Whether you’re off to see a musical in the West End or a performance of Shakespeare on the South Bank, no theatre excursion is complete without a spot of supper before curtain-up.
We’ve rounded up six of the best pre-theatre dining spots, situated ideally to enjoy London’s best theatre offerings.
Fresh, seasonal seafood is the focus of restaurateur Mark Hix’s Soho venture. His original take on British gastronomy is showcased in a relaxed and intimate setting.
A dedicated lunch and theatre menu served from 12:00pm to 6:30pm and 10:00pm until 11:00pm makes pre and post-theatre dining easy. Plus, the mix of Mark’s trademark dedication to local suppliers and quality produce.
Dishes such as HIX cured salmonata with grilled Ridley Road flatbread or the Dublin Bay prawn burger with scotch bonnet tartare sauce put a contemporary twist on classic ingredients. They're perfectly complemented by the hand-picked selection of wines and cocktails.
Perfect for: Piccadilly Theatre, Gielgud Theatre, the Criterion Theatre, Lyric Theatre.
66-70 Brewer Street, Soho, London W1F 9UP | 020 7292 3518.
Worth a visit whether or not you’re catching a show, Opium Cocktail and Dim Sum Parlour is a quirky venue right in the heart of Chinatown. With its opulent furnishings and intimate atmosphere, Opium evokes a 1920s Shanghai speakeasy feel.
They have an expansive range of intriguing cocktails served alongside their legendary steamed dim sum. Opium is also perfect for a post-theatre meal. The closing times range from midnight on Sundays to 3:00am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Perfect for: Queen’s Theatre, Apollo Theatre, Wyndham’s Theatre, Palace Theatre.
15-16 Gerrard Street, Chinatown, London W1D 6JE (Look for the jade door) | 020 7734 7276 | [email protected].
Residing within the new wing of Somerset House, Spring was set up in 2014 by former Vogue food editor and Michelin star chef Skye Gyngell. The soothingly minimal interiors are expressive of Skye’s modern approach to cooking. They favour well-chosen ingredients sourced responsibly and used in the least wasteful way.
The pre-theatre menu, available from 5:30pm to 6:30pm daily, sits at the heart of this ethos. It's comprised of ‘waste’ produce, served in an unfussy yet imaginative way.
Perfect for: Vaudeville Theatre, Adelphi Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, Dutchess Theatre.
Somerset House, Lancaster Place, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA | 020 3011 0115 | [email protected].
Don’t be fooled by Baltic’s seemingly icy interiors. Housed within an 18th century former coach builder’s works, the space is brimming with charm and character.
True to its name, Baltic specialises in the food and drink of Eastern and Central Europe. There's warming Hungarian stews and Polish pickled salads, brimming with bold flavours and fresh ingredients.
The pre-theatre menu served Monday to Saturday 5.30pm to 7.00pm includes a very reasonable two courses for £18.50 or three courses for £22.50. It is ideal given the location just moments from the South Bank’s best theatre venues.
Perfect for: The Old Vic, Young Vic Theatre, Waterloo East Theatre, Union Theatre, Cervantes Theatre.
74 Blackfriars Road, Bakerloo, London SE1 8HA | 020 7928 1111.
Maison du Mezze
Right on the corner of Leicester Square, Maison du Mezze is perfectly placed to enjoy many of London’s best theatres. Serving authentic Lebanese cuisine in spirited surroundings – think warm earthy tones and breath-taking décor.
It’s ideal whether your party is large or small, though the expansive menu of hot and cold mezze plates is particularly shareable. This is perfectly complemented by the range of meat and seafood mains from the grill, alongside traditional Lebanese curries, soups and bakes.
The long opening hours (Monday to Sunday 10:00am until 11:30pm) make it easy to fit around both matinee and evening performances.
Perfect for: Leicester Square Theatre, Wyndham’s Theatre, Noël Coward Theatre.
14 Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7NG | 020 3011 1114 | [email protected].
For classy pre-theatre dining at its finest, pay a visit to Bellanger, a traditional brasserie. It channels the old-world charm of Belle Époque and the golden age of the grand café.
From Corbin & King, the partnership behind Brasserie Zédel and The Wolseley, Bellanger draws its inspiration from the Alsace region. There's a comprehensive à la carte menu, which can be enjoyed all day from 9:00am until 10:00pm. This includes a variety of options, from traditional light-bite sandwiches to substantial seafood and sharing dishes. It is accompanied by a selection of French wines, Alsace-Lorraine beers and classic cocktails.
Perfect for: Almeida Theatre, The Hope Theatre, Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
9 Islington Green, London N1 2XH | 020 7226 2555 | [email protected].
(Image credits: Header - www.bellanger.co.uk | HIX Soho - images by Joe Woodhouse www.hixrestaurants.co.uk | Opium - www.opiumchinatown.com | Spring -www.springrestaurant.co.uk | Baltic - www.balticrestaurant.co.uk | Maison du Mezze - www.maisondumezze.com | Bellanger – www.bellanger.co.uk (interior images) and David Loftus (Coq au Riesling).)