London's Best Pre-Theatre Outdoor Places To Eat and Drink
We kicked off our new London Theatre Guides series with transport advice: how to travel to and navigate the West End. Check it out here!
Another key part of a great theatre experience is knowing the best bars and restaurants where you can meet up for a pre-show drink, snack or meal. In honour of our recent sunny spell, hopefully the first of many as we head into summer, here are some of London's finest pre-theatre outdoor eating and drinking options.
Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Café
Created to mark the Festival of Britain's 60th anniversary, in partnership with the Eden Project, this idyllic green space is perfect for Southbank Centre or National Theatre visits, and offers spectacular views of the South Bank as you enjoy a glass of wine, seasonal cocktail, tea or coffee, perhaps accompanied by a salad or cake.
For the authentic British pub experience, try this characterful West End venue - serving up classic cask ales, traditional ciders and tasty nibbles like pork pies, sandwiches and other bar snacks. Located between Trafalgar Square and venues like the London Coliseum and Garrick Theatre, it's the perfect bridge between sightseeing and a show.
Koha Restaurant & Bar
Situated on St Martin's Court, a pedestrian-only side street running between Wyndham's and the Noel Coward Theatres, you'll find several venues with outside seating (covered, in case of surprise showers). Koha has an excellent two-course pre-theatre meal deal - fine dining served swiftly, and in attractive al freso surroundings.
This funky rooftop bar - close to the Old Vic and Young Vic theatres, and Waterloo station - is loosely inspired by Napoleon's place of exile, the Island of Elba. But more importantly, it has a fantastic cocktail menu, hot wings and burgers, colourful fairy lights, and gorgeous views of the city's skyline. Plus it's two-for-one cocktails until 6pm, Sunday-Wednesday.
This Covent Garden staple (convenient for Drury Lane's theatres) is Italian/Spanish dining heaven, and its tapas plates means swift early-evening service. With outdoor seating giving you a great view of the action, it's a buzzy spot for drinks too, accompanied by shareable treats like croquetas, charcuterie boards or even just superior olives.
Southbank Centre Food Market
Can't decide which cuisine you fancy? With more than 40 independent producers plying their trade right beside the Royal Festival Hall, this vibrant street market has it all - from BBQ, pizza and curry to juices, crepes and real ale; wander through and then sit at the picnic-style tables and benches. Open Friday-Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.
Got questions or recommendations for pre-theatre food & drink - or any other element of the theatregoing experience? Tweet us @BroadwayWorldUK!