Joe Allen

Bronze Award
24 Reviews
££££
Burgers, North American

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SquareMeal Review of Joe Allen

Bronze Award

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 an 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.

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Good to know about Joe Allen

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Burgers, North American
Ambience
Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Brunch, Late night dining
Special Features
Wheelchair access
People
Celeb-spotting, Child friendly, Group dining [8+]

Special offers from Joe Allen

Brunch Menu

From: 4 July, 2018
To: 31 December, 2020
This offer is available from July 4, 2018 until December 31, 2020, subject to availability as displayed in the booking interface. Offer excludes service and includes VAT. Not available in conjunction with other offers. This promotion has additional information available. Click on the link(s) to view.

Daily Set menu - 3 courses for £19.95 per person

From: 10 May, 2016
To: 26 May, 2026
Max: 30
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.

Daily Set menu - 2 courses for £16.50 per person

From: 10 May, 2016
To: 1 May, 2026
Max: 30
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.

Location for Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street, London, WC2E 7PX

020 7836 0651

Website

Opening Times of Joe Allen

Mon-Thurs 12N-12M (Fri -12.45am) Sat-Sun 10am-12.45am (Sun -10.30pm)

Reviews of Joe Allen

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24 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Elaine S

Plonking piano
10 June 2019   - Verified Diner

A mixed experience. Excellent Caesar salad. Rather tough broiled chicken piled over a mess of spinach and some green sauce, cold fries. Knickerbocker Glory good but served in a tall parfait glass, hard to eat and easy to spill. At other places served in a small bowl.

The meal accompanied by the noise of a terrible cocktail pianist.

 

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Atmosphere
Value

Ms/Mrs. Julie R

No drama
17 August 2018  
The sad and unexpected closure of the fabulous Bedford & Strand forced me to cast my sights a bit wider for a replacement pre-theatre venue, in an area where chain mediocrity and high end restaurants tend to dominate. Having written Joe Allen’s off previously as a tourist magnet at worst and a late night venue at best, it was with somewhat low expectations that we found ourselves entering its darkened interior on its new (apparently) location on Burleigh Street. I don’t mind admitting that along with a great meal, I also had to eat my words and am now rueing the fact that it has taken so long to discover this little treasure. The staff just get exactly what pre-theatre means and ensured that despite our over-ordering, all the food was delivered promptly enabling us to have an enjoyable rather than rushed meal. Three of us opted for the not-so secret burger and it was absolutely bang on the money and when we turned down the offer of desserts and coffee, the bill just appeared without us having to chase for it. I’m sure I went to the old Joe Allen’s many years ago but too long ago to make any meaningful contribution as to which location is better. But on the basis of this meal and how we were treated, it is now firmly on my “will return” list.
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Mr. David P

Great time - but one thing worried us
20 December 2017  
First time we've been following JA's move. Really impressed to see how the atmosphere is just as good as it always was. Real effort has gone into making it feel right. The food was perfect - tasty chicken parmagian, and my friends enjoyed their steaks. The only thing that concerned us was that the end where we realised that the service charge does not go to the waiter (or even split between the waiters). it seems to go to the business to help with the payroll. This did not seem attractive to us. We instead asked to have a new bill with no service charge on it, and then made a separate payment to the waiting staff. But I'm not sure how I feel about going back now. I'm very wary of restaurants arguing that service charges should not be fairly distributed to the service providers and reflect directly the service that has been given. Using it to "ensure all our staff have a living wage" seems questionable - surely they should have this anyway.
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Anon

Hello Old Friend
25 November 2017  
It was like Joe had never been away. The big move, from Exeter to Burleigh Street, is in fact a mini trek of around 75 yards but all has been done so skillfully and it's just like old Joe's but better. No more the descent from the street to the initial darkness it's now a just a step up to the smart new entrance and you're in. It's all, still, so totally theatrical and inviting - packed on Friday lunchtime with ladies who lunch prior to an early matinee - with a front of house dining area that gives way, through a small arch, to the main theatre comprising spacious downstairs stalls overlooked by the circle. Charming and faultless service from non-Brexit-fearing staff happy to be here, happy to be working and intending to stay who provided a top commentary on all of the regular dishes. Our table for three went historically and immediately off menu choosing three Joe Allen, classic bacon/cheese burgers with all the trimmings accompanied by a bottle of El Caminito Malbec - delicious. Dessert of the day was Classic Pecan Pie & ice cream with espresso chaser and mint teas. The welcome, the food, the drink & the service charming and faultless. The end story £113. (inc service of 12.5%) plus a small, additional cash in hand that brought a warm Lithuanian smile & a big thank you. We shall return.
Food & Drink
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Ms/Mrs. Sarah E

Lovely Joe Allens
20 December 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
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Anon

Don't Bother.
19 December 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 have been Aunt Bessie's. The parsnip, carrots and sprouts were dry, not even tossed in butter. The gravy was of the bisto variety. I was expecting a lovely slap-up Christmas feast, instead I received a bad school meal. My wife had the half chicken with skinny fries. That's exactly what you get, nothing else. The chicken was ok, but the fries are so thin they are crisps. How about a nice side salad to go with it, rather than a little lump of watercress. The main courses are around £15! There are so many better places to eat for this money. Our meal for two was £100. What an utter waste. You should be able to get a great meal for this money. Well, not at Joe Allen's
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Anon

Perfect dining experience
13 March 2016  
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
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Ms/Mrs. sh K

Good pre-theatre experience
13 February 2016  
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 and servers were running around, but we didn't mind. We had been to the restaurant before and would happily return.
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rosalind S

Great Food and Service
05 September 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.
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Ms/Mrs. Judith M

Pre theatre lunch
17 July 2015  
Joe Allen's is perfect for a pre theatre lunch - only 30 yards from The Aldwych. The service was fast and good, the a la carte menu pretty good for a speedy lunch and all in all, I would probably go here again. The wines were not expensive.
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