Ellen’s Stardust Diner is an absolute must for any tourist visiting New York City. A genius idea of combining a diner with singing waiters and waitresses. All ready to step into Broadway shows. This creative idea has guests queuing around the block, day and night to sample the fabulous entertainment on offer.
The food is mediocre but you aren’t really there for the food. It’s all of the showmanship and renditions of musical theatre that draws the huge crowds.
It is definitely an experience worth waiting in line for. We were lucky and arrived at Ellen’s for breakfast at about 7:45am and managed to walk straight in. It was already pretty full and definitely lively when we arrived and sure enough ten to fifteen minutes later the first of the all-day queuing started.
Despite the throngs of people waiting, once seated there is no pressure to eat and leave quickly. You can stay and enjoy and participate in the singing, the clapping and the cheering for as long as you like. Especially if you make a donation to ‘Phil’ the bucket which is a collection to help support the performers’ tuition classes.
From Burgers to Broadway
The servers are all budding entertainers honing their dancing, singing and acting craft. Preparing for that opportunity to step into the limelight and be discovered. As their tag line says ‘from Burgers to Broadway’. And what a terrific show you get with your food.
Taking our seats we vaguely knew what Ellens Stardust Diner was about but we hadn’t realised how wonderful an experience it would actually be. The popularity of the place has everyone squeezed in close together. The Canadian ladies sitting next to us told us they had come to Ellen’s every day of their trip. Simply as the entertainment was superb and really set them up for their day in NYC. How true their words were.
The stage is wherever you make it
Between the central seating, a platform exists and this area takes centre stage for the performances. In between serving, the waiters and waitresses take turns to serenade customers with all genres of show tunes. We listened to a hilarious very tongue in cheek Grease medley. Then caught a fast-paced rendition from one of the most popular musicals at the moment; Hamilton. Back to back show tunes, I defy anyone not to enjoy this crazy and fun experience.
You are actively encouraged to participate. The performers appear from all over the diner. Between the balcony, the stairway, next to your table and the central area. The performers keep the music going consistently throughout the day.
Did I mention the food? Probably not as it’s nothing special, although their buns are particularly colourful! But that’s not why you experience Ellen’s Stardust Diner. You are there for the musical magic that unfolds before you. I love New York!
Centrally located Ellen’s Stardust diner is at 1650 Broadway.
If you’re looking to book Broadway show tickets I highly recommend checking out the cut-price tickets (up to 70%) off at TodayTix.
Have you been to Ellen’s? I’d love to know all about your trip