Harden's survey result
“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.
“Well done!” – “The move from Exeter Street to nearby Burleigh Street looks to have paid off” for this famous and “fun” Covent Garden veteran, forced to relocate a year ago. “The iconic Joe Allen atmosphere has been almost totally recreated, with the help of most of the original fixtures and fittings from the old place”. “Service has moved up a notch or two” and while “the food can still be a bit hit ’n’ miss”, it’s actually rated as much more consistently dependable now. Top Menu Tip: the “hidden off-the-menu burger” is still the top menu choice.
In September 2017, this “always buzzing” 40-year-old “West End institution” (no longer co-owned with its NYC cousin) moved to a new site just 25m from the original, to accommodate Robert de Niro’s new Wellington hotel (opening in 2018). They’ve taken everything with them from the panelling to the posters and piano, and we’ve rated it assuming nothing changes, that is: “you go for the bustle and the showbiz feel” and by-and-large “forget the food” (“little better than an upmarket TGI fridays”). Top Menu Tip – “the favourite staple is the off-menu burger that’s always available”.
Still-“vibrant” survivor from the ’70s in a Theatreland basement – a “busy American diner” whose Covent Garden location makes it “a great spot for meeting pre-/post-show” and has long been something of a “minor celebrity hangout”. That “it hasn’t really changed under new ownership” (it’s no longer in the same stable as its NYC namesake) is a mixed blessing – fans say “there’s a time and place for it and when it’s good it’s really good”, but critics are “not sure how it’s still trading, except on a very out-of-date reputation: one friend always suggests meeting there… my heart sinks!” Top Menu Tip – “burgers can be ordered off menu for those in the know”.
Joe Allen Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Awful food. Liver was tougher than the sole on a shoe. Butternut squash salad was very mean"
"iconic restaurant for the theatre crowd with the conceit that the hamburger is not on the menu. A terrific place for amusements and people watching."
|Wine per bottle||£19.95|
2 Burleigh St, London, WC2E 7PX
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||11:30 am‑11:30 pm|
|Tuesday||11:30 am‑11:30 pm|
|Wednesday||11:30 am‑11:30 pm|
|Thursday||11:30 am‑11:30 pm|
|Friday||11:30 am‑11:30 pm|
|Saturday||9 am‑11:30 pm|
|Sunday||9 am‑10:30 pm|