Best post- and pre-theatre dinner in London

Looking for the perfect pre-theatre meal before your West End jaunt? We've rounded up some of the best pre and post-theatre deals in London.

Updated on • Written By Pete Dreyer

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Best post- and pre-theatre dinner in London

Looking for a restaurant to visit for pre theatre dinner in London? Or a quick and delicious post theatre supper? Not sure which restaurants are the best for pre-theatre and post-theatre dining or which are within close proximity to your chosen show? Well, we've done the hard work for you.

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London is a veritable paradise for fans of the theatre, with the West End packed full of fantastic shows. Luckily for discerning diners, the capital is also chock-full of great restaurants offering pre- and post-theatre menus for those with a curtain to catch or a serious case of the post-show munchies.

As well as being handy for a succinct meal in London’s theatre districts, pre-theatre menus are an excellent way to sample some of the best restaurants in London for a snip of the price. High-end restaurants can charge big bucks for dining a la carte at prime service times, but many of these same restaurants offer a pre-theatre menu that’s great value in exchange for getting their tables back before the main dinner service begins. Take Wild Honey St James’s for example - undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in London, with prices to match, but you can eat for a fraction of the price of the a la carte on the pre-theatre menu, and many of the dishes are the same. Similarly, if you’re willing to wait until late, you can take advantage of an off-peak table in a top London restaurant for less, thanks to its post-theatre menu.

Below you’ll find our round-up of the very best London restaurants for pre- and post-theatre dining. Each entry has been tried and tested by us and our own users, so check out the reviews and book a table online with SquareMeal today.

Bardo, St James's

What: Encapsulating the Dolce Vita era, Bardo St James's is now offering theatre-goers an elegant array of refined Italian staples. With a reasonably-priced set menu and a location that is surrounded by theatre options, Bardo is a must go to before catching a show. The menu kicks off with your choice of antipasti followed by secondi like breaded Delica pumpkin with Seville orange marmalade. Dessert is included too.
Where: 4 Suffolk Place, SW1Y 4HX
Book now: Bardo

SOLA, Soho

the dining room at SOLA restaurant

What: For an evening of elevated dining to match your theatre visit, SOLA offers a quality experience befitting of its Michelin star. This Californian restaurant in the heart of Soho boasts creative and elegant cuisine from Chef Patron Victor Garvey. A recent addition to the restaurant’s schedule, you can now find a pre-show menu, available from 5-6pm Tuesday to Saturday. Guests can enjoy a selection of snacks including devilled egg and surf and turf, followed by dishes such as olive fed wagyu with praline and foie gras or langoustine hotpot with ginger and mushroom.
Where: 64 Dean Street, W1D 4QQ
Book now: SOLA 

Olea Social, Covent Garden

the dining room at olea social

What: Slap bang in the heart of Covent Garden, Olea Social provides the perfect central location, just a few minutes walk from London’s West End. If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat before or after a show, then Olea’s large and airy dining space and plethora of foliage make it an ideal casual spot. For just £23.50 per person, you can tuck into a two course feast of Mediterranean fare including the likes of prawn croquetas with ali-oli or smoked salmon with pickled cucumber to start, followed by chicken shish with grilled asparagus and courgette with sumac. 
Where: 10 Upper St Martin's Lane, WC2H 9FB
Book now: Olea Social

Rail House Cafe, Victoria

What: Part of the Riding House restaurant group, this Victoria outpost offers an excellent-value pre-theatre menu, and includes a selection of exciting dishes to share between two, four or six guests. Think sourdough with black tahini butter, truffle mac and cheese with crispy shallots and rocket, and king prawn skewers with aleppo pepper and fennel.
Where: 8 Sir Simon Milton Square, SW1E 5DJ
Book now: Rail House Cafe

Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill, Mayfair

What: The pre-theatre menu at Bentley’s is one of London’s best kept secrets. It’s not cheap, but if you’re in the market to share a hefty shellfish platter between two - with complimentary Champagne - where better than at one of London’s most famous seafood spots? Make sure you pre-book - this is a relative bargain for Bentley’s and tables get snapped up fast.
Where: 11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG
Book now: Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

The Delaunay, Covent Garden

What: This glam European restaurant’s Menu Rapide is a smart choice for diners looking for a quick pre- or post-theatre dinner. This set menu includes a classic tarte flambée served with a mixed leaf salad, a glass of wine or beer and tea or coffee. You’ll need to book ahead though, as the pre-theatre slot is phenomenally popular.
Where: 55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB
Book now: The Delaunay

Sucre, Soho

What: Centrally located in the heart of Soho, this former concert hall is bound to set the tone for your evening at the theatre. The set menu at Sucre is available in the early and late evening, making it the perfect spot for an early dinner or an after-show pick me up. Choose from two or three courses and enjoy a taste of Sucre's open-fire cooking with the Argentine beef entrana or chicken a la brasa. 
Where: 47 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JP
Book now: Sucre

Hawksmoor Air Street, Piccadilly Circus

What: With 10 theatres all just a couple of streets away, this branch of ever-popular Hawksmoor is well-placed for pre- and post-theatre dining. A brilliant example of essential London dining for less, the express menu is an incredible affordable way to eat at this iconic restaurant and includes its signature rump and chips, as well as lots of other tasty options.
Where: 5a Air Street, W1J 0AD
Book now: Hawksmoor Air Street

Haxells Restaurant & Bar

What: Located on the ground floor of the Strand Palace hotel, modern British restaurant Haxells is just a hop and a skip away from all the major West End theatres. Its pre-theatre menu includes two or three courses - choose from a range of steaks and grills, chicken with salsa verde, garlic mash and roasted baby carrots, and chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream to finish. 
Where: 372 Strand, WC2R 0JJ
Book now: Haxells Restaurant & Bar

Bocca di Lupo

What: One of London’s best Italian restaurants and a SquareMeal gold award winner, Bocca di Lupo in Soho gives diners a taste of chef Jacob Kenedy’s plates for less if you pitch up outside of the rush. Perfect for before or after a show, the two-course menu changes with the seasons but always celebrates the transformation of humble ingredients into something really special. An example menu might feature tomato and mozzarella rice croquettes followed by a big bowl of cacio e pepe with salad on the side.
Where: 2 Archer Street, W1D 7BB
Book now: Bocca di Lupo

Wild Honey, St James's

What: Anthony Demetre’s Michelin-starred Wild Honey is within striking distance of over 10 London theatres, including Theatre Royal Haymarket, Wyndham’s and The Harold Pinter. Many of the dishes on the Early Supper menu are taken directly from the a la carte, making this an incredibly affordable way to eat at one of London’s very best restaurants.
Where: 8 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5NG
Book now: Wild Honey

Colbert, Chelsea

What: Buzzing from breakfast to midnight, this popular Gallic brasserie is ideally situated for visitors of the Royal Court Theatre. Although there's no set pre-theatre menu, you’ll find everything from small plates to plats principaux on the classic Parisian all-day café menu, making it a great choice for mixed parties at varying stages of hunger.
Where: 50-52 Sloane Square, SW1W 8AX
Book now: Colbert

Cafe Murano, Covent Garden

What: Served every day, the Menu Del Giorno at this casual sibling of Angela Hartnett's Michelin-starred Murano is very generous indeed. Diners can tuck into two fiercely seasonal antipasti and secondi courses before hopping off to a show, and there’s dolce as well if you’re feeling something sweet.
Where: 36 Tavistock Street, WC2E 7PB
Book now: Cafe Murano Covent Garden

Brasserie Zédel, Piccadilly Circus

What: Theatre-goers after a good French meal in the West End at an incredible price will find Zédel hard to beat. The prix fixe is just £19.75 for three courses and the restaurant is literally surrounded by theatres. If that doesn’t take your fancy, there are plenty of other very affordable options on the menu.
Where: 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED
Book now: Brasserie Zédel

Toklas, Temple

terrace at toklas

What: Elegant seasonal cooking meets industrial-chic at Toklas, a restaurant that has done more than most to put Temple on the London gastronomic map. The pre-theatre menu is a great way to eat at one of London's more underrated restaurants, especially in the warmer months when you can sit out on the gorgeous terrace and enjoy braised rabbit with pink fir potatoes and a rhubarb choux bun.
Where: 1 Surrey Street, WC2R 2ND
Book now: Toklas

Wiltons, St James's

What: Prices at this historic Jermyn Street oyster house can be eye-wateringly high, but for those who identify as savvy rather than Savile, there’s an excellent seasonal set menu that offers two or three for more affordable prices. You won’t get Wilton’s Royal Warrant oysters, but the food will still be top-notch and it’s the experience as much as anything that’s kept this impeccably groomed grandee in business since the eighteenth century.
Where: 55 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6LX
Book now: Wiltons

Margot, Covent Garden

What: Who says fine dining can’t be fast? Not Margot, with its tempting two-course set menu. Dishes like swordfish carpaccio, chicken breast with king oyster mushrooms, and almond panna cotta with peach and amaretto crumble promise to keep hunger pangs at bay throughout the show.
Where: 45 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5AA
Book now: Margot

Roka, Aldwych

What: Roka Aldwych’s pre/post-theatre menu is a little pricier than some, but this is high-gloss contemporary Japanese dining at its best. Smooth service and a sophisticated setting combine to make it a top choice for theatre-goers celebrating special occasions before or after a show.
Where: 71 Aldwych, WC2B 4HN
Book now: Roka Aldwych

Pivot Bar & Bistro, Covent Garden

pivot dining room

What: Mark Greenaway's London venture offers a pre-theatre meal for the slightly more gastronomically-inclined. Expect elevated comfort food - chicken and hazelnut terrine, chicken in mushroom and tarragon cream sauce, and dainty pavlova for dessert. The portions aren't huge, but if you don't want to be overfaced by big portions before you head to Theatreland, Pivot is perfect, and the dining room has a lovely view over Covent Garden piazza.
Where: 3 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8LU
Book now: Pivot Bar & Bistro

The Ganton Arms, Soho

What: Though it doesn’t offer a pre-theatre menu per se, the small plates selection at The Ganton Arms is perfect for those looking to share a few casual Mediterranean-style plates before skipping off to the West End. Choose from the likes of halloumi fries with tahini and hot sauce; ham hock croquettes with mustard aioli or tiger prawns with chorizo butter, lemon dressing and coriander – which all come in under £10 each. 
Where: 18-20 Ganton Street, W1F 7BU
Book now: The Ganton Arms

Instead of a restaurant before your evening entertainment, how about a night where the restaurant is the entertainment? Check out these fun places to eat in London, including live music, performances, karaoke and even a bit of mini golf!

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