RestaurantsLondonCovent GardenWC2E

survey result

Summary

£62
  £££
2
Average
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

The “Manhattan-esque atmosphere” is the perennial attraction of this Theatreland favourite (sibling to a famous NYC brasserie near Times Square), which retains the retro charm of a 1970s period piece, even though it was completely rebuilt on a new site just around the corner from the original one just four years ago. “Despite the luvvie buzz, the American food is decidedly second rate (though the off-menu burger is fine)”. “Prices are not unreasonable for the location”, however, and “the youthful staff do their best”.

Summary

£61
  £££
2
Average
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Like a pair of comfy shoes that never let you down”, this nostalgic Covent Garden sibling to an NYC Theatreland brasserie of the same name is “a go-to when we’re in town” for its many fans (“I have been to many Michelin star establishments around the world but Joe Allen is my favourite restaurant”). It was moved – lock, stock and barrel – three years ago due to reconstruction on its original site: “the address has changed, but everything else is the same: thank god!”. Even its fans concede that its unambitious staple menu “might not win prizes for the food” – it’s a place for a bite post-show, not a foodie occasion (with its off-menu burger being its most celebrated culinary offering for those in-the-know).

Summary

£56
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Still great fun” – this easy-going American-style all-day restaurant sealed its long-running status as a key Theatreland venue a couple of years ago when it moved – lock, stock and resident piano-player – to a new Covent Garden address, after Robert de Niro requisitioned its former basement for his new hotel. “Excellent brunch” is the best bet food-wise – “dinner not so much” – although for a bite post-show it remains something of an institution. From late 2021, another option is a visit to Joe’s Bar, overseen by Russell Norman (who started his restaurant career here as a waiter in the 1990s). Top Tip: the off-menu burger is always available – this is, after all, a 1970s spin-off from the original NYC Joe Allen. (Note, founder Joe Allen passed away in February 2021, aged 87. His advice to would-be restaurateurs? “Think twice!”).

Summary

£51
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Seemingly relocated brick-by-brick, table-by-table” – this “casual and fun” haunt in Covent Garden’s (a 1970s spin-off from NYC’s famous Theatre District staple) moved a couple of years ago, leaving its original basement home for this new two-level location just a minute’s walk away. It’s a surprisingly faithful reproduction, and regulars of decades standing feel “it still works and seems unchanged”; and, as a place to refuel before or after a show, it still has a large fanclub, despite a “perennially ordinary” level of cooking…sadly also preserved in the move. Top Menu Tip – “the secret’s been out about the off-menu burger for many, many years now”, and it’s the best bet.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

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Restaurant details

Highchair,Menu
No dress code
130

Joe Allen Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Joe Allen Restaurant in WC2E, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Joe Allen restaurant.
Peter C
Having not been to this restaurant for many...
Reviewed 7 months, 10 days ago

"Having not been to this restaurant for many years it was for a pre-theatre meal we decided to give it a try being convenient for the Savoy Theatre. Sadly although it is still a fun venue with a buzzy atmosphere, the food was disappointing and below par. Service was also a bit hit and miss- will not be rushing back."

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Tim Y
It’s a great luvvie buzz still, but the f...
Reviewed 10 months, 18 days ago

"It’s a great luvvie buzz still, but the food and service are decidedly second rate (though my off-menu burger was fine). My wife’s fish was swimming in oil on the plate. Prices not unreasonable for the location. Youthful servers probably doing their best."

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Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Always £25.00 £30.00

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£11.50 £18.80 £1.00 £8.95
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £32.00
Filter Coffee £3.50
Extras  
Service 13.50%
2 Burleigh St, London, WC2E 7PX
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Opening hours
Monday4 pm‑9:45 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑9:45 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑9:45 pm
Thursday12 pm‑9:45 pm
Friday12 pm‑10:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑10:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑4:30 pm

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