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Pre-Theatre Dining in South Bank

July 8th, 2021 | by Tom Harrow-Smith

Pre-Theatre Guide to South Bank

Live performance and theatre are what South Bank is all about and there's no shortage of great pre-theatre dining options in the neighbourhood. Whether you are catching the latest play at the National, a live classical concert at Royal Festival Hall, a film premiere at the BFI or something a bit edgier and underground on Leake Street, South Bank has a wide variety of great options for drinks and dinner before (or after) a show. 


  • Skylon

    Skylon is set inside the Royal Festival Hall itself, making it the perfect place to head to if you're catching a classical concert. Thanks to Skylon's location, you don't have to worry about rushing your food. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide stunning riverside views and early evening makes for a magical time to visit Skylon.

    Relax with dinner and drinks as you watch the sunset over the city. As dusk settles in, the Illuminated River installation turns on its lights on the Hungerford and Waterloo Bridges. Indulge in the restaurant's contemporary dishes with a three-course set menu or a la carte, and don't forget to try a cocktail at the Grand Central Bar.

    > Find out more and book here

  • OXO Tower Brasserie

    Did you know that OXO Tower actually boasts two separate dining experiences? Whilst the Restaurant offers one of the best fine dining experiences in London, on the other side of this rooftop location is the OXO Brasserie, made for a more relaxed dining experience that reflects the buzz of London life, with pre-theatre dining welcomed. 

    Boasting great views (as you'd expect from the top of OXO Tower) and dishes on the menu such as grilled mackerel, whole roasted celeriac or beetroot, confit duck wings... it all sounds mouth wateringly delicious and we've only covered the starters! You can check out the full menu here.

  • London Marriott County Hall

    What better place to match the atmosphere of heading to the theatre than dining in London Marriott Hotel County Hall? Set in the iconic County Hall building, Gillray's Chef's Hat Menu provides you with the best of an authentic British dining experience. Settle in to enjoy dishes such as 32 Day Aged Rump Steak or Crispy Pork Belly, before heading to your entertainment for the evening (if you have tickets to Witness for the Prosecution, you won't have to travel far!)

    Enjoy 2 courses of the set menu for £22 per person, or £25 for 3 courses. Valid for lunch daily between 12:00 and 16:45, and dinner Sunday to Friday 17:00 - 21:45. Max 6 per table. You can find their complete menu here

  • Côte Brasserie

    For years Côte Brasserie have been known for their delicious French food with a regular Prix Fixe menu, served between midday until close Monday to Thursdays and from midday to 7pm on Fridays and weekends. These flexible hours give you a fantastic option, especially if you are catching a matinee rather than weekend performance. 

    You can view the Prix Fixe menu here, which includes dishes such as Crispy Whitebait and their classic Steak Frites.

  • Brasserie Blanc

    Another great option for those wanting proximity to The National Theatre, Brasserie Blanc serve up their Pre-Theatre menu Monday to Saturdays from 4 – 6.30pm. As with all their menus, there's a rich influence of french cuisine using the freshest, ethically-sourced seasonal ingredients. Their latest menu celebrates the best of rich, comforting autumn fare including muscat pumpkin & kirsch soup, celeriac remoulade salad with soft poached egg, slow-cooked pork confit and a delicious poached pear with caramel butter cream to finish.

    With a raft of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options included on the menu, everyone will be able to enjoy. Click here to view the Brasserie Blanc menu.

  • Wahaca

    Who doesn’t love a Wahaca? This is one of South Bank’s most striking restaurants, made from recycled shipping containers that straddle the eastern side of Queen Elizabeth Hall. Known for their speedy service, it makes a great alternative to the typical pre-theatre options, especially when you order one of their set menu's, which comes as either a meat based or vegetarian option.

    Even if you don’t have the time for a sit down meal, with Wahaca’s takeaway taco van parked right outside on the riverfront, you’ll always be able to pick up a delicious bite before your show. Plus, if you’re heading to the Old Vic, there is even another Wahaca restaurant just a stones throw from the theatre too.

  • Art Yard

    Art Yard's set fixed price menus are great for a working lunch or pre or post culture fix, available throughout the day, every day! Starters include Watercress Soup with Devon Spider Crab, Scottish Salmon with prawn dumplings and wild garlic. Mains are the Bankside Burger with handcut chips, Hake cockles and samphire or a Supergrains salad. Plus three mouth watering desserts such as Orange, Almond and honey tart. Two courses cost just £21 or three for £27 and you can add a glass of house wine for just £5 more.

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