The 10 best restaurants near Leicester Square, located near London's famous West End theater district, encompass cuisine ranging from Japanese and Mexican to Italian and good ol' British fare. Leicester Square is actually famous for another type of theater, as it is nicknamed "Cinemaland" for it huge and well-known movie houses. Odeon Leicester Square, which houses nearly, 1,700 people, is often used for London premieres of "James Bond," "Harry Potter" and other blockbuster films. But there are several other big movie theaters in the area, which make dinner and a movie a real event, especially when trying to choose from these best restaurants near Leicester Square.
- Browns Bar & Brasserie Located in the charming Covent Garden area of London about a block east of the Leicester Square Underground stop, the popular Browns offers pre-theater specials, whether you're seeing a play or a film, and is open until 11 p.m. for a meal after your show. Dress code is dressy casual and the menu includes steaks, lamp, shepherd's pie and other traditional British food, along with pasta dishes, fish and burgers.
- Abeno This Japanese restaurant specializes in varieties of okonomiyas, which are pancake-like items made with a base of egg, dough and cabbage and spiced up with spinach, cheese, fish or sausage and served tempura style. But the menu also includes plenty of other Japanese favorites.
- J. Sheekey Restaurant and Oyster Bar Not far down the street from Browns, J. Sheekey is open every day and offers some of the best seafood in west London. The oyster bar is a popular stop for lunch or dinner and the restaurant does its best to accommodate patrons who have a show to catch. Ties aren't required, but you'll see plenty of well-dressed patrons ready for a night on the town.
- The Ivy This elegant restaurant, a little north of Leicester Square, is a West End landmark and is frequented by performers and audience members alike after a show. In true British style, the dress code simply says, "Gentlemen are requested not to wear shorts."
- Tokyo Diner A couple of blocks west of Leicester Square is Tokyo Diner, which is exactly what it sounds like. The place is small, casual, reasonably priced and features plenty of familiar Japanese dishes. If you're on a budget, but are tired of pub food, check it out.
- Pizza Express There are Pizza Express restaurants all over London, each with its own theme or style. But this one on St. Martin's Lane is pretty cool. Its got a library and full licensed bar right in the restaurant. It's not exactly gourmet pizza, though the goat's cheese pizzas are among their specialties.
- Cafe Koha This restaurant is right in between the Wyndham and Noel Coward theaters and features an upscale dining room on one side and a cool wine bar on the other if you just want to grab a drink before or after a show.
- Chiquito If you're missing some good old-fashioned Tex-Mex, Chiquito near Leicester Square can satisfy your hunger for nachos, fajitas and the like. It's casual with a fun atmosphere and tasty margaritas, mojitos and a long list of cold beers.
- Salvador and Amanda If it's tapas you're after, Salvador and Amanda can hook you up from a seemingly endless list of Spanish choices on the menu and an even longer list of drinks, including a variety of house sangrias that will definitely leave you needing a taxi after dinner.
- Leicester Square Bar & Restaurant Located in the Edwardian Leicester Square Radisson Hotel, the restaurant features what it calls "modern British" fare. Check out the platters to share if you're in a group. Since you're in London, might as well get a taste of one of the restaurant's sinful puddings.
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You're not off the hook: This list includes dessert.