishes even more affordable than what was offered at Edison in its final year. (One of the benefits of a 9th Avenue location is lower rent, which for you means lower prices.) While it's not as close to the heart of Times Square as Cafe Edison was, the short walk is definitely worth it. Go west, young man.


2. Galaxy Diner, 665 9th Avenue (at 46th Street)

Galaxy Restaurant occupies the northwest corner of 46th Street and 9th Avenue, right around the corner from the Theatre at St. Clement's.
(© Zachary Stewart)

This solid eatery on the west side of 9th Avenue across from "Restaurant Row" (46th Street between 8th and 9th) offers a remarkable selection of specialty sandwiches and wraps. You can even substitute regular French fries for curly. While 9th Avenue might seem like the other side of the...er...galaxy, rest assured that it's just 2 blocks from the heart of Broadway and still a great choice if you're pressed for time.


3. Cosmic Diner @ 52, 888 8th Avenue (at 52nd Street)

Currently tucked behind scaffolding, Cosmic Diner is a hidden gem on the corner of 52nd Street and 8th Avenue.
(© Zachary Stewart)

Another space-themed diner! Just down the block from the Neil Simon and August Wilson Theatres, Cosmic offers all your diner favorites. Their "Jumbo Burgers" are a highlight, with an option to substitute beef with turkey, veggie, or bison. Like any real midtown diner, it also offers a stellar matzo ball soup.


4. The Red Flame Diner, 67 West 44th Street (just off 6th Avenue)

Don't let the sleek glass-and-steel façade on 44th Street near the corner of 6th Avenue fool you: The Red Flame is as old-fashioned a diner as they come.
(© Zachary Stewart)

This is our only selection east of Times Square, which means it's a great option if you're attending a performance at one of those theaters on the east side of Times Square. (I'm looking at you Lyceum, Sondheim, Cort, and Belasco.) The menu is expansive, with specials offered each day. Located just off 6th Avenue on 44th Street, Red Flame is an affordable bastion of comfort food located steps from the heart of Broadway.


5. Renaissance Diner, 776 9th Avenue (at 52nd Street)

The king of midtown diners, Renaissance Restaurant reigns between a hardware store and a coffee shop on 9th Avenue, near the corner of 52nd Street.
(© Zachary Stewart)

This is arguably the greatest of the midtown mainstays. A diner in the front, a fancy dining room with a fireplace in the back, and a patio with a retractable roof in the far back, Renaissance is definitely the most versatile restaurant on 9th Avenue. Go casual with a burger or wrap. Dress up your night with a porterhouse steak. Either way, the generous portions will keep you sated through even the longest of musical extravaganzas or historically themed London transfers. A fully stocked bar with a large selection of reasonably priced wines helps to lubricate the evening. This one is a winner.

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