The Criterion
The Criterion

The Criterion

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.criterionrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 0207 9300488x
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 12pm - 2:15pm;
    Sunday: 12pm - 3:30pm
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:30pm
    Sunday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
    Afternoon Tea: Monday - Saturday: 2:30pm - 4:00pm On Sunday: 3.30pm - 4.00pm

  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Modern European, British
  • Executive Chef: Matthew Foxon
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Live Music during the evening on Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays from 7.30pm

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Piccadilly Circus underground
  • Parking: No
A word from The Criterion
A lavish and luxurious neo-byzantine room in the centre of London serving lunch, traditional afternoon tea, pre-theatre dinner and dinner until late into the evening.
This breathtakingly beautiful restaurant, originally opened in 1874, has recently been re-furbished and now offers a fine Modern European menu.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerModern European
The Criterion reviews from OpenTable diners
1003 reviews since 6 May 2014
Average Rating4
  • Food4
    Service3.9
  • Ambience4.3
    Value3.9
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
pre/post theatre (625)special occasions (555)romance (384)business meals (292)fit for foodies (269)afternoon tea (223)outstanding value (176)group bookings (167)sunday lunch (116)brunch (87)disabled access (56)good vegetarian options (50)child friendly (28)outdoor eating (2)Show More
  • A classic
    PinsVIP
    Dined on 31/8/2014
    Beautiful restaurant in the heart of London, full of history - should go at least once, not what you would expect from the high footfall location
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, disabled access, pre/post theatre, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Polly
    Dined on 30/8/2014
    Pre theatre visit for special birthday treat. Unfortunately the reception staff were neither warm not welcoming and the bar's seating area was a bit disorganised, which was a disappointing start. However once we were through into the main restaurant we were treated to excellent, attentive, but not overbearing service. Chose from set menu which is very good value for money, and excellent quality. Food was very well presented and well matched to menu descriptions. Overall a good experience, but need to improve customer service skills of reception staff, whose body language and scowling faces suggested that customers were an intrusion to their conversations
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reliable Criterion
    Pedantique
    Dined on 29/8/2014
    Doesn't disappoint on its excellent location, good food and service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fab ambience and delicious food
    MisterAndMissusH
    Dined on 29/8/2014
    Arrived twenty minutes before our booked time which gave us time for a pre-dinner drink in the bar area, which is a delight. Service was great and we were shown to our table right on time. The set menu is excellent value, delicious and filling. The allocated two hours is more than enough for a leisurely three course dinner before a show. We went next door to see 39 Steps. That was great fun too. All in all a very pleasant experince for us. I got brownie points from the wife for booking.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Suzy
    Dined on 29/8/2014
    Excellent set price lunch. Delicious. Have been several times and has never disappointed.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Our visit
    Onlyme
    Dined on 27/8/2014
    Very nice decor inside the restaurant, just a few problems. We ordered our food with our waiter and when asked what we wanted to accompany our meal, it was all fried I.e. Chips, and sautéed potatoes. No boiled potatoes which we would have preffered. Our drinks arrived after about 20 minutes and the coke was flat and the glass of white wine wasn't cold. The coke however was replaced so was happy with that. When our starters came, no soup spoon had been laid out as they had forgotten to adjust the cutlery. Apart from that a nice meal and would maybe visit again
    Special Features:
    business meals, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely meal in opulent surroundings
    Greg
    Dined on 26/8/2014
    Went for dinner at the Criterion and it never fails to disappoint. More than anything the surroundings are amazing and you can feel the history as you walk in. The food was lovely and the service was very good. I will definitely be returning.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Haven on a rainy Sunday
    racymulletVIP
    Dined on 25/8/2014
    The Cirterion was a haven of calm on a miserably wet bank holiday Sunday lunchtime. We were delighted to find that we could book a table an hour before we wanted it and still get a special lunch menu. The food was relibly good and we were looked after by a charming waiter who made the seven year old girl with us feel like a princess. I couldnt ask for more. Thanks
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Elegant dining experience
    DonnasDish
    Dined on 23/8/2014
    The Criterion is a beautiful setting with great service for a fine dining experience. A real oasis in the chaos of Piccadilly. Good food and wonderful desserts. The appetizers let them down slightly. They are a bit "form over function" in that there is a great deal more time spent on presentation rather than taste. They are also very small and over-priced. The steaks continue to be the star of the show so you can't go wrong there. The attentive service and beautiful setting make for a lovely dining experience overall.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Perfect, as usual
    underaglasssky
    Dined on 23/8/2014
    We took my Mum here for her 60th Birthday, after we'd been to see a matinee in Poccaddilly. We've been many times before so trusted them to make it special for her, and they most certainly did. As usual, the food and service were impeccable, and in addition they made a lovely fuss of my Mum with Champagne and birthday wishes. As far as we're concerned, there's only one place to eat out in the west end, and this is it.
    Special Features:
    business meals, disabled access, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderfull food, bad service
    Russ67
    Dined on 23/8/2014
    Beautifull restaurant, dilicious food. We were heartely welcomed at the reception, showed to a nice table and presented the menue. Plates to wrong persons, sideorders not following the meals. Resulted in somebody having to buy the lacking sideorders. The waiters did not have a constant eye at us. Not possible to have individual bills, which resulted in lot of calculating work for the guests. In a restaurant of this quality and reputation this should never happen. Suggestion: better trained waiters and enough of them. Them we will come back.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Fabulous Room. Food\Service OK
    TheD
    Dined on 22/8/2014
    This must be the most beautiful restaurant in London. Sadly, though the food is good, it isn't very memorable and the room is probably worthier of something a little less predictable. I should say, however, that the raspberry and chocolate cake that we had was delicious, and overall, the meal was good value for money. The service did leave something to be desired; the waiters did that awful thing of taking our wine away, out of reach, and then not topping up our glasses as they should have, so we had to ask twice for this to happen; bottled water was served at room temperature and we were not offered ice; and there was an unnerving wait whilst somebody was trying to find my bag in the cloakroom.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place for dinner with friends
    HappyEater
    Dined on 22/8/2014
    A lovely experience with great food, resonably priced. Nice atmosphere and good service. Very conveniently located on Picadilly Circus.
    Special Features:
    business meals, disabled access, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Gorgeous interior
    Endee52
    Dined on 22/8/2014
    I love this place & took a young friend but we were placed next to the kitchen door next to a screen do didn't experience the great ambience if the place. Food service was good
    Special Features:
    business meals, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • marvellous
    romanticdining1
    Dined on 20/8/2014
    We had a wonderful evening. We chose the summer menu which was excellent value. We enjoyed three courses plus a pimms for £25.. The restaurant is beautiful and intimate. Perfect for romance. . We were very impressed by the excellent standard of service.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, fit for foodies, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hugely disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 20/8/2014
    We took the summer set lunch menu which looked delicious online. The starters arrived which were OK - I took the gravadlax and my wife took the ham hock terrine but the main courses were a rip off. The sirloin steak, which had a supplement of £5, came only with very old watercress and half a semi-warm tomato. The chips ordered separately were cold and old. My wife's salt marsh lamb was mashed up with parmazan and potato gnocchi which she wouldn't finish. We decided to leave before dessert as we couldn't risk any more disappointment. It was such a shame, the restaurant is beautiful and reviews are good, but this is not a place if you're going for food. We've had much better for the same price at many other London restaurants.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Lovely treat
    Mozzabella
    Dined on 18/8/2014
    The set menu was great value, delicious food and amazing venue for a treat out with the girls, had a fab time
    Special Features:
    romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sumptuous Quality!
    WorcesterMan
    Dined on 18/8/2014
    Pre Theatre dining (39 Steps next door..Excellent!!) to coincide with our Silver Wedding Anniversary. The outside tells you nothing about the step back in to pure opulence that awaits you upon entering.......This is dining at it's finest, and reasonably priced if you go for the fixed price menu, 3 courses excluding wine £29 (steak supplement £5 per person) or dine Al-a-carte...the choice is yours.... Excellent and very courteous service, superb food, beautifully appointed restaurant, a real delight, and one that will not disappoint! Enjoy!.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, fit for foodies, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Criterion
    GroveterraVIP
    Dined on 18/8/2014
    Yet another very good lunch at this lovely venue in the middle of Piccadilly Circus
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, disabled access, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gorgeous setting, below par service
    LMCGL
    Dined on 17/8/2014
    The tea, scones and pastries were delicious however the sandwiches in our afternoon tea had clearly been prepared much earlier in the day and refridgerated as they were very cold and a bit stale when they arrived. The service on the other hand was not good at all. Our waitress was sullen and any small request (e.g. extra milk or hot water for the tea) seemed to put her out. While the setting was excellent and the food was plentiful and very good the really poor service spoiled our visit.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • no more
    Lulu
    Dined on 16/8/2014
    My husband and I used to love eating at the Criterion but this time we were very disappointed. The service was awful ... I hsd my main course almost thrown at me ... the pasta dish was like it was made by someone who has never cooked ... very watery snd my husband steak was a bit tuff snd no steak knife was supplied -- will give the criterion a rest for now --- very expensive meal for poor quality food ---
    Special Features:
    romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great Food/Beautiful Surroundings
    WELLFEDJLH
    Dined on 16/8/2014
    We took the set menu (2 courses for £20, 3 for £25) which included a Pimms. The Pimms was oversweet but there was a good choice on the menu. The food was well prepared and presented and tasted very good, especially the lamb ragu for which there was a small additional cost. Wine was good but a little expensive for what it was. Service excellent. A very pleasant evening overall.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Criterion
    kevinoVIP
    Dined on 16/8/2014
    Good value pre-theatre menu including a glass of Pimm's. All of the food was fresh and tasty. The waitresses, although pleasant and well-meaning, were a bit scruffy and amateurish.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great meal and good value
    johnofthefarmVIP
    Dined on 15/8/2014
    Dinner at the Criterion was a great success. We ate from the good value fixed price summer menu. The food was tasty and the service was efficient. Given the fantastic location of the restaurant at Piccadilly Curcus, this is a very good place to escape from the bussle. The decor itself is worth the visit.
    Special Features:
    outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good value and good ambience,
    Msanders
    Dined on 15/8/2014
    We had the Opentable offer and it was very good. The service was excellent and the food was also great. The menu wasn't large but you wouldn't expect this with a set menu and we didn't get offered any other menu, which was a shame as you may have gone off another menu if it had been available.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Perfect
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 15/8/2014
    This restaurant can rest on its own laurels and needs no further recommendation.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, child friendly, fit for foodies, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • What a shame, nearly very good.
    WestEnderVIP
    Dined on 15/8/2014
    Reception efficient and welcoming, food excellent and well presented, waiting staff friendly and helpful but woefully inexperienced, no wine waiter, waitress unable to answer simple questions about the menu, a mistake with a side order was not corrected nor was an apology offered, no sign of any management, departure marked by a cheerful good-bye and thank you for coming.
    Special Features:
    disabled access, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolytely amazing!
    LoYe
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    It was a special lunch as a visiting family member came to London and we took him here. The food, the service was amazing! The lunch deal was especially good too as the plates weren't skimpy on food. Totally full up. Let down was the toilets. I expected the toilets to be less ordinary for such an beautiful place. However, it was very good, and would love to come back again when the place is a bit busier.
    Special Features:
    romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Wendm
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Great pre theatre dinner great offer through Open Table -thak you
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Leimzart
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    An outstanding interior and history! We chose the place for our last night in London and we weren't disappointed. The only drawbacks were that we had to wait for a long time for our bill, but it was a saturday evening and the place was full. The meals were delicious and I must stress the interiour and history once more.
    Special Features:
    romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food & decor
    FridayNightDinerVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We had booked for a Friday evening as a catch up for my girl friends. Inside is amazingly ornate and beautifully decorated. The menu looked delicious and it was difficult to make a choice but eventually settled on rib eye steak - they even swapped out our potato purée for chips which was accommodating of them. The only disappointment was that service was quite slow. We waited a long time for our bottle of wine to arrive, the waitress was slow to top up and there was quite a kerfuffle with the bill but was still an enjoyable evening overall.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lizzie
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I have been to this restaurant a couple of times before and have always found it good value for money. Although this time both me and my friend found our main courses over seasoned with salt which did ruin the meal slightly, but apart from that the service was quick and polite and would recommend the top table deal.
    Special Features:
    group bookings, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely Restaurant
    Nomes
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I've been to the Criterion a few times and will always return. On this occasion I was meeting up with friends and as usual we had excellent service and the food was fantastic. We went for the special offer of 2 courses for £20.00 which was extremely good value. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Criterion and I will most certainly be visiting again.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, child friendly, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tourist Trap
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The Criterion has a fancy old fashioned atmosphere. Service was very poor and restaurant was understaffed. We were first seated at restroom door and asked to move. Fixed price meal a lot like hotel banquet food. My salmon was almost raw and sent back twice. A Pimms drink was supposed to be included but they charged for it. Seemed like they were trying to trick tourists. Poor choice for dining. If you want to see the place just go for coffee or a drink. Don 't eat here!
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great food, very slow to be seated
    JessicaD
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Consistently good food, but felt service was a little poor given we arrived 3 minutes before our seating time only to have to wait 25 minutes to be seated while we watched 5 couples arrive after us and be seated before us. I couldn't help wondering if this was because they were having a meal from the a la carte menu rather than the summer menu. Once we were eventually seated the meal and service were very good.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Tasty
    Crizzy1
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    6 of us dined on the pre theatre opentable offer. The setting is grand and the food was excellent. The service was slow - we had to ask for butter about four times before it actually came, but waiting staff were polite.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • excelent
    simoes
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    I don´t speak english well. My experience in the afternoom Tea at Criterion was memorable. I and my wyfe love it. A English experience unforgetable.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Very good wedding anniversary
    Alessandro
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    We've been in this restaurant for our weeding anniversary. We booked on line via TopTable. They offered us a bottle of wine, very good actually. 2 cocktails waiting for the table (we were early), Carpaccio and Buffalo Mozzarella, Seafood Linguine, amazing fillet, Dessert Sampler (they also made a board with wishes for our anniversary), white wine and water. Everything was simply amazing. Nice live music with a very good singer. Reasonable price for the venue. Just one suggestion: during the singer pause, play some music. With no music at all is a little bit sad.
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • fabulous/ amazing / great service/
    Hilly
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    Great and exiting restuarant. Criterion has always been a favourite restuarant of mine, as it constantly delivers excellent service. From the moment we walked in, the staff was keen to please. A massive focus on good service is part of my remit, therefore l always look for this when I dine out at restuarants. Well done !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great value
    Alicejenks
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    We dined from the £20 for two courses menu for dinner and most of us chose the gravlax and lamb ragout good options for a very inexpensive menu! Superb building I did not know existed and I would definitely return. Negatives lemonade in our pimms ( inc in the £20 deal) was flat and wind was a bit overpriced for quality but overall v good and even bought a birthday plate for our friend
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, fit for foodies, group bookings, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.