The Ivy Dining Counter

4.5
104 reviews
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£41 and over
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Modern European
Top tags:
  • Special Occasions
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Lunch
The Ivy restaurant has been a firm fixture on London’s dining and social scene since 1917. The restaurant and private room upstairs are the epitome of real glamour. A shimmering central bar in the restaurant draws admiring attention, and the signature harlequin stained-glass windows, oak panelling and striking contemporary art collection ensure the longevity of this very British of dining institutions.

Executive Chef Gary Lee creates balanced seasonal menus, featuring Ivy classics, but accounting for today’s tastes, incorporating more Asian dishes, salads and vegetables, and the advent of a “sea and shells” section. Director Fernando Peire leads a strong and experienced team to deliver the unfaltering service for which The Ivy has become well known over the years. In this, its centenary year, there will be a host of special events lined up to celebrate both the past and future of this unique restaurant.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Modern European, Contemporary British
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Hours of Operation
Monday to Wednesday: 12 noon to 11.30pm

Thursday to Saturday: 12 noon to 12 midnight

Sunday: 12 noon to 10.30pm
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Phone number
020 7836 4751
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Payment Options
MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Business Casual
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Cross Street
1-5 West Street, London, WC2H 9NQ
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Parking Details
Customers may leave their cars at The Ivy from 6.30pm, book a table for post theatre dinner at The Ivy, and pick up their car after dinner. Valet parking costs £15 per evening.
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Public Transit
The nearest tube station is Leicester Square.
Leave by Exit 3 and turn right. Walk up Charing Cross Road and take the 2nd turning on your right into Litchfield Street. The entrance to the restaurant is around the left hand corner on West Street, opposite St Martin's Theatre.
Additional
Bar Dining, Full Bar
What 104 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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OT
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Dover sole was presented barely warm, grilled inadequately, taken off the bill

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TD
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nicholas and his team do a fantastic job, the two bar tenders Richard - Eduario - the front desk managers - are all first class - they know how to treat people and create a sublime experience.

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A
Perthshire
1 review
Dined on 26 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thoroughly enjoyed. A victory for taste and quality over tasteless quantity.
Congratulations to all staff whose professionalism was excellent. Unfortunately it will need to be an occasional treat for us as we live in Scotland!

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PL
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bar is the best place to have your meal if there’s 2 of you.

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B
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Really nice that staff noticed my daughter’s birthday. The chocolate truffles they gave here complimentarily were outstanding.

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VB
London
6 reviews
Dined on 12 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food and service that’s why I keep coming back

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A
London
49 reviews
Dined on 31 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very enjoyable evening

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DH
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice ambience. Great food. Good service. Lovely venue.

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m
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

It's an iconic venue and the service was very good but sitting at the dining counter and spending quite a sizable amount on food (over £140 for two without alcohol) seemed wrong and it wasn't terribly comfortable. The surroundings are lovely but the ambient noise extremely loud - it seemed to be large groups day - but I am being churlish. The staff were lovely and the food very good overall.

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DC
London
11 reviews
Dined on 13 July 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Generally a good meal but nothing exceptional. It isn’t as good as it was and I have eaten better in the ivy city . The food was the issue nothing bad but M&S duck is as good !! Still a nice restaurant and I will return, but food needs improving. Should add that our starters were excellent .

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MG
1 review
Dined on 9 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Superb food. Beautiful decor. Very good service even at bar where we had lunch.
Good location for theatre. Worth a special trip.

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HR
London
5 reviews
Dined on 2 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the best meal we have enjoyed for several months. The food was uniformly excellent, sitting at the Dining Counter meant that our glasses were regularly replenished, and the ambience was pleasant and relaxed. The Ivy is long-established and well-known for its celebrity clientele, and this is not by any means a cheap place in which to eat, but we left feeling well-fed and contented, and one can hardly ask for more. We will return.

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SD
1 review
Dined on 2 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have always wanted to try the Ivy after hearing so many good reviews about it.
As this was a very special birthday occasion I booked us in for lunch,we certainly weren't disappointed.
We arrived half an hour early and received a very warm welcome we were told we could either have a drink at the bar or go straight to the table we opted for the latter,we were given a very cosy corner table.
The menu had plenty of unusual choices,we both opted for the hake on squid ink risotto with additional vegetables which was cooked to perfection.
For desert we had the gooseberry waffle with clotted cream it was amazing and cocktails to finish.
The staff were very friendly and attentive and took the trouble to tell us the history if the Ivy,we spent three and a half hours thouroughly enjoying ourselves and would certainly recommend it to our family and friends it was everything we thought it would be and more.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 14 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Well what can i say, we went to celebrate our anniversary and this place didn’t disappoint.
We sat around the Bar area in the centre of the restaurant which was really comfortable and more private than you may imagine. The menu caters for everyone in my view, and is reasonably priced for a place of such stature in London. And it was excellent quality, some of the best food ive had.
Staff friendly and accommodating, and always on hand.
In addition its a great place to spot the odd celebrity, we met one on the day but I won’t mention who for the purpose of trhis review.
Can’t recommend highly enough.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 11 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful anniversary dinner here. I had the Duck L’orange which was absolutely delicious and my wife had the Shepard’s pie which she enjoyed just as much as I did the duck. The service was wonderful and the bartender who helped us with our dinner decisions made perfect recommendations. We’ll definitely be back next time we’re in London!

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MB
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on 10 June 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We ordered marvelous cocktails at the bar before dinner. We were moved to other seats at the bar despite having reserved as the restaurant was "very busy". We loved talking with the bartender, who took our order. The food and service were excellent, and the bartender gave us a box of the excellent house chocolate truffles to take away. During the meal my husband went to the desk to see whether there were a reservation for the following night. The hostess told him "We're fully booked, but we'll make it work." Indeed, we had a table the next night, and another wonderful dinner. The lovely bartender appeared from behind the bar to shake my husband's hand and to see us off. We can hardly wait for our next visit to London.

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AD
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Took my husband to the Ivy for his 50th birthday lunch. Originally was only able to book the counter dining but once we got there I asked if there was a possibility that we vould get a table seat luckily for us there was a cancellation and we got a table seat, if a table had not been available I would of been more than happy to dine at the counter as you get a overall view of the place. Food was excellent definitely worth it! I would recommend the Sea Bass! Beautiful! Well done all for a memorable visit. All the staff were wonderful from the entrance to the serving of the food all were very friendly efficient superb hosting. Thank you!

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AM
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very enjoyable, could not fault this establishment. Would recommend this.

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GN
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2018
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 4

Bang bang chicken tasted awful. Sludgy brown sauce on top with little flavour. I hated it.
Calves liver; portion to big especially if you’ve had a starter. The liver was slightly tasteless.
Apart from the wine, I was as disappointed as I have been in London for the last 5 years. It’s been crapola in this town in the top restaurants for years; and I have to spend £100+ to find out for myself on each unfortunate occasion.
I hoist the white flag.

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PM
London
8 reviews
Dined on 23 May 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pleasant evening, not rushed and nobody chasing our table- unlike other restaurants!

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MR
Essex
90 reviews
Dined on 10 May 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Ideal for pre-theatre meal, especially when going to a show at one of the theatres right opposite. Couldn't book a table for the date we wanted but were able to get a reservation for the Central Dining Bar which was fine.

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DS
London
1 review
Dined on 9 May 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were so impressed after a much awaited visit! Loved everything about it! Very special dining.

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LB
1 review
Dined on 5 May 2018
Overall 1food 4service 2ambience 3

This is the first time we have visited The Ivy since the refurbishment. We were unable to get a table but were offered places at the dining counter which we accepted.
Big mistake.
This is an attempt by The Ivy to squeeze as much as they can out of available space.
They should have made the bar smaller and added more tables. It is not an Ivy experience and we will only go back when we can get a table.
Service was very poor from bar staff. We were given drinks menus and wine list which were then taken away and we were not asked if we wanted any drinks.
The attitude of the staff attending to tables was certainly not mirrored by those behind the bar. No warmth or friendliness from them. When we asked for dessert menus, the barman gave us the menus and then stood and stared at us without saying anything as we looked at the menus. After a while this became disconcerting and we told him we would let him know when we had decided. He came back twice to ask if we had made a decision.
Not one single member of staff from maitre d' down asked us if everything was satisfactory. All we got on leaving was, "Hope to see you again". Doubt it.
So disappointed. Ivy has lost its charm after refurb.

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P
Yorkshire
5 reviews
Dined on 2 May 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely pre- theatre meal for two. The Dining Counter was very pleasant indeed , not overcrowded or intrusive. The service was impeccable. The food delicious with a great selection, something for everyone. We had a starter and a main and shared a dessert. The cocktails were also were nice. Would definitely go again and are in fact visiting The Ivy York next week

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TB
1 review
Dined on 28 April 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and staff were excellent. I couldn't fault it.

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TM
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on 12 April 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came for a pre-theater dinner – we were lucky enough to get a relatively last minute table at the dining counter. We were seated right away. Our drinks were delicious, our dinner was delicious, and the service was efficient and friendly. Great atmosphere, friendly staff, and good food - what more could you want?

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RN
1 review
Dined on 25 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just fantastic! What a great place, from the doorman to food, it was really a great experience.
Drinks, food, staff, surroundings, you just have to go there and experience it by yourself.

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S
London
1 review
Dined on 21 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely ambiance, lovely staff, lovely food, lovely place.

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JS
London
1 review
Dined on 12 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The occasion was my best friends special birthday, and The Ivy didn't disappoint. The welcome was warm, the food was delicious and as we chose the dining counter, the barman was very attentive, giving us details of the dishes on the menu and recommendations from the wine list.
Overall, it was a fabulous experience and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

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S
1 review
Dined on 4 March 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a lovely evening for my mums 70th. Just a shame the couple next to us talked so loud . Hearing the ins and outs of there conversations very annoying . Next time we visit I shall use the counter or booth as you have a lot more to look other than a window .

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G
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on 15 February 2018
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 5

Booked for my Fiancé Birthday he was well impressed We were made to feel welcome and very special Great night I bought the lovely Ivy book for him to mark the evening Lots of brownie points for me! LOL

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YD
Essex
41 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Ivy is consistently good. I would recommend to anyone

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RH
London
1 review
Dined on 2 February 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Wonderful atmosphere. Friendly, attentive, unfussy service. Perfect for a special occasion, late lunch/pre-theatre meal. Good a little on the expensive side but well worth it for the experience.

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OT
Munich
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Beware anyone who books The Ivy through OpenTable. We booked for a 50th birthday. The booking options do not differentiate between main restaurant and the Counter ie. the bar. Check carefully your confirmation email. We did not. We mistakenly thought Counter was a normal table. It’s the bar. Fine for a business 1 to 1. Forget it for a celebration.

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DB
London
4 reviews
Dined on 15 January 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Wow. A real fall in standards. Half full which was very surprising. Service mixed at best. Bread basket arrived after starters. It’s gone the way of the other Ivy’s in the ever expanding chain. This one was always special. No more. Meh at best. Shame.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 14 January 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect end to long weekend of 50th birthday celebrations. Lovely food, superb service in a beautiful restaurant.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were recommended the ivy by a daughter and we were very pleased
Jacob Wennberg

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 29 December 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food. Sat at the bar which was great. Have the shepherd pie - amazing!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 28 December 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful

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C
London
1 review
Dined on 8 December 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This trip was a birthday gift from my son and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very attentive staff and the waiter knew both the food and the wines. His advice was incredibly accurate on all counts. Lovely setting and you could actually have a conversation whilst enjoying your meal. My sister and I plan to attend for her birthday. Great dining experience.

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