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Piccadilly Circus

NOTE: In June 2015 it was announced that the Criterion had been placed in administration. The restaurant has continued to operate normally pending further developments.

Built in 1874, the Criterion must be one of London’s loveliest dining rooms with its fabulous baroque-style gold ceilings and marble columns. The place where Churchill and Lloyd George once thrashed out their political views is now popular with tourists, office workers and a theatre-going bridge-and-tunnel crowd. At first we were hopeful – tables are well spaced, the acoustics good, the staff attentive. A £23 set menu rich in prime British ingredients (Hereford beef, Shetland mussels, Suffolk lamb) set a pleasingly patriotic tone. Sadly, though, the cooking proved too erratic to do full justice to the room. Low marks went to an oversalted Aylesbury duck leg with broccoli – an uninspired, school-dinner dish undeserving of its £3 supplement. Wester Ross salmon, perched on a nest of samphire over a pool of beetroot, was better – but far from thrilling. Other diners seemed happy enough. By 9pm every table had gone, the room was buzzing and a male singer was crooning bluegrass numbers. An unseasonal strawberry and raspberry eton mess, prettily deconstructed into its separate elements, arrived just as a Spanish tour group trooped through the restaurant, too jaded and footsore to even notice the beauty of their surroundings.


Venue name: Criterion
Address: 224 Piccadilly
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm, dinner served 5.30-11.30pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Price: Main courses £16-£28.50. Set meal (lunch, 5.30-7pm, 10-11.30pm) £20 2 courses, £25 3 courses
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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London Foodie Mama

Criterion were offering a 50% discount to launch their new breakfast menu. Being unemployed, LFM loves a bargain so we happily tucked into their new innovative menu: Croque Madame spring rolls, duck confit waffles and peanut butter french toast. Very impressive. Added bonus was the magnificent surroundings of the restaurant which were grand and opulent and just right to take London Foodie Grandma for her birthday. Lovely touch when their well trained staff brought out some complimentary cake and candles. 

Spacious for buggies, high chair available and somewhere to change bebe. Perfect during the day but we can imagine in the evening, it gets all a bit classy and chic for the little ones.

Anna Braybrooke

Very nice sleek site apart from I'm unable to see the far drop down menus because of the American Express advert.

kris russell

Wow! The room is gorgeous. Tiny hiccough with the arrival of my glass of red but the scallops, divine, the lamb, whilst expensive an absolute poem of tastes and happily followed by caramel tart with peanut butter ice cream A wonderful evening and I shall go again. Unmissable.