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The National Cafe

$$ - $$$
Neighbourhood:
Trafalgar Square / Embankment
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The East Wing Trafalgar Square | The National Gallery, London WC2N 5DN, England
+44 20 7747 5942
Website
Today
09:00 - 18:00
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 09:00 - 18:00
Mon - Fri 08:00 - 23:00
Sat 09:00 - 23:00
More Info
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472 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 381: English reviews
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

We visited the café on a day out In London. This is well decorated, very polite staff and all round good experience. We was greeted by the manager who seated us, he was very prompt with service and literally had a drink within a few minutes of being in there. Our order was then taken and the food came out... More 

Helpful?
Thank Hannah P
Level Contributor
43 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Afternoon noon advertised £17.50 outside, yet when you come inside it's suddenly £22.50. We asked why the price difference, to the actual manager via a waiter, and he just said it what we charge. We decided to leave and the look of contempt of the manager's was priceless. If this is the attitude of the National Gallery I won't be... More 

Helpful?
Thank Andrew E
Level Contributor
353 reviews
220 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This cafe used to have some real charm and good food and was a meeting place for decades. Aesthetically it has now been turned into a version of a cheap hotel coffee shop. It does not make one interested in using the cafe whatsoever. It was virtually empty and we were not surprised. Perhaps someone with some sense of interior... More 

Helpful?
Thank Bruno S
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
121 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

If you want to experience afternoon tea but don't want to spend a small fortune to experience this English pleasure, go to the National Museum where tea starts at 2:30 PM. You have a great selection of different teas that are accompanied with finger sandwiches, scones and jelly and 4 different kinds of sweets on the top. At a cost... More 

Helpful?
Thank Dawsontodd
Cotswolds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We popped in here for a spot of late lunch on a Saturday, The service was very good from start to finish. They where slightly slow as they had just finished an obviously busy lunch service but the staff where so polite and kept us informed about the whereabouts of our food. When the food came it was very wholesome... More 

Helpful?
Thank henrycooper1951
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2017

Three of us went for a pre matinee lunch, it was quite full but not enough staff so we had to prompt the staff on a number of occasions. The food was unexceptional but quite expensive. I don't think we will be going back.

Helpful?
1 Thank Paul E
Cardiff
Level Contributor
145 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2017

We last reviewed the National Café in 2011 but have been back a few times since and felt that it was time to review it again. We were in London for four days over New Year and before getting our train back on the last day we decided to eat here again as it is one of our favourite, informal... More 

Helpful?
Thank nicsweb
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2017

It's a good option available in the museum building. Although the food is ok, it's available quickly at a reasonable price. Coffee is good and available quickly.

Helpful?
Thank Hemangi_2012
Level Contributor
144 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2017 via mobile

Had coffee here as part of a business meeting. Coffee good, very reasonably priced. Tables very close together so conversation not very private. Coffee and water served in disposal cups, fine for takeaway but not ideal for a sit down and a meeting.

Helpful?
1 Thank 59gromit
Alabama
Level Contributor
158 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2017 via mobile

We got to Museum around lunch and decided to eat quickly before our visit. What a surprise! Food was delicious and we stayed longer than intended with coffee! Very clean, friendly, good selection on menu with other rooms for just a snack or drinks! Would highly recommend eating there!

Helpful?
Thank MoghaniALABAMA

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$25 - US$37
Cuisine
Cafe, European, British, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Buffet, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Reservations
Good for
Child-friendly
Open Hours
Sunday
09:00 - 18:00
Monday
08:00 - 23:00
Tuesday
08:00 - 23:00
Wednesday
08:00 - 23:00
Thursday
08:00 - 23:00
Friday
08:00 - 23:00
Saturday
09:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: The East Wing Trafalgar Square | The National Gallery, London WC2N 5DN, England
  • Location: Europe  >  United Kingdom (UK)  >  England  >  London>  > Trafalgar Square / Embankment
  • Neighbourhood: Trafalgar Square / Embankment
  • Phone Number: +44 20 7747 5942
Description
Located in the magnificent National Gallery, The National Café offers all day dining from hearty breakfasts to opulent, evening meals. Delve into a Modern British menu created by a truly passionate team of chefs and suppliers: here at The National Café we care about quality British ingredients and source all our meat, fish, dairy and veg directly from artisan producers. Our location makes us a great choice for quick pre-theatre meals, though we're best enjoyed when you have time to soak up the luxurious surroundings ... and the wine list too!

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from The National Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in Trafalgar Square / Embankment

Neighbourhood Profile
Trafalgar Square / Embankment
With its iconic Nelson’s Column, majestic oversized lions and brightly-lit fountains, Trafalgar Square is not just considered the heart of this bustling London hub, but the very core of the city itself. Beyond this esteemed gathering place are more famous icons, as well as a disproportionate numbers of the city’s most popular cultural attractions including the National Gallery and many West End theaters. Along the way to these major sites are quiet lanes and antiquated pubs to discover, as well as riverside vistas to enjoy on the embankment. With a calendar full of celebratory events, any time of year is a fine time to visit.
Explore this neighbourhood