Pre and post-theatre dining

Looking for a restaurant in London to visit before or after the theatre? 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.

Updated on 15 July 2019

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. 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.

Kerridge

Kerridge's Bar & Grill

10 Northumberland Ave, Westminster, London, WC2N 5AE

Three courses for less than £30 at celeb chef Tom Kerridge’s first London restaurant is worthy of a standing ovation, and a choice between just two dishes for each course means you won’t spend too long deliberating.

British
Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis

26-29 Dean Street, London, London, W1D 3LL

Just a few doors down from Soho Theatre, this quintessential restaurant and members’ club is a fun choice for a pre-theatre bite. There’s no set menu, but seasonal British fare in the form of soups, salads and its trademark smoked eel sandwich should keep hunger at bay for a few hours.

£30 - £49
British
The Baptist Bar & Grill at L

The Baptist Bar & Grill at L'Oscar London

L’Oscar London, 2-6 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 4AA

Set in a Grade II-listed former chapel with a stunning domed, double-height ceiling, L’Oscar’s in-house restaurant provides an excellent starting point for special evenings out. With just a one-hour window for its pre-theatre menu (5.30pm-6.30pm), it’s worth ordering straight away so you have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the impressive modern European cuisine. Two courses will set you back £25, while three courses cost £30. 

£50 - £79
Modern European
The Delaunay

The Delaunay

55 Aldwych, Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BB

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, all for just £13.50. You’ll need to book ahead though, as the pre-theatre slot is phenomenally popular.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Afternoon tea
Hawksmoor Air Street

Hawksmoor Air Street

5a Air Street, Piccadilly Circus, London, W1J 0AD

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 just £23 for two courses and includes its signature rump and chips.

£50 - £79
Steak
British
Coda by Eric Chavot

Coda by Eric Chavot

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Exclusive to ticket holders, this grand restaurant within the Royal Albert Hall promises well-executed European food. Efficient service ensures you won’t feel rushed, but menus designed by Michelin-awarded chefs don’t come cheap, so expect to fork out. Two courses come in at £44, while a third course will cost you an additional £5. 

£30 - £49
French
Savoy Grill at The Savoy

Savoy Grill at The Savoy

The Savoy, Strand, Aldwych, London, WC2R 0EU

With its glittering chandeliers and plush décor, you might just find that Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill is the showiest part of your evening. Diners can take advantage of the theatre menu on weekdays from 5pm-6.30pm and 9.30pm-10.30pm, which is £31 for two courses.

£50 - £79
Modern European
The Ivy

The Ivy

1-5 West Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9NQ

Some say you can’t beat an original, and there’s certainly a case for it when it comes to The Ivy. Known for being a favourite among celebrities, and for its steep prices to match, the well-dressed dining room might seem off-limits, but the sub-£30 set menu says otherwise.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Margot

Margot

45 Great Queen Street, London, London, WC2B 5AA

Who says fine dining can’t be fast? Not Margot, with its tempting £25 two-course set menu. Dishes like radicchio risotto with basajo, walnuts, licorice and truffled balsamic maple vinegar, and rum babá promise to keep hunger pangs at bay.

£50 - £79
Italian
Nopi

Nopi

21-22 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5NE

Large communal tables, an open kitchen and a £25.50 per person sharing pre-theatre menu add up to make Ottolenghi's Soho restaurant a pleasant starting point for a night at the playhouse. Supremely tasty and healthy too, the menu includes sharers such as courgette and manouri fritters, and rainbow trout with watercress pesto.

£50 - £79
Mediterranean
Fusion
Joe Allen

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street, London, London, WC2E 7PX

Once an unofficial actors’ canteen, Joe Allen is a Theatreland stalwart. American comfort food has been this brasserie’s lookout for over forty years and its pre- and post-theatre atmosphere is a major draw for luvvies of all ages. And, as three courses including the likes of salmon paté, cornfed chicken breast and vanilla panacotta costs less than £20, it’s a great choice for family and group dining.

£30 - £49
North American
Burgers
Balthazar

Balthazar

4-6 Russell Street, London, London, WC2B 5HZ

A firm favourite among Covent Garden’s brasserie scene, Balthazar offers a tempting selection of classic French brasserie and bistro dishes on its prix fixe menu. Available until 6.30pm and from 10pm seven days a week, and costing £19.95 for two courses, it’s an excellent choice for theatre-goers looking to work up a buzz before a show.

£50 - £79
French
Cora Pearl

Cora Pearl

30 Henrietta Street, London, WC2F 8NA

Perfectly situated in the heart of London’s West End, Cora Pearl dishes out the sort of food that pre-theatre diners might consider missing the curtain-up for. The stripped-back menu contains a choice of two for the starter and mains, and ice cream for dessert. At £20 for two courses and £25 for three it sits firmly in the middle when it comes to price point, but the quality of the food ensures it still feels like a bargain. 

£50 - £79
British
French
Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar

Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar

1 Aldwych, Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BZ

Just a ten-minute walk from over 20 of London’s theatres, including the Lyceum, Novello and Duchess, as well the Royal Opera House, Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar makes pre-theatre dining easy. Two courses plus a side dish will set you back a mere £23 (make it three courses for an extra fiver) and choices such as mussels, fish of the day, and chocolate tart are sure to keep you going until the final curtain falls.

£50 - £79
Spanish
Clos Maggiore

Clos Maggiore

33 King Street, London, London, WC2E 8JD

Famed for its glass-roofed conservatory dripping with foliage, blossom and fairy lights, Clos Maggiore simply oozes magic and romance. It might come as a surprise, then, that it offers a reasonable pre-theatre menu Mondays through Thursdays, whether you’re headed to the ballet or a rollicking musical. You can expect to pay £29.50 for two courses, or £34.50 for three. 

£50 - £79
French
House Restaurant at the National Theatre

House Restaurant at the National Theatre

The National Theatre, Upper Ground, London, London, SE1 9PX

While the National Theatre’s flagship restaurant doesn’t offer a set pre- or post-theatre menu per se, the fact that it’s housed within the theatre building makes it a convenient spot for a swift bite before or after a show.

£30 - £49
Modern European
The Other Naughty Piglet

The Other Naughty Piglet

The Other Palace, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA

Housed on a mezzanine level within The Other Palace theatre in Victoria, this second Naughty Piglets restaurant is a convivial spot for pre-show dining. Theatre-goers can fill up on creative small plates such as ham croquettes, Devon crab, and sticky-sweet grilled pear with crumbly blue cheese, before trotting off downstairs or across the road in good time for curtain-up. At dinner there isn't a set menu but if you're catching a matinee then the two-course lunch menu for £18 makes the perfect midday meal. 

Under £30
International
Wine Bars
Bentley

Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

11-15 Swallow Street, London, London, W1B 4DG

The pre- and post-theatre menu at Bentley’s is one of London’s best kept secrets. You won’t find its famous oysters on there, but with options such as mackerel with kohlrabi and walnut yuzu, and butter poached smoked haddock, you won’t feel as though you’re missing out. Available for dinner Monday -Saturday from 5.30pm-6.45pm and 9.30pm-10.30pm, at £23.50 for two courses it’s a great way to sample a recipient of one of our Gold Awards for less.

£50 - £79
Fish
Roka Aldwych

Roka Aldwych

71 Aldwych, London, London, WC2B 4HN

At £33 for two courses, Roka Aldwych’s pre/post-theatre menu is pricier than most, 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.

Over £80
Sushi
Japanese
Wiltons

Wiltons

55 Jermyn Street, St. James's, London, SW1Y 6LX

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 courses for £35 (or three for £42). 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.

British
Fish
Bocca di Lupo

Bocca di Lupo

12 Archer Street, Soho, London, W1D 7BB

Another on our gold list, this buzzy Italian is simply outstanding. Choose a few small plates a la carte, or opt for the special, daily changing one-dish pre-theatre meal for £10 or less, and treat yourself to gelati “to die for” afterwards.

£50 - £79
Italian
Colbert

Colbert

50-52 Sloane Square, Chelsea, London, SW1W 8AX

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.

French
Cafe Murano Covent Garden

Cafe Murano Covent Garden

36 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7PB

Served every day from 12pm-7pm and from 9.30pm-11pm, the menu del giorno at this casual sibling of Angela Hartnett's Michelin-starred Murano is one of the most generous we’ve seen. For just £19, diners can tuck into two fiercely seasonal courses before hopping off to a show.

£50 - £79
Italian
Brasserie Zédel

Brasserie Zédel

20 Sherwood Street, Piccadilly Circus, London, W1F 7ED

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 £13.75 for three courses and the restaurant is literally surrounded by theatres.

£30 - £49
French
Christopher

Christopher's

18 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7DD

Not only does the set menu at this handsome Grade II-listed restaurant offer superb value, it’s also available on Saturday evenings which is rare. You'll strike lucky with whatever you choose, from Serrano ham to Canadian sirloin steak and – if you’ve room – chocolate peanut butter and caramel tart. Two courses are £22.50. 

£50 - £79
North American
Steak
£30 - £49
The Botanist Sloane Square

The Botanist Sloane Square

7 Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8EE

Conveniently located within shouting distance of The Royal Court, this lively modern European restaurant is a solid choice for a pre- or post-show meal Sunday-Friday (4pm-6pm and 10pm-11pm), and includes a plant-based option for each course in addition to heartier, more traditional starters, mains and desserts. Two courses come in at £19.50. 

£50 - £79
Modern European
Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe

Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe

21 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DT

With an enviable Thames-side location, views of St Paul’s, an infectious buzz from the Globe next door and a menu designed by star chef Allan Pickett, Swan appears to have it all, including a fantastic pre-theatre menu. Served in the restaurant prior to all performances, diners can look forward to seasonal dishes such as beetroot and London Gin cured salmon, and Oxfordshire pork belly with braised savoy cabbage, smoked pancetta and salsa verde. Enjoy two courses for £25 at dinner time. 

£50 - £79
British
Bars
Afternoon tea
J Sheekey

J Sheekey

28-32 St Martin's Court, London, London, WC2N 4AL

Famous for being one of the best places in London for spotting the stars of the West End stage, this iconic fish restaurant between Covent Garden and Leicester Square is a solid choice for post-theatre dining. The late supper menu (priced at £25 for two courses, £30 for three) is seasonal, but you can expect the likes of grilled sardines, shrimp salad, and fish pie.

£50 - £79
Fish
The Ivy Market Grill

The Ivy Market Grill

1 Henrietta Street, London, WC2E 8PS

Like all of its offshoots, this location possesses a little of that famous Ivy magic. Confident, efficient service and an ample pre- and post-theatre menu make dining here an affordable treat, whether you’re catching a show at one of the nearby theatres or not. Expect classics like steak, egg and chips to feature on the menu, which costs £16.50 for two courses at last check.

£30 - £49
Modern European
L

L'Amorosa

278 King Street, London, W6 0SP

A 15-minute walk from the Lyric Hammersmith, this modern Italian offers good value for award-winning food. It doesn’t offer a set pre-theatre menu, but the friendly staff promise to do their utmost to get your meal to you pronto if you say you’re in a hurry.

£30 - £49
Italian

Out and about in Soho after dark? Why not visit one of our picks of Soho's best bars for a little night cap.