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: 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
1034 reviews since 23 October 2013
Average Rating4
  • Food4
    Service3.8
  • Ambience4.3
    Value3.8
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
pre/post theatre (637)special occasions (571)romance (390)business meals (293)fit for foodies (274)afternoon tea (228)outstanding value (185)group bookings (177)sunday lunch (116)brunch (84)disabled access (55)good vegetarian options (47)child friendly (27)outdoor eating (3)Show More
  • Evening Meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 16/10/2014
    Lovely Building, excellent food, just a little on the tourist side for us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Gem in the heart of tourist town
    luxhair
    Dined on 16/10/2014
    You would not expect to find this kind of atmosphere in Piccadilly Circus. The contrast from the busy outside with its advertising panels hand tourists to the expensive, grand looking interior with the gold ceiling mosaics and opulence could not be bigger. very impressive. Tables are spaced out and you can have a private conversation. Staff and service are very attentive and the food is good. We ate off the set menu and the food tasted good. The only little thing I would say is that the beetroot purée looked more like tomato paste and made the dish visually unappealing. Tasted good though. Would recommend for the impressive interior if you want to eat central and impress your guests.
    Special Features:
    business meals, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Wedding Anniversary
    merlin
    Dined on 15/10/2014
    I booked The Criterion to celebrate our 48th wedding Anniversary on the 15th October 14. I already knew about the restaurant as my son had been sometime back. We also had been there as a family to celebrate my Grand daughters 18th birthday. It was brilliant then but this time they excelled. Atmosphere/friendly waiting staff/ fantastic food and a great selection of wines and live music. They just could not do enough for us, so we will be going back there again very soon next time we are in London. I thoroughly recommend this restaurant, Whether you have something special to celebrate or not. I know you will be blown away. We were and cant wait to go back. Book it now
    Special Features:
    outstanding value, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sloany
    Dined on 15/10/2014
    I have eaten here before. Main was awful but it was replaced quickly with Another meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Charming Ambience, Great Food
    AlixLondon
    Dined on 15/10/2014
    It's always a pleasure to dine at the Criterion. The food's excellent and the dining room decor is exceptional. One tiny niggle: food service is swift but it's never easy to get the bill. Bear that in mind if you're pre-theatre. That said, I love the place and am always happy to go back.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • THE CRITERION IS SPECIAL
    Showbizsimon
    Dined on 14/10/2014
    Whenever I go to The Criterion, the 1874 spendour shines through. This Central London haunt tucked behind the madness of Eros in Piccadilly Circus is ever dependable. Good food and service and the set menu has 4 choices. You can't go wrong.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great experience!
    FineDiningFanVIP
    Dined on 14/10/2014
    Really enjoyed our dining experience here! It's great value for money to get the set menu which is a choice 2 courses and a drink for £20. The service was good and the portions were large, we couldn't even finish it. Would recommend if interested in having a nice evening out in a classy atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    brunch, business meals, outstanding value, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Poor staff communication
    Jamesy76
    Dined on 14/10/2014
    Though the venue is rich in history and well maintained, the standards you would expect from a prime location London restaurant were significantly sub standard. Many other London venues have their fair share of staff whose first language is not English though is usually of an acceptable standard. In addition to getting our drinks order wrong, we were approached at our table on at least three occasions to ask if we had ordered something which we had not. This is a combination of both poor communication with customers and between staff. Huge improvements in the quality of spoken English by its staff are needed if they are to ever be considered a future dining option for me.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Happy return customer
    kkzz
    Dined on 14/10/2014
    Went there with a friend there for dinner again, never disappointed.
    Special Features:
    group bookings, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great food and service
    PabloVIP
    Dined on 13/10/2014
    Another lovely evening with good food and service in a stunning venue right at the centre of London. Excellent!
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Just right
    Cheese
    Dined on 13/10/2014
    Superb surroundings yet relaxed atmosphere, good food and attentive staff. Unlike many other places the staff are just as attentive and thoughtful to those on the OFFER/VOUCHER menu. This is all staff, not just those on he front line for the tip. In our case a waitress brought soup spoon brought without being asked to help us enjoy with tasty sauce in which the mussels are served.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sunday lunch
    rick4744
    Dined on 12/10/2014
    Went for Sunday lunch which was excellent value. The staff are attentive but discreet and the surroundings and interior deco is stunning. The price and choice of wines is very reasonable but watch out for the price of spirits which are very expensive!
    Special Features:
    disabled access, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Saturday Night
    Dinnerman
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    A great location, the food is good but not exceptional and the service can be a bit hit and miss but the staff are very nice. Nothing in the west end is great value but the Criterion isn't overpriced and we've always found it a lovely experience
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great food and service
    PabloVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Wonderful restaurant in the heart of Central London. Stunning décor. Service is friendly and good. Food is good too. Will go back soon!!
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea, business meals, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Celebration meal
    DessertisChocolateVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    My mum and I had a lovely celebratory meal. We did have some issues with service, but the manager was extremely apologetic and comped our drinks.
    Special Features:
    business meals, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre Theatre Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Fast and excellent service as we only had an hour to be at the theatre. Stuck to the theatre menu. Tables quite close together and by door to WC and service station so not ideal. Brought birthday message on dessert platter - nice touch.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place, shame about the service
    ThatBigGuyOnTableTwo
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Make no mistake, the restaurant itself is the spectacle here. It's absolutely stunning. You cannot fail to be wowed by the decor and the feeling that you're going out somewhere special. That's where it ends though. The food, whilst pleasant enough, is simply average and not a million miles away from any small local restaurant you could name worldwide that would cost you much less. There's nothing wrong with it, we had a very pleasant meal. It's just... average. The service however, is something else. We had five different people assist us during our meal, which in theory sounds great. We asked three of them for the bill at the end of the meal and we finally picked the right one, as after only thirty minutes wait, it arrived at our table.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Excellent
    Foodie1
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    We were extremely well looked after and the food was excellent. Some of us had the set menu which was very good value.
    Special Features:
    group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Pre theatre meal
    Pamdh
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Overall v good but extras doubled the bill, coffee, some vegetables and one glass of wine Top table offer is the restaurants standard deal. Service excellent
    Special Features:
    disabled access, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wonderful meal
    jd136
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    The food and cocktails were delicious. The service while polite was a bit slow. We weren't in a hurry and enjoyed taking in the beautiful surroundings and live music so it didn't matter to us. Would thoroughly recommend.
    Special Features:
    special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea Time Lacking......
    Teaqueen
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    While tea at the Criterion had some interesting selections of tea sandwiches and sweets, the tea selection was limited & their service was appalling. After delivery of tea goodies, explaining our selections and pouring our first cup of tea that is the last we saw of the wait staff. No replenishing of tea or even a pot of hot water, no replenishing of tea sandwiches, no inquiring if we needed anything, we were just forgotten. It was not due to it being busy, we were only one of four tables having tea. Our table was passed by several times by the wait staff without a word. That is not what I would have expected from a restaurant of this age and status. Although beautiful, you may want to rethink having tea here....and that is from a Londoner.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • fine
    ilze
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Service at this place is hit and miss. Had a rather surly hostess at the entrance but a lovely waiter for our table who just could not do enough. It was a bit of a wait - at the entrance and much longer once we were seated (we had to actually call someone just to get some water). It was compensated by extra glass of champagne which was a nice gesture and much appreciated. Tea itself was lovely - nothing special but good. Too many scones - possibly could not finish everything off. Panna cotta was divine. I think the price is very adequate, great value. We def enjoyed it and def recommend it.
    Special Features:
    afternoon tea
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/10/2014
    We booked a set menu for 4 at 5:45 (pre theatre). The restaurant itself is very impressive and the staff very attentive. The food was good but main course portions were small, particularly the risotto, it looked like a starter portion. We had to request more bread to eke out the portions.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre theatre
    Ali75
    Dined on 3/10/2014
    We attended for a pre theatre menu, only slight disappointment was that we went for a drink first and the bar was a bit upside down and the staff were repeatedly moving the furniture and piano around us. Dinner was lovely, small but lovely and the deal good value for money. We has to check our bill twice as it was wrong but overall a good dining experience in opulent surroundings.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dining with friends
    Exasperated
    Dined on 2/10/2014
    Excellent meal, unfortunately missed opportunity for the offer on Toptables because I could not get back on line the day of our booking to amend it so ended up paying a lot more. Next time will definitely book the special offer, better value.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • A memorable birthday lunch
    guzzleguts
    Dined on 2/10/2014
    I revisited The Criterion Restaurant with two friends who hadn't been there before and they were thoroughly impressed with every aspect of our experience. Service was friendly and professional - the waitress, having overheard me mentioning it was the birthday of one of my friends, even arranged a birthday cake with candle at the end of the meal. We chose salmon and terrine starters, and risotto, salmon and posh sausage and mash mains. All were delicious. I can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good
    BigRussVIP
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    I have been meaning to come here before but b been worried it was one of those places that you went and ended up having to get loads of expensive extras. There is no denying it has a superb location and inside it is stunning. The set menu gave you a choice of 3 starters & 3 mains of which one had a supplement of £2 and £4 respectively. So I was part right. The food was good, better than I expected, although my parts sauce was very watery. The portion sizes were good with no need for side orders. Looking around I wish I'd paid the extra for the lamb. I would return and would recommend if wanting to impress someone
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, group bookings, pre/post theatre, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An excellent business lunch venue
    Honeybee
    Dined on 1/10/2014
    An excellent business lunch venue in the heart of the West End.
    Special Features:
    business meals, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • jayne
    JAG1
    Dined on 30/9/2014
    Once again not disappointed in our dinner. Food, service and ambiance was excellent.
    Special Features:
    business meals, group bookings, pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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
  • Bad start but got better
    Lizeats
    Dined on 27/9/2014
    We booked a table for 2 for 6.15 before going to see Thriller Live. Wow factor when you first get in but unfortunately we were shown to a table right at the back in a slightly separate room which isn't so impressive. On top of that we were right next to the ladies' loos so could hear the hand dryer every couple of minutes. We asked to be moved (staff slightly grumpy about this) and the table was much better. We enjoyed champagne cocktails and our food was delicious. Great choice for atmospheric pre-theatre dining but ask to be seated in the main part of the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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.