This Fast Food Page Was Most Recently Updated: Thursday
August 15th 2013
FringeNYC-Area Fast Food
Opinions about fast food are way more
subjective than theatre reviews. That said, if you're seeking quick nourishment
before racing to your next show, here are some personal favorite eateries
located in FringeNYC venue neighborhoods:
When catching productions at Venues
17 & 18, The
Players Theatre and The Steve & Marie Sgouros Theatre, enjoy what's
arguably the best pizza in NYC from Artichoke
Pizza at 111 MacDougal Street (between West 3rd Street and Bleecker; open Sunday-Thursday until 4:00 am and Friday-Saturday until 5:00 am). You
won't go wrong with any choice, but I especially love the Vodka squares;
and the signature artichoke slices are like nothing you've experienced
out the slew of other fun ethnic restaurants running along MacDougal between
West 3rd Street and Bleecker. My absolute favorite is Thelewala (112 MacDougal Street; 212/614-9100; open until 2:00 am weekdays, 5:00 am Fridays, and 11:30 pm Saturdays), which provides the best spiced lamb sandwich—rolled in Indian flatbread—that you're likely to find in NYC. Spicy chicken, egg, and potato rolls are also available. They're prepared within about 10 minutes of your
order, can be eaten in the tiny store or consumed on the run to your next show, and are satisfying and delicious.
If you'd care to venture over to Bleecker Street and stroll further west, also check
out Bleecker Street Pizza, which is at 69 7th Avenue
South (off Bleecker Street; 212/924-4466; typically open until 2:00 am).
Not only is this place better than both John's and Joe's (the other
pizza giants in the neighborhood), I'd argue it's the best thin-crust
pizza in Manhattan.
Another notable pizza place in the area is Keste
Pizza and Vino at 271 Bleecker
Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues; 212/243-1500). Its fluffy bread base and
simple toppings are a return to traditional Neapolitan pizza...and delicious.
You have to buy an entire pie, not just a slice, but you can order it to go.
Also nearby is the West Village branch
of Amy's Bread at 250 Bleecker Street (between 6th
and 7th Avenues; 212/675-7802),
which offers a variety of crusty, chewy bread, plus such other treats
as richly creamy cupcakes and cakes. In addition, the store carries 20
different types of delicious healthy sandwiches, made fresh every day.
And if you're in the mood for a burger (either beef or grilled veggie) in a hurry, a terrific Five Guys eatery is at 296 Bleecker Street (212/367-9205; open Monday-Wednesday until midnight, and Thursday-Saturday until 2:00 am)
When attending Venue 8, The Theatre at the 14th Street Y, walk mere seconds west on the same block to reach another branch of Artichoke
Pizza, this time at 328 East 14th Street (between First and Second Avenues; 212/228-2004; open daily until 5:00 am).
When in the East
Village for Venues 6,7, and 10-12 (all within a few blocks of East 4th Street),
stroll along 6th Street between Second and First Avenues for a small town's
worth of Indian and other ethnic restaurants. Among my favorites are Indian
East (334 East 6th
Street) and Ethiopian eatery Awash (338
Also give a try to Paul's at 131 Second Avenue (off St. Marks Place; 212/529-3033; open until 11:30 weekdays and midnight Friday-Saturday), which cooks up some of the finest burgers in NYC in under 10 minutes. Don't neglect to get one of the toppings (my favorite is the chili) that are generously dumped all over the large burger.
When down in the East
Village's Alphabet City to catch shows at Venue 6, the
Connelly Theater, visit Butter
Lane Cupcakes at 123 East 7th Street (between
1st Avenue and Avenue A). Offering such delicious flavors as chocolate, cherry,
and grapefruit/ginger cream on banana bread, chocolate, or vanilla foundations
(your choice), the store charges $3 per cupcake or $16 for a box of six. It's
open from Sunday-Thursday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Friday & Saturday
from 11:00 am to midnight.
And if you're coming from a late show, pop
into Gracefully at 28 Avenue A (between 2nd and 3rd Streets),
which is a savvy gourmet grocery store that's open 24/7. It offers such
treats as mini-mud cakes, mini-mousse cakes, packaged chocolate truffles,
packaged health food sandwiches, and a fine assortment of healthy breads.
When in the Lower
East Side for Venues 1-5, you'll find some
of the best jelly donuts in the city at the Donut Plant, 379 Grand
Street (between Essex and Norfolk Streets). The store is additionally
a Village Voice pick for its churros (elongated
Mexican donuts sprinkled with granular sugar). Donut Plant is open Tuesday
through Sunday, from 6:30 am until it sells out its hard-to-resist wares (typically
between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm).
just happens to be on the same block—is Kossar's, a NYC institution for its
authentic Jewish bagels and wonderful giant bialys. It's mere seconds
away from Donut Plant at 367 Grand Street (phone: 877-4-BIALYS). Kossar's
is open Monday-Thursday 6:00 am - 8:00 pm; and Friday 6:00 am - 5:00
pm (at which point it closes for the Sabbath).
When you're at FringeCentral, walk just a couple of blocks down Second Avenue to Houston Street and partake of the amazing Whole Foods Bowery (95 East Houston Street; 212/420-1320; open every night until 11:00 pm), which features fresh burgers grilled to your order, amazing hot soups (I love the braised beef chili), and tons of other treats that are good for you.
In addition, be sure to check the bottom half of your FringeNYC
Venue Guide Map. You'll find 17 restaurants providing extras and/or
discounts ranging from 10% to 15%. Among the most notable are Cucina Di
Pesce (at 87 East 4th Street, right next door to Venue 10 and across the
street from Venues 11-12), which is offering 15% off its Italian dishes that are
relatively inexpensive to begin with (I especially like both the meat and vegetarian
lasagnes, which are very filling and satisfying); and Jimmy's No. 43, which
is the only bar restaurant that's
also a FringeNYC theatre! (Venue 9, at 43 East 7th Street).
None of these vendors have any idea I'm
saying this, by the way. But if you're hunting for
the best shows, you might as well consume the best fast food while you're at