Where to Eat If You’re Seeing “Hamilton” in Philadelphia

You’re seeing the show of a lifetime. What are you going to have for dinner?

Photo by Joan Marcus

Okay, you’ve shelled out for tickets for Hamilton (or gotten lucky in the $10 lottery). We’re not sure that any meal could measure up to the performance, but you’ll want to strategize dining options convenient to the Forrest Theatre at 11th and Walnut before and after — whether you’re planning a full-out itinerary for this special occasion or simply need quick sustenance between work and showtime (which is 7:30 p.m.). Here are our picks for the best places to eat before (or after) you see Hamilton in Philadelphia.

Where to Eat If You’re Bringing the Kids to Hamilton

Reading Terminal Market | Wikimedia Commons

We can only imagine that the process of corralling a brood through pre-theater dinner and into their seats on time is only marginally easier than getting Hamilton tickets in the first place. In that case, you’ll want to eat somewhere (a) close and (b) kid-friendly — why add more stress to what should be a magical evening?

If your kids can handle getting a little bit fancy, head to Picanha Brazilian Steakhouse, where they offer a kid’s menu version of their epic salad bar and meats carved tableside — and it’s just a block from the theater. Midcentury-inspired comfort food spot Jones at 8th and Chestnut is another nearby place with lots of kid-friendly items on its dinner menu.

Another option: head to Reading Terminal Market at 5 p.m. so everyone can choose their own quick-serve, budget-friendly bites. Take a quick detour through Washington Square Park to give the kids a chance to run around and work out pent-up energy, then circle back to the theater with plenty of time for bathroom breaks and getting the youngsters settled. If they’re good, everyone gets a treat from Scoop DeVille or Big Gay Ice Cream after the show.

Where to Eat If You’re Going All-Out for Hamilton

Alpen Rose | Photo provided

If you put up the big bucks for tickets, you might as well go big with your pre-theater meal. The obvious choice for an unmatched experience is Vetri, just five blocks from the Forrest, or go with old-school glamour at Alpen Rose on 13th Street. Looking for an extra-special vegan or vegetarian meal before the show? Make a reservation at Vedge, then go for post-show drinks at dark, sexy, plant-based Charlie Was a Sinner.

Where to Eat If You’re Seeing Hamilton for Date Night

Talula’s Garden | Facebook

There’s no better excuse to do date night right than seeing Hamilton. Treat yourselves to the downstairs omakase at Double Knot on 13th Street, or make an early reservation on the patio at Talula’s Garden on Washington Square for a farm-to-table feast. Hit Kanella Grill at 10th and Spruce for wood-fired Cypriot fare, or head to one of Safran Turney’s spots on 13th Street: Bud & Marilyn’s for fried chicken and frosé is our current favorite, but you really can’t go wrong with Mexican at Lolita, Spanish at Jamonera, Mediterranean at Barbuzzo, or red gravy Italian at Little Nonna’s.

If you’re on a budget — whether you got lucky in the $10 lottery or simply because you spent all your cash getting tickets — hit up Sansom Street Kabob House at 13th and South, which offers romantic vibes and excellent Afghani fare a few blocks from the theater. Paprica on the 800 block of Sansom Street does great pide (Turkish pizza on the menu) and steak doner kebabs, or you can roll through the original Cheu Noodle Bar on 10th Street for pre-show noods with your sweetie. Afterwards, hit Franky Bradley’s for a nightcap or dancing.

Where to Eat If You’re Running Late to Hamilton

Wawa meatball hoagie

Hoagies. You’ll be thanking your lucky stars for the Wawa on Walnut Street between 9th and 10th when you’re racing against time to eat and get in your seat before the house lights go down. Don’t have time for the touch screen? They stack those soft pretzels right by the register for a reason.

If you’re squeezed for time but not desperately late, Spanish spot Oloroso is practically across the street from the Forrest, and French bistro Caribou Cafe is just up the block.

Where to Get Drinks After Hamilton in Philly


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For a casual hang and craft beers before or after the show, hit up Strangelove’s, just around the corner from the theater on 11th, or grab some wings and a pint at Moriarty’s, just down the street from the theater. Head to Tria Cafe at 12th and Spruce for wine, beer, and cheese boards curated by Philly’s own Madame Fromage.

If you’re heading north, walk through Chinatown to Hop Sing Laundromat for killer cocktails afterwards (just make sure to bring your ID and brush up on the rules before you go).