London, W1J 9HPNeighbourhood:
Modern EuropeanPrice: £26 to £40
- 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
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.Continued
This breathtakingly beautiful restaurant, originally opened in 1874, has recently been re-furbished and now offers a fine Modern European menu.
This breathtakingly beautiful restaurant, originally opened in 1874, has recently been re-furbished and now offers a fine Modern European menu.
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerModern European
The Criterion - Best restaurants in Piccadilly ›
The Criterion reviews from OpenTable diners
1018 reviews since 23 May 2014
pre/post theatre (626)special occasions (560)romance (388)business meals (298)fit for foodies (279)afternoon tea (227)outstanding value (183)group bookings (168)sunday lunch (113)brunch (85)disabled access (55)good vegetarian options (50)child friendly (28)outdoor eating (3)Show More
- More thought requiredAcromionDined on 17/9/2014We 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.
- BobbyDined on 17/9/2014Best not to sit on the terrace unless the restaurant is busy , we were there virtually on our own -----no atmosphere!!!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pre-theatre at the CriterionSusiebooVIPDined on 16/9/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great resturant near Theatre LandAnthonyDined on 15/9/2014A 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A special occasionsmp1704Dined on 15/9/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- MhcateringDined on 15/9/2014Our 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
- Stunning room food doesn't match :(Foyboy69Dined on 13/9/2014A 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- EXCELLENTOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 13/9/2014Food 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 recomendSpecial Features:
- Service is SlippingaspleyguysDined on 12/9/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lunch time mealAmisDined on 12/9/2014Very 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:
- servicebaiyDined on 11/9/2014food 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:
- Let down by poor serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 11/9/2014The 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.
- Bad startTaurusDined on 11/9/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Splendid mealmarketingeaterDined on 11/9/2014I 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:
- pre theatreDavidDined on 10/9/2014Excellent 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:
- The CriterionHappyeater1Dined on 9/9/2014Good food in an elegant setting bang in the heart of London - what more do you want?
- Disappointed!HappyDined on 9/9/2014It was disappointing compared to what it used to be on our previous visits and our guests were disappointed too.
- Excellent foodfoodies123Dined on 8/9/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely venueWelshgourmetVIPDined on 8/9/2014Beautiful 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely Food As AlwaysGourmetZoeDined on 8/9/2014I went her with my mother for lunch one Monday and was impressed as ever by the food. Service was not quite as efficient as it normally is, but we all have our off days.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- happyrVIPDined on 5/9/2014the food wasn't quite as good as usual, but the ambience was still lovely
- good open table deal ...KettsVIPDined on 5/9/2014Worth a visit on open table deal. Service not great but as long as you don't expect any more that's fine.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Criterion restaurantLardbuttyVIPDined on 5/9/2014You have to see the Criterion restaurant for its opulent gold and marble interior. It's stunning and feels like stepping into a bygone age. And that was the highlight of our experience here: we ate from the set menu which was pleasant enough but the service was poor (one waiter didn't seem to understand English at all which was problematic, while another was so super stressed and panicky he reminded us of Basil Fawlty).Special Features:
- Still great!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/9/2014I've been going to the criterion on and off for about 30 years. It's such a wonderful space in the heart of London. Piccadilly is a bit of a tack tourist place now, but this space tales you into a difference world of elegance. The food was very good and service excellent. Highly recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SlowLondonliciousDined on 3/9/2014It took an age to be seated despite the reservation and the staff weren't very attentive and just generally needed 'winding up'. We were shoved on a small table, which was actually a bigger banquette divided by a screen so when the diners on the adjacent table moved so did I (and the screen wobbled also) We were also located right by the kitchen door - there was almost a collision as I was exiting the restaurant. The saving grace was the food - the steak delicious. Not a place to go pre or post theatre - sloppy service (and there were many empty tables)
- Great value fixed price menukatelondonVIPDined on 3/9/2014A little undiscovered haven on Piccadilly circus - great value set menu with good choices. A favourite of mine...Special Features:
- Beautiful setting and lovely mealRubyDined on 2/9/2014Cannot believe that a restaurant like this is right next to Piccadilly Circus. It's got a beautiful interior, a lovely ambience and a fantastic set menu of three courses for £25.Special Features:
- AlexHVIPDined on 2/9/2014The Criterion is a icon. The surroundings are lovely and make for a very pleasant evening. We had the pre-theatre meal which was supposed to include a free Pimms...butas experienced by othe reviewers, we were charged £10 for the Pimms when the bill arrived (although it was swiftly removed with an apology!). Great food and good value.Special Features:
- Diner21VIPDined on 2/9/2014The ambience of the Criterion is outstanding as is the food. Apart from the surly waitress who raised her eyes to heaven when I asked her to hold the main courses for 5 minutes, it was excellent.Special Features:
- A classicPinsVIPDined on 31/8/2014Beautiful restaurant in the heart of London, full of history - should go at least once, not what you would expect from the high footfall locationSpecial Features:
- PollyDined on 30/8/2014Pre 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 conversationsSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Beautiful Criterion!NlovelockVIPDined on 30/8/2014Having never been to the Criterion before I bought a Living Social deal for afternoon tea. I was so immpressed when we got to the restaurant, the decor was beautiful and the restaurant even nicer than I thought it would be. The staff were very helpful and the tea was lovely, although I was dissappointed that they didnt do any free refills at all. Still we left very full and satisfied. My only comment would be that it is very expensive for what it is. From the menu normal afternoon tea was £20, and champagne afternoon tea £30 so quite exensive for what it is and how much you get, but I guess thats afternoon tea in London. Would still recommend and go again!Special Features:
- Reliable CriterionPedantiqueDined on 29/8/2014Doesn't disappoint on its excellent location, good food and service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fab ambience and delicious foodMisterAndMissusHDined on 29/8/2014Arrived 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:
- SuzyDined on 29/8/2014Excellent set price lunch. Delicious. Have been several times and has never disappointed.Special Features:
- The Criterion never disappoints.michelintar4t4Dined on 29/8/2014The Criterion can always be relied on to provide a delicious meal in splendid surroundings with excellent service. We usually have the set menu and this in our opinion delivers value for money.Special Features:
- Our visitOnlymeDined on 27/8/2014Very 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 againSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely meal in opulent surroundingsGregDined on 26/8/2014Went 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.
- Haven on a rainy SundayracymulletVIPDined on 25/8/2014The 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. ThanksSpecial Features:
- Elegant dining experienceDonnasDishDined on 23/8/2014The 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: