We've already told you where to get the best set lunch deals in London - but another way to eat well at a bargain price is through the humble theatre menu. Available for a short period pre (and sometimes post) the curtain going up these offer great value at some of London's top dining destinations. We've kept our choice centred around London's main theatre district, but we'll be expanding this list soon to cover the South Bank and other areas.
As with the set menu offers - it's worthwhile asking if you can add another dish if you're craving something not on the menu, but be warned that the restaurants will be more prone to a spot of table turning with these offers as they try to get you out in time for the show, and more diners in at the peak times around 8pm.
Asia de Cuba
45 St. Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4HX
In a nutshell: Well known hotspot Asia de Cuba is based in the St Martins Lane hotel and - as the name - marries Asian and Cuban cuisine in a room where every column is adorned with art.
Theatre menu offer: Appetisers plus two courses for £25, three courses for £30. Four choices available from every course.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
13-15 West Street, London WC2H 9NE
In a nutshell: A Michelin-starred restaurant from Joël Robuchon (who has many other stars awarded to his other restaurants). Expect small plate French cooking, with some Japanese and Spanish influences.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses £31, three courses £36, four courses £41. Three to four options per course.
Theatre menu times: Daily 5.30-6pm
5 St James's Street, London SW1A 1EF
In a nutshell: This popular restaurant originally opened in 1927 and has now been revived by Joel Kissin - who used to be Terence Conran's partner at Conran restaurants. It is a luxury French bistro with a separate cafe called Café Marcel, offering "lighter fare".
Theatre menu offer: Restaurant menu - £19.50 for two courses and £24.50 for three courses, Cafe menu two courses for £15.50, three courses for £19.50.
Theatre menu times: Restaurant: 5.00pm - 7.00pm, 9.30pm - 10.30pm; also available Saturday lunchtime. Cafe Midday - 7.00pm, 10.00pm - Close
11-15 Swallow Street, London W1B 4DG
In a nutshell: Bentley's Oyster Bar and Grill is one of the London homes for famed Irish chef Richard Corrigan. This theatre menu is limited to the grill, but we'd recommend getting a couple of oysters at the bar while you're there too.
Theatre menu offer: Grill room only. Two courses £26.00, three courses £29.00. Two choices per course.
Theatre menu times: Monday – Friday, 5.30pm – 6.45pm. Tables should be vacated by 7.30.
12 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7NA
In a nutshell: This is the second venue of the growing BBQ venture that started in Chelsea.
Theatre menu offer: £10 menu, two courses (swap one for a desser cupcake) includes craft beer or glass of wine. 8 options per course.
Theatre menu times: Monday – Friday noon - 6pm, 10.30pm - close
20 Sherwood Street, London W1F 7ED
In a nutshell: This huge basement restaurant is from Corbin and King, the people behind The Wolseley, Delaunay and more, and is surprisingly affordable for just a central and lavish restaurant. The prix fixe isn't strictly a theatre menu, but still represents a great deal - and it's available all day.
Theatre menu offer: Prix Fixe menus £8.95 for two courses & £11.75 for three courses (single choice available).
Theatre menu times: 11.30am until midnight
33 St James's St, London SW1A 1HD
In a nutshell: Angela Hartnett opened this sister restaurant to Mayfair’s Murano with head chef Sam Williams at the helm. An instant hit, it serves regionally focused Italian dishes in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. They also do thewtre packages which include tickets.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses for £18 and three courses for £22.
Theatre menu times: Available at lunch, or pre/post-theatre between 5.30pm – 7.00pm, and from 10pm – 11pm.
5 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PF
In a nutshell: Vivek Singh brought his new Indian resturant to the heart of Soho, which is in a similar style to the original Cinnamon Kitchen.
Theatre menu offer: two courses for £16 or three courses for £19. Four choices per course (sides cost extra).
Theatre menu times: Between 5.30pm - 7pm & after 9.30pm
33 King St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8JD
In a nutshell: Clos Maggiore is often touted as one of the most romantic restaurants in London and is blessed with a fantastic looking (and heated) courtyard. Expect a classic French menu and a huge wine list too.
Theatre menu offer: Monday to Thursday - two courses for £24.50 /two courses plus ½ bottle of wine £29.50, three courses for £29.50 / two courses plus ½ bottle of wine £34.50 (three course choice also available Sunday). Friday and Saturday - two courses £29.50. Three choices per course - sides extra.
Theatre menu times: Monday to Thursday 5 - 6pm, 10 - 11pm. Friday and Saturday 5 - 6pm. Sunday 5 - 10pm.
18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7DD
In a nutshell: Christopher's is a high-end American grill, just off Covent Garden. It's only recently had a complete refurb and now boasts a new menu too.
Theatre menu offer: two courses for £16, three courses for £22. Three - five choices per course, sides extra.
Theatre menu times: Monday to Saturday 5pm – 6.15pm & 10pm – 11.30pm
Les Deux Salons
40-42 William IV Street, London WC2N 4DD
In a nutshell: This French brasserie has recently been taken over by the Prescott and Conran Group.
Theatre menu offer: Prix fixe: two courses for £17, three courses for £20. Three options per course.
Theatre menu times: Monday - Saturday 12-6.30pm
13 Exeter Street, London WC2E 7DT
In a nutshell: Joe Allen is probably best known as a theatre restaurant, particularly given the posters that adorn its walls. Expect an American themed menu and if you have time you may also want to order their well reviewed off-menu burger too.
Theatre menu offer: Set menu two courses £14.75, three courses £17.50
Theatre menu times: All day Sunday - Monday, noon - 7pm Tuesday - Saturday.
In a nutshell: Hawksmoor's two central steak emporiums aren't usually considered the most affordable affairs, but their express menu does give you a taste of Hawksmoor at a very good price, leaving you more to spend on their cocktails...
Theatre menu offer: Express menu two courses £24, three courses £27. Three+ choices per course - one side included.
Theatre menu times: 12-3pm, 5-6.30pm, 10-11pm
66-70, Brewer Street, London W1F 9TR
In a nutshell: Mark Hix's Soho restaurant serves modern British food and is also blessed with the excellent Mark's bar downstairs.
Theatre menu offer: two courses £19.50, three for £24.50. Three choices per course.
Theatre menu times: Monday - Friday 4.30 -6.30pm & 10pm- 11.30pm. Saturdays 4.30 -6:30pm & 10pm-11.30pm. Sundays 12pm-6:30pm & 9.30-10.30pm
Ivy Market Grill
1 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8PS
In a nutshell: This is the spin-off of the main Ivy, a London institution.
Theatre menu offer: two courses £15.50, three for £21. Shepherd's pie and champagne meal available from 9.30pm Monday - Friday.
Theatre menu times: Monday - Friday 5.30 - 6.30pm.
14 Garrick Street (Floral Street entrance), Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9BJ
In a nutshell: The second LIma in London, this offers fresh Peruvian dishes - plus there's a bar serving smaller dishes downstairs too.
Theatre menu offer: £17.50 for 2 courses; £19.50 for 3 courses. Two options per course.
Theatre menu times: Monday to Friday Lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm, Dinner: 5:30pm - 6pm
7 Brewer Street, London W1F 9ZN
In a nutshell: Another central London steakhouse - this time one that's been imported from Denmark.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses £22, three courses £25 (including coffee). Choice of two types of steak or chicken for mains - includes one side.
Theatre menu times: 5.30pm to 7.00pm and 9.45pm to 11.00pm
21-22 Warwick Street, London W1B 5NE
In a nutshell: This is Yotam Ottolenghi's main central London brasserie and focuses on sharing dishes of Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine.
Theatre menu offer: five dishes to share - £24.50 per person. Single options available.
Theatre menu times: Monday - Friday 5:30pm - 6:30pm
10a Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AE
In a nutshell: This is the main restaurant inside the stunning Corinthia hotel and is notable for offering a glass of champagne with its theatre menu. Expect modern British cuisine.
Theatre menu offer: 2 courses £24, 3 courses £28, including half bottle of water, tea or coffee, and petit fours. Four choices per courses. Supplements applicable on some dishes. Sides extra.
Theatre menu times: Daily 5.30pm - 7pm and 10-11pm.
26-29 Dean Street, London, W1D 3LL
In a nutshell: This Soho institution is now the home of chef Jeremy Lee and has a daily changing British menu. Their theatre set menu is actually available all day and is excellent value for the area.
Theatre menu offer: £18.50 for two courses, £21.50 for three courses. Two choices available.
Theatre menu times: All day
The Savoy Hotel, Strand, London WC2R 0EU
In a nutshell: Gordon Ramsay took over the Savoy Grill when the hotel recently reopened and it remains a London institution. It's also well worth trying to get a drink in the American Bar too - but expect the drinks to be almost as expensive as your meal.
Theatre menu offer: two courses for £24, three courses for £28. Three choices per course, sides extra.
Theatre menu times: Monday to Friday from 5:30pm until 6:45pm
Strand Dining Rooms
Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, 1-3 Strand, London, WC2N 5EJ
In a nutshell: This restaurant just off Trafalgar Square has just added PLum & Spilt Milk's Mark Sargeant, who's brought in a new British menu.
Theatre menu offer: two courses for £17.50, three courses for £21.50. Three choices per course.
Theatre menu times: Monday to Saturday, 12-3pm, Monday - Sunday 5-7pm
Theatre menus, mapped.
Here's where the restaurants offering theatre menus are located.