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The best pre-theatre restaurants in London

Looking for a pre-theatre or post-theatre dinner? London is full of great deals for those in town for a show
Frenchie, Covent Garden
By Time Out London Food & Drink |
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It can be difficult to avoid a drama when trying to fit in a pre-theatre meal in London. But worry not – here's our pick of the best pre-theatre dinner deals in town (plus some post-theatre deals for those who like to eat later). Whether you’re seeing a Broadway transfer at the Dominion or satire at Soho Theatre (or you just fancy a cheap bite to eat) – we've got you covered. All of the restaurants included are within a 5-10 minute walk from the theatres mentioned, so never fear, you'll be fed and seated well in time for curtain-up.

 

Pre-theatre restaurants in central London

Restaurants, Contemporary European

The Archduke

icon-location-pin South Bank

A seminal wine bar/restaurant underneath the arches by Waterloo station, the Archduke’s reign began in 1979 – although it’s now part of the Black & Blue stable. Steaks, burgers, wines and live jazz are the big selling points. Handy for the Royal Festival Hall.

The deal: £16/£20 for two/three courses. Noon- 7pm Mon-Sun.

Restaurants, Contemporary European

Baltic

icon-location-pin Southwark

Once an 18th-century coach-builder’s workshop, this elegant barn-sized cavern doubles as a vodka-fuelled bar and low-key bare-bricked restaurant serving Eastern European (ie Baltic) food with a strong Polish slant. Pierogi and pelmeni dumplings, sauerkraut, spätzle and other gut-busters await.

The deal: £18.50/£22.50 for two/three courses. 5.30pm-7pm, Mon-Sat.

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Restaurants, Brasseries

Bellanger

icon-location-pin Islington

Taking its cue from the Alsace, this sparky number from Messrs Corbin & King once again pays homage to the era of grand cafés. Simple but flawless all-day sustenance is the deal, served against a backdrop of wood panelling and smoky mirrors.

The deal: £16/£18.50 for two/three courses. 11.30am-6.30pm Mon-Sun.

Venue says Visit Bellanger on a Tuesday & Wednesday evening for their new steak frites & wine and sausage, sauerkraut & beer specials from £14.50

Restaurants, French

Blanchette

icon-location-pin Soho

Here’s a delightful distraction in the heart of Soho – a French fantasy complete with stripped furniture, objects d’art and a sharing menu that’s as Gallic as La Marseillaise. Genial French-speaking staff are genuinely friendly, and the personally curated playlist is a riot.

The deal: £15/£19.50 for two/three courses. 5pm-6pm, Mon-Fri; noon-6pm, Sat-Sun.

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Restaurants, Italian

Bocca di Lupo

icon-location-pin Soho

The buzz is as important as the food at this enduringly popular restaurant, where dining at the bar is the fun option and the menu celebrates the best of artisan regional Italian cuisine – all supported by enticing cocktails and an impressive all-Italian wine list.

The deal: £10 for one special course in addition to full menu. 5pm-7pm, Mon-Sat.

Restaurants, British

Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack - Soho

icon-location-pin Soho

Like a breath of sea air wafting through a Soho side street, Bonnie Gull mixes the brand’s now-familiar bucket-and-spade seaside aesthetic with some ritzy urban touches. Fastidiously fresh fish is the kitchen’s forte, and really affable service seals the deal.

The deal: £17/£20 for two/three courses. 4pm-7pm Mon-Fri, 2pm-7pm Sat-Sun.

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Restaurants, French

Boulestin

icon-location-pin St James'

Specialising in the kind of posh retro French food that often comes (literally) preserved in aspic, this homage to restaurateur Marcel Boulestin is formal and classic – although you’ll see the odd modern interloper among its daubes, ballottines and oeufs en gelée.

The deal: £26/£29.50 for two/three courses. 11.30am-7pm, 9.30pm-10.30pm, Mon-Sat.

Restaurants, French

Brasserie Zédel

icon-location-pin Piccadilly Circus

Serving affordable Gallic staples in the cavernous surrounds of a one-time ballroom, Corbin & King’s grand Art Deco basement brasserie is a striking marble-clad beauty. Tourists and theatregoers love its bargain-basement prices, its decadent vibe and its gluggable all-French wines.

The deal:  £10.50/£13.75 for two/three courses (prix fixe) or £19.75 for three courses with a glass of wine (formule). 11.30am-midnight, Mon-Sat; 11.30am-11pm, Sun.

Venue says Every Saturday night, join us in Crazy Coqs following the 9.15pm ticketed event to enjoy our free, late-night music show – Round Midnight.

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Cafe Monico

icon-location-pin Soho

A beautiful blast from the past on 21st-century Shaftesbury Avenue, Café Monico comes on like a swanky grand café from the belle époque era. The music’s jazzy, and the menu promises a greatest-hits selection of French brasserie fare with continental add-ons.

The deal: ‘West End’ menu £18/£24 for two/three courses. Noon-midnight, daily.

Restaurants, Italian

Café Murano Covent Garden

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Built for Covent Garden’s ‘Opera Quarter’, this spin-off from Angela Hartnett’s starry Murano mixes laid-back luxe with winning Italian dishes from the north of the country – all given the AH queen-bee treatment. A very satisfying all-rounder lubricated by palate-sharpening negronis.

The deal: £19/£23 for two/three courses. Noon –7pm, 10pm–11pm, Mon–Sat.

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Restaurants, Pan-South American

Casita Andina

icon-location-pin Soho

A little bit Ceviche (cold cured fish) and a little bit Andina (wholesome superfoods and gluten-free options), this slice of Lima in London is serene and relaxed downstairs, and as hot as a house party on the first floor. Intriguing possibilities abound.  

The deal: £20 for nibbles, one cold dish and one hot dish. 5pm-6.30pm Mon-Sun.

Restaurants, Peruvian

Chotto Matte

icon-location-pin Soho

Good times beckon at Chotto Matte – a vast Frith Street rendezvous that takes Japanese-Peruvian fusion (Nikkei cuisine) and really cranks up the volume. On the ground floor is an enormous bar, while the upstairs restaurant deals in new-style sushi, robata grills and suchlike.  

The deal: £27 (bento box with a glass of prosecco). Noon-6.30pm Mon-Fri, 4pm-6.30pm Sat-Sun.

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Dean Street Townhouse.jpg
© Rob Greig
Restaurants, British

Dean Street Townhouse

icon-location-pin Soho

All things to all people at all hours, DST is a perfect fit for the neighbourhood - whatever the Soho occasion. Pre-/post-theatre fill-ups are obviously part of the package, along with leisurely breakfasts, brisk business lunches, romantic dinners and sleepovers upstairs.  

The deal: £19.50/£22.50 for two/three courses. 5pm-6.45pm, 10.30pm-midnight, Mon-Sat.

Restaurants, Contemporary European

Frederick's

icon-location-pin Angel

Old enough and wise enough to deserve the title ‘Islington classic’, dapper family-run Frederick’s just keeps on keeping on – driven along by loyal customers who greatly appreciate its lofty conservatory, secret garden and gently fashionable modern European food. A local treat.

The deal: £17/£21 for two/three courses. 5.45pm – 6.30pm Mon-Sat.

Venue says A family-run place in Angel founded in 1969. Menus from £17 (two-course) and £21 (three-course), plus private dining and wedding options.

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Restaurants, French

Frenchie

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

It’s polished, professional and laid-back, although this theatreland spot is really about Gregory ‘Frenchie’ Marchand’s impeccably composed Franco-European dishes and his devotion to in-vogue British ingredients. We like the casual vibe downstairs, where the chefs do their cheffing in the open kitchen.

The deal: £27/£30 for two/three courses. Sittings 5.30pm-6pm, 10pm-10.15pm, Mon-Sun (tables of six maximum).

Restaurants, British

The Goring Dining Room

icon-location-pin St James's Park

The royal residents of nearby Buck House use this quintessentially English hotel as a home from home, so it’s no surprise that its ultra-plush Dining Room oozes indulgent glamour – although there’s nothing old school about the sophisticated Michelin-starred food on offer here.

The deal: £37 for two courses. 6pm - 6.30pm Sun - Fri. 

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Restaurants, Italian

Hai Cenato

icon-location-pin St James's Park

Say ‘hai cenato’ (‘have you eaten?’), then make tracks for Jason Atherton’s homage to New York’s Italian pizza joints. The food shows off JA’s pedigree in slick, noisy and joyfully laid-back surrounds. With seven-day opening and a bar upstairs, who could resist?

The deal: £16/£19.50 for two/three courses. 5:30pm- 6:30pm, Mon - Sun.

Restaurants

Ham Yard Bar and Restaurant

icon-location-pin Soho

The bar attracts the ‘scene’ but Ham Yard’s ‘urban village’ restaurant also creates an impression with its ethnic artworks, bright interiors, secluded alfresco space and capably rendered Anglo-European cooking. It’s safe but light-hearted, with the odd cheeky wink here and there.

The deal: £19.50/£24 for two/three courses. Noon -10pm Sun-Wed; noon – 6.30pm Thurs-Sat. Cocktail and cheeseboard (or dessert) £18.50; 10pm-11pm Mon-Sat.

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RobGreig.jpeg
Rob Greig
Restaurants, British

Hawksmoor Air Street

icon-location-pin Piccadilly Circus

In true surf ‘n’ turf style, this capacious branch of the beefy Hawksmoor chain adds a net full of luxury seafood to its carnivorous offer. Oysters, caviar and lobsters are there for the taking, alongside prime British steaks and wickedly indulgent desserts.

The deal: £25/£28 for two/three courses. 5pm - 6.30pm, 10pm onwards, Mon-Sat.

Restaurants, British

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

One of Covent Garden’s fruit warehouses is now ‘carnivore central’ and a star player among Hawksmoor’s high-rolling steakhouses – although it’s also a place of pilgrimage for cocktail geeks. Prime British cuts are bookended by the likes of bone marrow and sticky toffee pud.

The deal: £25/£28 for two/three courses. 5pm – 6.30pm, 10pm onwards, Mon-Sat.

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Restaurants, British

Hix

icon-location-pin Soho

British food crusader Mark Hix has an empire to manage these days, but his beloved Soho outpost is still the real deal – the ‘essential Hix’, bespattered with YBA artworks. Sprightly heritage flavours galore, with bonus points for the Glenarm steaks and patriotic puds.

The deal: £19.50/£23.50 for two/three courses. Noon - 6.30pm, 10pm -11pm, Mon-Sat.

Restaurants, British

Holborn Dining Room

icon-location-pin Holborn

Like some exclusive gentlemen’s club, this is a grand brasserie for midtown London – all opulent retro styling and marble pillars, with a crowd-pleasing Brit-meets-Euro menu, exemplary cocktails and an elegant terrace for fun in the sun. The adjoining Pie Room is a must.

The deal: £20/£25 for two/three courses. 3.30pm-6.30pm, Mon-Sat (tables of four maximum).

Venue says Join our Head Sommelier, Michael Raebel for a unique wine experience with our newly launched Wine Discoveries available from £45.

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

House at the National Theatre

icon-location-pin South Bank

Eating well at the National isn’t a problem, thanks to House – its gastronomic pride and joy, located within strolling distance of the stalls. The expansive room lends gravitas and the kitchen shows bags of ambition with its dainty conceits and comforting platefuls.    

The deal: £22/£26 for two/three courses when booking for a show. 5pm-11pm, Mon-Sat, with special packages relating to specific show timings.

Restaurants, European

The Ivy Market Grill

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Late opening, striking good looks and dialled-in service win the day at this please-all offshoot of the iconic Ivy. Done out like a classy bourgeois brasserie, it dispenses signature classics and pleasing international dishes to throngs of overseas visitors and culture vultures.

The deal: £16.50/£21 for two/three courses. 4.30pm–7pm, 9.30pm -11.30pm, Sun - Fri.

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Restaurants, Brasseries

Joe Allen

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Resurrected just yards from its original premises, this legendary hole-up for theatreland’s luvvies and homesick American tourists is bang on the dollar – especially for pre/post-show jollies. Order an off-menu burger and listen to the piano man as he tinkles in the corner.

The deal: £15.95/£18.95 for two/three courses. Noon-7pm Mon-Sat.

Restaurants, Seafood

Kaspar's at the Savoy

icon-location-pin Charing Cross

Kick back to the Roaring Twenties at this riverside restaurant dedicated to Kaspar the Cat (a legendary sculpture and Savoy icon). Appropriately, luxe seafood is the pussy’s whiskers amid the dining room’s chequerboard marble floors, silvered ceilings and cut-glass mirrors.  

The deal: £36/£42 for two/three courses. 4.30pm- 6.30pm, 10pm – 11pm, Mon-Sun.

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Restaurants, Turkish

Kazan

icon-location-pin Pimlico

A flash of Ottoman opulence at the back-end of Victoria, Kazan mixes antique lamps and silk cushions with sleek contemporary styling, while slipping in some comforting Turkish family favourites among its refined, upmarket dishes. A world away from your average doner drop-in.

The deal: £15 for two courses (add £2.50 for dessert). 5.30pm - 6.30pm Mon-Sun.

Restaurants, Peruvian

Lima Floral

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Less fussy and less pricey that the Fitzrovia original, this brightly coloured Peruvian contender showcases the country’s indigenous flavours and esoteric ingredients – although the cooking is shot through with innovative flashes. Meanwhile, the basement bar offers a glimpse of pisco heaven.

The deal: £14/£18 for two/three courses. 5pm – 6pm Mon-Fri.

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Lorne Restaurant

icon-location-pin Pimlico

With a chef and sommelier from The Square and The River Café respectively, you know you’re in good hands at this bang-on Pimlico restaurant. ‘Scandi-meets-country’ is the design spec, while the menu promises a roster of smart, good-looking but unfussy modern European dishes.

The deal: £22/£27 for two/three courses. 6pm - 6.15pm Tue-Sat.

Menier Chocolate Factory
© L Rees-Harris
Theatre, Musicals

Menier Chocolate Factory

icon-location-pin Southwark

There are theatres that just about pass muster on the food front, and then there’s the Menier – a chic little restaurant, dynamic performance space and gallery all housed in a converted Victorian chocolate factory. Special ‘meal deal’ menus are tailored to each show.

The deal: £17/£20 for two/three courses. Seats must be taken by 2pm for matinees and 6.30pm for the evening show.

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Niche

icon-location-pin Finsbury

Gluten-free and next door to Sadler’s Wells, this bijou restaurant really does have its own gastro-niche – whether you’re into buttermilk fried chicken, bangers and mash or wild mushroom gnocchi. Literally everything on the menu meets coeliac requirements, and there are dairy-free options too.

The deal: Pre-theatre menu (starters £5.50, mains from £13.50). Served on performance nights at Sadler’s Wells, 6pm-7pm Mon-Sun.

Restaurants, Contemporary Global

NOPI

icon-location-pin Soho

Yotam Ottolenghi’s more formal, more grown-up and more expensive take on his game-changing Ottolenghi café concept shares the same look and ethos as its siblings – right down to the inventive fusion of Middle Eastern cuisine with bold forays into the Mediterranean and Asia.

The deal: £25.50 per person (sharing dishes). 5.30pm-6.30pm, Mon-Fri.

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Restaurants, Cafés

Penny

icon-location-pin Southwark

Feeding and watering a captive audience in the basement of the Old Vic, this artisan café feels fresh as a daisy – thanks to an all-day line-up that encompasses charcuterie boards, British cheeses, hot sandwiches, salads and a host of interesting drinks.

The deal: About £25. Noon -7.30pm Mon-Sat.

quo_vadis-7215.jpg
Louise Haywood-Schiefer
Restaurants, British

Quo Vadis

icon-location-pin Soho

Although a big chunk of its original dining room has been hived off to accommodate Barrafina, this Soho veteran is still a shoo-in for socialising - especially if you’re partial to smoked eel sarnies, hefty pies and reinvented British dishes. Satisfaction guaranteed.  

The deal: ‘The Soho Set’, £17.50/£22.50 for two/three courses. 5.30pm-10.30pm, Mon-Sun.

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Restaurants, Italian

Radici

icon-location-pin Barnsbury

What was the Almeida Restaurant (opposite the namesake theatre) has been refashioned by D&D London with help from star chef Francesco Mazzei (of Sartoria fame). Swooningly pretty by design, Radici majors in classily reinvented trattoria staples backed by a roster of pizzas.

The deal: £15/£18 for two/three courses. 5pm - 10.30pm Mon-Sat.

Restaurants, Japanese

Roka Aldwych

icon-location-pin Holborn

Swathes of pale wood and bamboo, plus the thrills of on-show robata grilling, add up to a winning package at this glamorous Japanese hotshot. High-end sushi and sashimi also hit the mark, and it’s worth investing extra for the lush crossover desserts.

The deal: £33 for three courses. 5pm-6.30pm, 9.30pm -10.30pm, Mon-Sat.

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Restaurants, Japanese

Shackfuyu

icon-location-pin Soho

From the team behind rock ‘n’ roll ramen bar Bone Daddies, this pop-up gone permanent has everything hip Londoners dream of: a sexy setting, grungy sounds, cheery tattooed staff and a wallet-friendly menu of wicked Japanese-style flavour bombs – not forgetting high-strength booze.  

The deal: ‘Express menu’ £19 for one small dish, one large dish and a drink. Noon-6.30pm, 10pm onwards, Mon-Sun.

Restaurants, Contemporary European

Skylon

icon-location-pin South Bank

A doozy of a venue if you’re visiting the Royal Festival Hall, love 1950s nostalgia and enjoy wallowing in sensational riverside views. Choose the Restaurant for pimped-up seasonal cooking, pick the Grill for easy-priced brasserie food, and hit the bar for booze.  

The deal: £25/£30 for two/three courses. 5.30pm-6pm, 9.30pm-11pm, Mon-Sat (tables of six maximum).

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Restaurants, British

Social Eating House

icon-location-pin Soho

Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred Soho enclave is one of his more frenetic outposts – a sprawling dining room with a mirrored ceiling, bare concrete, Victoriana and a dazzling menu of reimagined modern cooking.  Sharing jars, steaks and sundaes also have their moment.

The deal: £26.50 for three courses (£33.50 with a cocktail, £35.50 with a carafe of wine for two). 6pm-6.45pm Mon-Thur.

Restaurants, British

Swan at Shakespeare's Globe

icon-location-pin South Bank

Brush up your Shakespeare while diving into the menu at this full-on dinner and show experience aimed at visitors to The Globe theatre. Don’t expect touristy clichés; do expect Instagram-perfect contemporary dishes. The Swan’s stunning river views also deserve a rousing cheer.

The deal: £24.50 for three courses. Noon-3pm, 5pm-6pm, prior to matinee and evening performances.

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Restaurants, Spanish

Tapas Brindisa Rupert Street

icon-location-pin Chinatown

Shifting the focus from tapas to serious meat cookery, Brindisa’s modern spin on the Spanish asador serves suckling pig, milk-fed lamb, chops, hot dogs and even battered chorizo in a handsome industrial setting adorned with copper lamps and Moorish floor tiles.

The deal: £19.95 (picoteo, tapas and a main from the grill). 4.30pm -7pm Mon-Fri; 11am – 7pm Sat.

Restaurants, Japanese

Uni

icon-location-pin Belgravia

Sushi nerds congregate at Uni’s street-level counter, but similarly refined seafood – including the titular ‘ooni’ (sea urchin) – is also served in the bijou basement dining room.

There’s more than raw fish, of course, with undercurrents of Nikkei (Japanese/Peruvian fusion) running through the mix.

The deal:  £15 bento box. Noon – 7pm, Mon-Fri.

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Wild Honey

icon-location-pin Mayfair

Suave sophistication and a calm (if clamorous) vibe are reminders that this slick, clubby eatery is rooted in conservative Mayfair. Luxury ingredients abound, and the kitchen knows how to dress its plates of smart food for maximum eye appeal as well as flavour.

The deal: ‘Early supper’ (£35 for three courses). 6pm-7pm, Mon-Fri.

Restaurants, Chinese

Yauatcha

icon-location-pin Soho

Michelin-starred Yauatcha comes on like some gussied-up Taipei teahouse offering all-day grazing, superior dim sum and petit gateaux – plus teas of exceptional quality. Choose the frenetic street-level canteen for noisy action, decamp to the basement dining room for a cool, sultry vibe.   

The deal: ‘Taste of Yauatcha’ menu £19 (eight dim sum, plus macaron and tea). 2pm-5.45pm Mon-Thur.

Find more pre-theatre restaurants in London

Pre-theatre restaurants in north London

Restaurants, Brasseries

Bellanger

icon-location-pin Islington

Taking its cue from the Alsace, this sparky number from Messrs Corbin & King once again pays homage to the era of grand cafés. Simple but flawless all-day sustenance is the deal, served against a backdrop of wood panelling and smoky mirrors.

The deal: £16/£18.50 for two/three courses. 11.30am-6.30pm Mon-Sun.

Venue says Visit Bellanger on a Tuesday & Wednesday evening for their new steak frites & wine and sausage, sauerkraut & beer specials from £14.50

Restaurants, Contemporary European

Frederick's

icon-location-pin Angel

Old enough and wise enough to deserve the title ‘Islington classic’, dapper family-run Frederick’s just keeps on keeping on – driven along by loyal customers who greatly appreciate its lofty conservatory, secret garden and gently fashionable modern European food. A local treat.

The deal: £17/£21 for two/three courses. 5.45pm – 6.30pm Mon-Sat.

Venue says A family-run place in Angel founded in 1969. Menus from £17 (two-course) and £21 (three-course), plus private dining and wedding options.

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Niche

icon-location-pin Finsbury

Gluten-free and next door to Sadler’s Wells, this bijou restaurant really does have its own gastro-niche – whether you’re into buttermilk fried chicken, bangers and mash or wild mushroom gnocchi. Literally everything on the menu meets coeliac requirements, and there are dairy-free options too.

The deal: Pre-theatre menu (starters £5.50, mains from £13.50). Served on performance nights at Sadler’s Wells, 6pm-7pm Mon-Sun.

Restaurants, Italian

Radici

icon-location-pin Barnsbury

What was the Almeida Restaurant (opposite the namesake theatre) has been refashioned by D&D London with help from star chef Francesco Mazzei (of Sartoria fame). Swooningly pretty by design, Radici majors in classily reinvented trattoria staples backed by a roster of pizzas.

The deal: £15/£18 for two/three courses. 5pm - 10.30pm Mon-Sat.

Find more pre-theatre restaurants in London

Pre-theatre restaurants in south London

Restaurants, Contemporary European

The Archduke

icon-location-pin South Bank

A seminal wine bar/restaurant underneath the arches by Waterloo station, the Archduke’s reign began in 1979 – although it’s now part of the Black & Blue stable. Steaks, burgers, wines and live jazz are the big selling points. Handy for the Royal Festival Hall.

The deal: £16/£20 for two/three courses. Noon- 7pm Mon-Sun.

Restaurants, Contemporary European

Baltic

icon-location-pin Southwark

Once an 18th-century coach-builder’s workshop, this elegant barn-sized cavern doubles as a vodka-fuelled bar and low-key bare-bricked restaurant serving Eastern European (ie Baltic) food with a strong Polish slant. Pierogi and pelmeni dumplings, sauerkraut, spätzle and other gut-busters await.

The deal: £18.50/£22.50 for two/three courses. 5.30pm-7pm, Mon-Sat.

Advertising
Restaurants, Contemporary European

House at the National Theatre

icon-location-pin South Bank

Eating well at the National isn’t a problem, thanks to House – its gastronomic pride and joy, located within strolling distance of the stalls. The expansive room lends gravitas and the kitchen shows bags of ambition with its dainty conceits and comforting platefuls.    

The deal: £22/£26 for two/three courses when booking for a show. 5pm-11pm, Mon-Sat, with special packages relating to specific show timings.

Menier Chocolate Factory
© L Rees-Harris
Theatre, Musicals

Menier Chocolate Factory

icon-location-pin Southwark

There are theatres that just about pass muster on the food front, and then there’s the Menier – a chic little restaurant, dynamic performance space and gallery all housed in a converted Victorian chocolate factory. Special ‘meal deal’ menus are tailored to each show.

The deal: £17/£20 for two/three courses. Seats must be taken by 2pm for matinees and 6.30pm for the evening show.

Advertising
Restaurants, Cafés

Penny

icon-location-pin Southwark

Feeding and watering a captive audience in the basement of the Old Vic, this artisan café feels fresh as a daisy – thanks to an all-day line-up that encompasses charcuterie boards, British cheeses, hot sandwiches, salads and a host of interesting drinks.

The deal: About £25. Noon -7.30pm Mon-Sat.

Skylon z.jpg
© Tricia de Courcy Ling
Restaurants, Contemporary European

Skylon

icon-location-pin South Bank

A doozy of a venue if you’re visiting the Royal Festival Hall, love 1950s nostalgia and enjoy wallowing in sensational riverside views. Choose the Restaurant for pimped-up seasonal cooking, pick the Grill for easy-priced brasserie food, and hit the bar for booze.  

The deal: £25/£30 for two/three courses. 5.30pm-6pm, 9.30pm-11pm, Mon-Sat (tables of six maximum).

Advertising
Restaurants, British

Swan At the Globe

icon-location-pin South Bank

Brush up your Shakespeare while diving into the menu at this full-on dinner and show experience aimed at visitors to The Globe theatre. Don’t expect touristy clichés; do expect Instagram-perfect contemporary dishes. The Swan’s stunning river views also deserve a rousing cheer.

The deal: £24.50 for three courses. Noon-3pm, 5pm-6pm, prior to matinee and evening performances.

Find more pre-theatre restaurants in London

Pre-theatre restaurants in west London

Restaurants, British

The Goring Dining Room

icon-location-pin St James's Park

The royal residents of nearby Buck House use this quintessentially English hotel as a home from home, so it’s no surprise that its ultra-plush Dining Room oozes indulgent glamour – although there’s nothing old school about the sophisticated Michelin-starred food on offer here.

The deal: £37 for two courses. 6pm - 6.30pm Sun - Fri. 

Restaurants, Italian

Hai Cenato

icon-location-pin St James's Park

Say ‘hai cenato’ (‘have you eaten?’), then make tracks for Jason Atherton’s homage to New York’s Italian pizza joints. The food shows off JA’s pedigree in slick, noisy and joyfully laid-back surrounds. With seven-day opening and a bar upstairs, who could resist?

The deal: £16/£19.50 for two/three courses. 5:30pm- 6:30pm, Mon - Sun.

Advertising
Restaurants, Turkish

Kazan

icon-location-pin Pimlico

A flash of Ottoman opulence at the back-end of Victoria, Kazan mixes antique lamps and silk cushions with sleek contemporary styling, while slipping in some comforting Turkish family favourites among its refined, upmarket dishes. A world away from your average doner drop-in.

The deal: £15 for two courses (add £2.50 for dessert). 5.30pm - 6.30pm Mon-Sun.

Restaurants, Contemporary European

Lorne Restaurant

icon-location-pin Pimlico

With a chef and sommelier from The Square and The River Café respectively, you know you’re in good hands at this bang-on Pimlico restaurant. ‘Scandi-meets-country’ is the design spec, while the menu promises a roster of smart, good-looking but unfussy modern European dishes.

The deal: £22/£27 for two/three courses. 6pm - 6.15pm Tue-Sat.

Advertising
Restaurants, Japanese

Uni

icon-location-pin Belgravia

Sushi nerds congregate at Uni’s street-level counter, but similarly refined seafood – including the titular ‘ooni’ (sea urchin) – is also served in the bijou basement dining room.

There’s more than raw fish, of course, with undercurrents of Nikkei (Japanese/Peruvian fusion) running through the mix.

The deal:  £15 bento box. Noon – 7pm, Mon-Fri.

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