Pre-Theatre Dining in London

Whether you're heading to a West End musical or a play in Theatreland, London's restaurants offer a huge variety of pre-theatre menus to suit any timescale and budget. 

From leisurely three-course suppers to speedy snacks, London has a pre-theatre restaurant for all tastes, and many offer post-theatre dining and entertainment too. Pre-theatre menus are also an inexpensive way to sample the food at some of London's finest and most famous restaurants. For even greater value, book a package combining a meal with a show ticket or secure a free dinner with your ticket.

Almeida Restaurant

A North London gem, Almeida is elegant but relaxed and perfect for a pre- or post-show meal thanks to its location opposite the Almeida Theatre. Opt for the modern French menu du jour, or relax on the sofa and choose a quick snack from the small plates menu. In summer, make the most of the gorgeous al fresco terrace.

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Axis at One Aldwych

Spoil yourself with a pre-theatre supper in Axis at the One Aldwych Hotel, on the outskirts of Theatreland. The low-key, high-luxe interior design makes for a truly special pre-theatre meal, and the modern British fixed-price menu is excellent value for money. No time for dinner? The tasty bar food is a treat in itself.

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Bocca di Lupo

For some of the best handmade Italian food in London, head to the vibrant Bocca di Lupo, in Soho. It offers a one-dish pre-theatre menu and is close enough to Theatreland that you won't need to rush a single delicious mouthful. Sit at the marble-topped bar and watch the chefs at work or relax in the casual dining room.

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Café des Amis

Despite being hidden down a small side street, this is still one of Covent Garden's most popular pre-show restaurants and is always buzzing. Café des Amis serves traditional French food and offers a casual bar menu and fixed-price menu – perfect for a budget-friendly pre-theatre feast. A must for theatre-goers.

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Cinnamon Soho

The younger, cheekier sibling to The Cinnamon Club and Cinnamon Kitchen, Cinnamon Soho offers relaxed dining featuring chef Vivek Singh's creations. Choose from a two- or three-course menu specifically for pre- or post-theatre dining that includes the likes of pan-seared tilapia, Keralan style seafood pie or Old Delhi style chicken curry.

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Le Garrick

In the heart of Theatreland and minutes from Covent Garden Tube station, Le Garrick serves authentic French food in a quaint ground-floor restaurant and candle-lit basement dining room. The two-course pre-theatre menu is a delicious start to any evening. A hit with theatre-goers and actors alike.

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Imli Street

Nothing is better for a quick pre-theatre bite than tapas, and Imli Street's Indian tapas is quite possibly the best in London. Created by the team behind Tamarind restaurant, Imli Street is the ideal venue for a speedy pre-show meal. The pre-theatre meal deal is amazingly good value and utterly delicious – not a vindaloo in sight!

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Joe Allen

Joe Allen is a favourite with London's theatre luvvies and actors, and it's easy to see why. A cosy, subterranean restaurant, it serves hearty American-style food in a setting so realistic it's like stepping into an old-school New York brasserie. Head there early for the well-priced pre-theatre menu, or opt for a late supper.

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Kettners

Originally opened by Auguste Kettner (former chef to Napoleon III) in 1867, Kettners is now an informal all-day brasserie in the West End. Try the delicious theatre supper, based on Mediterranean and modern European cuisine, or head to the bar post-show for a glass of fizz from one of the most extensive champagne lists in London.

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Mash

Packed with art deco elegance, this Danish-owned restaurant off Regent Street sources its fine steaks from the US, Uruguay, Australia and its homeland. Food here can be paired with selections from an extensive wine list, reflecting its refined and sophisticated vibe. The pre- and post-theatre menu here comprises either two or three courses.

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Menier Chocolate Factory

Menier Chocolate Factory is a theatre and restaurant in one, housed in a renovated chocolate factory. The restaurant offers à la carte and set menus, which are specially adapted to each show currently being staged in the theatre below. For the best value, book a Meal Deal, which includes a tasty two-course meal and your theatre ticket.

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The Northall

This sophisticated restaurant showcases the best of British cuisine. Focusing on seasonal produce supplied by artisan producers from around the British Isles, The Northall offers reasonably priced, informal menus and a private fine dining area. Sample the good-value pre-theatre menu or visit on Sunday for a traditional roast lunch.

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Portrait Restaurant

The National Portrait Gallery's Portrait Restaurant offers amazing views over Trafalgar Square towards the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. The modern British menu features seasonal ingredients carefully sourced from local suppliers. Two- or three-course pre-theatre dinners are served from 5.30pm to 6.30pm Thursdays to Saturdays.

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Skylon

Sit back, relax and take in panoramic views of the Thames through floor-to-ceiling windows at Skylon in the Royal Festival Hall. Opt for speedy brasserie-like food in The Grill, or linger over seasonal modern European food in the restaurant, safe in the knowledge it's only a short walk to The Globe or the National Theatre.

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The Swan at The Globe

With views across the river Thames, modern British cuisine and the fact you can simply walk next door to Shakespeare's Globe, The Swan at The Globe is an ideal pre-show venue. The theatre menu is an easy, affordable way to sample the seasonal, locally-sourced food, while ensuring that you don’t miss the start of the show.

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