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The Criterion
The Criterion

The Criterion Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.criterionrestaurant.com
  • Phone: 0207 9300488
  • 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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerModern European
Diner Reviews
  • "The set menu was great value, delicious food and amazing venue for a treat out with the girls, had a fab time"
    dined on 18/08/2014
  • "Yet another very good lunch at this lovely venue in the middle of Piccadilly Circus"
    dined on 18/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 17/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 16/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 16/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 15/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 15/08/2014
  • "This restaurant can rest on its own laurels and needs no further recommendation."
    dined on 15/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 15/08/2014
  • "Great pre theatre dinner great offer through Open Table -thak you"
    dined on 09/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 09/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 08/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 08/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 08/08/2014
  • "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!"
    dined on 08/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 07/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 07/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 06/08/2014
  • "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"
    dined on 06/08/2014
  • "Great food and wonderful music. Outstanding value."
    dined on 06/08/2014
  • "Simple classic cooked mains. Fantastic dessert with one too many ingredients. Amazing venue Adds that extra bit of theatre. But definite class system as we were sat right at back of restaurant and service did not engage at all. Amazing value for what we had though."
    dined on 06/08/2014
  • "Lunch at the Criterion was superb and a wonderful experience. The food, service and staff were all of a very high quality and all of this in what must be one of the most beautiful places to eat out anywhere in London which is itself in the very heart of Londons' West End and theatre land. We shall be most definitely be going there again."
    dined on 06/08/2014
  • "Wonderful restaurant at the heart of central London. Good food with great waiting staff. A little pricey if dining a la carte but good value on the toptable deal."
    dined on 05/08/2014
  • "We arrived at 1:30 for our table and was greeted with smiles all around and escorted to the table. The restaurant was quiet and almost empty and we were sat directly next to another quite 'loud' table. We did move due to the noise coming from the table next to us. We stuck to the lunch menu which was full of great choices and looked good on paper. To be honest I was not overly impressed with the mains the Salmon was bland and Gammon Steak was over cooked but didn't want to make a fuss. For dessert we had the Chocolate and Raspberry cake and Bakewell Tart which was very tasty. All in all the overall experience was good."
    dined on 05/08/2014
  • "Beautiful Decor, Great Food and Service. The only criticism I have is that the pork lion is a hint overcooked, very fatty so the meat is a little tough. But the rest of the starter and main course are beautifully presented and cooked. The portion are reasonably good. (I am a big eater myself) So I will definitely come back again"
    dined on 04/08/2014
  • "A lovely pre theatre trip here with my parents 2 weeks ago. Amazingly attentive service from friendly yet discreet staff. Food was from the set menu and was of excellent quality. A beautiful room with a lovely relaxed ambience."
    dined on 04/08/2014
  • "4 of us visited the Criterion on a Saturday night in August. There was a short wait for the table but were given a seat and drinks were served, within 5 minutes we had our table. The waitress was good, she had good knowledge of the dishes and looked after us very well during the meal. The food was delicious. The atmosphere was great, the building is amazing. I will defiantly be going back."
    dined on 02/08/2014
  • "An enjoyable experiences from the moment you arrive until you leave, would highly recommend for any occasion 100%."
    dined on 02/08/2014
  • "We went to the Criterion for pre-theatre dinner and went for the set menu, 2 for £20. The food was great! And at that price, extremely affordable for the quality of the food. Only thing that let it down was the prices of the wine - we went for a bottle of the house which was more expensive than our food at £22 (although have to say it was a great bottle of wine)."
    dined on 02/08/2014
  • "I chose the Criterion for the literary connection and the central London location and it surpassed my expectations with the beautiful interior, great service and good food. I particularly liked the selection of teas for our afternoon tea and the fabulous scones. Highly recommended!"
    dined on 02/08/2014
  • "Good food from set lunch menu. Salmon in particular was fantastic. Great ambience. Fantastic service. We were made to feel very special. Beautiful room. On a special occasion. Five guests. Loved it."
    dined on 02/08/2014
  • "Still a beautiful dining room, the summer 2 or 3 course meal offer with a glass of Pimms is outstanding value."
    dined on 31/07/2014
  • "Two courses plus a pimms forr£20 in a breathtaking and convenient location. Very nice food tho the choice wasn't huge. We had the table for as long as we wanted & super friendly staff. Great for an evening out where two friends just wanted to chat & eat nice food. Would go again!"
    dined on 31/07/2014
  • "This is my third visit, once for lunch and twice for evening meals. Food superb as always and service outstanding. We will be back for sure - great surroundings too."
    dined on 31/07/2014
  • "I took a friend and her teenage daughter to the Criterion - their first visit, my second, and they loved the whole experience. Service was first class, as was the food, and the restaurant itself is stunning. Although busy, we had plenty of space and could talk and be heard with no difficulty. We chose Gazpacho, salmon and ham hock starters, followed by the salmon, which was cooked to perfection. The complimentary Pimms and Lemonade was an added bonus. We didn't order side dishes so that we could have dessert, but the salmon was so filling that we couldn't manage it - maybe next time. At two courses for £20 (three for £25) in an exquisite building in Piccadilly, this is a offer not to be missed!"
    dined on 31/07/2014
  • "We had a very good meal in a classy environment and great atmosphere"
    dined on 30/07/2014
  • "Having never-before heard of this establishment I was drawn to it by the images and menu advertised on the official website. However I was bracing myself for a slight disappointment, because in the past few to no restaurants had corresponded to the pictures posted online. Upon our arrival at the reception area I was absolutely speechless, everything looked like it was pulled out of a time machine, staff were extremely polite and professional, the food and choice of drinks were exquisite. This restaurant is a pocket of elegance that is desperately needed in today's society!!!!"
    dined on 30/07/2014
  • "I took my daughters here because the suffragettes used to meet here (and because it's stunning!) It's always lovely and the food is great, but the set menu is absolutely superb value."
    dined on 29/07/2014
  • "Perfect location and good sset menu at a very reasonable price. Service was mixed - very attentive early but had to wait 35 minutes to flag down a member of staff after dessert/to request the bill. However, food was very nice and the setting is lovely."
    dined on 28/07/2014
  • "The Criterion provides a marvellous setting with excellent food and service I can highly recommend this restaurant. We had the three course lunch offerwith Pimms, lovely menu selection and especially nice was their attention to detail for the dairy free lunch."
    dined on 28/07/2014