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
1022 reviews since 3 June 2014
Average Rating4
  • Food4
    Service3.8
  • Ambience4.3
    Value3.9
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
pre/post theatre (627)special occasions (566)romance (390)business meals (292)fit for foodies (278)afternoon tea (225)outstanding value (183)group bookings (171)sunday lunch (111)brunch (83)disabled access (54)good vegetarian options (47)child friendly (29)outdoor eating (3)Show More
  • Service
    Katielin
    Dined on 29/9/2014
    The restaurant was almost empty, it took 35 mins to get 2 drinks. When our guests arrived they waited 20 minutes for their drink. We asked 3 times to be seated. The table was booked for 19.00 and we were served our main meal at 21.55. considering we had, had a phone call confirming our booking and stressing the dining policy of 2 hours table occupancy. Dining on a Monday night, beware a limited selection of wine if they have been busy over a weekend, re-stocked Tuesday. Had a cheeky to add 12% service charge, which was removed.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Again Splendid Food
    GourmetZoe
    Dined on 27/9/2014
    Visited one Saturday evening with my other half- we both had the beautiful salmon dish, I had the blueberry Bakewell (two dishes I had both enjoyed before) and he had the white chocolate mousse- which he thoroughly enjoyed. Service was good, bread is ok- but the homemade butter is excellent.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • 1st time at The Criterion
    Love2eat
    Dined on 26/9/2014
    One of the most famous & oldest restaurants in London! The special offer 2 courses & glass of pimms was excellent value. Had soup of the day for starter which was so tasty and sounded a bit unusual- carrot & cinnamon, delicious combination, cinnamon added a bit of spice reminded me of Christmas. Main course I had the lamb, which had an extra charge of £4, but worth it. Was cooked perfectly and the green beans were lovely and crunchy, mash potato just the right portion. Lovely atmosphere & beautiful interior. We were sat on a table for 2 with a screen that separates the next table, when 2 men sat the other side of the screen, didn't feel so private anymore and as the man on my side of sofa was large, every time he moved my seat moved too!
    Special Features:
    group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Good but not amazing
    Hdjanhshsjs
    Dined on 26/9/2014
    A group of four had the set menu which was good value and the food was lovely but the portions were quite small. The atmosphere was wonderful and the interior beautiful. Unfortunately, the glass I had my dessert in shattered as I was eating it and whilst I got a replacement dessert I expected not to have been charged for this. The staff seemed quite busy throughout the meal and it was a struggle to get attention and order extra butter and the bill.
    Special Features:
    group bookings, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Babs
    Dined on 26/9/2014
    We had a resie but we got the worst table in the house, where everyone walked by, right by the bar. We would have been better off by the piano since we were pre-theatre.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Swish surroundings and great food
    nameranonVIP
    Dined on 25/9/2014
    Delicious food and good at catering for a Coeliac Disease sufferer.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Noce place to enjoy with friends
    kkzz
    Dined on 25/9/2014
    Went with 3 friends, all enjoyed the evening. Good value for the £20 2 course offer. Definitely will go back again.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, group bookings
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • average food and service overpriced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 25/9/2014
    Trading on it's history this restaurant offers average service and food at top West End prices. Walk in, take a look at the stunning interior and walk out again to eat elsewhere
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • A Fabulous leaving lunxh
    SusieQ
    Dined on 24/9/2014
    We chose the Criterion for our team colleagues' leaving lunch. We wanted somewhere that offered good food, catered for vegans and was value for money. And we found it! Service was attentive but not overbearing. Surroundings were beautiful and food excellent. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A lovely time
    GandT
    Dined on 23/9/2014
    The whole experience was just what we hoped for. The food and service were especially good.
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, bit of a wait
    diamondgirl
    Dined on 22/9/2014
    We had booked for 530 and arrived on time but weren't seated until 6pm. Fortunately we were served and finished still in time for the show we had also booked. Excellent food though and beautiful decor.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • opulent night out
    travellingtheworld
    Dined on 20/9/2014
    Very nice restaurant with a great ambience. Would recommend.
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply the best
    Sirens741
    Dined on 20/9/2014
    I have dinned in quite a few restaurants but this will always stand out the setting, the ambiance & the food were most excellent it was exspensive for my pocket but worth every penny.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Truly Scrumptious
    dining
    Dined on 20/9/2014
    Good food, fabulous setting, excellent service. What more do you need
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, outstanding value, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Criterion is a great setting
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 19/9/2014
    for a wonderful meal. Let down by the service and inflexibility around food. May have been down to just one member of staff, however would probably not go back to find out.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • DLM1234
    Dined on 19/9/2014
    Beautiful restaurant. Staff attentive and polite. Food was excellent and they surprised me with a birthday treat after dinner.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Nice ambience service deteriorating
    ETFBPang
    Dined on 19/9/2014
    The decor makes the atmosphere wonderful especially for tourists. A couple times I have been the service has been mediocre. This time the server was abrupt to the point of rude, had to be asked to top up our wine (and was a bit resentful) and in général made the meal a bit unpleasant. Too bad for Criterion.
    Special Features:
    business meals, group bookings, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Afternoon tea
    Pyereviews
    Dined on 19/9/2014
    Booked the Criterion after googling several places for a pre-theatre afternoon tea for my Aunts birthday. The criterion came up and seemed good value compared to others plus the location was best for our chosen theatre. The decor is outstanding and really impressive as you walk in and just takes you back in time. We were seated straight away & offered a drink whilst we took time to choose our teas, which there were many of, presented in a wooden tea chest. My guests stuck with what they know but I tried Russian Caravan which was nice & maybe a milder version of English breakfast. The sandwiches were delicious with several fillings, lovely to have both savory & sweet scones, a beautiful, light panacotta & several cakes & tarts. Outstanding
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, child friendly, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful art-deco restaurant.
    sondurz
    Dined on 18/9/2014
    We had lunch there this week. Our fourth or fifth visit. Great value @ £20 for two courses, nice unpretentious food. Convenient to central London. Probably the finest decor of any London restaurant.
    Special Features:
    outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • More thought required
    Acromion
    Dined on 17/9/2014
    We had booked for a pre theatre dinner for 2. The first table we were shown to was literally inaccessible - it was so tightly crammed in that the diner at the table in front blocked any possibility of sitting down. The waitress paused helplessly and then changed tack to sit us at a different table just outside the kitchen door. This was an irritating start so we were ready for a drink. Both the special deal wines were apparently no longer available - they should have been removed from the list - and the bottle we ordered didn't come. Eventually the food arrived and only then - after chasing - did the wine come. The food was excellent and I recognise these are first world problems but really you expect more from a venerable institution.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Bobby
    Dined on 17/9/2014
    Best not to sit on the terrace unless the restaurant is busy , we were there virtually on our own -----no atmosphere!!!!!
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre-theatre at the Criterion
    SusiebooVIP
    Dined on 16/9/2014
    I have been to the Criterion several times before and it never disappoints. The decor is stunning, the food very good and the atmosphere very lively. Perfect for pre-theatre.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, brunch, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great resturant near Theatre Land
    Anthony
    Dined on 15/9/2014
    A great resturant which is good value, near theatre land and with very attentive service. It can get busy at times and you need to book to be sure of getting in. Never had anything but a great meal there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A special occasion
    smp1704
    Dined on 15/9/2014
    This is my second visit to the restaurant. We arrived early with the intention of sitting in the bar area and chatting over a few drinks but were interrupted on 3 occasions by staff who wanted to seat us - we gave in at 1850. The food was lovely; beautifully presented and very tasty. The service was attentive but discreet. If the front of house staff could accept that not everyone wishes to go direct to their table, this would be a perfect venue.
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mhcatering
    Dined on 15/9/2014
    Our table was in front of Disabled toilet which was locked no one could use it. I am disabled and pregnant so was not impressed and runners could not talk English or explain the dish. The food was good
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Stunning room food doesn't match :(
    Foyboy69
    Dined on 13/9/2014
    A wonderful place to dine, one of the finest dining rooms in London, sadly the food wasn't as great as the surroundings, tasted bland, meat was over cooked and they brought our food to another table!
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EXCELLENT
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 13/9/2014
    Food and venue was as always excellent . Third time been . Mothers 80th birthday ( There was only one venue she wanted to go ) service very personable . Highly recomend
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Service is Slipping
    aspleyguys
    Dined on 12/9/2014
    This was the first time I have been disappointed with The Criterion. If I have a 5:30 booking and arrive a little early I understand that I will not be seated at my table immediately, but if there is a gaggle of staff standing around chatting I would expect them to stop that and welcome me promptly. We were seated temporarily in the waiting / bar area, and would have ordered a drink had we been asked, so that was a sale lost. I hope that this special place is not becoming complacent because until now I would have recommended it without hesitation.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch time meal
    Amis
    Dined on 12/9/2014
    Very expensive. Wanted steak which we were happy to pay the extra £5 supplement but then realised steak was the only main course that didn't come with any potatoes or vegetables, so we had to pay a further £4 supplement for each side order.think that is a bit of a rip off.
    Special Features:
    business meals, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • service
    baiy
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    food good, service poor....reserved via open table, checked in, dined and told the next day we were a no show. pathetic waitress was late sithnour drinks and never nade note of our visit....other waiters there were excellent.
    Special Features:
    romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Daughter's birthday
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Went here for Jade's birthday last year and this year. According to my wife,Amy last year was much better.Maybe it was very busy on Thursday during the week
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great Restaurant but not service
    birthdayboy
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    The front desk/reception desk service was awful and embarrassing for me as I had booked for a group. Then teh table service was not great, it was not at all coordinated, which is a shame as it is such a beautiful place to dine!
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Let down by poor service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    The service at this restaurant is a total disaster. Most of the staff cannot understand the English language to a level that enables them to know what is on the menu. I've never before witnessed such disorganised, chaotic and disappointing table service. And the desserts are poor value.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Bad start
    Taurus
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    We were shown right to the back of the restaurant where all the people on deals were packed together. We thought this was odd as it was 6pm and the restaurant was virtually empty. We asked for another table and the message was relayed to various people and the manager came and took us to a much better table in the middle of the restaurant. We had hoped to be able to fit in three courses, but with the table move and the service becoming slow after our main course, we had to forego the pudding and coffee. That having been said, the food was very nice and the staff, when available, were helpful. This was our second visit and would definitely go back again, but think on our first visit the service was more efficient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Splendid meal
    marketingeater
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    I took a client here for lunch and we had a great time. We were very pleasantly surprised when we walked in; it looked fantastic and very classy! We did a deal which included 2 courses and a glass of pimms for £20pp which we felt was amazing value. The food was cooked to perfection, the staff were very friendly and the decor was beautiful. I will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • pre theatre
    David
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Excellent menu of the day offering very good value. Service a little patchy, but location is first class for theatreland and the ambience is wonderful.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • The Criterion
    Happyeater1
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Good food in an elegant setting bang in the heart of London - what more do you want?
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Disappointed!
    Happy
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    It was disappointing compared to what it used to be on our previous visits and our guests were disappointed too.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Excellent food
    foodies123
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The restaurant was beautiful and the food is delicious. My friend and I just ordered the special dinner and it was delicious and good value. However it seems they reservation system does not always have the up-to-date details. My friend was sitting at the table while I was told to wait in the bar area. A bit of miscommunication among their staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely venue
    WelshgourmetVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Beautiful venue always a pleasure just to sit and take in the wonderful ambience like stepping back in time to a much grander period in history, I went alone and felt very relaxed so much nicer to have a lovely lunch while out shopping than the many fast food places in the West End, the set menu was fine will go again soon.
    Special Features:
    business meals, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.