Dinner and a Show: Houston's Top 10 Restaurants for Pre-Theater Dining

Chances are that if you're heading downtown for a night out at the opera, the symphony or the Alley, you're not simply grabbing McDonald's on your way -- you want to make an evening of this, as well you should.

Many restaurants have done away with theater menus, meaning you'll have to order judiciously from the regular menus and advise staff that you need this meal to be slightly more fast-paced than normal. Fortunately, downtown is rich with restaurants that cater to the theater crowd -- and even a few in Midtown that offer complimentary shuttles to and from the Theater District so you don't have to walk.

10. The Blue Fish

One of the closest dining options to Jones Hall, the Alley, the Houston Ballet and the Wortham is this sushi palace that fronts Bayou Place. The Dallas-based chain features Americanized sushi at its cheekiest, with a giant ahi tuna tower that's smashed into bits tableside as its gleeful signature dish. Although there's no theater menu here, just tell the staff that you're heading to a show and they'll speed things up accordingly.

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Katharine Shilcutt