Best O2 arena restaurants: Where to eat before a show

From burgers and fried chicken to Mexican and Thai, this is our ultimate guide to restaurants at the O2 arena.

Updated on • Written By Lawrence Calman-Grimsdale

Best O2 arena restaurants: Where to eat before a show

London's O2 arena is undeniably one of the UK’s most recognisable venues. Built underneath the Millennium Dome in 2007, the arena has a capacity of 20,000 making it the second biggest indoor venue in the UK and has seen performances from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Prince and Elton John. With hundreds of concerts still going on at the O2 every year, the site has been developing and expanding to the point where it’s now become a standalone entertainment district. As well as the actual arena, there is now a cinema, a bowling alley, a club and of course a number of conveniently placed restaurants.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

In fact, if you’re heading to the O2 for a concert or event and need to grab some food before or afterwards, you’ll find that you’re spoilt for choice. There is a huge variety of different cuisines on offer at the arena ranging from classic British pub grub to Mexican food; this means that there’s no need to worry that you won’t be able to find something that suits your taste. Some of London’s most fashionable restaurant outlets have also opened offshoots at the O2 as well, meaning that in addition to the many crowd-pleasing chain restaurants, there are some pretty cool spots to check out if you are looking for something a little more special.

With so much choice on offer at the O2, you may be wondering where you should start. Well, there’s no need to worry as we’ve got you covered. Below we have made a guide to all of the different places you can eat at the arena. So, when you’re next planning on going to the O2 for whatever reason, have a look at the many options below and you'll be guaranteed to find somewhere that ticks all the right boxes for your pre-show meal.

SKIP TO THE BEST SECTION

O2 restaurants: The best of the bunch

It's an undeniable fact that the O2 arena is mostly made up of nationally recognised high-street chains. In recent years though, the number of cool restaurants here has been on the rise. Below, you'll find the best restaurants at the O2, ideal for a great pre-concert meal.

Marugame Udon

What: If you haven't heard of this noodle chain, you're about to. Serving up highly affordable noodle dishes, Marugame is taking the UK by storm and shows no sign of slowing down. Choose from an expansive selection of dishes or build your own, adding meat, vegetables, seaweed, egg and the like to your heart's content. Wash it all down with a pre-gig sparkling yuzu and cucumber sake, wine or Asahi beer.
Book now: Marugame Udon

Gordon Ramsay Street Burger

What: Say what you want about chef Ramsay, there's no denying he's a straightforward guy. Similarly, his burger menus get to the point right away. Choose from eight different burgers - they all cost the same and come with seasoned fries and a soft drink. If you want to amp things up, try the upgrades, including a second patty, bacon or swapping Wagyu beef. If you have any room left, finish with bottomless ice cream.
Book now: Gordon Ramsay Street Burger

TOCA Social

What: If you love the beautiful game, this is the spot for you. TOCA Social offers a uniquely interactive football and dining experience with immersive games and delicious food and drink. Choose from various target practice-style games and play until you work up an appetite. Then, dive into decadent dishes like baby back ribs, Nashville hot chicken, burgers and even a seven - yes, seven - cheese mac 'n' cheese.
Book now: TOCA Social

Busaba

What: Alan Yau’s chain of Thai restaurants has become increasingly popular since the first branch opened back in 1999. Serving a wonderfully diverse menu of different Thai classics, there’s something for everyone on Busaba’s menu. This makes it a great spot to grab some food at the O2 regardless of who you’re with. Food options range from grilled tamarind duck breast to a signature Thai green curry. There is also a separate ‘bowls’ menu available if you’re looking for a quick lunch.
Book now: Busaba

Gaucho

What: Gaucho isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for a cheap, low-key meal before a concert. However, if you’re wanting somewhere with a touch of flashiness which serves some very good steak, then look no further. The O2 branch of Gaucho is set over three floors, with a stylish cocktail lounge, a basement wine tasting room and a balcony dining room. This luxurious setting is the ideal place to enjoy the special steaks on offer alongside a glass or two of wine.
Book now: Gaucho

Scarlet Rasoi

What: Scarlet Rasoi is a refreshing change from the many chain restaurants at the O2. The swanky modern dining room is a great place to enjoy its authentic range of Indian dishes. With plates from both the wok and grill, the menu here includes dishes such as grilled lemongrass lamb chops and gunpowder paneer. If you want a decent curry before you head inside the arena, Scarlet Rasoi could be the ideal spot for you.
Book now: Scarlet Rasoi

Rodizio Rico

What: One of only two London outposts, Rodizio Rico at the O2 arena serves a one-price all-you-can-eat selection of meats and seafood cooked on the barbecue. With meats including beef rib-eye and pork legs on the menu, you can be sure that you won’t leave Rodizio Rico hungry. This O2 restaurant has a brasserie-like feel to it with its wooden walls and tiled floors and has the added bonus of a cocktail menu to accompany the food.
Book now: Rodizio Rico

Thunderbird Fried Chicken

What: Thunderbird Fried Chicken’s O2 restaurant is one of seven restaurants from this growing outfit, and serves just the sort of greasy food you want before a big concert. The short but sweet menu is packed full of very Instagrammable options including salted caramel wings, and a meltdown chicken bun which comes topped with molten jalapeno and miso cheese – who can say no to that? You can then wash all your food down with a beer or one of its delicious milkshakes.
Book now: Thunderbird

Jimmy's O2

What: If you want to stuff your face at the O2 with a complete mixture of different foods and cuisines, then head to Jimmy’s O2. The buffet restaurant has a real buzzy atmosphere to it, which means it’s a very fun place to eat. When it comes to food, expect cuisines including Indian, Mexican, British, Chinese, Italian and Japanese. To top it off, there’s a drinks menu featuring cocktails, wines, beers and spirits, all priced very reasonably.
Book now: Jimmy's

Snowflake Gelato

What: Okay, so Snowflake might not be the place to go if you’re looking for a hearty meal at the O2; but if you’re feeling like something sweet after dinner or perhaps are looking for a quick bite mid-concert then look no further. With close to 50 different flavours of gelato available, the options at Snowflake are endless and that’s before you even notice the separate waffle and crepe menu. For those with a sweet tooth, Snowflake is a must.
Book now: Snowflake Gelato

The Observatory

What: The Observatory provides something pretty close to a traditional pub experience right in the heart of the O2. From the wide variety of beers on tap, to the cosy décor, once you’re inside you wouldn’t know you were in London’s biggest arena. The food menu includes interesting pies such as wild boar and chorizo, as well as other hearty dishes including toad in the hole and hunter’s chicken.
Book now: The Observatory

O2 restaurants: Reliable chains to try

Right before a concert is perhaps not the best time to try a restaurant for the first time. If you want to stick to what you know, or if you have children in tow, choosing a well-known chain restaurant is a safe bet. From pizzas to chicken, here are the chain restaurants you can find inside the O2.

Cabana

What: Cabana is all about the street food of Rio at heart. Serving wraps, steaks cooked on the churrasco grill, and plenty more, the food at Cabana is all packed full of flavour and fun. The O2 outpost is one of five branches, so if you’re at the arena it’s the perfect time to try out the exciting menu. Snack on starters like pulled oyster mushroom arancini and grilled prawn tostadas, before tucking into mains like burgers, steaks and other grilled goodies. 
Book now: Cabana

Five Guys

What: Five Guys is the king of big, comforting no-frills burgers. Serving a standard burger which can then be topped with a number of delicious toppings, you can create the perfect burger for you. For a quick and filling dinner at the O2, Five Guys is a great option. Don't skip the milkshakes; you can add as many oreo pieces, Reese's peanut butter cups and other toppings as you like. 
Book now: Five Guys 

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

What: With a menu full of epic burgers, it’s often difficult to decide what to pick at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. From a satay chicken burger to a truffle and camembert beef burger, there’ll be something to tempt you at the O2 arena branch. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options here too, which makes GBK a great crowdpleaser. There's even Prosecco on the menu, ideal for celebrations. 
Book now: Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Las Iguanas

What: Serving Latin American comfort food, Las Iguanas is a chain of restaurants which always puts a smile on our faces. From amazing nachos to wonderful wings, you’ll find something you love at the O2 branch. Be sure to finish with churros, served dusted with cinnamon sugar with chocolate ganache and dulce de leche for dipping. Alternatively, go extra boujie with a pornstar martini sundae. 
Book now: Las Iguanas

Why not combine dinner and a show? Try out these super fun places to eat in London.