With over 40 theatres in London’s West End alone, it’s not hard to see why London is one of the cultural capitals of the world. And where there is a theatre you can guarantee there is going to be a restaurant nearby serving up a pre- or post-theatre menu; they’ll have you in and out in time for the performance and they’re a wonderful way to eat at some of London’s best restaurants at a much more bank balance friendly price – take note if you’re on a date! So forget going to a chain or grabbing a rushed sandwich check out 16 of our favourites:
Pre-theatre in Southwark
Nestled in the heart of bustling Southwark, Londrino is a great starting point to begin your exploration of the Southwark theatre scene. Inspired by that which “inspires” the chefs of Londrino, the menu boasts an eclectic array of seasonal and unique fare. Nodding to the flavours of Portugal, Londrino excels when it comes to sea food: pay particular attention to the Rock Oysters in Samphire Vinaigrette and the cured cod and coriander. Served from 5.30pm-18.30pm Tuesday to Saturday.
Available Tuesday – Saturday 5:30pm – 6:30pm until 22nd December 2018
2 Courses: £25
3 Courses: £30
Nearest Theatre: Southwark playhouse/ Menier Chocolate Factory
Where: 36 Snowsfields, Southwark SE1 3SU
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.2 miles)
Pre -Theatre in Victoria
Helmed by Jason Atherton, Hai Cenato is a London favourite. Meaning “Have you eaten?” in Italian, Hai Cenato is a New York-Italian restaurant and cocktail bar that boasts an expansive pizza menu and an array of dazzling guest star pizza chefs to keep things interesting. Offering diners two courses for £18.50, be prepared to undo your top button before making it to your show. The Gorgonzola, mozzarella, taleggio and parmigiana pizza is definitely the headline act of the evening.
Available Monday to Sunday 5:30pm -6:30pm
2 courses: £18.50
Nearest Theatre: Apollo Victoria, Victoria Palace Theatre and The Other Palace
Where: 2, 79 Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster, SW1E 5DJ
American restaurant Christopher’s is in prime position for visiting the theatre so it’s just as well they have a theatre menu, they’d be missing out on a trick otherwise. Starters include cod and shrimp cake with pickled red cabbage slaw and saffron chilli aioli whilst mains include pappardelle with whipped buffalo ricotta, tomato, wild garlic and arugula. Finish with chocolate peanut butter and caramel tart with espresso ice cream or a passion fruit panna cotta with cardamom anglaise.
Available Monday – Saturday, 5pm -6:15pm and 10pm -11:30pm
£22.50 for 2 courses / £26.50 for 3 courses
Nearest theatre: Lyceum Theatre
Where: Christopher's, 18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7DD
A Historic Meal
Simpson’s in the Strand is a London classic, just steps away from the glittering lights of West End. Their pre-theatre menu is a contemporary take on British classics, turning your night into one that will not be forgotten- for food AND entertainment. Start with choices like rabbit terrine or peach burrata, then fill up on main courses like pan-fried plaice or pressed lamb belly. Leave some room for St Clement posset or maybe their signature trifle with Yorkshire rhubarb, vanilla custard, Ridgeview sparkling, Chantilly and strawberries.
Available Monday – Friday 5-7pm and 9pm-closing
£30 for 2 courses / £34 for 3 courses
Nearest theatre: Vaudeville Theatre
Where: 100 Strand, WC2R 0EW
Centre of Theatre Land
If you’re right in the middle of theatre land then you need to have a pre-menu theatre really, and it just so happens that The Petersham has launched a new pre-menu theatre. The edit of the à la carte menu is made up of three starters, three mains and three puddings. Currently, diners can enjoy asparagus with Haye Farm hen’s egg, followed by day boat fish from Cornwall and a tempting almond tart with mascarpone.
Available Monday – Sunday 5pm – 6.30pm
£27.50 for 2 courses / £30.50 for 3 courses
Nearest theatre: Vaudeville Theatre
Where: Petersham Nurseries, Floral Court, Covent Garden, WC2E 9FB
The Waldorf Hilton has officially partnered with Chicago the Musical, which is currently playing in the Phoenix Theatre and stars Hollywood actor Cuba Gooding Jnr, a short 15 minute walk from the hotel. To celebrate, The Waldorf Hilton has designed a special Chicago Cocktail Menu, available at Good Godfreys Bar & Lounge, inspired by hits from the famous musical; our favourite is the Razzle Dazzle that tastes a bit like a melted Rainbow Ice Lolly. They also have a classic pre-theatre menu that even after 3 dishes doesn’t leave you too full, expect dishes like organic Scottish salmon and The Waldorf Eton mess.
5.30pm and 6.15pm (excluding Thursdays): £27 for 2 courses / £32 for 3 courses
6.30pm: £32 for 2 courses / £35 for 3 courses
All night: £47.50 for 3 courses, 1⁄2 bottle of house wine and 1⁄2 bottle of mineral water available all night
Nearest theatre: Sandwiched between Novello Theatre and Aldwych Theatre
Where: Aldwych, Covent Garden, WC2B 4DD
Right in the Hub
If your night out to the theatre has been planned for quite a while, there might be the temptation to have a wine, or two. That’s just one of the many reasons Margot in Covent Garden is so great, located just a stroll from the hub of theatre’s London has to offer. The restaurant comes with authentic Italian food and an inviting wine list, and the theatre menu is a real show-stopper…
Available from Monday – Saturday from 5.30pm – 6.30pm and 9.30- 11pm
2 Courses: £25
3 Course: £29
Nearest Theatre: Gillian Lynne Theatre
Where: 45 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5AA
Parisian Bistro in Soho
One of the true gems of Soho, Blanchette prove that pre-theatre need not mean poor quality in-and-out dining. Available at lunch and dinner, the set menus offer regularly changing seasonal French dishes including duck croquettes with Dijon mayonnaise and baked ratatouille with smoked aubergine and melted raclette.
Available Monday – Friday 12pm-3pm and 5pm-6pm; and 12pm-6pm at the weekend.
2 courses: £15
3 courses: £19.50
Nearest theatre: Soho Theatre
Where: 9 D'Arblay Street, Soho, W1F 8DR
Northern Italian Dining in the Heart of Theatreland
Cafe Murano is surrounded by so many theatres you can practically hear The Lion King roar, smell the chocolate of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and hear a pin drop at The Royal Opera House. Highlights of Angela Hartnett’s simple Italian cooking are courgette and mint soup, hake with spring greens and strawberry and mascarpone cheesecake whilst, post-Mamma Mia singalong, diners can enjoy lobster spaghetti and a glass of prosecco for £20.
Available Monday – Saturday 12pm-7pm and from 10pm-11pm.
2 courses: £19
3 courses: £23
Nearest theatre: Lyceum Theatre, The Aldwych, The Royal Opera House
Where: 36 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7PB
In the Centre of the West End
Hix Soho is not only great for dining in the West End, it’s also great for pre and post theatre dining. Dishes include Evesham beetroot salad with Neal’s yard dairy goats curd and Somerset membrillo; Cornish fish pie with a Sutton farm garden salad and for pudding, credit crunch ice cream with hot chocolate sauce.
Available Monday – Saturday 12pm-6.30pm and 10pm-11:30pm.
2 courses: £19.50
3 courses: £23.50
Nearest theatre: Piccadilly Theatre
Where: 66-70 Brewer Street, Soho, W1F 9UP
With The Savoy Theatre just steps away, The Savoy itself is the natural destination for dinner beforehand. Avoid the risk of racking up a six figure bill by reserving a table in Kaspar’s – The Savoy’d seafood bar and grill restaurant. They describe the presentation itself at theatrical – baked egg cocotte with bacon jam and marmite brioche; glazed beef sausage with hazelnut mustard and crispy shallot and peak Bakewell with almond milk ice cream.
Monday – Friday from 5pm-6.30pm and 9:30pm-10:30pm.
2 courses: £31
3 courses: £35
Nearest theatre: The Savoy Theatre
Where: The Savoy, Strand, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Holborn (0.3 miles)
If you’re the sort of person who tends to cut things fine, you’re always the last in the theatre to your seat or you just don’t like rushing your supper then Radici is the place for you. It’s exactly opposite the Almeida theatre so you have about, 10 steps to go meaning you can be a little more leisurely with your time. Served between 5pm and 10:30pm their theatre menu includes the likes of spicy baby octopus with polenta; pizza margherita and marsala tiramisù.
Available Monday – Saturday 5pm – 10:30pm
2 Courses: £15
3 Courses: £18
Nearest Theatre: Almeida
Where: 30 Almeida Street, London, N1 1AD, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Essex Road (0.3 miles)
Dining on the Strand
Set in the grand, Grade II listed Adelphi Building, Smith & Wollensky’s pre-theatre menu is ideal if you’re going to a matinee or an evening performance as it’s served all afternoon. Feast on the likes of beef consommé, chimichurri marinated sirloin and NewYork Style Cheesecake and then walk up to one of the three theatres all within a couple of minutes of the restaurant!
Available Monday to Friday 12pm – 6:30pm
Throughout December it is only available on Saturday 11am – 6:30pm
2 Courses £22
3 Courses £36
Nearest Theatre: Adelphi, Vaudeville and Savoy
Where: The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, Covent Garden Riverside, London WC2N 6HT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Charing Cross (0.1 miles)
French Dining in Covent Garden
Located just a stone’s throw from Theatreland, Frenchie is serving up fuss-free French cuisine perfect for those wanting exquisite food at an excellent value. The five course menu takes its inspiration from the freshest produce that day and the a la carte menue. Theatre lovers can dine on dishes such as pigeon with black pudding, cranberry and celeriac all while enjoying a glass of wine, finish up with a banoffee, pecan and nutmeg.
Available Monday – Friday 5:30pm – 6pm
2 Courses £27
3 Courses £30
Nearest Theatre: Adelphi
Where: 16 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8QH
Un, Deux, Trois
French restaurant Le Garrick serve up both a two and three course menu and with plenty of time to indulge in it, it would also be an excellent lunch menu, if you missed out on tickets to your favourite show. Dishes include paté de campagne; moules frites and tarte au citron.
Available Monday – Friday 12pm – 6:30pm and post 10pm
2 Courses £13.95
3 Courses £16.95
Nearest Theatre: Garrick
Where: 10-12 Garrick Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9BH
The English Grill
Dine Like Royalty
Dine like royalty in regal surroundings. Opulently designed with a rich royal theme of grandeur with polished silver, beautiful chandeliers and tailcoat waiters, The English Grill offers traditional service at its most welcoming. Experience the finest of dining with a glass wall which allows guests to catch some of the action taking place in the kitchen. Top quality cuts of meat will be grilled to perfection in the kitchen’s brand new charcoal-fired Josper grill. Using the finest English produce and suppliers that serve the Queen’s kitchen, the dining experience is accompanied by an extensive wine list including a fine selection from Bouchard Finlayson, their sister vineyard in South Africa
Available from Monday – Friday 12:30pm – 2:30pm and Monday – Sunday 5:30pm – 9:30pm
2 Courses: £30
3 Courses: £35
Nearest Theatre: Victoria Palace Theatre
Where: The English Grill, 39 Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster, SW1W 0PS
Pre-Theatre In Victoria
Planning to see Hamilton or Wicked? Start out in Eccleston Yard with Jones Family Kitchen. Make no mistake, these guys know steak. Located close to Victoria Station and within walking distance of the Victoria theatres. The pre-theatre menu starts at 16:00 and is ideal for the Apollo, Curzon, Royal Court, Other Palace (St James) and Victoria Palace Theatres.
Available Monday to Saturday 4pm until 6:15pm
1 Course £9.95
2 Courses £14.50
3 Courses £17.50
Nearest Theatre: Apollo
Where: 7-8 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, SW1W 9NF
Food-schmood, who needs to eat when you could drink? Especially when you’re drinking Grand Marnier. The Grand Menu is the brainchild of Shaftesbury Avenue’s Café Monico and comes in three acts. Act One: the entree – made up of The Grand 75, a twist on the French 75 with a balance of Grand Marnier and fresh lemon juice, topped with Champagne. Act Two: Plat principal, a cocktail titled The Debauchery of Decadence and featuring Grand Marnier Cuvee Du Centenaire, Remy Martin XO, Antica Formula, Amarena cherry syrup and black walnut bitters.For Act Three: Dessert, enjoy an Elements of Époque, a surprising mix of Grand Marnier, Benedictine, lemon juice, chilli, vanilla-infused honey and fresh sage. After all that you’ll be able to take even the darkest Russian play on the chin. So chin chin!
Available 5pm – 7pm
Three ‘courses’: £25
Nearest Theatre: Queen’s Theatre
Where: 39-45 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, W1D 6LA