Orso
Orso

Orso

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.orsorestaurant.co.uk/
  • Phone: 020 7240 5269
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Sunday: 12pm - 11.30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Full Bar, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We are able to cater for above 8 persons but require a telephone booking to be made.
  • Private Party Contact: Linda Thorne 020-7240-5269

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Covent Garden
  • Parking: No
A word from Orso
Opened in October 1985, Orso is a wonderful restaurant in the heart of London’s West End. From the beginning the aim was to bring authentic Italian cuisine to Covent Garden and Orso delivers.
Orso prides itself in using only the freshest and finest ingredients many of them such as extra virgin olive oil, arugula, puntarelle, porcini mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella and white truffles when in season, sourced in Italy. But it is not just about the ingredients, our meals are prepared to perfection, served on hand painted Italian tableware designed by Designers Guild and accompanied with a selection of fine Italian wines.


Orso is the perfect destination for the London diner, offering a busy but attentive service, animated atmosphere and tempting menu.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerPre/post Theatre
Orso reviews from OpenTable diners
150 reviews since 26 November 2013
Average Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service4
  • Ambience3.8
    Value3.5
79% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
pre/post theatre (103)special occasions (41)business meals (38)fit for foodies (31)romance (31)group bookings (18)sunday lunch (15)good vegetarian options (14)outstanding value (11)brunch (9)child friendly (9)afternoon tea (4)Show More
  • good dessert but beware
    DmK2013
    Dined on 22/11/2014
    The dessert was delicious and the staff seemed welcoming but busy! Only thing that brought it down, other than the odd decor, was that I nearly choked on something very sharp in the squid ink risotto. I'm guessing a shell of some kind? However definitely has put me off returning.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Forgotten glory
    anon
    Dined on 16/11/2014
    Orso continues to combine style with charm and friendliness. Its staff are unfailingly pleasane and efficient. The food is unpretentious Italian fare, superbly cooked with high quaility ingredients. I love coming here with friends.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mediocre
    John
    Dined on 15/11/2014
    Liver was rather overcooked. Pasta was a gooey mass with very little seafood in it. Such a pity.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • A wonderful way to start our pre theatre eve.
    Blueprintfan
    Dined on 13/11/2014
    A friend suggested that we should try Orso as she had dined here with her grandaughter recently. We ordered from the pre theatre menu which was varied and had plenty of options. The restaurant is welcoming and the staff were excellent. They were friendly and chatty without being intrusive. We both really enjoyed our meal and would absolutely recomend the Pork main course and the Flourless Chocolate Cake for desert!! We both really enjoyed our visit and will be back.
    Special Features:
    outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good value lunch in Covent Garden
    ALAND
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Orso is a good Italian restaurant below ground level, with a pretty and well lit ambiance. There is a really good value set price lunch menu, although it was disappointing on such a short menu to be told that one course was not available. Service was a little slow to start but soon picked up and maintained a good pace, efficient, attentive and pleasant
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NickName
    NickNameVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Quality and value have been maintained under new ownership, and service is well directed toward theatre-goers. The food is well prepared, portions are appropriate, but the seasoning is sometimes on the light side. Overall Orso continues to be a good value and quality for the theatre district.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Sasha
    Dined on 31/10/2014
    I've have always had very decent (if unexeceptional) food at Orso but not on this occasion. Our first and second selected choices from the menu were unavailable and our eventual fish main was extraordinarily overcooked and rather tasteless. Desert, Orso's 'take' on tiramisu, tasted better than it looked but was rather too generous a helping given the ingredients ! Having said the above, we were booked at 19.15pm on a Friday evening and were allowed to linger without any sense of being rushed out of the door. Maybe we were just unlucky with the food that evening.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Deal making ...
    Tigermeal
    Dined on 29/10/2014
    An italian (underground) restaurant that takes much advantage of its location close to all musical theatres. We reserved a table and were nicely welcomed - however the "special kids menue" was a rather small standard pizza and some ice cream with biscuit/ nut tooping which our kids did not like particukarly. My "tagliatelle al granchio" was fresh noodles (no tagliatelle) with hints of crab meat - but really swimming in olive oil. Overall ok since it was fast and really close ... But not a place I would recommend to friends ...
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Amazing food but not the service
    Luvlondon
    Dined on 28/10/2014
    Amazing food and everything was going fine until the restaurant started to fill up. Once our plates were removed we were left waiting for a dessert menue or even more drinks, for ages. I tried to catch their eye quite a few times but to no avail. By the time I managed to get hold of someone, we decided to just get the bill. It was my friends birthday treat so I was disappointed by the service, but we both decided it was likely down to being too busy and perhaps nor enough staff. It's such a shame, because it would have been an amazing afternoon lunch otherwise. And to think I was worried about the having to leave the table in two hours.. They certainly were not in a hurry for us to leave!
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quiet and friendly i
    Hamptonmen
    Dined on 25/10/2014
    Been coming here for years, staff always friendly and welcoming. No piped music, just the sound of happy diners. Pre theatre menu is good.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Nice Place
    RobP
    Dined on 22/10/2014
    Really nice ambience to this moodily lit restaurant. Food was very nicely done, nothing outstanding but all well prepared and tasty. Would recommend this for a relaxed evening meal in a nice atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Good buzzy ambience
    DizzyVIP
    Dined on 15/10/2014
    Having come to Orso over many years I always like the atmosphere and the interesting menu. University friensds and I have been here for our Christmas lunch and after my visit this week we decided to do that again.
    Special Features:
    business meals, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • NEVER BEEN SO SLOW
    LALEYBRIT
    Dined on 2/10/2014
    WE ARE REGULARS AT ORSO IN THE EVENINGS AFTER WORK, BUT ON THURSDAY NIGHT THE SERVICE WAS SLOW, SLOW, SLOW, EVEN THOUGH THERE SEEMED TO BE 4 WAITINGSTAFF FRONT OF HOUSE. STILLPLEASANT THOUGH AND GOOD ITALIAN FOOD, WELL COOKED AND FILLING.
    Special Features:
    brunch, business meals, pre/post theatre, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Decent value Italian
    JazzAli
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    Had a very good meal at Orso with some family - it wasn't outstandingly special, but absolutely no complaints and it came in at a similar price as a lot of pre/post theatre menus in the area - but without the limited menu options. Cosy, friendly, relaxed and great location.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • POST THEATRE
    Chezzer
    Dined on 27/9/2014
    We were looking forward to our post opera dinner on Saturday evening. However, we were somewhat disappointed. The menu since our last visit seemed to be very limited. The food was of a good standard and was served quickly and efficiently.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Clare
    Dined on 22/9/2014
    Charming and helpful staff. We were out in time for the theatre.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Good quality at a fair price
    Tr0ff3r
    Dined on 19/9/2014
    The whole experience was very satisfying. From the table location, layout, décor, the staff and above all the quality of the food. We were in London for a theatre and shopping weekend and found this restaurant close to our hotel so we could walk meaning we could have a nice bottle of wine with our meal. The core menu does not have a great deal of choices but they also carry dishes of the day which is what we had, the quality was excellent, we have had eaten in restaurants with well named chiefs and have not had anything any better than this and we have paid a lot more for the privilege. The ability to book a table on line makes the reservation service very easy much better than trying to call when the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • VeryDisappointing
    StlFoodie
    Dined on 24/8/2014
    We ate at Orzo ~10 years ago and loved it. That made this visit all the more disappointing. The food was bland and tasteless.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Hugedisappointment
    Dined on 17/8/2014
    We were there on Sunday night--a dead night since the theater is dark. A friend highly recommended it. It was out only night in London. We were really disappointed. It was vastly empty, no music, The food was the biggest disappoint. Too much garlic, and really nothing to write home about. During the day we stumbled on so many good places, and this one was a HUGE disappointment. We had to scratch out head in deciding what to order, and the food was just eh. Don't go there. There are much much better options in London!
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • ElizabethTaylor
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    everything was very nice but the sea bass was overcooked, making it tough, not so good for fish. Everything else was good.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Avoid the set pre theatre menu
    Gordon
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Pre theatre; Prawn cocktail; lots of lettuce and very few prawns in a watery sauce...edible but disappointing Sea bass main; tiny portion with one small fillet that was tough and over cooked with no carbs...I was close to sending this back but didn't have the time or inclination to create a fuss Semifredo for dessert which was good. Overall this was poor and I'd have scored the restaurant down and marked avoid if that was the full story! The good news was that my girlfriend did not select from the set pre theatre. She ordered; Asparagus to start Asparagus rissoto main. Both we're prepared well, good portions and cost the same as the set menu. Lesson leaned...avoid pre theatre set menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • cosy and welcoming
    Diana
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    i went with a friend pre theatre. Food was lovely as were staff although no too attentive when we wanted to leave. I would say this is a place for a date..romantic.. Will go with husband next time!
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • gerben
    Dined on 31/7/2014
    This was a typical London overpriced non authentic Italian restaurant. The fish was pre-prepared and reheated prior to serving - little surprise that he was hard as nails and uneatable. The pasta was very rich with peas and went against all the basic principles of a good italian pasta - keep it simple, less ingredients is more. I suppose the location of the restaurant is the only reason why it survives. People want a quick meal just before the theathre. I would not recommend this restaurant to anybody.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Mother and daughter time
    Jubo
    Dined on 30/7/2014
    Visited orso on a weekend away with my mum for joint 30th and 60th celebrations. The restaurant was very enjoyable, extremely friendly staff and a lovely atmosphere. Not too expensive for London either.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Good service at Orso
    1OccasionalVisitor
    Dined on 23/7/2014
    The service at Orso is excellent,. The food itself is good value but some we ordered was not hot enough. The bread and oil is not special, pea soup was very good. Wine, drinks, and coffees a bit pricey.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nofastfood
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    The food was mediocre and overpriced. Not 'real' Italian cooking. A shame because the wine list was good and the service very competent.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • opera lover
    NickNameVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Orso has improved the quality of its food and service since under new management, and this meal was the best yet at this venue. It is also very convenient to the Royal Opera, and the staff are very aware of the need for efficiency, without creating a rushed feeling. We will continue to come back.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Service doesn't come better
    haberpeople
    Dined on 26/6/2014
    Orso never disappoints. The pre theatre menu is excellent value and they serve right quantity for early evening dining. Service is friendly and attentive without being intrusive.
    Special Features:
    business meals, pre/post theatre, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great food, wonderful service
    Cheryl2558
    Dined on 14/6/2014
    We had dinner there at 7.30pm with a group of 9 (with 4 children). Service staff was great with the children. The food was wonderful too. Will return on our next trip (perhaps try the pre-theatre menu).
    Special Features:
    child friendly, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Orso post Wolf Hall!
    MarcoPW
    Dined on 12/6/2014
    Classic Italian dishes served promptly and efficiently. Celeb spotting possible.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • STANDARD FARE
    BuckbeefVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    As we were going to the theatre, we chose the pre-theatre, fixed price, menu. This appears reasonable value and was fine, except cod main was overcooked and thus dry. For pre-theatre menus, I am afraid that there are better offers in the area for this price level, so was disappointing. Maybe the a la carte is better. Service was good and atmosphere was casual; good at that time of evening.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • excellent experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Very good meal and excellent service highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Pre-Theatre Experience
    Superman
    Dined on 2/6/2014
    Went for pre-theatre dinner and went for the set-menu. Both starter and main course were divine. Busy atmosphere on a early Monday evening and the staff were friendly and attentive. Thank you very much and we will be back :-)
    Special Features:
    outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Post opera dinner
    Operalover
    Dined on 17/5/2014
    Lovely meal with very good vegetarian options and very helpful friendly staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Evone
    Dined on 17/5/2014
    The meal and service was fantastic. We love the decor of the restaurant. I will surely recomend
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • quite good
    Fit4aKing
    Dined on 16/5/2014
    Portions were small, we had to ask for both wine list & dessert menue. A bit pricey for such small portions. Nice staff though.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great night
    Montyschoice
    Dined on 2/5/2014
    Restaurants don't always live up to expectations, but last Friday Orso definitely did, Louise our waitress was, friendly, helpful with a great sense of humour (she had to come in on her day off but still had a smile). food was fantastic, great place to celebrate my birthday in lovely ambiance.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really, really god - back on form
    PAGG
    Dined on 16/4/2014
    This was an outstandingly lovely meal with great service, back like Orso’s used to be, if not better. Impossible to fault
    Special Features:
    brunch, business meals, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Good Food at Orso
    Jemima
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Very pleased to find food and service still good at Orso. Went there after the Opera - very busy and people still coming in after us (11pm+) Restaurant has been refurbished since our last visit - adds to the ambience.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • mediocre
    ElleaitchVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    very slow service, food good but not great, cost £35 a head for a starter and a small sized pasta and one small glass of wine!
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value