Where to Eat at the Movies

Gillian Osswald

We love Raisinets as much as the next moviegoer, but movie dining options in NYC extend far beyond a humble box of candy. Cinemas throughout the City simplify the classic dinner-and-a-movie combo by serving full meals, snacks and drinks on premises—so you can chow down without leaving the building, and often without even leaving your theater seat. Upgrade your popcorn and soda to a house-made meal and freshly mixed cocktail at the dine-in movie theaters in our guide below.

Courtesy, Alamo Drafthouse

Alamo Drafthouse

On screen: The latest and greatest big releases, plus indies and weekly oddballs on “Weird Wednesday” and eclectic horror flicks on “Terror Tuesday”
On the menu: The list of options here is longer than a Star Wars pre-movie scroll. For drinks, choose from 30-plus tap beers—all brewed in New York State—that earn this theater the “drafthouse” portion of its name. The cocktail list is organized by rating, including a “PG” Pimm’s Cup and a boozy, “R-rated” old-fashioned (take those judgments as you wish). The kitchen serves up the requisite popcorn and pretzels but also offers chicken wings, salads, sandwiches, tacos and freshly baked cookies, all of which waiters deliver promptly to your theater seat.

Photo: Julienne Schaer


On screen: Avant-garde works, documentaries and foreign films—often presented with a director Q&A or discussion panel—as well as notable new releases
On the menu: BAMCafé, conveniently located under the same roof as the four-screen Rose Cinemas, offers sophisticated pre- and post-show snacks representing a variety of cuisines: Korean chicken sliders, falafel, Malaysian samosas and Moroccan lamb meatballs. With the purchase of a BAM reusable cup, you can bring wine, beer or a cocktail from the bar into the theater for screen-side sipping.

Courtesy, Film Society of Lincoln Center

The Film Society of Lincoln Center

On screen: Arthouse films and titles worthy of Cannes or the New York Film Festival, which the Film Society hosts each year
On the menu: All-day café Indie Food and Wine supplies Italian-leaning eats to visitors of the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. If kale salads, paninis and charcuterie are more your snack speed than popcorn and Red Vines, stop by for some sustenance before a screening of the latest Palme d’Or winner.

iPic Fulton Market

On screen: The newest blockbusters and select screenings of old favorites like Gremlins and White Christmas
On the menu: This Seaport District theater offers three ways to dine. Have a relaxed bite before or after the show at the Tuck Room— a swanky, speakeasy-style eatery above the theater. Try iPic Express for to-go sweets, snacks and cocktails, or let the food come to you with the luxury of in-cinema ordering. The menu includes upscale plates like lobster rolls, spicy tuna on crispy rice and shrimp cocktail, plus desserts like s’mores cake and cheesecake brûlée.

Courtesy, Metrograph LLC


On screen: Classic films and indies, plus frequent film series themed by genre or director
On the menu: Old Hollywood nostalgia emanates from this stylish two-screener. Inspired by the theaters, back lots and commissaries of 1920s Hollywood, the Lower East Side space includes an upstairs restaurant, a lobby bar and a photogenic concession stand stocked with candies and sodas. Dine like an old-school movie mogul, on dishes like seared tuna, steak frites and radicchio salad.

Courtesy, The Modern

The Museum of Modern Art

On screen: Moving image projects by emerging artists, contemporary works (like a Coen Brothers series) and new releases destined for awards-season glory
On the menu: The Modern’s spacious dining room is the perfect place to air any grievances about the film you’ve just seen while having a bite to eat—and without having to leave the bounds of MoMA. The only tougher debate you may face is which of 3,000-odd wines to select from the restaurant’s formidable list, and which of chef Abram Bissell’s creative New American dishes to devour.

Courtesy, Nitehawk Cinema

Nitehawk Cinema

On screen: A diverse mix of major studio releases and indies, plus regular series of horror movies, documentaries, family-friendly flicks and cartoons
On the menu: The Nitehawk specializes in themed movie-and-food-pairings like the “Sacrament of the Body” bruschetta served during screenings of Lady Bird. There’s also an impressive roster of liquors, small plates and entrees to order from your theater seat via a paper-and-pencil system designed to minimize disruption during screenings.


Courtesy, Roxy Cinema Tribeca

Roxy Cinema Tribeca

On screen: Documentaries, shorts, classics and foreign films
On the menu: Before a screening in the Roxy Hotel’s intimate art deco theater, check out the gourmet concession stand for candy, popcorn, beer or a glass of bubbly. The downtown hotel also houses the Roxy Bar, which offers a seasonal cocktail menu, elevated bar bites like steamed PEI mussels and classic entrees like strip steak, seared trout and mac and cheese.

Photo: Michael Tulipan


On screen: Beloved oldies and under-the-radar newbies
On the menu: This Bushwick cinema specializes in utensil-free dining; just circle which sandwiches, snacks and candy you’d like, and clip the order to your table. There’s also a full kitchen and 30-seat bar in the space, with beverages like Miller High Life, hard kombucha and a hibiscus-based cocktail.


On screen: Cult classics, new indie flicks and—on trivia and bingo nights—TV and video clips
On the menu: Videology is a “micro-cinema” that provides food and beverage service to all 40 seats in its cozy screening room. Stop by for beer-and-shot specials and discounted old-fashioneds and hot toddies during happy hour (weekdays from 4 to 7pm). Snack choices reflect the laid-back vibe, with options like a frito pie dog, chips and queso and that old standby, a box of Milk Duds.