Bonfire Restaurant and Bar

3.4
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120 reviews
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£25 and under
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British

Top tags:

Pre/post Theatre
Casual
Bonfire is an industrial-chic eatery located on the first floor of the Barbican, London’s multi-purpose art centre. With a focus on seasonal, great quality ingredients, Bonfire’s menus offer the food everyone craves. Wholesome burgers, fiery chicken wings and indulgent milkshakes can be enjoyed in a relaxed, rustic setting overlooking the Barbican’s lakeside.
What 120 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.4based on recent ratings
3.4
food
3.4
service
3.3
ambience
3.3
value
Noise · Moderate
71% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KB
London
1 review
Dined on 12 September 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

We wanted to get a quick burger before an 8pm show at the Barbican. After 20 minutes of waiting for someone to take our order I had to track down a server. We ordered two burgers. After 40 minutes of waiting for the food to arrive including a few gentle nudges to the staff to ask why it was taking so long, we had to leave without the food so as not to miss our show. I would expect a restaurant in the Barbican to be able to deliver prompt service so people can make their performances. Obviously not.

MM
London
3 reviews
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Overall we had a good experience at Bonfire. It was lovely to sit outside and the service was exceptional. My husband had the chicken burger which he said was very good. I had the Cobb salad which was disappointing. There was no avocado, but it wasn't mentioned to me and one egg, just cut in half. However, I would go again, the burgers did look very good!

SM
London
1 review
Dined on 22 August 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Really lovely place to eat. Sitting outside on a glorious evening was so nice. Food was great and staff helpful and friendly.

J
London
7 reviews
Dined on 22 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food great service but a shame we couldn’t have the Oreo milkshake because they were “low on milk”

MH
1 review
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

My wife and I enjoyed our visit, the food was good and the location was great as we were going on to see a film at Barbican Cinema 2.
Three things that the team might want to think about.
1) Although we had booked on line, and even replied to a reminder email, there seemed to be no record of our booking when we arrived.
2) We arrived as booked at 7.00 and were promptly shown to a table, however it was 30mins before anyone even approached us for a drinks order, and this was only after I drew the attention of the waiter.
3) When I booked, the booking form asked me if this meal was for a specific occasion. I clicked 'anniversary' , however no one at the restaurant mentioned this.
I hope these comments help.
Kind regards,
Martin Hull

s
London
7 reviews
Dined on 20 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We were able to eat dinner outside on the terrace on a lovely evening. The atmosphere was delightful, the food good and the waiters recommended wine, very good.

k
Toronto
2 reviews
Dined on 19 August 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Food was ok but the time it took to come was ridiculous and nearly made us late for our show. Half the table's fries didn't even come with the burger and we had to rush to eat and pay to make it in time. We arrived over an hour early and still it took 30 minutes for 4 burgers to come... ridiculous. No apologies or anything by staff.

BD
London
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I had read some poor reviews but was pleasantly surprised at the food, service and ambiance

MM
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing! Everyday last week I went to a different restaurant for restaurant week (the LeMont, capital grille, McCormick etc), and bonfire was the best out of them all!

KA
London
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Great location and I'm sure if it wasnt raining the outside area would of been really nice.

The food was good but the portions were a bit hit or miss, my colleague ordered guacamole as a side and it came in a tiny pot.

The service was slow and we had to get the attention of the waiters for more drinks and to get the bill.

TC
London
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great pre dinner for family group of 8 - something for everyone (vegies and meat lovers)

PB
London
3 reviews
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Good for casual lunch with friends

VB
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Burgers were really good and the service was attentive and extremely friendly. Would definitely go again.

c
London
16 reviews
Dined on 8 August 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

burgers were good, i had the trio, not worth the price, rather have a 'normal' size burger. tasted good, just not enough with the trio

m
London
3 reviews
Dined on 8 August 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Too expensive!
£2 for less than a rasher of bacon to add to a burger
Fries charged separately to burger
£2.25 for a CAN of Coke

LW
London
2 reviews
Dined on 7 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our 2nd time at The Bonfire Restaurant but it won't be our last as it was better than ever this time! Delicious burgers, great ambience, excellent value, brilliant wine/prosecco & coffee offerings. We had very good service from the friendly staff, we'll be back soon for sure.
Thank you very much Bonfire team!

c
London
95 reviews
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Visit the Barbican Centre and include a quick meal ... outside if weather permits...at Bonfire Restaurant. It is a burger type place with veggie options and a quick satisfying meal before a theatre trip in the centre.

DC
1 review
Dined on 3 August 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

The Service was slow. it took 45 minutes from ordering to the meal arriving. A long time for Burgers. We ordered drinks and water with our meal. The water never arrived.
The burgers were tasteless.
A 10% service charge is automatically added to your bill.
I would avoid this place

S
London
1 review
Dined on 31 July 2019
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 2

Was really looking forward to my dinner with my family before a concert.
The staff take the order and left before I could order my drink.
After bring the wrong drink and for the price the food was very mediocre.

JN
London
1 review
Dined on 31 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 2

Mimi was our waitress and she was very attentive and service was excellent
Really amazing burgers and a great choice for a pre theatre supper overlooking the terrace

BM
London
1 review
Dined on 30 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing Aperol Spritzs and food was great. The service was great, everyone was so attentive. The only thing I would say is that the place needs a spruce up, we were seated next to a window that was old and dirty. Obviosuly that has to do with the building, but it reflects a little badly on the restaurant.

CC
1 review
Dined on 29 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We booked because we were seeing a play at the Barbican. It was a beautiful day and we sat outside - and in fact decided to stay out to eat as well. The staff were very friendly and accommodating - would thoroughly recommend.

SD
London
15 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great for a pre-theatre bite, if weather nice terrace would be lovely

SJ
London
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had the three sliders each, which were very good. Fries were also good as was beer. Chicken popcorn was not so good as expecting "popcorn" made from chicken skin, but was bird off chicken skin with lots of ordinary popcorn.

l
London
7 reviews
Dined on 25 July 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Mediocre food and very poor value for money.

A
London
1 review
Dined on 22 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Very reasonable prices for where the restaurant was located.
The food was was good and the staff were very friendly.

G
London
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Bonfire was a big disappointment. cold chip and warm white wine. We waited over 45 minutes for our burgers and chips to arrive. One portion of chicken wings never arrived. The windows are dirty. The service was soooo poor. The waiters whilst sweet were useless. We asked for the service charge and the chicken wings to be removed form our bill. When we reported our misgivings to the manager, he wasn't very interested.

m
London
14 reviews
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Good food and cocktail selection; service can be a bit slow for a pre threaten restaurant.

ME
London
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

One of our guests thought the Beetroot burger smelled/tasted mouldy. Service wasn't great given we specifically told the waiting staff we had a performance deadline. A pity because The Barbican is such a great place. Disappointing.

JF
London
25 reviews
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food was terrific - the burgers were perfectly cooked and fries hot and crispy. Atmosphere was pretty lively and not helped by a very noisy couple on the table next to us but guess that's not the restaurants fault! Would definitely recommend for a pre-theatre/event meal.

RV
London
3 reviews
Dined on 12 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very friendly and helpful staff. They were busy and apologised for keeping us waiting, even though the wait wasn't long. Food was tasty. Lovely spot inside the Barbican. A lively place.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 8 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Slow service, which is disappointing in a restaurant next to a busy location...BUT...to be fair to the staff, we were warned that this was the case immediately on arrival and were given updates while waiting. Food good. Would recommend...on the assumption that the kitchen delays were a one-off.

G
London
1 review
Dined on 8 July 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Appalling service, had to leave the restaurant before getting our food!! as our show was about to start!! Manager had no idea how to handle the customers who were all waiting for there food. Had to grab a sandwich on the way into the theatre.

LR
London
1 review
Dined on 8 July 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

The food was fine - nothing special, and certainly nothing I'd repeat, but edible (although I'm not entirely sure the Buffalo Chicken burger had actually seen any Buffalo sauce.) The setting is lovely, looking over the lake at Barbican (although disappointing that people are allowed to smoke at tables where people are eating).

The service though, was appalling. Arriving, sitting down and ordering was fine, and our food arrived fairly quickly, but after this it went down hill. I think it's the only restaurant I've ever been to where not once did anyone come over and ask 'is everything OK?' (I would have liked to have requested some ketchup but the opportunity never arose). After finishing our meal, we were left with empty plates sitting in front of us for well over half an hour, hoping to get a look at the dessert menu. Eventually, we had to flag a waiter down, and when we asked to see the dessert menu, he was so surprised ("Dessert?!?") that we thought maybe they didn't do dessert. They did, and he reluctantly went to get us the menu. 20 minutes later we managed to flag down another waiter to order the dessert, who warned us that there would be quite a wait for the dessert. "How long?" we asked, and he told us about 10 minutes or so - no wait at all compared to how much time we'd already wasted that evening. It seems they just didn't want to get us any dessert.

I should add that the restaurant was by no means busy - inside was completely empty, and only 5 or 6 tables outside had customers -hardly rushed off their feet. Our desserts arrived, and while the sundae was fine, the banoffee pie was completely inedible. It looked like baby food (weirdest pie I've ever seen) and was too sweet to eat more than a couple of mouthfuls. Of course, it took us another 20 minutes to get anyone's attention to get the bill - and this whole time, the dirty plates from our mains and sides were still sitting on our table, as no-one bothered to clear them.

L
London
1 review
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Pre-dinner theatre meal for birthday event. Attending theatre at Barbican for 7.45pm. Ordered food at 6.45pm. Food arrived at 7.30pm. Apologetic manager but we were unable to eat our meal as we had to rush to theatre at 7.35pm. Given a takeaway box for nachos. We only ordered 3 items- nachos, burger and a cobb salad so couldn’t understand the delay especially as they say they cater for pre-dinner food. The wine was warm too.
The waiting staff
said that customers arrive all at the same time and the kitchen is too small to cope with all the orders. Not sure if this is correct. All in all an awful experience but staff were kind and friendly.

j
London
5 reviews
Dined on 19 June 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Appalling service, had to leave before food arrived as it took so long and limited communication

KA
London
2 reviews
Dined on 19 June 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Waited for over an hour and 20 min for burgers. It was not that busy even. Us and 4 other tables left with out our food being served as it was taking extremely long.

LG
1 review
Dined on 19 June 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

Overpriced food - edible but nothing special; could do better at home. Sorry.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 2

Possibly the worst eating experience in London in years.

Staff didn’t say hello or smile. Sat us next two other tables covered in leftovers from the previous diners - and no one came back for 10 minutes.

Drinks took forever and we had to chase. Food even longer - and then arrived cold. Sent a burger back. Everyone else finished their food meanwhile. We asked a waiter to take our photo. Did it without smiling or speaking.

New cold burger arrived - also cold. Everyone too fed up already to complain again.

Didn’t stay for dessert.

This was 8pm and the place was a quarter full.

Evening spoilt. And over £100!

Wouldn’t dream of returning but I think you should give our money back

a
London
8 reviews
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Food was good but a bit over priced for portion size and service was very slow which meant we missed the begin of a gig (along with other diners) even though we booked the table 75mins before needing to leave

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