Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery

Bronze Award
Soho, London, WC2H 0HE ·Website ·Call0207 3122 2490

SquareMeal Review of Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery

Bronze Award

This all-dayer at the top of the National Portrait Gallery wears its spectacular skyline view lightly, & it’s worth coming up just for the visual distractions. The main menu features rustic-sounding dishes such as homemade black pudding with devilled sauce, & confit duck with cassoulet. A set menu is linked to major exhibitions – although you won’t find much under £25 on the fairly interesting wine list. Plentiful, courteous staff also make it an ideal choice for afternoon tea with elderly friends or parents. The design is clean, modern & warm, but surprisingly light on portraits – though you can lock eyes with Cary Grant & Joan Crawford.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Fun, Glamorous
Alfresco And Views
Great views
Special Features
Counter dining

Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery is featured in


National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, Soho, London, WC2H 0HE

0207 3122 2490


Opening Times

Mon-Sun 10-11am 11.30am-3.30pm Thurs-Sat 5.30-8.30pm


Share your thoughts with other diners

Write a review

4 Reviews 

Kelly E

17 November 2011  
Food & Drink 5
Service 1.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 3
Undeniably offers a great view out over Big Ben but the whole experience was a bit of a let-down due to the service. We were seated at our table, but as we were waiting for two people to join our party who were coming separately, we were just left alone without even a drinks order. The restaurant closes quite early and even at only 8pm we felt like it was the end of the night and the staff had given up. General drinks service, order taking, plate clearing was quite lax. I had to remind the waiter to bring my tea which I ordered instead of dessert, but even then they brought the wrong one. The food however was a different experience entirely. Excellent presentation, seasonal food, perfectly cooked and seasoned. Not wanting a large dinner I ordered a vegetarian quiche which was really flavoursome. Food envy got the better of me however as my fellow diners tucked into the confit duck leg and guinea fowl which were equally spectacular. I will go back for another try – but perhaps at lunchtime when staff are hopefully a little more on the ball.


11 March 2011  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4
Pre theatre dinner for two with a great view over London to Big Ben. Service was excellent as was the food and atmosphere. I had a crab mayonnaise followed by a smoked haddock fishcake; both were excellent, fresh, flavoursome, straight from the kitchen and well presented. I need an excuse to go back.

Jayne W

24 November 2009  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 2.5
This is a tricky restaurant to find. Up the escalators, round the corner, up another lift. The views are pretty good, funny listening to an american couple state “how wonderful, you can see St Paul's and Big Ben!” Not quite in the same vicinity really. Whilst there were no complaints about the food being underdone like the previous review, I did think it was extremely overpriced. Sure, it's quite acceptable and very nice, but the prices are up there with some seriously better restaurants. So, go for the view and enjoy a cocktail or two, but I'd give dinner a miss. My other complaint would be the toilets – there is nothing else on the top floor apart from the bar and restaurant – however the toilets were pretty dire, much like public toilets.

Eric W

21 August 2009  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 3
Great views across london and good service failed to make up for the poor quality of food delivered, together with a rather restrictive menu that concentrates heavily on fish dishes. Myself and my friend both ordered fish and in both cases it was undercooked with the centres being practically raw whilst the outside skin at least looked well cooked. We were then rather quickly ejected at 10pm (closing time) despite the fact that I hadn't quite finished my wine – unfortuantely one of the most disappointing retaurants I have visited in London for quite some time.
Book a table

Call Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery to make a booking on:

Visit their website

Other restaurants we like near Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery

Trafalgar Square


Covent Garden


Mr. White's Leicester Square
Leicester Square

Mr. White's Leicester Square

Live at The Hippodrome
Covent Garden

Live at The Hippodrome

Check availability
Back to restaurant
Complete your reservation
Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery
Earn 100 SquareMeal Points with this booking

Select a special offer

These offers are optional, and there's no commitment.

Error adding booking details, please try later.

First Name is required field
Last Name is required field
Email Address is required field
Phone Number is required field
Diner First Name is required field
Diner Last Name is required field

By clicking 'complete booking' you agree to the SquareMeal User Agreement