Joe Allen 1

Squaremeal Review of Joe Allen ?

It was a dark day in Theatreland when it was announced that the unofficial actors’ canteen, Joe Allen, was going to close – not least because it was to make way for a boutique hotel owned by one of their own, Robert de Niro. But the move around the corner has re-energised this luvvies’ classic that first opened its doors on Exeter Street in 1977. A tighter, less labyrinthine layout concentrates the hubbub of the room, while fittings that have been moved lock, stock and piano from Exeter Street look as if they have been here for years. And the American comfort food is the same as ever – adequate rather than amazing, but more than cutting the mustard if you’ve come to soak up the pre- and post-theatre atmosphere or for a boozy weekend brunch with friends; it’s also as well suited to feeding an eight- or eighty-year-old. ‘Eggs Joe Allen’ is a nicely poached Burford atop a thick slice of potato cake, spooned with hollandaise sauce; well-timed calf’s liver comes with mash that is stodgy not smooth; apple strudel is a as sweet as something you’d want to end Sunday lunch. To drink, a well-priced wine list has bags of choice for under £40, while an evening spent at the bar with classic American cocktails would be a hoot. Remember your waiter’s face: like former staffer Graham Norton, he may well be a star of tomorrow.

Click here to read our diners’ reviews, or write your own

Online Offers ?

Daily Set menu - 3 courses for £18.95 per person

This offer is available from May 10, 2016 until May 26, 2026, subject to availability as displayed in the booking interface. Not available in conjunction with other offers. Offer excludes service.

Available: 10 May 2016

Max: 30 people

Expires: 26 May 2026

Daily Set menu - 2 courses for £15.95 per person

This offer is available from May 10, 2016 until May 1, 2026, subject to availability as displayed in the booking interface. Not available in conjunction with other offers. Offer excludes service.

Available: 10 May 2016

Max: 30 people

Expires: 01 May 2026

Joe Allen
10

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

avatar

Lovely Joe Allens

by   bronze reviewer (6)

Dec 2016

Had a wonderful evening at Joe Allen's restaurant on 9th December with my closest work friends, i've booked this restaurant many times over the past ten years for my colleagues but had yet to experience it myself, finally I made it and it did not disappoint we had a really nice night and staff were super friendly and helpful with menu choices, really is a special venue a hidden gem, I cant wait to return. Sarah

Sarah E.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full
  • Food & Drink: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 10

Was this review helpful to you?

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty

avatar

Don't Bother.

by   (1)

Dec 2016

Sad to say the food was a real disappointment. I can't say it was an 'off' night. I just think what they are serving is poor. The Turkey Christmas main course was really in the realms of 'ready meal' quality, Slices of turkey that obviously were of some kind of compressed variety. The stuffing appeared to be out of a tin. It was round/oval and flat. The 'crispy bacon' was nowhere to be seen. I found a couple of lardons by the side of the plate!! The roast potatoes could...

read more
See More

Timothy B.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 4
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 4

Was this review helpful to you?

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

avatar

Perfect dining experience

by   (1)

Mar 2016

Editor's pick The food is fantastic. Simple food beautifully cooked and presented. The atmosphere is buzzing and happening The staff go out of their way to ensure you have a great time. My booking hadn't appeared so they weren't ready for us and gave us a drink on the house to compensate. It didn't matter as the bar kept us happy til a table was ready. We had a snug spot close to the piano which spunded awesome. All at a very reasonable price. Unbeatable

sarah f.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full
  • Food & Drink: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 10

Was this review helpful to you?

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty

avatar

Good pre-theatre experience

by   (2)

Feb 2016

Editor's pick We enjoyed an efficient and tasty pre-theatre dinner. The choices on the pre-theatre menu were sufficient with 3 or 4 selections for each course. We had steak and frittes, three bean chilli with tortilla chips for mains and lemon drizzle cake and cheeses for pudding. We were served quickly until the end when we wanted to leave for the theatre - we had to chase the server for a bill but we made curtain time without a problem. We would not have had time for coffee/tea as the house was full by 7:15...

read more
See More

sh k.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar halfstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 6
  • Atmosphere: 5
  • Value: 8

Was this review helpful to you?

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

avatar

Great Food and Service

by   (1)

Sep 2015

We only had one hour and a quarter to order, eat and pay before we had to leave for the theatre! Welcomed by lovely smiley team, menus delivered promptly and order taken all in about 5 mins. This meant we could sit back and relax. Dinner served within 10 minutes, piping hot wonderful fresh succulent chicken. Great food all washed down with a lovely cold bottle of Rose. Really enjoyed Jo Allens , will definitely be back.

rosalind s.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 9
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 8

Was this review helpful to you?

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty

avatar

Going from bad to worse!

by   (1)

Feb 2015

I have enjoyed half a dozen or so meals at Joe Allen, however, over the past 2 visits I have been very concerned. The ambience is wonderful, the front of house staff are efficient and attentive, when busy they work hard. I go out of my way to make them enjoy serving me/us. But, the food...this visit, the starters were not to bad, however the main rib eye steak was tough (also 2 previous reports on Trip adviser), my Lasagne was akin to a supermarket budget range, in taste and presentation, my wife...

read more
See More

Peter T.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar emptystar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 4
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 4

Was this review helpful to you?

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half

avatar

by   (2)

Mar 2014

We had an early dinner 5.00 sitting due to attending the opera We explained this on arrival and the staff where very attentive and got out out on time. We both had the Seabass which was delicious. Before dinner I had a dry martini straight up with a twist as I like it which was made just right I enjoyed every drop. I would definitely go again – it is a jewel in Covent Garden…

Briege K.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar half
  • Food & Drink: 9
  • Service: 9
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 9

Was this review helpful to you?

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty

avatar

by   (1)

Jan 2014

Been going to Joe Allen's for about 30 years, first time back since the take over last year. VERY disappointed in the new menu … Where are the staples of the past? Certainly no longer mimics its New York counterpart. Seems it is now predominantly steaks. Ordered rib-eye steaks … very poor quality. Staff serving at the tables need training… can't ever recall seeing the servers lean across guests with plates of food intended for other side of the table! Very doubtful about returning.

Ian A.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar emptystar empty
  • Food & Drink: 4
  • Service: 8
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Value: 6

Was this review helpful to you?

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty

avatar

A Covent Garden institution and it's legendary but secret burger

by   (2)

Jan 2014

Editor's pick There are new restaurants opening in London left, right and centre; Pop-ups with rhyming names and keen attempts at unique menu angles, over -styled cafes filled with new furniture made to look dog-eared and ancient, more often than not with some kind of blackboard element and a metal stool thrown in for good measure. Joe Allen isn’t dog eared, but it is ancient. Hidden underground in a quiet Covent Garden side street, its exposed brick walls are scattered with hundreds of theatre posters and photographs....

read more
See More

W&B's rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar empty
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 7

Was this review helpful to you?

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street ,London WC2E 7PX

Overall rating: star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full

avatar

Joe Allen's

by   (1)

Nov 2013

Had the 3 course set pre-theatre menu – which included a glass of wine. All courses were excellent – especially the dessert which was a warm marinated clemetine with marscapone and ice cream,really yummy. Also tried a new starter which was beetroot soup – again, lovely. Although it was a Friday night all courses arrived really promptly and the service was excellent. Atmosphere was great and we had a nice large table for 3 of us. Some restaurants squeeze 3 diners onto tables meant for 2 – we had...

read more
See More

Clare W.'s rating

star fullstar fullstar fullstar fullstar full
  • Food & Drink: 8
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 10
  • Value: 8

Was this review helpful to you?

Back to Top

Got a blog?

Add your blog review of Joe Allen to Square Meal

Win fab prizes • Attract traffic to your blog • Add prestige to your blog Find out how

  1. Published :

    Her Favourite Food :: Her Favourite Food: Joe Allen, Covent Garden

    You have probably walked past Joe Allen a dozen times if you are regular visitor to Covent Garden. Entirely inconspicuous, you would have no clue what sort of restaurant lies behind the front door.

    As I entered and descended the stairs to the basement, fearing a dingy set up lacking atmosphere, I was delighted to see the opposite. A long vintage looking bar stretching the length of the room, crisp white tablecloths adorning each table and a pianist lit only by candlelight made me feel like I had stepped back in time and I loved it.


    Joe Allen opened in 1977 as a replica of its New York counterpart...
    More from Her Favourite Food »

Essential Details for Joe Allen

  • Cuisine: North American
  • Area: Covent Garden
  • Price: £45.00
  • Wine: £20.00
  • Champagne: £49.50
  • Lunch: £16/18 (2/3 courses)
  • Dinner: £18/20 (2/3 courses)
  • Private Dining: 50

Are you the restaurant owner? Click here for Links & Logos

Location of Joe Allen

  1. Enquiry Type

    Are you making a general enquiry or enquiring about private rooms?


    If you want expert advice on the best private rooms and their availability use our free Square Meal Concierge service and earn extra Square Meal Rewards points with every booking.

  2. Personal Details

    You are making an enquiry at Joe Allen .

    *Required field

  3. Enquiry Details

    You are making an enquiry at Joe Allen .

    *Required field

    By clicking 'SEND' you agree to the Square Meal User Agreement

    Cancel SEND Back
  4. Confirmation

    Thank you for your enquiry - Message sent to: Joe Allen

Private Dining at Joe Allen

Private room for 24 to 50 seated guests or 70 standing situated just off the main dining area. (Please note, all guests, both seated and standing, must order food and beverages due to licensing.)

Capacities

Private Room Capacity
Private Dining Room 50

Square Meal Concierge

Want expert advice on the best private rooms and their availability? Use Square Meal Concierge, and earn extra Square Meal Rewards points with every booking.

Click here to email your enquiry or call us on 0207 840 5222.

Diners at Joe Allen also recommend...