A Gluten Free Guide for Theatergoers

Show-Score | By Kwegyirba Croffie | Jul 31, 2017

Gluten-free diners rejoice! Here's our guide to the best eateries for you pre- and post-show pleasure.

Nailing down a place to eat before or after you see a Broadway show can be a challenge, and when you have an allergy, things get even more complex. If you are gluten free like me and stuck on a place to grab a bite, here are a few places in the Broadway district that serve up the flavor without the gluten. 

Plus, I’ve also got some tips about how to eat gluten free IN the theater, so you can head to the concession stand with confidence.

This list is based on my personal experience, but if you know of other good options, please leave them in the comments! 

Before or After a Broadway Show 

(Triumph Dining)


Italian ($$)

Location: 630 9th Avenue at 45th Street

Closes at midnight (Sun. - Thurs.) or 1:00 AM (Fri. - Sat.)

This Italian eatery in Hell’s Kitchen has an extensive gluten free menu, and the restaurant is so comfortable with this cuisine that they offer their special menu to all their diners. It’s easy to see why: anyone can enjoy the delicious options, from pastas to salads to sides. Their specialty is socca, a chickpea flatbread that’s salty and delicious. Ask for it with a fried egg on top for an especially delicious experience. 

TripAdvisor Rating - 4 out of 5 stars with 789 reviews 

(Cheap Eats Inc.)

Schnippers Times Square 

American ($)

Location: 620 8th Avenue at 41st Street

Closes at 11:00 PM (Sun. - Sat.)

Schnippers has become my favorite place for quick food before seeing a Broadway show. It’s a burger joint that also serves salads, sandwiches, and other classic American favorites, and it has a pretty extensive gluten free menu. HOWEVER, the special menu isn’t posted, so you’ll have to ask for it. All burgers and sandwiches can be served on a gluten free bun, the salads can come without croutons, and the tacos can be served on corn tortillas. Then there’s my personal favorite: the chicken fingers and fries. The chicken fingers are coated in a gluten-free batter and can be fried in a separate fryer. 

TripAdvisor Rating - 4 out of 5 stars with 616 reviews


Luke’s Lobster Times Square 

Seafood ($$-$$$)

Location: 700 8th Avenue at 44th Street

Closes at 9:00 PM (Sun. - Wed.) and 10:00 PM (Thur. - Sat.)

Luke’s Lobster Times Square is part of City Kitchen, a fun food hall on the second floor of the Row Hotel. With a location in the heart of the Theater District, it’s a great spot to grab a bite. Stop in for what they are known for - the lobster roll! All rolls can be served on a gluten free bun and their clam chowder is gluten free. 

TripAdvisor Rating - 4 out of 5 stars with 63 reviews


Friedman’s Lunch 

American ($$-$$$)

Location: 132 W 31st Street at 7th Avenue

Closes at 9:00 PM (Sun.) or 10:00 PM (Mon. - Sat.)

If you’re looking for the best gluten-free breakfast before a matinee, Friedman’s is the place to go. They specialize in gluten-free dining: all you have to do is ask your server! They get very busy for brunch, but if you’re not in a rush, it’s worth it. Get the pancakes: you will not be disappointed!

TripAdvisor Rating - 4 1/2 out of 5 stars with 849 reviews


Lili’s 57 

Asian, Sushi ($$-$$$)

Location: 200 W 57th Street at 7th Avenue

Closes at 10:30 PM (Sun. - Sat.)

Across from historic Carnegie Hall, Lili’s 57 is a go-to stop. From gluten-free appetizers, rice, soup and main entrees, there’s something for everyone. Ask for the gluten-free soy sauce with your sushi, and you’ll be good to go! 

TripAdvisor Rating - 4 out of 5 stars with 155 reviews

Off the Beaten Path

(By the Way Bakery)

By the Way Bakery

Bakery ($$-$$$)

Location: 2442 Broadway at 90th Street

Close at 8:00 PM (Sun. - Sat.) 

Even though By the Way Bakery isn’t in the heart of Theater District, it’s worth the trip uptown. Why? Every single thing is gluten free. Yes: Everything. It’s also dairy free, certified Kosher, and delicious. My go-to treat is the apple mini cake, but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu! Whether you are gluten free or not, this is a must stop in NYC. (There is no seating, just a small standing counter by the window.)  

TripAdvisor Rating - 4 1/2 out of 5 stars with 27 reviews


Senza Gluten

Italian ($$-$$$)

Location: 206 Sullivan Street, New York City, NY 10012

Close at 12:00 AM (Sun. - Thur.) or 2:00 AM (Fri. - Sat.)

Senza Gluten is 100% gluten free and a no brainer for your night out before a show! Located in Greenwich Village, it is the perfect spot for lunch, dinner and brunch. There is something for everyone here, even the non-gluten-free people in your life. One tip: they only accept American Express or cash, but don’t let that deter you from checking out this great spot for delicious Italian food you can actually enjoy. 

TripAdvisor Rating - 4 1/2 out of 5 stars with 251 reviews

Tips for the Concession Stand

When it comes to snacks during the show, being gluten-free can be tricky.  Each theater is different, so snack options will vary. However, there are some key things to look out for when grabbing a snack during intermission. 

KIND Bars are one of my go-to concessions snacks. The Al Hirschfeld Theatre, home of the Tony Award-winning “Kinky Boots”, has them at their concession, and they are great if you need a quick snack to hold you over before dinner. When it comes to chocolate, remember to always check the label. Many Hershey and Mars (makers of M&Ms) products are gluten free.

Is there a gluten free restaurant that you love and we missed? Use the comments section and let us know your favorite gluten free spot in the city!