The short answer is: it's different for each theater, but you’d be surprised how many Broadway houses do allow snacks at your seat.
At some shows, eating is encouraged, like with the Ars Nova production of "Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812" — Costco pierogis were passed out to the audience as part of the immersive staging!
Most Broadway theaters do allow food at your seat (meaning snacks, not, say, a large pizza), but most Off-Broadway theaters do not (except in the lobby). Both Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters usually sell concessions, though security probably won't stop you from bringing a candy bar in your purse.
If you do buy or bring something that makes noise, like a bag of chips, make sure you finish it at intermission to avoid being that person rustling a bag during the show and disrupting the entire audience.
One more tip: check the running time before you get to the theater. Usually the show's website or the ticketing website will have it listed. If it's only 90 minutes with no intermission, you might wait until after to eat. If it's three hours, maybe start researching restaurants in the area: our restaurant roundup can help!
- Do you eat at the theater? Let us know in the comments below!