The Hidden Gem Beneath One Of London’s Most Iconic Theatres

Annie Simon Annie Simon - Commercial Editor


Hidden away in the depths of The Old Vic, you’ll find their cafe and bar, Penny.

Wonderful shows aren’t the only reason why Londoners should head to The Old Vic. Tucked away next to Waterloo Station, it’s one of the city’s finest theatres offering a wide range of performances throughout the year. Penny’s a popular hub for performers and creative people in the arts industry, who shout from the rooftops not just their energetic lines but also the praises of the food and drink on sale there.

Photo: David Jensen

Penny is known for its ethical production, sustainability and local produce. Almost everything you can sip on and feast upon at the cafe and bar comes from relatively close by. And by early 2020, it’s committed to becoming 100% single-use-plastic free. As such, it’s a great spot to grab your morning coffee or share a healthy, hearty meal if you care about the origins of your food and the environment.

Photo: David Jensen

You don’t need a ticket to eat and/or drink at Penny, so head there for breakfast for a Sourdough roll or later in the day to pair it with a steaming bowl of soup. The menu, which changes regularly, is concocted by London-based café Brown & Green. There are delicious toasties and sharing boards made from fresh and locally sourced ingredients,  and a third of the menu is vegan – including the mac & cheese. That alone should be a reason to visit.

Photo: Manuel Harlan

But Penny’s not just a place to visit while the sun’s shining. You can also end your night once all the pubs (and shows) have closed with a trip to the bar. Fancy a drink? Penny offers a range of speciality gins if a G&T is your jam. In the spirit for something else? Their emphasis on sustainability covers all areas of the bar, which means their vodka that invests in the future of the snow leopard is a sure winner. You’ll also find a range of low and no-alcohol options for your pals that’re partaking in Dry January, and craft beers from leading local breweries.

Photo: David Jensen

Find out more about Penny Bar & Cafe here. Opening times are: Mon–Wed: 8am–1am, Thu–Fri: 8am–2am, Sat: From 1pm (when there is a matinee show) or 6pm–2am. Penny is also accessible for wheelchair users and can be accessed via the lift at the Waterloo Road entrance.

Culture Food & Drink