Best for… Young Vic; Old Vic; Vaults
The ultimate test of a theater restaurant is whether you can dine there even if you haven’t watched the show. The answer, in the case of The Cut by Young Vic, is yes: you would.
Ingredients are carefully selected and the menu varies by quality, with simple dishes such as Thai raw salad, smoked haddock and poached eggs, as well as a variety of tapas. Take your pick: everything here is designed to be served on time for a quick dash to the show.
The Cut, Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Southwark, London SE1 8LZ; 020 7928 4400; thecutbar.com
Paladar is located in the middle of the Elephant and Castle. A hidden gem – with an even more hidden courtyard – this Latin American restaurant offers a variety of colorful and flavorful dishes and drinks. All innovative recipes use distinctive spices and fresh ingredients, while being 100% gluten-free. Top tasting appetizers include pulled jackfruit empanadas and coconut chili prawns, while larger plates like octopus tentacles sautéed with guajillo peppers and tamarind, mofongo yellow plantain, salsa verde, will keep your tummy busy for as long as the show won’t end.
Paladar, 4-5 London Road, London SE1 6JZ; 02071865555; Paladarlondon.com
Anchor and Hope
This is a gastropub, but there is a huge difference between Anchor and Hope and the usual Ember Inn. The menu changes; vegetables are treated with the same tenderness as meat, carefully selected and cut on the spot from nose to tail. Fresh fish is brought in twice a day. Wines are artisanal. However, the pub hasn’t lost a bit of its pub feel with the addition of a damn fine restaurant: on the contrary, the number of regulars, no-frills decor and the pride with which pints are drawn by fast, friendly staff are suggestive of an effect. it was quite the opposite.
Anchor and Hope, 36 The Cut, Southwark, London, SE1 8LP; 020 7928 9898; https://anchorandhopepub.co.uk/
If you’re short on time before a show, Crust Bros. might be exactly what you need. This incredibly low-key and laid-back miniature restaurant is a pizza lover’s dream where you design your dinner from the ground up. Choose as many toppings as you like and it will be freshly made and based on Neapolitan pizza right in front of your eyes. Unless you’re completely crazy, you’re unlikely to pay more than £15 for a pizza, making it a pretty cheap place to eat.
Crust Bros., 113 Waterloo Rd, London SE1 8UL; 020 3034 3424; www.crastbros.co.uk
Suitable for… Victoria Palace Theatre; Victoria Apollo Theatre; Another palace
Modern, informal, but serious, Andrew Wong’s Chinese restaurant has it all: you’ll get Gunadong Dim Sum, as well as Shanghai Pork and Fresh Ginger Dumplings, Sichuan Eggplant and Red Anhui Fermented Fish Stew. Latecomers should try the many snacks available at Forbidden City’s underground bar.
Wong, 70 Wilton Road, Victoria, London, SW1V 1DE; 020 7828 8931; www.co.uk
Cafe “Rail House”
This steampunk establishment is literally around the corner from all three of Victoria’s great theaters. The contemporary eclectic menu offers something for all tastes, including steaks, burgers, noodles, roasts and fish dishes. There is even a tasting menu if you like it. Cocktails are also highly recommended.
Be aware that when it’s busy, the cramped space of this restaurant can make the service a little slower than it could be, so make sure you have enough time to get to the theatre.
Cafe Rail House, 8 Sir Simon Milton Square, London SW1E 5DJ; 020 3906 7950; railhouse.cafe
Sticks and sushi
Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, one of the newer branches of the Danish-Japanese sushi and yakitori restaurant, is located in the very convenient Nova building. A wide selection of hot grilled dishes and sushi plates will allow the whole company to enjoy something delicious.
Start with small plates like ebi baits (addictive tempura shrimp), scallop ceviche, roasted cauliflower with black sesame truffle sauce, and the iconic beef tataki with smoked cheese, almonds and green onions. Sushi Sister appeals to the crowd, offering all types of sashimi on the menu while there are plenty of rolls to choose from. Our favorites have to be Hell’s Kitchen kaburimaki, avocado tempura shrimp topped with tuna and spicy BBQ sauce, and homemade rolls that feature dishes like wagyu, black cod, softshell crab or scallop. Don’t forget your chopsticks: Grab a cutting board with miso-marinated black cod, yuzu miso pork belly, bacon-wrapped Emmental cheese, and lamb chop or beef fillet dipped in miso herb oil. Then waddle to the theater or subway station.
Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, 3 Sir Simon Milton Square, London SW1E 5EB; 02031418240; sticksnsushi.com
This stylish French restaurant is located just around the corner from the Victoria Palace Theater and is more than worthy of attention. There is a set dinner menu in front of the theater which costs £25 for two or £29.50 for three. You don’t want to miss your chance to defy gravity after tasting these dishes.
Aster, 150 Victoria St, London SW1E 5LB; 020 3875 5555; aster-restaurant.com
Suitable for… Artistic theatre; Noël Coward Theatre; Wyndham Theatre; The Garrick Theatre; Duke of York Theatre; Playhouse Theatre; Trafalgar Theatre; Savoy theater
With a reputation like this, it’s no surprise that Blacklock has opened yet another site in London to make all your meaty dreams come true. The restaurant’s largest location, it’s a premier location in the heart of the West End, making it a great choice for any theater buff before or after.
As usual, choose the size of the chop; chop source (lamb, beef or pork) and, of course, your side dishes. Then rest easy knowing that the guys behind the diner are Hawksmoor veterans and the meat is from good sources. Can’t decide? If you’re dining with friends, choose All Inclusive and get appetizers and a plate full of meat to share at £22 per person. The £5 cocktails make it even better. If this is your first time visiting Blacklock, we couldn’t recommend a better way to immerse yourself in it.
Blacklock, 16a Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9HE; theblacklock.com
Old, but kind. Barrafina has been bringing fine Spanish cuisine to our tables for many years, pampering our taste buds with a variety of tapas. Whether you prefer ham croquettes or prefer to order from this coveted specials board, celebrate like you’re in Spain before or after the show. Smaller space means places are limited and in demand, so book early. Most of the seating is stools which adds to the atmosphere of the evening.
Barrafina, st. 10 Adelaide, London, WC2N 4HZ; 02030960359; barrafina.co.uk
Kerridge’s Bar and Grill
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge’s original London restaurant serves up many of the pub dishes that made it famous at Hand & Flowers in Marlow, from halibut and chips to pig cheek pie and mashed potatoes. It’s quite expensive, but perhaps that’s only to be expected at such high quality as here. The last tables available for booking open at 22:00, although you can get unreserved tables at the bar on a first come, first served basis. If your trip to the theater is for a special occasion, the food here might be the icing on the cake.
Kerridge’s Bar and Grill, 10 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5AE; 02073213244; kerridgesbarandgrill.co.uk