An excellent review of the good ol' Stockpot - witty and bang on the money. Yeah, it's stodgy British school canteen nosh (for the most part); but at the sort of prices they're charging, who's complaining?
Rob Greig / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Sep 25 2013
Will anything ever change at this Soho institution? We doubt it. Stepping into the charmingly unreconstructed caff is like entering a culinary land that time forgot. The 1960s-ish decor consists of walls furnished in Anaglypta and wooden slatting, plus tables that seem to have been varnished time and again. The menu’s solid fare is all stodgy bakes, roast dinners and a school canteen-esque range of crumbles and sponges topped with runny, synthetic-tasting custard.
The real throwback is the bill, though, with most main courses costing about £6 and set menus letting you wolf down three courses for close to £10. As a result, the clientele tends towards shaky old gents hunched over slabs of stodge and chips, students eking out cuppas, and meedja trendies paying homage to an increasingly rare glimpse of old Soho. A word of warning, though: don’t expect to linger. When busy, the otherwise friendly staff can border on the pushy in their attempts to hurry customers along.
Stockpot 18 Old Compton Street
- Venue phone:
020 7287 1066
- Opening hours:
Meals served 9am-11.30pm Mon, Tue; 9am-midnight Wed-Sat; noon-11.30pm Sun
Tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road
Main courses £4.95-£10.50. Set meal £7.10 2 courses
- 18 Old Compton Street
- 020 7287 1066
- 18 Old Compton Street
Average User Rating
3.7 / 5
- 5 star:7
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:3
The Stockpot is a great British institution! I used to be taken there by my parents as a child when visiting the West End, then went there as student and then when working in London. Went there yesterday with my own children and nothing has changed - not even the prices! Yes it is canteen food and the peas really do look those in the photo, but what you expect for 3 courses for under a tender ? If you want fine dining or attentive customer service then go else where. But you you want simple "home cooking" at unbelievable prices for the West End, then highly recommended. Note - No website or modern things like credit cards - cash only. love it!
I've gone here at least 20 times in the past year with (a) groups of my language students on their social programme to experience British cuisine or (b) friends when we meet up in the West End. The food has been consistently excellent: delicious English fare, and the staff (Normally but not always a tall Brazilian lad) unfailingly co-operative, courteous and efficient. I recommend Stockpot for any good evening out.
I have been using the Stockpot restaurants for a full 50 years, virtually since their inception. There was Conduit Street, Lancaster Court (both gone decades ago), and of course Panton Street. The food was pretty much the same in all of them, and it didn't change much over the years. Good and wholesome, if a bit on the heavy side, and certainly not fine dining, but prices were unbelievably good value. I stopped working in central London in 1983, and so only visited Panton Street occasionally after that. Imagine my horror when only this week I returned there for a pre-theatre evening meal to find the place closed with signs of building work inside. A fading hand-written sign apologised for the "refreshment" work in progress, but much more disturbing was another note indicating that the door locks had been changed in circumstances suggesting that the restaurant may well not open again! What a tragedy if this bastion of cheap and cheerful eating should have finally closed for the last time. Five stars for the memories.
The Stockpot was found by accident. Walking round London with two small boys was tiring and it just happened to be where we stopped to read the riot act! Luckily for the boys I was hungry. We went in and fell in love with theplace. Good, simple and honest food that fills you up. Wonderful friendly service and if you hit the right time of day, you sit near a famous actor or two. We go whenever in London now. Even new years eve 2008 we sat at 11:30pm drinking hot chocolate and coffee not being that fussed with the celebrations. It's a must for any family visiting London on a budget.
I don't know about you, but living in London can be tiring. It's a combination of things: work, relationship upkeep, so many things to do and see and feeling like a lazy ass if you'd rather stay in and watch the telly with a 3 pound bottle of red than go out to the latest club. So yeah, tiring. And that malaise often includes searching for something to eat. The Stockpot answers that fatigue by removing the part of my brain that makes me have to actually think about the dizzying array of food options here in the capitol. When I'm hovering around Leicester Square for some reason and I get peckish, The Stockpot allows me to shut off the search for the newest "it" cuisine and stuff myself with some good, plain food.The Stockpot is just...there. Like your Gran's sitting room, when you walk in the place a sense of relaxation comes over you...its comfortable, and you know what to expect. No hip ingredients, no surprise additions,no froufrou waiters. The Stockpot serves egg and chips, fish and veg,bangers and mash among other dependable options in a warm cocoon of familiarity. After an exhausting afternoon, I swear there are times I've felt I could fall asleep at one of the tables, my head resting on the plastic menu. The staff is pleasant, the price is right, and this very comforting comfort food fills my belly. And sometimes, lets be honest...that's all you need.
After being ignored at two chain restaurants in Leicester Square we discovered Stockpot. . Immediate welcoming service with a varied menu at excellent prices. I had the best ever mushroom and brocolli pasta..Would recommend and will certainly go again.
Eaten here four times and love the place. Good food, wide choice, quick service by friendly staff. Prices for a central London restaurant are hard to beat. I’d recommend this place to anyone.
Great school dinner-type food at brilliant prices considering you're in the heart of the West End. Liver and onions with mash, rice pudding, and a mug of tea for under £10!
Food is fairly good and the prices are a very pleasant surprise! The best way to beat a monstrous hunger for less than £15.
for what it is you cant beat it - always a great place for a quick pre theatre dinner with friends. Time Out reviewer is spot on
I have read the reviews here and I think some of the comments are quite unfair. We went there 2 days ago and the services is fine, the food is great and with the price they charged, I think it is good.
Service was so bad we had to leave, such a rude waiter, no wonder it was the only place empty on a sunday lunchtime. I asked for a coffee while i looked at the menu, he said i had to order food or leave. The restaurant was empty? So I left.
Food was good but customer service was disgraceful. Extremely rude tall waiter. Will never come back again. Shame about the food though!
very friendly staff, nice atmosphere and reasonable value (for London at least) but don't expect too much from the actual food ...overcooked and obviously pre-cooked and just hanging around waiting for somebody to order it. Think they could do better in the kitchen as it is letting down the excellent front-of-house