Enjoy a free Broadway show in a retro New York diner

When visiting New York, a must on most peoples’ lists is to buy tickets to a Broadway show. If you want entertainment that’s a little more affordable, stop into Ellen’s Stardust Diner.

The eatery is a themed diner that takes you back to the 1950’s, with waitresses in poodle skirts and waiters in retro bowling shirts serving classic fare like meatloaf, burger platters, macaroni and cheese, Whoopie pie sundaes, and thick shakes. To add to the old-time ambiance, nostalgic memorabilia adorns the room, a model-train set circles teh tables, and 50’s videos play on the television sets and a “drive-in theatre” screen.

While the food and decor help to make the place lively and fun, the real draw is the Broadway-style singing. The talented servers break out in random song from shows like Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and other major hits. Many of the staff are aspiring performers (a few have even been American Idol participants) trying to make it big, so the singing is more than just a hobby.

Yes, this restaurant is touristy, but it’s a lot of fun. Also, the staff are actually extremely talented and could easily be on Broadway. Bonus: If you like dessert, they have the most enormous sundae I’ve ever seen, “Ellen’s ‘Everything But the Kitchen Sink'”, with homemade vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and strawberry ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, walnuts, cherries, strawberries, whipped cream, sprinkles, brownies, and Oreo cookies. Just make sure to wear loose pants.