Americana, Home to Southern Comforts & Great Cuisine in London’s Theatreland

Americana, Home to Southern Comforts & Great Cuisine in London's Theatreland

Simon Wittenberg visits Americana, a newly-opened restaurant on London’s Haymarket, to enjoy a taste of authentic Southern American soul food and warm and welcoming hospitality in the heart of Theatreland.

Americana, a large 162-cover restaurant, opened its doors earlier this year in London’s West End, following a significant restoration and refurbishment programme of the former Byron Burger premises.

Overseen by the Americana owner and entrepreneur Stephen Less, he has given the responsibility of the day-to-day running of this new venue on Haymarket to General Manager Howard Berry.

He works alongside the already highly-experienced 30-year-old Italian Senior Manager Davide Paone, who has previously overseen openings in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

At the entrance of Americana, visitors are met with two towering columns and outside tables. The interior, which features a high ornate ceiling and chandeliers, has been tastefully styled to incorporate art deco flooring, a colourful cheerleader mural, and a plethora of tall greenery to deliver a warm and welcoming atmosphere inspired by the origins of this restaurant.

The tables inside the restaurant

Square tables and leather banquette-style seating complete what is an elegant and inviting look, making this a far cry from a typical American diner.

As the name of this eatery suggests, the cuisine is themed around Southern American soul food, coupled with inviting hospitality for guests, whether they be theatre-goers, tourists, or visitors from the surrounding business community.

Americana is open seven days a week, with trading hours spanning 5 pm until 1 am on Monday, to midday to 3 am between Wednesday and Friday, with similar times at the weekend. This means that it takes an impressive team of 75 back and front-of-house staff across two separate shifts to keep this eatery doing what it does best.

A member of staff preparing a dish in the open kitchen

Seating is split across two main areas, with the main restaurant at the front, which has an open kitchen, plus the rear mezzanine and bar, which can also be used to host private events.

We visited Americana at 6 pm on a Thursday evening, and being so close to some of the big shows, such as Only Fools and Horses, this eatery was bustling up until around 7 pm when it emptied out as people ventured to the theatre before the next wave of diners arrived about an hour later.

A selection of the restaurant's cocktails

As well as an ample wine list, there are various types of menus on offer depending on the time of day, starting with brunch (weekends only) and finishing with the Late Menu, which runs up until the early hours of the morning.

We chose from the à la carte, available from opening until 11 pm. Dietary requirements are catered for by the kitchen where possible, but not every dish can be modified if some elements have already been pre-prepared.

Starting with a refreshing and creamy Virgin Colada signature mocktail (£8) whilst peering over the relatively extensive menu, I headed for the filling, piping hot and cheesy Haymarket artichoke and spinach dip (£9), which came with a generous helping of tortilla chips, making this a substantial starter to kick things off.

My dining partner opted for what was a delicious jumbo shrimp cocktail (£15.50) that was carefully layered in a tall sundae-type glass, with the large shrimps and a lemon quarter perched on top of lettuce leaves and avocado dressed with a flavoursome smoked Marie Rose (Thousand Island) sauce.

The mains at Americana are largely meat and seafood based, as you would expect from this genre of eatery, and there’s everything from burgers to pork ribs. With a short pause to soak up the Americana ambience, which was not too noisy despite the restaurant being relatively full at times, our mains arrived.

A plate of baby back ribs

“From the Grill” section of the à la carte, my guest had gone for the rib-eye steak (£38), which was served with black garlic butter and a small portion of smashed loaded potato with bacon. Sides are, however, still needed with this course, and my dining partner opted for the Old Bay sautéed shrimp (£7) and some green beans with bacon (£5).

I chose one of the two main fish dishes on the menu, namely a thick piece of stone bass fillet (£26), which sat on a very light champagne sauce, giving the fish a nice subtle hint of added flavour. The only extra for me was some French fries and Ranch dressing on the side (£4), and this was ample after the wholesome starter.

Freshly baked bread

With the lights dimmed as the sun went down and with battery-operated candles illuminating each table, Americana had more of a relaxed atmosphere, helped by jazz music playing in the background. On that note, it was time to choose dessert, and there were six dishes on offer, ranging from scoops of ice cream or sorbet to an American favourite – cheesecake.

I decided on the deep-filled apple pie (£8), which was surrounded by salted caramel swirls and a ball of vanilla ice cream on a bed of cinnamon crumbs. It was utterly divine and capped off what had been a truly excellent meal.

For my dining partner, a slice of Alabama pecan pie with some Chantilly cream with cherry gel and toasted pecan (£8) was just as good, with plenty of praise and a clean plate equating to another very satisfied customer.

After a small nightcap in the form of a Macallan 12 whisky (£12.50 per dram), it was time to greet Americana farewell and head back into the streets of Theatreland.

The kitchen team sharing a smile

In summary…
Americana is certainly worthy of its position on one of the West End’s most famed thoroughfares. What really strikes you from the very moment that you walk through the door is how proud and happy the staff are to be working there.

In the same vein, the service is relatively swift but similarly nicely paced, so you don’t feel rushed, and nothing is ever too much trouble so that you have the best possible experience.

Combine this with a very high standard of cuisine, plenty of choices, and generous portions, plus a venue that is able to serve different audiences across the day, and this show will go on and on, and Americana has a very bright future ahead.

Americana – Where and How?

Americana is located at 11 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4BP, United Kingdom. For more information or to make a reservation, visit, or call +44 (0)203 479 3333.

See photos from our visit to Americana on the Luxurious Magazine Instagram page.

Read more reviews in our dedicated dining section.

Americana, Home to Southern Comforts & Great Cuisine in London's Theatreland 2

Simon Wittenberg

Senior Editorial Contributor

Born in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and now based in London, Simon Wittenberg is the senior editorial contributor to Luxurious Magazine® reporting directly to Paul Godbold. A specialist in the automotive sector, he has now expanded his repertoire to encompass all aspects relating to luxury and lifestyle. Simon has worked with some of the world’s most iconic marques such as Lotus Cars, Ferrari and Tesla Motors. His passions include luxury goods, motorsport, fine dining and travel.

error: Copying this content is prohibited by Luxurious Magazine®