The Best Places In London For a Slap-Up Pre-Theatre Dinner

Off to the theatre? Don’t settle for a quick bite or a naff sandwich beforehand. The Resident sets you up for a night of excellence with our pick of where to go for a pre or post show meal. 

Photo: SUSHISAMBA

1 Clos Maggiore
Ideal for The Royal Opera House and theatres on the Strand
Once voted the most romantic restaurant in London, Clos Maggiore is the perfect start to your dinner and theatre date night. The Covent Garden fave plates ups modern European fare that takes its cues from the country-cooking of Tuscany and the south of France. From the extravagant cocktails and smooth wines, to rich main courses like Scottish cod, mussels, sea vegetables and beurre blanc; and chicken breast, chicken mousseline, celeriac puree and chicken jus, you will leave full, merry and ready for a night of theatre.
Pre-theatre service: Monday to Sunday 5pm-6pm
Price: Three courses £39.50; Sommelier selected wine £25 (Mon-Thurs only)
Address: 33 King Street, Covent Garden WC2E 8JD
Website: closmaggiore.com

2 Prix Fixe Brasserie
Ideal for Soho Theatre, The Lyric, Piccadilly Theatre, The Apollo
Perhaps unassuming and unexpected at first, but a winning choice all the same, Prix Fix Brasserie is a classic French bistro with rotating specials and wallet-friendly prices. Dishes change weekly, but expect the likes of roasted skate wing with crispy capers, Jersey royals and beurre noisette; beef stroganoff with garden peas and mash; or slow braised lamb shank with garlic mash, chickpea and rosemary gravy. The wine list is extensive too and full of old world wines, which you can order by the glass, bottle or carafe.
Pre-theatre service: Sunday to Thursday until 6.30pm; Friday & Saturday until 6pm
Price: two courses £14.90
Address: 39 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 4PU
Website: prixfixe.net

3 Joe Allen
Ideal for The Lyceum, Adelphi Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Joe Allen reopened in October last year, with a new bar, Joe’s tavern at the front of the restaurant; a New-York style drinking den for pre and post show theatre goers and punters alike. The kitchen prepares American brasserie-style food – thinkCornish shrimp bisque, Caesar salad, and slope braised and smoked baby back ribs. For dessert, feast on a peanut butter and jelly ice cream sandwich with peanut brittle; a wedge of honey glazed pecan pie with caramel ice-cream or a slice of New York style cheesecake with fresh raspberries. There’s also an extensive wine list to discover as well.
Service: Tuesday to Saturday 12pm-11pm; Sunday 12pm-6.30pm
Address: 2 Burleigh Street WC2E 7PX
Website: joeallen.co.uk

4 Sucre
Ideal for The Palladium, Piccadilly Theatre, The Criterion
This Soho restaurant specialises in Argentinean flavours and dishes cooked over an open fire. And it’s recently launched a set menu for punters grabbing a meal, before or after a West End show. On the menu, there’s small plates of the likes of aged cheddar, chilli and onion empanada; steak tartare, preserved lemon and plantain chips; and lamb shoulder, carrots and salsa verde; or wild mushroom paella with hedgerow garlic for mains.
Pre-theatre service: Sunday to Thursday 5pm-6.30pm; 10pm onwards
Price: two-courses £29; three-courses £34
Address: 47b Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JP
Website: sucrerestaurant.com

5 Bocca Di Lupo
Ideal for the Apollo, the Lyric, the Sondheim
Loved for plating up hearty regional Italian dishes, the kitchen not only makes its own pasta, but its bread, salumi and gelati as well. The Roman Workers Lunch is available until 6pm, however, the restaurant is also open for post-theatre reservations too. Here’s the place to try artichoke and ricotta ravioli with marjoram, pine nuts and brown butter; pappardelle with wild venison stracotto; blood orange and red onion salad; grilled polenta with morels and a selection of delicious gelati.
Pre-theatre service: Monday to Saturday last reservation 10.45pm; Sunday 515pm-9.30pm; Set menu available until 6pm
Price: Roman Workers Set Menu  £17.50 for starter, main and salad +£10 for dessert, a glass of wine and coffee
Address: 12 Archer Street W1D 7BB
Website: boccadilupo.com

6 SUSHISAMBA
Ideal for Theatre Royal, Aldwych Theatre, Duchess Theatre
Dine on Japanese and South American fusion dishes in a fabulously maximalist setting. Blending Japanese cuisine with Brazilian and Peruvian, tuck into the likes of pork belly anticuchos with butterscotch miso and perivian corn; a selection of samba rolls, and large plates of teriyaki poussin with yuzu kosho and Japanese egg mayo or plantain moqueca with okra coconut milk, dende oil and truffle fried rice. There’s also chocolate banana cake or ice-cream stuffed mochi with white chocolate ganache.
Pre-theatre service: Monday to Friday 3pm-6pm
Price: two-course £28; three-courses £32
Address:35 The Market Building WC2E 8RF
Website: sushisamba.com

7 Wild Honey St James
Ideal for Her Majesty’s Theatre, Theatre Royal Haymarket, the Harold Pinter Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre
Recently earning a Michelin star, Wild Honey St James’ Early Supper Menu includes dishes created by classic French techniques and seasonal produce. Feast on the likes of Shetland Isle mussels with blood orange and sea purslane; celeriac veloute with chanterelles and pear; and slow-cooked ox cheek with winter vegetables, red wine and parsley sauce.
Pre-theatre service: Wednesday to Saturday, 5pm-6:45pm
Price: three-courses £35
Address: 8 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5NG
Website: wildhoneystjames.co.uk

8 Cinnamon Bazaar
Ideal for Adelphi Theatre, Vaudeville Theatre, the Lyceum, the Duchess
Part of the accoladed Cinnamon Collection group, Cinnamon Bazaar serves vibrant and fragrant Indian dishes that pay tribute to global influences.On the set dinner menu, you’ve got tandoori paneer tikka with coriander chutney; Indo-Chinese chicken wings in a homemade chilli sauce, as well as kokim crusted sea bream fillet with masala mash, a lamb rogan josh shepherd’s pie and stir-fried baby aubergine.
Pre-theatre service: Daily, 5pm-6.30pm & 9.30pm-late
Price: two-courses for £21; three-courses £24 and each menu comes with Bazaar’s Festive Punch
Address: 28 Maiden Lane Covent Garden WC2E 7JS
Website: cinnamon-bazaar.com

9 Chinatown
Ideal for Magic Mike Live, the Apollo, the Sondheim, the Lyric
There are plenty of spots in Chinatown to grab a quick, delicious feed before heading off to see a show. Baozilnn (multiple locations) has an extensive menu offering northern Chinese street food, covering noodle, bun and rice-based dishes as well as dumplings and dim sum. Each location (there’s one in Soho and two in Chinatown) have slightly different menus specialising in different dishes. Also in Chinatown, Bun House on Lisle Street has an array of light and fluffy buns to eat, as well as dumplings and a short menu of Chinese sharing plates that are bound to hit the spot before or after a show.
Website: baoziinn.com; bun.house

10 Frenchie Covent Garden
Ideal for the Adelphi, Lyceum and Wyndham theatres
The Frenchie team have cultivated the perfect dining experience to get you ready for a night of theatre. Frenchie’s luxurious French cuisine is available as both pre and post-theatre menus. Starters include smoked sea bream carpaccio, chive sabayon grapes and jalapeno and burrata with heritage beetroot, navel orange and cumin, while for your main, you’ve got confit pork belly with turnips, lovage and cider; or truffle sabayon agnolotti, buckwheat, onion chutney and Comté broth. Get stuck into a cheese board or a dessert such as the meyer lemon tart, fennel pollen and creme fraiche ice cream if you have the room and time, or some nibbles such as parmesan gougeres or bacon scones with maple syrup and Cornish clotted cream at the start.  
Pre-theatre service: Wednesday to Sunday 5.30pm-6pm
Price: two-courses £32; three-courses £37
Address:16 Henrietta Street Covent Garden WC2E 8QH
Website: frenchiecoventgarden.com

11 The Savoy Grill
Ideal for the Adelphi, the Vaudeville, the Lyceum
For an evening drenched in elegance, start off your night off at Gordon Ramsay’s The Savoy Grill, which is also open for post-show meals. Serving classic and refined European and French cuisine, savour dishes such as celeriac veloute or chicken liver and foie gras parfait for starters and feast on BBQ pork belly or Loch Duart salmon with confit fennel and St Austell Bay mussels for your main meal.
Pre-theatre service: Monday to Saturday 5pm-12am
Address: Savoy Hotel, Strand WC2R 0EU
Website: gordonramsayrestaurants.com

12 Pivot, Covent Garden
On the third floor of Grade II listed 3 Henrietta Street, Pivot is a stones’s throw from Theatreland is the perfect place for a pre-theatre meal. Scottish Chef Mark Greenaway heads the kitchen and his three-course pre-theatre menu showcases fine European cuisine and ingredients. Starters include hand dived scallop with dashi broth, pork crackling and sea vegetables, or a roscoff onion stuffed with haggis on top of potato mousse. For mains, try monkfish bourguignon or goose breast with chestnuts, brussel sprouts and parsnips.
Pre-theatre service: Tuesday to Thursday 5pm-6.30pm
Cost: three-courses £45 + optional £30 wine pairing
Address: First Floor – 3 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden WC2E 8LU
Website: markgreenaway.com