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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.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerModern European
Diner Reviews
  • "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"
    dined on 31/08/2014
  • "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"
    dined on 30/08/2014
  • "Doesn't disappoint on its excellent location, good food and service."
    dined on 29/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 29/08/2014
  • "Excellent set price lunch. Delicious. Have been several times and has never disappointed."
    dined on 29/08/2014
  • "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"
    dined on 27/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 26/08/2014
  • "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"
    dined on 25/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 23/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 23/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 23/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 22/08/2014
  • "A lovely experience with great food, resonably priced. Nice atmosphere and good service. Very conveniently located on Picadilly Circus."
    dined on 22/08/2014
  • "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"
    dined on 22/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 20/08/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 20/08/2014
  • "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
  • "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!."
    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
  • "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 ---"
    dined on 16/08/2014
  • "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
  • "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."
    dined on 10/08/2014
  • "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
  • "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."
    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
  • "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 !"
    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