The National Café

(115 Reviews)
The National Cafe, The National Gallery (East Wing), Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 4DN
British, Afternoon Tea
A la carte menu


Main course: £15
Food spend: £30

Opening hours

Monday to Thursday: 09:30 - 20:30
Friday: 09:30 - 21:30
Saturday & Sunday: 09:30 - 18:00.

Restaurant description

Inspired by its world-famous setting in the National Gallery, The National Café serves classic British and modern European food in elegant surroundings. Passionate about British produce, their ingredients are carefully sourced and come from local providers wherever possible.

The National Café’s menus feature delicate and decedent afternoon teas, an all day brunch (served from 9.30am – 5pm everyday) with modern, health-forward twists on classic brunch dishes - such as the summer vegetable fritter, with grilled halloumi, and butter leaf salad, and the duck hash with Clarence Court duck eggs and chilli – as well as vibrant lunch and dinner menus. Packed full of seasonal flavours, The National Café offers casual luxury with dishes such as Portland crab with avocado and pink grapefruit to start and indulgent salt caramel profiteroles, chocolate sauce, crème fraiche to finish.

Rich coffee and freshly baked pastries, as well as bar snacks and a specially curated wine and cocktail list can also be enjoyed at The National Café, London – the perfect pit-stop for gallery-goers, drop-in-diners and families looking for a tasty food fix with a side of culture.

The National Café at The National Gallery is just seconds from Trafalgar Square, and is a 2-minute walk from Charing Cross Train Station.

Dishes displayed on a la carte menus are representative of the type of food available at the restaurant.

Customer reviews for The National Café
(based on 115 reviews)

of diners recommend this restaurant

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Value
  • Location

Recommended for

  • afternoon tea (45)
  • al fresco (3)
  • breakfast (6)
  • business (14)
  • child friendly (7)
  • dinner (26)
  • entertainment (2)
  • large parties (2)
  • lunch (71)
  • luxury (1)
  • private dining (7)
  • romantic (7)
  • trendy (4)
  • value (24)
  • views (3)
  • By David T from London
    10 May 2019

    Great restaurant

  • By Stephen T from London
    8 May 2019

    Friendly, efficient, excellent interesting food.

  • By Andrew R from ANDOVER
    24 April 2019

    Not immediately apparent which of the various parts of the complex was the the "Café" and there was no-one around when we arrived at 6:30pm to guide us. When a charming waitress did shortly appear we were quickly shown to our reserved table in the comfortable and delightfully quiet restaurant area. It is a joy to eat somewhere that has good sound absorbing qualities. The style and decoration add to the tranquil feeling. A great place to meet someone if you want to talk. The service was generally good although the waitress did forget my dessert until gently reminded. This was promptly remedied. I particularly enjoyed the fishcake with lobster bisque sauce. My wife found the courgette fritter rather lacking in seasoning. Good value, given the location and ambience.

  • By Judith M from Thame
    10 April 2019

    Pleasant enough but very expensive for what you get. Wine was £8 a glass. Blackened hake was supposed to come with mashed potatoes but it was a thin flat barely detectable film under the hake - looked more like a bit of sauce. Set meal for two (2 courses) with one orange juice and one glass of wine came to £56.36.

  • By Ursula S from Andover
    9 April 2019

    Excellent lunch, perfectly cooked with very good service. Quiet table reserved.

  • By Lorna K from Dijon
    6 April 2019

    Despite dropping by 10 minutes before the table booked to check and remind (this was a group booking), our table wasn't ready! That said a flurry of action ensued and we were sitting down to a most fabulous afternoon tea. Polite and efficient staff. Great spot. Good Value. Will definitely go again!

  • By Martin G from Maidstone
    4 April 2019

    Afternoon in gallery followed by set price dinner. All very good will use again

  • By Mary E from Canterbury
    1 March 2019

    Always enjoyable and excellent service. But it’s difficult to book .... my booking seemed to have disappeared and other friends say the same thing. Even so, looking forward to returning

  • By Mark S from Loughton
    18 January 2019

    We were having a pre theatre meal but the service was slow and inefficient, no cutlery on the table, the water we asked for never arrived, the first course took almost 20 minutes to arrive. The food was good but nothing special but was not cheap either (there was a cheaper set menu but the choice was a bit paltry). All in all, not a particularly successful evening. Good wine menu but that was about it. They need to train the staff to be better.

  • By Stephanie B from London
    17 January 2019

    Very good menu and delicious food

Restaurant Location Map
The National Café
The National Cafe, The National Gallery (East Wing), Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 4DN