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Joe Allen
Joe Allen

Joe Allen Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.joeallen.co.uk/
  • Phone: 0207 836 0651
  • Hours of Operation: Monday to and including Thursday noon to midnight

    Friday noon to 12.45

    Saturday 10am to 12.45

    Sunday 10am to 11.30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Late Night, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Entertainment: Pianist plays background music, mainly theatre tunes from 7:00PM to 11:00PM Monday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday 8:00PM till midnight.
    Sunday Brunch: noon till 4PM

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Wellington Street
  • Public Transit: Covent Garden Tube, Charing Cross Tube
  • Parking: No
A word from Joe Allen
The combination of a great location, informal environment and quality food made Joe Allen an instant hit with the theatre community as well as theatre goers.

It's the perfect location for someone searching for great food whether in casual dress or glamorous depending on individual choice.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerPre/post Theatre
Diner Reviews
  • "Romantic atmosphere. Marvelous piano music played, old wartime hits."
    dined on 20/07/2014
  • "Down the steps into an atmosphere most unexpected! Very pleasant ambience good menu including being serenaded by a pianist"
    dined on 19/07/2014
  • "What a fantastic meal. Not the first, definitely not the last at Joe Allen."
    dined on 18/07/2014
  • "The marketing hype, 2-hour time-limit per booking and the menu pricing led me to expect something more special than Joe Allens turned out to be. It is only a lower mid-market popular restaurant and, as such, is over-priced. For two, the total bill was £100, including one bottle of wine for c.£25, two starters and two mains, with coffees. Service was excellent, with a warm welcome and was very attentive and well informed. Tables are rather crammed together and the basement location is a bit gloomy, or atmospheric, depending on what you seek. Food was fine, but not special."
    dined on 16/07/2014
  • "A great way to nourish yourself between a marathon theatre experience. The atmosphere and service lend themselves to the enhancement of what was a magical day."
    dined on 16/07/2014
  • "Fantastic evening, staff great and vey attentive and made to feel very relaxed and a valued customer. Worth every penny."
    dined on 12/07/2014
  • "Popped in here again after many years since our last visit after Skylight at the Wyndhams. Pleasant and relaxing, good food and attentive staff."
    dined on 12/07/2014
  • "Excellent service and decent food. Impressed with the atmospheric, friendly and classic lively restaurant. Good tables for two with plenty of space. Professional and efficient with the pre theatre crowd."
    dined on 10/07/2014
  • "Friendly and relaxed atmosphere with very good service. Family of four had four different main courses and all were very satisfied with their meals."
    dined on 03/07/2014
  • "Had a modest 2 course pre-theatre meal for 2. Cost £60. An attractive and conveniently located restaurant serving reasonably tasty food. But left with a feeling of being ripped off: charged separately for bread; second glass of wine (small measure)cost £2 more than first; 12% service charge was described as optional on menu but appeared on bill regardless."
    dined on 30/06/2014
  • "We have been here before, always a treat before the theatre. Well positioned, excellent service, food very good . Might like more choice for lunch menu."
    dined on 21/06/2014
  • "Heard of Joe Allen before but never got around to trying it until now. It will not be the last time I go, I really enjoyed it. Ambience is cool and relaxed, a bit dated but that is not a negative, quite the opposite. Staff are terrific, obviously selected and trained carefully to deliver a smile and engage with the customer. Food was good without knocking my socks off, but the menu is varied and I enjoyed my meal. Overall a very satisfying experience and one I will be keen to repeat, especially with my daughters who will love it."
    dined on 19/06/2014
  • "been coming since the place opened way back when never disappoints, not once in all ways"
    dined on 19/06/2014
  • "Joe Allen always has a nice buzz about it and the food is consistently good. We chose it for a post-theatre booking knowing that there would be a happy crowd of people there and we wouldn't be rushed through our meal - we were right. On this visit I tried the pulled chicken croquettes to start which were delicious."
    dined on 17/06/2014
  • "This is a great restaurant with a restrained but lively ambience. Food was good and portions were good also, not too much and not too little."
    dined on 17/06/2014
  • "Was looking for a place in central London to meet up with a friend; I picked Joe Allen as the most convenient and after reading the past reviews. Although my party arrived later, the restaurant was very accommodating and while my booking was for 7:15, my friend arrived at 7:45 with no questions asked. The mocktails (we were all tea-total) were tasty and the menu, while simple, had a good selection. The food came at a good pace and the stake was cooked beautifully. I would highly recommend the Joe Allen special stake sauce (usually put on the table) rather than ordering a specific sauce with the stake. It was yummy! Would definitely go there again."
    dined on 17/06/2014
  • "A warm welcome, immediate attention, great bar with skilled bar staff, good menu, changing menu and the best ambience that suits every occasion. After thirty years I still enjoy every minute of this drinking and dining experience."
    dined on 16/06/2014
  • "I have been to Joe Allen's on a number of occasions the setting is great, the food is always fantastic and the service brilliant, I can never fault the place."
    dined on 15/06/2014
  • "Joe Allen's atmosphere is lovely. Warm lighting, good old fashioned Americana. Service wise, we couldn't fault it. Shame about the food. Often wet and under-seasoned. Some dishes complete, some requiring additional sides which weren't obvious that you had to order. Sizing was very odd too. Baby Back Ribs were amazing - but an insanely huge portion, far too much for one. Meat balls in sauce were just that. A little dish of meatballs in sauce....no pasta, no fries, no rice. Pasta wasn't an option on the sides lists, we though it was a very strange main. The veal - over cooked and under seasoned and again, bereft of carbs. A slab on veal with a crumbed egg on a plate. Crab and Avacodo salad was virtually liquid -slightly spiced baby food."
    dined on 14/06/2014
  • "we had the pre-theatre set menu at Joe Allen before a show in Covent Garden. The restaurant was busy as usual with theatregoers, families and two groups. always good fun, and the a la carte menu has expanded with some new and interesting choices. Great fun and an institution."
    dined on 12/06/2014
  • "A quick business lunch from the set menu. A simple but tempting set of options for a fixed price. A great spot in the West End for lunch or for pre/post theatre meals."
    dined on 11/06/2014
  • "I think Joe Allen is great, one of my favourites for sure. Service is always of a very high standard, ambience is terrific with the piano and the bustle of the theater goers. The menu is very good (I had chopped liver followed by fillet steak - both very pleasing). And I love that bar."
    dined on 04/06/2014
  • "Hadn't been here for over 15 years but even better than I remembered, and popular too - tables were full when we left after 10pm. Not too noisy but buzzy atmosphere. Great staff. Bar steak good value although normal fries would be nice. Puds were very, very good! Definitely a great option for smart-casual dining in a very handy location."
    dined on 30/05/2014
  • "Good simple delicious well cooked American style food with a speak easy piano bar atmosphere. All very reasonably priced. A Good Friday evening in Coventry garden."
    dined on 30/05/2014
  • "I had a day in town to see two shows, one of which, was at the Duchess. Breaking the day up with a pre-theatre dinner at Joe's was pefect. I was made to feel welcome as always and the prix fixee was interesting and delicious, especially celeriac soup with mussels and lemon. The ambience at once lively and relaxing made me feel comfortable and no-one can feel self-conscious dining on their own at such a friendly venue. Value as alway is excellent and with two more theatre days coming up, over the coming months, I'll be back."
    dined on 24/05/2014
  • "Took a group of Texans here who have high steak standards and they all enjoyed it. Very strong martinis! Has a nice old world charm. "
    dined on 21/05/2014
  • "My wife and I are New Yorkers and we visit London regularly. We've been patrons of Joe Allen's in New York for more than 35 years but never tried the London branch before. What a nice experience it was! Very good food, super service and an ambience that made me feel I was on West 46th Street in Manhattan. I'll definitely return on my next visit"
    dined on 21/05/2014
  • "I've done three reviews already - this was another business lunch. Great place to linger on into the afternoon in the (by this point) tranquility of the retro basement room, and you won't be the only ones! Maintained all star ratings, and added a "good vegetarian options" recommendation, because actually, there are, particularly for a place that's basically a steakhouse, or a grill anyway. The vegetarian in our party was very happy (although I stopped him stealing my delectable green beans!). The Massaya red wine from the Lebanon got everybody's praises, at a very reasonable price."
    dined on 21/05/2014
  • "Had a fabulous evening celebrating friend's 50th birthday. Staff were fabulous and the restaurant had a great ambience. "
    dined on 17/05/2014
  • "Peaceful, stylish dinning room, great location, and standards are still high, nice to feel welcome at such a popular place."
    dined on 12/05/2014
  • "I dont think there's anything here that you'd need to complain about. But nothing that would make you want to go back especially. Except the Bloody Marys. They were amazing !"
    dined on 03/05/2014
  • " I've been going for 25 years, the staff are fabulous and the ambience is wonderful. "
    dined on 30/04/2014
  • "This is a hidden gem in London. You walk in to be welcomed by a 1940's piano playing as background to a calm and well decorated space. Unfortunately service was not outstanding and the food is what you'd expect, but not surprising. I was hoping to be wow-ed but I haven't. "
    dined on 29/04/2014
  • "I took my boyfriend here for a birthday meal and things started well - good atmosphere with piano in background. But then Joe Allen's horrendously poor service kicked in - drinks took forever to arrive, food order wasn't taken for nearly half an hour, the smaller (and cheaper) steak had 'conveniently' run out, despite the fact we were an early dinner sitting. Such a shame because the food was great - though starters slightly on the smaller side portion wise - and the dessert I chose (strawberry and prosecco jelly) was fab. Just as well, as the waiter said the till had 'conveniently' stopped working and our dessert order hadn't reached the kitchen, so took over half an hour to appear! Suffice to say, I didn't pay the 12.5% service...!"
    dined on 27/04/2014
  • "A perfectly acceptable meal was ruined by completely unacceptable service. It was slow at the start and took over half an hour to have our drinks order taken. Then once we had (eventually) eaten we were rushed out even though there were other spare tables in the restaurant. When I said to the waitor "it feels like you're rushing us out" he replied "I am". Unacceptable given that the food is pretty average and it's not a cheap restaurant. Such a shame that a London institution has fallen so far. Avoid, there are plenty of far better places in the area. "
    dined on 25/04/2014
  • "As a regular at Joe Allen I find the character and ambience special. Food always good and reliable. The service is friendly and efficient. An excellent choice for lunch and pre or post theatre."
    dined on 25/04/2014
  • "Joe Allen is a reliably good restaurant, the food is always excellent, the menu is not huge but the dishes are always well prepared and nicely presented. I particularly like the black bean soup and the chilli. I would definitely recommend it as a restaurant to go to either before or after the theatre. "
    dined on 18/04/2014
  • "a post theatre bite to eat at Joe Allen is always a pleasure. There are options on the menu to suit all tastes, and the wine list is extensive without being over-priced. A London institution."
    dined on 17/04/2014
  • "Having been many times over the years it has always been a favorite post-theatre. However the service has gone down hill. we were seated next to drunk women who badgered us, then accused us of disruption. the manager dealt with them but then told us how stressful it was and implied we were the cause. we literally sat down ate and paid. one of the waiters was lovely and tried to intervene on our behalf but the other (who was supposed to be our main waitress) said nothing, partly because she was the main cause of the drunken rants (apparently she had been spilling hot food on them all night) . a really sad and disappointing experience. it only ever had average food but it was the ambiance and staff who made a great night. sadly no more"
    dined on 16/04/2014
  • "Fun place - great, great staff Food wasn't anything spectacular so felt a little expensive - still a good night though!"
    dined on 16/04/2014