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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerModern European
The Criterion reviews from OpenTable diners
1019 reviews since 26 May 2014
Average Rating4
  • Food4
    Service3.9
  • Ambience4.3
    Value3.9
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
pre/post theatre (628)special occasions (562)romance (390)business meals (294)fit for foodies (280)afternoon tea (225)outstanding value (183)group bookings (166)sunday lunch (113)brunch (85)disabled access (55)good vegetarian options (47)child friendly (28)outdoor eating (3)Show More
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Lovely Food As Always
    GourmetZoe
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • happyrVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    the food wasn't quite as good as usual, but the ambience was still lovely
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • good open table deal ...
    KettsVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Worth a visit on open table deal. Service not great but as long as you don't expect any more that's fine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Criterion restaurant
    LardbuttyVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    You 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:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Still great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    I'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:
    afternoon tea, business meals, fit for foodies, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slow
    Londonlicious
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    It 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)
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great value fixed price menu
    katelondonVIP
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    A little undiscovered haven on Piccadilly circus - great value set menu with good choices. A favourite of mine...
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Beautiful setting and lovely meal
    Ruby
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    Cannot 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:
    business meals, outstanding value, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • AlexHVIP
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    The 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:
    business meals, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Diner21VIP
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    The 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:
    business meals, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • 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.
  • Beautiful Criterion!
    NlovelockVIP
    Dined on 30/8/2014
    Having 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:
    afternoon tea, business meals, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • 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