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Dinner and a Show: Where to Eat Before ‘Jersey Boys’

Retro diner that evokes both the Garden State and the heyday of the 60s pop quartet

You’re going to see Jersey Boys at the August Wilson Theater and you need to know where to eat dinner beforehand? No problem! We’ve got just the right pre-theater restaurant for the smash-hit jukebox musicalon Broadway in New York City.


Ellen's Stardust Diner, 'Jersey Boys'

Head to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for dinner before ‘Jersey Boys’ (Photos: Revstan/Flickr CC, Inset: Joan Marcus)

The Show: Four guys from the other side of the bridge-and-tunnel make it big in the music business in the 1960s: They are the Four Seasons, fronted by the trademark falsetto of Frankie Valli. Jersey Boys tells the story of the chart-topping group, via hits such as “Rag Doll,” “Walk Like a Man,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” This jukebox musical, based on a true story, took home four Tonys in 2006, including Best Musical. The soundtrack also garnered a Grammy.

The Restaurant: Nothing says New Jersey like a diner; add some jukeboxes, Eisenhower-era memorabilia and a singing wait staff, and dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner will have you tapping your toes well before the curtain rises. Just around the corner from the August Wilson Theater, it’s not exactly the food, but the accompanying entertainment that makes Ellen’s one of the more memorable dining experiences around the Theater District. Keep your eye on the talent: many move on to the Great White Way.

What to Eat: It’s hard to go wrong with one of the dozen burgers on offer, such as the Mighty Mo ($18.95), two beef patties with lettuce, tomato, American cheese and a “special sauce” recipe that dates back to 1953. Meatloaf with mashed potatoes ($16.95) and chicken pot pie ($16.95) epitomize blue plate specials from back in the day. Go directly to the rich shakes ($7.95) for dessert.

What Else to Know: Fun fact: check out the “Miss Subway” posters throughout the interior. These were a photographic collection of New York City beauty queens that were a common sight on the trains from 1941-1976. Owner Ellen Hart was a “Miss Subway” in 1959.

For more restaurants near Jersey Boys, see our Theater District dining listings.
For where to drink after Jersey Boys, see our post-theater bar suggestion.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner
1650 Broadway

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