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 menus offer great value at some of London's top dining destinations. We've kept our choice centred around London's main theatre districts.
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.
St James's Market 1 Carlton Street, London SW1Y 4QQ
In a nutshell: This all-day St James's Market restaurant serves up Nordic cuisine and the pre-theatre deal is a great way to try it out, even if you're not going on to the theatre.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses £22, three courses £25. Two to three choices per course
Theatre menu times: 5.30-6.30pm and 9.30-10.30pm
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:The post-theatre offering here is fish pie and a glass of fizz here for £25
Theatre menu times:After 10pm
12 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7BB
In a nutshell: Jacob Kenedy's longstanding Soho spot is a top place for seasonal Italian food. Best place to perch? Up at the counter.
Theatre menu offer: Daily changing one dish special for £10.
Theatre menu times: 5.30pm until 7pm
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 such 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 £10.50 for two courses & £13.75 for three courses (single choice available).
Theatre menu times: 11.30am until midnight
36 Tavistock Street, London WC2E 7PB
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 theatre packages which include tickets.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses for £19 and three courses for £23.
Theatre menu times: 12pm – 7.00pm, and from 9.30pm – 11pm.
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: Mon - Thurs, 2 courses £28.50, 3 courses £34.50; Saturday, 3 courses £34.50; Sunday, 3 courses £42.50
Theatre menu times: Mon - Sat 5-6pm, Sunday 5-10pm
30 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8NA
In a nutshell: This restaurant comes from the same people behind Kitty Fishers. Expect a modern European menu - and maybe get their famed cheese toastie as an added extra.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses for £20 and three courses for £25.
Theatre menu times: Mon - Thurs, 5.30-7pm
18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7DD
In a nutshell: Christopher's is a high-end American grill, just off Covent Garden. Don't forget to order a martini - they've got a bar devoted to it.
Theatre menu offer: two courses for £22.50, three courses for £26.50. Three to four choices per course, sides extra.
Theatre menu times: Monday to Saturday 5pm – 6.15pm & 10pm – 11.30pm
16 Henrietta St, Covent Garden London WC2E 8QH
In a nutshell: This is the London outpost of the popular Parisian restaurant. Expect a French/European menu, specifically using local British ingredients.
Theatre menu offer: Two-courses for £29 or three for £32
Theatre menu times: 5.30-6pm & 10.00-10.30pm
5a Air Street, London, W1J 0AD and 11 Langley Street, London WC2H 9JG
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 £25, three courses £28. Three+ choices per course - one side included.
Theatre menu times: 12-3pm, 5-6.30pm, 10pm onwards
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 £23.50.
Theatre menu times: Daily 12-6.30pm and 10pm-11pm
1 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8PS
In a nutshell: A spin-off of the London institution, The Ivy, this Covent Garden spot serves up all the usual brasserie fare.
Theatre menu offer: two courses £16.50, three for £21. Sides extra.
Theatre menu times: Daily (excluding Saturday) 4.30pm-7pm and 9.30-11.30pm
2 Burleigh St, London WC2E 7PX
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 £16.95, three courses £19.50
Theatre menu times: Daily 12-7pm
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: £16 for 2 courses; £19 for 3 courses.
Theatre menu times: Monday to Friday 12-3pm, 5pm - 6.30pm
45 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5AA
In a nutshell: A high-end Italian that's very close to Covent Garden tube. With two stars of the London restaurant scene in charge - Paulo De Tarso and Nicolas Jaouën, you can be sure of some great service here too.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses for £25 and three courses for £29.
Theatre menu times: Mon - Sat 12 - 6pm, 9.30-11pm; Sunday 2 - 6.30pm & 9.00-10pm
7 Brewer Street, London W1F 9ZN
In a nutshell: This central London steakhouse is a Danish import - it's also huge, so you're usually sure of a table down here.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses £22, three courses £30.
Theatre menu times: 5.30pm to 7.00pm and 9.45pm to close
21-22 Warwick Street, London W1B 5NE
In a nutshell: One of Yotam Ottolenghi's two main central London restaurants - it focuses on sharing dishes of Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine.
Theatre menu offer: five dishes to share - £25.50 per person.
Theatre menu times: Monday - Friday 5:30pm - 6:30pm
27 King Street, London WC2E 8JD
In a nutshell: Petersham Nurseries brought a little of their Richmond location into the heart of Covent Garden with an impressive space centred around a beautiful courtyard. You'll find a seasonal menu with Italian inspiration.
Theatre menu offer: Two-courses for £29.50 or three for £34
Theatre menu times: Monday - Saturday: 5pm - 6:30pm
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 £31, three courses for £35. Three choices per course, sides extra.
Theatre menu times: Monday to Friday from 5:00pm until 6:30pm and 9.30pm to 10.30pm
5 Mercer Walk Mercers Yard, London WC2H 9FA
In a nutshell: Neil Rankin's Temper in Covent Garden has moved away from pizza and back to the meat and tacos offering of the other branches. The set menu has tacos, cheeseburger and steak as possibilities.
Theatre menu offer: Two-courses for £16 or three for £19
Theatre menu times: Mon - Thurs 12-6.30pm, Fri-Sat 3-6.30pm
4a Upper St Martin's Lane, London WC2H 9NY
In a nutshell: Part of the Marcus Wareing stable, Tredwells under chef Chantelle Nicholson serves up contemporary British cooking in the heart of the West End. There's also two bar areas serving chef-inspired cocktails making this a top drinking spot too.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses £25, three courses £30.
Theatre menu times: Mon - Thurs: 5pm – 6:30pm / 9pm – 10pm; Friday: 5pm - 6:30pm / 9:45pm - 11pm; Sat: 12pm - 6:30pm / 9:45pm – 11pm; Sun: 12pm - 9pm
30 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DL
In a nutshell: This restaurant is from the same people behind Bao. Here, it's all modelled after a Taiwanese tea house with a reference back to 1930s Taipei. The menu features their own take on classic Taiwanese dishes.
Theatre menu offer: A set menu (veg option available) fro £19.50
Theatre menu times: 5-6.30pm
150 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 5LB
In a nutshell: Part of the big Nova complex, this is a two-level D&D restaurant with a cafe downstairs and a more traditional restaurant upstairs. With this restaurant, they've gone Nordic for their influences.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses £23, three courses £25.
Cardinal Place, 2 Sir Simon Milton Square, Westminster, London SW1E 5DJ
In a nutshell: Jason Atherton's Victoria restaurant is an Italian - something he's been wanting to open for a while. Expect a mix of pasta dishes, pizzas from the huge open oven and more besides.
Theatre menu offer: Two courses £18.
76 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1DE
In a nutshell: This restaurant in Victoria has an ex-sommelier from River Cafe and a chef from Brawn, so expect a particularly good wine list and a Modern British seasonal menu to match with it.
Theatre menu offer: Three courses for £27.
Theatre menu times: Two sittings - 6 and 6.15pm
81 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0AJ
In a nutshell: Nova Victoria spot Stoke House is all about the meat which is cooked in the wood fire smoker, there’s also an in-house salad wall.
Theatre menu offer: Two-courses for £15 or three for £20
Theatre menu times: Monday to Sunday from 3pm-7pm
Theatre menus, mapped.
Here's where the restaurants offering theatre menus are located.