Where to eat before seeing Hamilton

Going to see the hottest show in the West End? We've teamed up with olive magazine to recommend some of the best nearby dining experiences

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21:  The company of Hamilton during the curtain call of the press night performance of "Hamilton" at The Victoria Palace Theatre on December 21, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical story of founding father Alexander Hamilton has quickly become one of the hottest shows on the planet.


Starting life in New York off – and then on – Broadway, Hamilton kicked off its London run in December 2017 and has quickly become one of the hottest tickets in the British capital.

If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket to the musical, why not make an evening of it and pair a delicious meal with this most sumptuous of shows…

We’ve teamed up with the foodie experts over at olive magazine to recommend some of the best places to dine within a few minutes walk of the Victoria Palace Theatre in central London.

UNI  (upmarket Japanese)

UNI showcases Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese. That means everything from seared wagyu beef and miso black cod to traditional tiraditos, tapas, ceviche and sashimi.

Upstairs, diners can perch on stools at the sushi bar to watch the chefs at work, or settle in to the relaxed, cosy restaurant in the basement. It’s on the pricey side but the execution of dishes and the quality of ingredients (especially the fish) is top notch.

Pre-theatre menu at UNI: Try one of UNI’s neat bento boxes for a great-value pre-theatre meal. £15 gets you a couple of prawn tempura, a sashimi trio of seabass, salmon and butterfish, fillet of robata-grilled chicken or salmon, and a steaming miso soup and fresh Japanese salad. There’s a vegetarian version with aged dashi tofu, yasai maki sushi rolls and veggie tempura.

Pre-theatre menu times: Bento boxes available midday-7pm, Monday to Friday.

How many minutes’ walk from UNI to Hamilton? 6 minutes

Address: 18a Ebury Street, Belgravia, SW1W 0LU

Hai Cenato (buzzy Italian)


Jason Atherton’s casual Italian restaurant and bar, in Victoria’s modern Nova quarter development, focuses on seafood plates, thick-crust pizzas and pasta dishes.

There’s a plush feel to the modern space, with floor-to-ceiling red velvet curtains, deep red banquettes and a buzzy open kitchen (headed by Paul Hood, who also runs Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred Soho restaurant, The Social Eating House).

Pre-theatre menu at Hai Cenato: An early evening pizza menu, including the guest chef topping of the month, is yours for the picking. All pizzas have epic chewy crusts, and our favourite is pizza bianca topped with taleggio, chanterelles and caramelised onions.

Go full aperitivo-style and opt for a vermouth and tonic, or pick from the dedicated negroni menu and pair with indulgent snacks (chilli and garlic pizza bread, cured meats platters and rich parmesan arancini balls stuffed with aged prosciutto).

Pre-theatre menu times: 5:30pm- 6:30pm, Monday to Sunday

How many minutes’ walk from Hai Cenato to Hamilton? 2 minutes

Address: 2 Sir Milton Square, Victoria, SW1E 5DJ

Read the full review 

The Goring (glamorous hotel fine dining)

The Restaurant @ The Goring Olive Magazine

The Goring, a timeless five-star hotel, is the kind of place that sparkles street side: you know something special lies within. Where commuting trainers have to be swapped for brogues or heels, tights suitably hitched, ties stiffened and shirts tucked in. It’s a place that demands a certain sense of decorum. It’s also, though, incredibly relaxed. Far from the hushed whisper of many a luxury hotel, fine-dining offering, this restaurant has an audible buzz.

Pre-theatre menu at The Goring: The Goring’s two-course set menu (£37) still offers plenty of choice. Starters include creamy cep risotto with goat’s cheese and Iberian ham, and spring vegetable salad with sheep’s curd and truffle dressing.

Move on to classic mains such as roast Cornish cod with cauliflower and sea vegetables, lobster omelette with duck-fat chips and lobster Caesar salad, and salt marsh lamb with smoked aubergine and lamb sweetbreads. If you have time for something sweet, add on tea, coffee and petits fours for an extra £5.50 per head.

Pre-theatre menu times: There are two sittings for the pre-theatre menu, at 6pm and 6:30pm, Monday to Saturday (just double checking)

How many minutes’ walk to Hamilton: 4 minutes

Address: 15 Beeston Place, SW1W OJW

Read the full review

Cambridge Street Kitchen (cosy neighbourhood restaurant)

Olive magazine

Once a Victoria boozer, Cambridge Street Kitchen is now the hard-working restaurant of the Artist Residence hotel and is beautifully decked out with vibrant modern art. The food menu focuses on seasonal British ingredients, and there’s a cocktail cellar downstairs, with drinks inspired by the movies (Kill Bill with Aylesbury Duck vodka, Umeshu sake, ginger, lemon, barrel-aged bitters, honey soda and vanilla is a must order).

Pre-theatre menu at Cambridge Street Kitchen: There’s no pre-theatre menu, per se, but dinner officially starts at 6pm (so you’ll have to order quick), here’s our lowdown on the menu (link). Or make the most of the midweek aperitivo menu – £5 cocktails or £4.50 glasses of wine served with unlimited nibbles. Cocktails include the lemongrass-infused Aperol spritz, a Suze with crème de cassis and tonic, and a fragrant Rose Collins. House red is a Bordeaux Merlot and the white a Chenin Blanc from South Africa.

Pre-theatre menu times: 4pm-7pm, Monday to Friday

How many minutes’ walk from Cambridge Street Kitchen to Hamilton? 12 minutes

Address: 52 Cambridge Street, Pimlico, SW1V 4QQ

Read the full review

Lime Orange  (casual Asian)

Pop in to this family-run, no-frills Korean for punchy dishes before the show. Start with lip-smacking spicy calamari or crunchy sweet chilli chicken wings and then choose between beef, seafood, chicken or tofu to join the kimchee topping on the bibimbap rice bowls. Sizzle your own pork belly or beef on little grills built-in to the table to complete your bulgogi salad, or wind up thick, slippery udon noodles from plates of mixed seafood.

Pre-theatre menu at Lime Orange: Though they’re not dedicated to pre-theatre, the set menus at Lime Orange are great value. The cheapest, at only £18.75, includes Korean vegetable dumplings, a chicken stone-pot bibimbap with miso soup, a glass of house wine and Korean tea to finish.

Lime Orange’s pre-theatre menu times: 5pm-10:30pm, Monday to Saturday

How many minutes’ walk from Lime Orange to Hamilton? 2 minutes

Address: 312 Vauxhall Bridge Road, Westminster, SW1V 1AA

Lorne (contemporary neighbourhood restaurant modern British)


Lorne serves seasonal, modern British food in a relaxed, pared-back setting with natural woods, plenty of greenery and marble-topped tables. The solid cooking, great flavours and an impressive, adventurous wine list, make this the perfect neighbourhood restaurant.

Pre-theatre menu at Lorne: There’s a set menu (two courses for £22 or three courses for £27) designed for those restricted with time. Start with the likes of smoked haddock quiche or heritage beetroot, followed by pollock with fennel and Brussels sprouts or pork belly with turnips, and comforting desserts such as frangipane tart with rhubarb or the unusual rice pudding/apple crumble mash up.

Lorne’s pre-theatre menu times: 6pm and 6:15pm, Tuesday to Saturday

How many minutes’ walk from Lorne to Hamilton? 7 minutes

Address: 76 Wilton Road, Pimlico, SW1V 1DE

Read the full review

Rail House Café (stylish all-day brasserie) 

Olive Magazine

All-day brasserie The Rail House Café makes the most of its floor-to-ceiling glass front to create a dining space that brings the outdoors in, and vice versa. If it’s a sunny day, sink into the outdoor sofas’ pastel-striped cushions and sip on a craft beer (we love Salty Kiss, a German-style Gose brewed by Magic Rock in Yorkshire with sea buckthorn and sea salt).

Pre-theatre menu at Rail House Café: There’s no specific pre-theatre menu, but the eclectic dinner menu kicks off at 5pm, with lighter options available for pre-theatre snacking. The ‘raw’ section boasts sea bass ceviche, yellowfin tuna tartare and teriyaki steak tartare, and there’s plenty of choice, from chicken wings to burgers, crispy baby squid to healthy salads.

Pre-theatre menu times: 5pm onwards, Monday to Saturday

How many minutes’ walk from Rail House Café to Hamilton? 4 minutes

Address: 8 Sir Simon Milton Square, Victoria, SW1E 5DJ

Read the full review

The Other Naught Piglet (small plates)

This fun sharing plates restaurant and wine bar is actually housed in Victoria’s fringe theatre The Other Palace, ideal if you want to do a bit of theatre hopping and spot the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber ( and the restaurant) from the funky counter seating that overlooks the theatre foyer downstairs. 

Pre-theatre menu at The Other Naughty Piglet: The small plates menu lends itself to pre-theatre grazing. Pop a couple of ham croquettes (£2 each) and then share such dishes as burrata with romesco, XO linguine with cured egg yolk, and BBQ pork belly with sesame and Korean spices. For pudding, squeeze in a couple of cinnamon donuts with cereal milk ice cream. There’s an extensive wine list, with plenty by the glass – Languedoc Grenache, light Loire red and a Sicilian orange wine.

Pre-theatre menu times: 5:15pm-9:15pm, Monday-Saturday

How many minutes’ walk from The Other Naughty Piglet to Hamilton? 5 minutes

Address: The Other Palace, 12 Palace Street, Westminster, SW1E 5JA 

A Wong (contemporary Chinese)

This fresh, contemporary Chinese restaurant recently gained a Michelin star. Cuisine from all over China is cooked in the large open kitchen, from snacks to lunchtime dim sum, wok dishes to intricate desserts. The menu is best enjoyed as a selection of sharing plates, with small plates and bar snacks and larger dishes, and there’s also an eight-course tasting menu.

Pre-theatre menu at A Wong: There isn’t a pre-theatre menu, but dinner starts early, so there’s definitely time for a great-value dim sum basket (£6) and a mini banquet of Chinese chicken wings and black bean sauce, crispy caramelized chilli beef, and silky Sichuan aubergines.

Pre-theatre menu times: 5:30-10pm, Monday-Saturday

How many minutes’ walk from The Other Naughty Piglet to Hamilton? 7 minutes

Address: 70 Wilton Road, Victoria, SW1V 1DE

Bleecker (burger joint)

Pre-theatre menu at Bleecker: Being an all-day, fast-food burger place, Bleecker is an ideal spot for a quick fill before the show. Rare-breed, grass-fed beef patties are served medium-rare in a seeded bun with American cheese and a splat of burger sauce (varieties on the classic include bacon double cheeseburger, blue cheese and the fried tofu veggie burger with hot sauce). Pair with hand-cut sweet potato fries or ‘angry fries’ with hot sauce and creamy blue cheese.

In true diner style, there are also indulgent house milkshakes made with Bleecker’s own ice cream, a selection of American craft beers and refreshing Square Root sodas.

How many minutes’ walk from Bleecker to Hamilton? 1 minute

Address: 205 Victoria Street, Victoria, SW1E 5NE


Read the full review

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