This Fast Food Page Was Most Recently Updated: August 7th 2015
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 Venue
16, 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 2:00 am and Friday-Saturday until 5:00 am). I especially love the Margherita slice for a deliciously satisfying meal and the Vodka square for a decadently intense meal. (As for the signature Artichoke slice, it's a unique creamy pizza that's not really to my taste, but is worth experiencing at least once...)
out the slew of other fun ethnic restaurants running along MacDougal between
West 3rd Street and Bleecker. One of my favorites 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 tasty and filling.
And right across the street is another favorite, Mamoun's Falafel Restaurant (119 MacDougal Street; open every day until 5:00 am). You can grab its famed falafel sandwich in about a minute; and at $3.50, it's among the best deals in town.
If you'd care to venture over to Bleecker Street and stroll further west, also check
out Bleecker Street Pizza at 69 7th Avenue
South (off Bleecker Street; 212/924-4466; typically open until 2:00 am) for one of the best thin-crust
pizzas 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 fine 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 any of Venues 8-12—Under St. Marks, Theatre 80 St. Marks, The Kraine, or the 64E64 Mainstage & Underground (the last three are all on East 4th Street off Second Avenue)—stroll along 6th Street between Second & First Avenues for a small town's
worth of Indian and other ethnic restaurants. Among my favorites are Ethiopian eatery Awash (338
6th Street; 212/982-9589); and on Second Avenue between 5th & 6th Streets, Haveli (100 Second Avenue; 212/982-0533).
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 slathered all over the large burger.
And if you have a sweet tooth, 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 Sunday-Thursday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Friday & Saturday
from 11:00 am to midnight.
When in the East Village for FringeCentral or Venue 6, Drom, feed your inner child at Wafels & Dinges at 15 Avenue B (corner of 2nd Street; 212/510-7114), which is open Sunday-Wednesday from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm, and Thursday-Saturday from 8:00 am to 2:00 am; and Sigmund's Pretzels at 29 Avenue B (between 2nd & 3rd Streets; 646/410-0333), which is open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm, and open for brunch Saturday-Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm.
If you're coming from a late show, pop into Key Food on the corner of 4th Street and Avenue A, which is open 24/7. This large and well-run supermarket has a tremendous selection of foods, ranging from healthy greens to rotisserie chicken to beverages to keep you hydrated, and most of its prices are excellent.
Also consider visiting 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.
Then again, if you're seeking more substantial fare, be sure to partake at 68 East 1st Street (between First and Second Avenues) for the superb Australian Tuck Shop, which provides piping hot and delicious meat and veggie pies into the wee hours of the night. It's open Monday-Thursday from 10:00 am to 2:00 am, Friday & Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 am, and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
For the broadest selection, though, walk just a bit further west to Second Avenue and 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.
When in the Lower
East Side for Venues 1-4, The Clemente Theatres and Spectrum, 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).
Finally, the best pizza I've found in the LES area is Goodfellas at 144 Orchard Street (between Rivington and Stanton; 212/432-3200), which features authentic Italian pizza that has literally won awards for its taste and inventive mix of ingredients. You can't buy by the slice here, but Goodfellas will sell you a "personal pie" for $10-$12—that you can either eat at one of its dining tables or grab to go—in a mere 10 minutes. My personal favorites are the award-winning Sally Pie (lemon garlic chicken, roasted rosemary potatoes, fresh mozzarella, cheddar cheese, seasoned mushrooms, caramelized onions, gourmet cheddar scallion cream sauce, and potato chips) or, if I'm in the mood for something lighter, the Vegetable Delight (fresh mozzarella, plum tomato, broccoli, onions, zucchini, and seasoned mushrooms); but there are also many other terrific choices. Goodfellas is open Sunday-Thursday from 11:30 am to midnight, and Friday-Saturday from 11:30 am to 2:00 am.
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