There’s only one thing better than a trip to the theatre, and that’s enjoying a delicious meal before you go. In London, home to a vibrant and thriving theatre scene, there are lots of incredible venues which offer special ‘theatre menus’ – designed especially for theatre-goers to grab a bite to eat prior to their evening of theatrical entertainment.
In this blog, we’ve compiled the very best theatre menus in the city – here’s our guide to some of the top venues and menus to check out in your pursuit of delicious theatre-friendly fare…
Smith & Wollensky
This venue has a particularly adaptive menu, primarily as it’s served between 11am and 6:30pm on Saturdays, and between 12pm – 6:30pm Monday to Friday. The menu is ideal for everything from a matinee performance to an evening play. The restaurant itself is based in the bold surroundings of a Grade II listed building, the Adelphi.
Diners can enjoy an array of great dishes on their visit, including sirloin steak marinated in chimichurri and a large number of beef dishes. For dessert, favourites include an authentic New York Style cheesecake.
There are several fantastic theatres only a few moments away from Smith & Wollensky, most prominently the Adelphi, the Vaudeville and the Savoy.
Bringing Parisian flair to the heart of Soho, Blanchette is a favourite amongst dedicated theatre fans, and it’s easy to see why. The restaurant provides options for both lunchtime and dinner dining, ensuring that you can grab a bite to eat before a matinee performance or later in the day.
The menu changes with the seasons, but is always strictly linked to the French restaurant scene. Key highlights include ratatouille and duck croquettes. Diners can also choose between either two or three courses, and enjoy this menu between Monday and Friday (12pm-3pm/5pm-6pm), with shortened timings at the weekend (12pm-6pm).
A must-visit venue for those who expect high quality in everything from the food on offer to the service provided, Blanchette is particularly close to the Soho Theatre.
Close to a wide variety of different theatres including top London destinations like The Royal Opera House, The Aldwych and the Lyceum Theatre, Cafe Murano serves its theatre menu between 12pm and 7pm and 10pm – 11pm from Monday to Saturday each week.
These extended times allow for dining both before and after a show, helping to make Cafe Murano very popular with visitors to London. The space specialises in Italian dishes, each created with meticulous detail. Highlights of the theatre menu include the likes of mint soup, hake, lobster spaghetti and a range of different cheesecakes for dessert.
For fans of Italian cuisine and theatre, this is a great place to either begin or end an evening out in London, and makes a great alternative to dining at Marble Arch restaurants close to your hotel.
Only a short distance from some of Covent Garden’s finest theatres, Margot provides both a two-course and three-course dining experience between 5:30pm – 6:30pm and later between 9:30pm – 11pm.
Dishes tend towards traditional Italian fare, and there is also a splendid wine list for you to choose from, ideal for settling any pre-theatre nerves or celebrating a great night out after the event. The closest theatre to the venue is the Gillian Lynne Theatre, where you can see a wide variety of great London productions.
The Jones Family Kitchen
Close to the Apollo Theatre, The Jones Family Kitchen is noted for its delicious steak dishes, and offers a full theatre menu each day from 4pm until 6:15pm. The menu can be adapted to include from one to three courses, allowing you to pick and choose how long you want to spend eating before heading for a show.
The venue is only a few minutes’ walk from Victoria Station, helping to enable fast and easy public transport links for theatre lovers at the Montcalm hotel. Alongside the Apollo, diners will also be close to top London venues like the Royal Court and Victoria Palace Theatres.
With contemporary American cuisine on the menu, Christopher’s is located close to the Lyceum Theatre, helping to make it a popular venue amongst theatre goers.
There’s a choice between either two or three courses, and the venue offers its distinctive theatre menu between Monday and Saturday early in the evening (5pm-6:15pm) and later at night (between 10pm – 11:30pm). This provides you with plenty of choice to save your dining until later, particularly helpful for anyone in a rush to catch the start of a performance!
Starters are dainty yet filling, including cod and shrimp cakes, while mains are more substantial and use fresh seasonal ingredients. For dessert, there’s a choice of uplifting espresso ice cream amongst sweeter dishes such as panna cotta.
The English Grill
Dining in London doesn’t get much more opulent than this, with regal touches like chandeliers and and fine silver. The venue operates a royal theme which runs throughout everything from the décor to the service, which is unreservedly VIP in its style.
There’s a glass partition which lets visitors see exactly what’s happening in the kitchen, and diners can also choose between either two or three courses. The theatre menu is available between Monday and Friday (12:30pm-23pm) and Monday-Sunday (5:30pm-9:30pm), helping to make The English Grill a popular spot amongst theatre-goers catching a late evening play.
All dishes use local produce where possible, and you can rest assured you’re dining in fine company – suppliers to the restaurant also serve Her Majesty the Queen.
Serving their spin on the theatre menu Monday to Saturday between 5pm – 10:30pm, Radici is close to the Almeida Theatre, which is located opposite the restaurant.
The venue has proven popular with theatre fans who are in a rush, as well as those who prefer to take their time and spend a few hours on their evening meal. The menu is a complex affair, including polenta and exotic dishes such as baby octopus opposite the lines of margherita pizza and delicious desserts such as tiramisu, perfect for visitors who have missed out on the latest afternoon tea London deals.
Diners can choose between two and three courses, ensuring plenty of flexibility for those who love choice. Combined with the close proximity to top London theatres, this has helped to make Radici one of the most favourable dining spots on our list.
Close to many of London’s most prominent theatre spots such as the Apollo Victoria, The Other Palace and Victoria Palace Theatre, Hai Cenato is one of London’s top pre-theatre venues. The name literally translates to ‘Have you eaten?’ in Italian, and the venue itself provides a fusion of both New York and Italian dishes.
There are two courses on offer, ensuring you certainly won’t go hungry on your trip to the theatre.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Le Garrick is close to the Garrick Theatre – and offers fine French dining with a two or three course menu designed for theatre-goers. The venue offers its theatre menu between Monday – Friday from 12pm – 6:30pm, before continuing to serve diners after 10pm. This means you can just as easily enjoy a meal after your show as before it.
Key dishes include moules frites and a delicious tarte au citron, ideal for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Ideally situated for theatres in the West End, this Soho fixture is designed for delicious dining and both pre and post-theatre food and drink. There’s a wide variety of different dishes on offer, each including their own distinctive flavours, and the closest theatre is Piccadilly Theatre, home to a number of fantastic international productions.
Local produce is used wherever possible, including Neal’s yard daily products and dishes such as Cornish fish pie. Desserts include sumptuous puddings, fresh ice cream and lavish chocolate sauces.
The menu is available between Monday – Saturday (12pm-6:30pm) and later in the evening for dining after a show (10pm-11:30pm). Diners can choose between two or three courses, allowing optimum flexibility.
Frenchie Covent Garden
Offering a theatre menu between Monday and Friday between 5:30pm-6pm, this Covent Garden venue is only a short distance from the heart of London’s theatre scene, and can be accessed easily from your hotel and spa in London.
Diners can choose between two and three courses, with a range of yummy options ranging from pigeon to black pudding, alongside a glass or two of wine. The dessert menu is no less impressive, with evergreen treats such as banoffee pie and pecan pie rounding out your options.
Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden
Right in the centre of London’s major theatrical hub, Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden has recently launched its own pre-theatre menu, offering three courses of delicious dishes and lots of variety for those who can’t quite choose what to eat!
The menu changes throughout the seasons, but local fare is always championed wherever possible, with ingredients sourced from the British coast (think fish from Cornish shores and farm-reared eggs). In addition, the dessert menu is also highly impressive, including a selection of tarts and cakes which are every bit as indulgent as you might expect.
This venue puts a bold new spin on the idea of a theatre menu, steering clear of food and sticking strictly to spirits, wine and Champagne. The menu was designed specifically for the venue, with three distinct ‘courses’ designed specifically for pre-theatre drinking. Each drink is served in an ‘Act’ structure, with Act One comprised of an entree – The Grand 75, using Grand Marnier, lemon juice and Champagne. Next up, Act Two offers a cocktail called ‘The Debauchery of Decadence’, and features Grand Marnier Cuvee Du Centenaire, cherry syrup, walnut bitters and Remy Martin XO.
Last but not least, Act Three offers ‘diners’ an ‘Elements of Epoque’, made up of lemon juice, Grand Marnier, honey, Benedictine and sage. While we wouldn’t normally recommend heading to the theatre on an empty stomach, this is a wonderful way to get into the theatrical spirit.
The venue offers all three courses between 5-7pm daily, and is conveniently located close to the Queen’s Theatre for easy access to some truly special plays and productions.
Simpson’s in the Strand
One of London’s most famous pre-theatre venues, Simpson’s in the Strand is only a few moments from all the lights and theatrical wonder of the West End. As such, the menu is every bit as theatrical as you might expect.
Diners head here for both the food and the atmosphere, indulging in the history and heritage of the venue as much as the dishes on the menu. The menu itself includes rabbit terrine, lamb and fish dishes, as well as a selection of light desserts and a great wine list. You can select between two or three courses depending on how hungry you are, and visit between Monday and Friday (5pm-7pm) or later after your show from 9pm until closing time.
Whether this is your first time at the London theatre or you’re a devoted theatre-goer, a trip to Simpson’s in the Strand is a great way to immerse yourself in local theatre culture.
Only a short distance from The Savoy Theatre, The Savoy is a natural first destination for theatre goers who are staying in London. This is a particularly popular destination, so we recommend reserving a table ahead of visiting. Kaspar’s, The Savoy’s seafood bar and grill restaurant, is a great spot for pre-theatre dinners.
In addition, the venue has put tremendous thought into cultivating a suitably ‘theatrical’ venue, with fine flourishes in both the décor and the menu. Dishes are a combination of traditional British fare and unique touches, such as baked egg cocotte with bacon jam and Marmite brioche and beef sausages.
The dessert menu is just as tasty, including the likes of Bakewell tart and almond ice cream. The theatre menu is available Monday to Friday between 5pm – 6:30pm and later in the evening between 9:30pm – 10:30pm.