Jamie Oliver's Diner sign
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Bite to eat at pop-up Jamie Oliver’s Diner, Shaftesbury Avenue

Edit 2020 – this diner is no longer open.

I love eating out, especially when out and about.

Yes, I could save money and pack a picnic, but then you’re dependent on the weather, finding somewhere to sit (not easy when you’re in the middle of a city), and I have to try and put off N who would happily eat it all on the journey.  I dread to think what he’ll be like on school trips where he’ll take a packed lunch.

Jamie Oliver's Diner ice cream van

I took N up to London recently for a theatre trip.  On the way he spotted the miniature ice cream van outside Jamie Oliver’s Diner, so that was the obvious place we’d be going for lunch afterwards.

The restaurant’s aim is all about well cooked simple diner style food.  The prices aren’t everyday lunch out prices, but are reasonable, and there’s a kids menu of main, ice cream and a drink.

I wasn’t sure what the giant dinosaur ‘dinersaur’ on the stairs was about, but the décor’s nice.  Retro style but with a bit of class rather than cheese.  Almost like a fusion of gastro pub (think lettering and phrases on the walls) and retro diner.

jamie oliver's diner London
2 tables had just left at this point at just before 2pm, it wasn’t really that empty!

N was being a bit faffy – he’d probably snacked on too much in the morning, not helped by having a 12pm theatre performance which has to be the most annoying time to have one – lunch time! But he eventually decided on chicken strips and chips.  The one thing that annoys me about Jamie Oliver’s restaurants – italian and here, is that they just don’t serve veg, instead it’s salad.  So the kids meal came with coleslaw.  How many kids eating a kids meal are really going to eat coleslaw (or salad leaves)?  N’s a good eater but even he won’t touch coleslaw despite him liking cabbage and carrot.

Jamie Oliver's kids chicken and chips

Although we did wait a while, N had colouring pencils and an activity sheet to keep him entertained.  He was more interested in watching everyone walking by and the vehicles outside.

Jamie Oliver's Diner sign

N’s chicken and chips were really good.  He wasn’t that hungry so we got them to box up the leftovers for him (he ate them for tea when he got home).  He still managed to eat his ice cream though.

pork meatball spaghetti

I’d ordered spaghetti and pork meatballs in a tomato sauce.  It was really delicious and although I didn’t think I’d be able to finish the huge bowlful, I did just about manage it….and without spilling sauce down me.  I was too stuffed to eat a dessert which is largely unheard of.  I did have it a little on the cold side, thanks to N stating he wanted the toilet just after the food arrived.  Why he couldn’t have gone in the theatre like I suggested or before we ordered, I don’t know.

toilets in Jamie Oliver's Diner
Funky cubicle doors

The atmosphere in Jamie Oliver’s Diner is good.  The waitresses made us feel at home, they were attentive enough, and there was a good buzz of people in there.  Some post theatre families, with a few groups of adults at other tables so a mix of people eating there.

For a spontaneous lunch or a pre theatre meal suitable for the whole family, it’s definitely somewhere I’d go back again…I’d just like to see some more child friendly salad (cucumber, carrot sticks, pepper) or non-leafy veg.

Have you eaten at Jamie Oliver’s diner?  Or another pop up restaurant?

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  1. We’ve not tried a Jamie Oliver restaurant but would love to! My OH is a big fan.
    Thanks for sharing your review on #TriedTested this week x

  2. Oh how fab this looks! I have never eaten at a Jamie Oliver place – I would love to though. The food looks good. Kaz x

  3. Sounds like you had a good meal overall but you would think that they make it more child friendly in terms of food content wouldn’t you? I am not a big fan personally but then I did go a long time ago and as a vegetarian there wasn’t much choice and variety. However that might have changed since then so I might give it another go. Glad you enjoyed your food.

    1. You’re right, I don’t think I saw much on the menu specifically vegetarian, although I suppose there must have been. Thanks for your comment

  4. I love Jamie Olivers restaurants but haven’t been to the diner! Have to say, its slightly strange they don’t serve vegetables in kids meals considering a lot of his campaigns to get children eating more healthily!

    Kay xxx

    1. I guess for them salad is the equivalent, and it’s easier to do. Although I do think having frozen peas for requests isn’t going to a) break the bank, or b) be hard to make.

  5. I have never been to a Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, there are none in my town although I have always wanted to go! I am like you, I would much rather eat out then bring a packed lunch 🙂

  6. That looks fun, but I think London (and central London at that) has many more green spaces than people expect. They’re not always on the main thoroughfares but they are there but I agree always having a picnic isn’t always the most fun, sometimes restaurants are really the only way to go.

    1. I just hate having to lug around cool bags of food when I’m already carrying a rucksack of snacks, coats, water, activities for the train, and a camera bag. If we’re out I like to make a day of it and eat out. However, I agree. London is brilliant for green spaces compared with a lot of other cities. It’s nice to just sit and relax away from traffic.

  7. The pasta and meatballs looks amazing mmm making me hungry now. I would love to eat here. We have a Jamie restaurant near where we live and I keep meaning to book in and try it. That coleslaw looks amazing mmmmm! x

  8. My kid would eat the coleslaw! He’d steal mine too! I’m surprised that with all Jamie’s healthy eating promotion it wasn’t a healthier dessert on the menu

  9. The place looks perfect for kids! Must say, Jamie Oliver has an Italian near my house and it doesn’t get great reviews. But I think pop ups are a wonderful idea! x

    1. I’ve heard mixed things about his Italian restaurants. I’ve always had a good experience (apart from the lack of veg for kids when I’ve requested an alternative), but I know others haven’t.

  10. Oh it sounds really nice – I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver anyway, I think his promotion of simple healthy food is great. Laughing also at the toilet thing, my kids are 20 and 13 and even now I ask ‘have you been to the toilet?’ before we go anywhere! 🙂

  11. Wow, it looks amazing! Also not quite sure what the dinosaur is about but I love the decor. The atmosphere does look great, I can tell by the photos – it looks very welcoming. And the food looks Delicious.

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