The Criterion
The Criterion

The Criterion

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.criterionrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 020 7930 0488
  • 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: Artan Hasa
  • 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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The Criterion reviews from OpenTable diners
1041 reviews since 26 November 2013
Average Rating4
  • Food4
    Service3.8
  • Ambience4.3
    Value3.8
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
pre/post theatre (646)special occasions (581)romance (402)business meals (287)fit for foodies (276)afternoon tea (233)outstanding value (174)group bookings (170)sunday lunch (122)brunch (83)disabled access (55)good vegetarian options (42)child friendly (26)outdoor eating (4)Show More
  • An unexpected restaurant !
    Olly
    Dined on 24/11/2014
    In a place like Piccadilly Circus, you would not expect a restaurant in which, as soon as you pass the door, you find a quiet, comfortable, exquisite and refined ambiance. No noise from the crowds outside, just a restaurant with a fantastic decoration, a very efficient and nice staff, and very good food. If you want to surprise your guests and show them one one of the most elegant restaurants in London... Just invite them to the Criterion. The place is not cheap but there is fixed-price menu that delivers well at a reasonable price.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Trading off past glories and location
    AlwaysHungry
    Dined on 22/11/2014
    Starting with the positives, it's obviously a great location and the ceiling is beautiful. However, pretty much all downhill from there. Bar is cramped, and despite the menu grandly proclaiming they could make any classic cocktail, my request for a White Lady was met with blank looks. When we got to our (tiny) table for two, we were given the "Harvest Menu". Three fairly uninspiring choices, none of which we fancied. I had to ask if there was another menu available -- why they don't automatically give you the a la carte, I have no idea. Starters didn't appeal, so we both opted for just a main course. Duck came presented on a ridiculous wooden board, so big that the waitress struggled to place it in front of me. Nicely cooked meat, good sprouts, discovered I don't particularly like quince. Desserts also didn't appeal, so we just got the bill. Two drinks and a main course each and a side came to £100. Not unusual by London standards, but so many places where I could spend the same and have a much better time.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Laura
    Dined on 21/11/2014
    Delicious food, spacious restaurant, great service, feels very decadent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Criterion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 20/11/2014
    Service was friendly but hopeless - food was acceptable but no better.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Critetion early dinner 20/11/14
    DrJClintonVIP
    Dined on 20/11/2014
    The decor is opulent, staff attentive, set menu has excellent choices and great value.
    Special Features:
    brunch, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday lunch
    Borders
    Dined on 20/11/2014
    My wife and I ate at the Criterion on 20th November 2014. We chose the three course set meal which was very good. Gravlax as a starter followed by venison ragout with gnocchi as a main course, with a desert of spiced pear crumble and ice cream. A thoroughly good meal in a grand restaurant with a convivial atmosphere. Service was good but not intrusive. A nice touch was the birthday wishes on a decorated plate with small cakes and a candle, that was quite unexpected. We wil definitely return in the future.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Luxury in Piccadilly
    lbdiners
    Dined on 19/11/2014
    Having long wanted to dine here, I finally made it with my niece, choosing the £20 set menu. The room certainly met expectations but we were right at the back, tables very close together, so noisy and one person forced to face the wall, unable to appreciate the fantastic décor and live music - thankfully we were able to sit side by side after the room emptied a bit. Tables along the side and centre were better but still too close. Service was a bit patchy but friendly enough. We both had the mussels starter (excellent) and the venison ragout with gnocchi and veg (£2 supplement), which, though delicious, came all mixed together in very strangely shaped bowls most awkward to use. No dessert, but tea and coffee. The bill including 3 glasses of wine was quite reasonable for the location - hope to return in a larger group next time to enjoy the experience more fully.
    Special Features:
    business meals, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good value!
    Maggie
    Dined on 19/11/2014
    We took advantage of the Criterion's offer of two courses for £20 and thought it very good value. The service was very attentive and friendly.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dependable
    clarenceVIP
    Dined on 18/11/2014
    lovely food in unique surroundings. service very good / all was well
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Could be better
    Anon
    Dined on 17/11/2014
    A good restaurant, with beautiful mosaics, but I was expecting more. Attention to detail needed e.g. changing the blown ceiling lightbulbs. Wait service very attentive at the beginning, however, no service at the end of the meal meaning we had to ask for our dessert plates to be cleared. Also, in most top restaurants they note down who is having which dish, but not at the Criterion where they just pop a dish in front of you - even if it belongs to your fellow guest. All in all it didn't quite live up to expectations which is a shame. Must say though - the cocktails are excellent.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Superb service!
    Smokey
    Dined on 17/11/2014
    The atmosphere was exceptional. food simply delicious, staff exceptionally warm and attentive. I huggy recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 15/11/2014
    Only 1 veg option in the a la carte and set menus, even though we had given a pre-warning of vegetarians in the party! Waiters need to be more knowledgable on the alcohol they are serving. They also need to be a bit more careful when serving...our sugar cubes were toppled on the table, dessert served to wrong people, and almost landed on our laps! Overall, quite a bit disappointed!
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Birthday celebration
    LOMM
    Dined on 14/11/2014
    Six of us had dinner at the Criterion taking advantage of the Open Table offer. Being a Friday night it was full and qiuite noisy but the service was still good in spite of it being busy. We were seated at a round table in the middle of the room which was nice. I was impressed with the choices on the set menu and everyone agreed that the food was very good. There was a pianist playing in the bar area which added to the ambience. Although we had been warned that there was a 2 hour turn round time when they phoned to confirm our booking the day before (there wasn't anything on the Open Table site about that), we weren't rushed at all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Frank
    Dined on 14/11/2014
    The food was excellent, the service very friendly and the setting gorgeous. The only slight hitch was that when it got extremely busy in the restaurant, two desserts were brought to the table & one was forgotten. The staff were extremely apologetic and offered us all a glass of champagne.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good lunch venue
    WashboardWilly
    Dined on 14/11/2014
    Splendid surroundings for Lunch with the set menu being very reasonable and the food delightful. The waiting staff accents can sometimes be a little difficult to understand, but the service was excellent. The cappuccinos are served lukewarm so I would ask for hot milk. Overall a lovely experience.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Grand room, ideal for a bit of wow
    Lookin4value
    Dined on 14/11/2014
    We have eaten at the Cr.Br. several times this year. Each time has been at lunch to get the lunch menu. The choice appears more restricted with each successive visit. For the location, ambience and general quality of the food it is good value (2 courses £20, 3 £25). But we would have preferred more choice rather than the champagne cocktail. If you are careful in your selection the wine list is not too outrageous.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, brunch, business meals, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food on set menu deal
    misssm12VIP
    Dined on 13/11/2014
    Never thought there would be a restaurant here and was pleasantly surprised how nice the decor was. It was rather hot indoors but other than that it was a pleasant experience and my friends love it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Pre theatre dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 13/11/2014
    This place really is a welcome port to shelter in from the storm of humanity outside! As soon you go in you feel you're going to be able to relax and enjoy your meal.Three of us had the £20 two course special which was excellent value. The lamb (£3 supp) was particularly good. Bottle of house red was fine, all for £95 including service. It was served with a smile and in 75 minutes which is what we asked for as we were going to a 7.30 show.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good pre theatre meal
    Anna
    Dined on 13/11/2014
    Overall a very good experience. Tables are very close together if you're a two person booking, a bit uncomfortably close really. Very good quality of food, nice fresh bread basket and petit fours after the meal. Service was patchy but overall good. We managed 3 courses in an hour and 15 mins because it all came so quickly, which was good as well we're off to the theatre. Overall I'd definitely go back. A nice meal in a horrible touristy part of town that I normally avoid.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gold ceilings, live music created a warm ambience
    Quainty
    Dined on 12/11/2014
    Enjoyed the pianist/singer and double bass. The ambience in the Criterion was one of warmth and comfort. The staff very friendly. We initially were going to go for the set menu and were distracted by the a la carte which sounded scrumptious. The food was good however the price too high. Would recommend the sharing platter for deserts.
    Special Features:
    romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • train21
    Dined on 12/11/2014
    Beautiful surroundings and great food. A wonderful central London venue wih history. Waitress didn't speak good English, though, and wasn't very cheerful, but otherwise a lovely experience.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, disabled access, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Wonderful place, great value
    Finefoodlover
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    This is the second time recently I've dined on the £20 offer for 2 courses & cocktail. I was delighted the first, as I was this time. The restaurant itself is beautiful, adorned with gold mosiac tiles, art deco works & interesting features giving a warm, elegant vibe. Tables are nicely spaced, many tables of two having a partitian, providing intimacy & privacy. The set menu had several delicious options, The Ham Hock, Chicken & Black Pudding Terrine was very tasty, as was my main of Pan Fried ‘Loch Duart’ Salmon, Sauteed Vegetable, Fennel Puree, Chives Beurre Blanc. Staff were pleasant & responsive. I love this charming place & will definitely be returning.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Third time here and the first time disappointed. The staff didn't seem to understand simple instructions. On early arrival my daughter and I decided to have a pre-dinner drink. We then decided to take our table. It took three members of staff to understand this simple request. We had to carry our own cocktails to the dinner table. Not something you'd expect in The Criterion. The risotto was awful. There were many members of staff but the service was terrible. They were intent on clearing our table of empty glasses. Only once were we asked if we wanted wine. It took ages to be offered the option of ordering dessert. I wanted to impress my daughter but on this occasion I failed.
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    • Service
    • Value
  • Afternoon Tea
    Jokarola
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    What a beautiful place. The service was very good . We were seated immediately and asked if we required water. I don't drink tea so asked for a coffee which was no problem. The sandwiches were lovely and fresh as were the scones. We found the cake selection a little disappointing. Although the panacotta was lovely. I then asked for another coffee and was told because this was a living social deal that I would have to pay!! WHAT!! This has never been a problem in any other place I have visited. Anyway the waitress said she would speak to the manager and I did get another coffee free of charge. This made us feel that getting a deal we were made to feel inferior. Which we found of putting. Maybe it is better to pay full price!!!
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • All was excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Title says it all! Would very happily go again, set meal with drink is amazing value.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Great meal for pre theatre.Good service and great value. Thanks !
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, brunch, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • affordable elegance
    DAWHA
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    The Criterion never fails. Stunning decor, excellent value, superb food, great atmosphere, and not over powering service. One of the party was running late but it was not a pro lem. The set meal was excellent value the salmon and the chocolate tart a must. Our swedish guest was impressed by the elegance of the place and the food. Still on the return list.
    Special Features:
    business meals, disabled access, fit for foodies, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Good but service wasnt great.
    Shim7VIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I would have loved Criterion had the service been good but sadly it wasnt which let it down as everything else was fantastic. Sadly they had a lot of waiters and waitresses that didnt speak good english which made ordering very difficult. I had to say 'prosecco' 3 times and finally point to it on the menu to order and likewise with my meal options. I had the cheese for dessert which had a goats cheese, chedder and blue cheese - I asked for 2 chedders instead of the blue and ended up with 2 blue instead of the chedder, they did rectify the problem but that shouldnt happen in a place like Criterion.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, fit for foodies, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great meal in lovely suroundings
    FoodLover
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Good service, nice room, fantastic food, easy access from anywhere in London
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Sandy
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I was pleasantly surprised they made a special platter with Happy Birthday very much appreciated
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing restaurant
    FineDine
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    The restaurant was beautiful, the service was great, the food was delicous. They also done a mini anniversary design with cake pieces in the house which was very kind of them.
    Special Features:
    romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Dining
    Geminite
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    The food was excellent and portions for this type of eaterie were generous. The only comment I would make is as you enter through revolving doors you almost fall into the lap of people seated in the bar area which has about 6-8 small tables with tub chairs around. You cant pre-book seats in the bar so any one visiting if meeting up with others would probably be better arranging to meet elsewhere. We will definitely be going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Post Theatre meal
    higgy66
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    We ate here after seeing 39 Steps and it was literally next door - very handy as it was raining!! Service was second to none - the staff could not do enough. The restaurant looks amazing and quite a surprise as the outside looks quite ordinary We had a set menu with cocktail and it was excellent value as the food was amazing and the night before we paid the same for a pizza and pud!
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Pre theatre
    GxstVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Went pre theatre and took advantage of their £20 menu - great value and very good quality - food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Birthday treat
    CDR123
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    We celebrated my daughter's 16th birthday with afternoon tea at the Criterion. The restaurant is simply a beautiful venue and worth every penny. There were plenty of other people who were also celebrating birthdays. The service was good and the staff were very pleasant. We were given an aperitif cocktail compiling of sparkling wine, Courvoisier and Angus Bitters. We decided to have the £19.99 menu and that was incredibly filling. We took away 2 boxes of cakes and left over scones. My daughter was given a tiny cake, with a candle on a glass plate which read Happy Birthday - a nice touch. I would recommend this venue.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Amazing as always.
    luv2eat
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    If you want a gorgeous meal in beautiful surroundings you won't go wrong with the Criterion. We have never been dissapointed. Lovely for special occasions or just try the special offers of 2 & 3 course meals. Enjoy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great for a special occasion
    birthdaygirl
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Visited with friends for a celebration. Absolutely beautiful surroundings, delicious food, good choices, would thoroughly recommend it for special occasion. Staff VERY attentive, kept filling up the glasses!
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Swissie
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We have never been disappointed with the dining experience at this stunningly beautiful restaurant. From a special occasion party to an impromptu late supper, the food, service and ambience have never disappointed. A great place even for a glass of champagne after a hard shopping trip.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special
    manda
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Celebrated my dad's 80th birthday here. I mentioned when booking it was a birthday party, and dessert came out with a candle and happy birthday piped in chocolate on the plate and the staff joined in singing happy birthday. It was lovely, staff great, warm and stylish venue, recommend for a special occasion and the food was great too!
    Special Features:
    group bookings, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Birthday meal
    Sweetpea16
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    We went because the dining room is one of the most spectacular in london and thought the food would suffer because of this ie the chefs wouldn't have to try too hard but were surprised by how delicious the food tasted. Only downside is that it is a bit corporate, with quite a few tables of suited business men, but still enough of a mix with the other diners.
    Special Features:
    business meals, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value