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Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review

Whenever we visit London, I'm always overwhelmed by the choice on offer and struggle to narrow it down and pick somewhere for us to dine. This is even more difficult when dining with kids. We don't visit London too often and I feel like the pressure is always on to pick somewhere that both us grown-ups and the kids will enjoy and I also try and pick somewhere that isn't available in the North East too.

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review



In the past we've dined at Jamie's Italian Covent Garden (before it turned into a big chain and lost it's soul), eaten street food from Borough Market (highly recommend) and even dined at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants with the kids in tow (check out Heddon Street Kitchen if you're near Hamleys). As I was planning a trip to London this October for myself, Heidi and Jack, I considered taking the plunge and booking the Rainforest Cafe. It looks like a fun restaurant and I'm sure Heidi and Jack would have loved it. I asked my Facebook followers if they would recommend and most of them said it was a rip-off. At £16.95 for a kids meal, I really didn't want to book here if it was going to disappoint and be anything but outstanding.

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - tube station


Lots of people recommended the Hard Rock Cafe to us and the only thing that put me off booking here was that I know that Harry and Steve would love it too and I wanted to save that experience for when we're all together. Another popular choice was the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. A quick look at their menu and I decided that was going to be the winner and I booked a table online a couple of days before our trip.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Location

Bubba Gump Shrimp is located in Leicester Square and is easily accessible by foot, bus or the Picadilly Circus and Leicester Square tube stations. We travelled a couple of stops on the tube from Embankment on the Northern Line. It wouldn't have taken long to walk but the kids were flagging after an early start so tube it was.

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - exterior


Apart from visiting the theatre, Leicester Square is an area of London I haven't really spent too much time and I loved the vibe here. It's very busy which Heidi wasn't too keen on but there's some green space near the Shakespeare Monument where families were chilling out and kids were cartwheeling. You can grab a takeout coffee to enjoy too. During our trip there was a film premiere taking place and it was super exciting to see the red carpet rolled out and the stars being interviewed. Sadly nobody we knew though. The atmosphere is very similar to Covent Garden but it feels a little edgier. There were beatboxers, body poppers, clown mimes, street dancers and performers entertaining the crowds and it was nice to just sit and take it all in.

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - Leicester Square red carpet

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - Leicester Square grass


Bubba Gump Shrimp is next door to the M&M store and LEGO store. I'd recommend a trip to both as they're kind of like a tourist attraction in themselves with lots to see and do. You might need to queue to get in during peak periods though. We spent ages in the M&M store looking at all the merch and making our own M&Ms. There are lots of photo ops so don't forget your camera!

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - M and M store


Dining at Bubba Gump Shrimp in Leicester Square 


Bubba Gump Shrimp is a themed restaurant in tribute to the film Forrest Gump. The food reflects the film's Alabama setting and you'll find salads, burgers, seafood, steak and of course lots of shrimp on the menu. My kids haven't seen the movie but still loved the theming of Bubba Gump Shrimp. It feels as if you're sitting in a shack in the deep South and gives you a welcome break from the buzz of Leicester Square.

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - inside booth seating

There are plenty of photo ops (including the opportunity to sit on a replica of the famous bench) and the kids can play table football while they wait for their food to arrive.

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - Forrest Gump bench

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - table football

The staff were all fab and the service was super quick. The seating is booth-style and I liked the quirky touches such as the 'Run Forrest Run' sign on all tables which you had to turn over when you were ready to order or grab somebody's attention. I remember thinking the soundtrack was good but now that I'm typing this I don't remember what was playing. Ooops!

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - kids activity sheet


Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - run forrest run sign

There are plenty of deals to be had when dining at Bubba Gump Shrimp. Sometimes Kids Eat Free but this isn't very well advertised and there are often Groupon set menu deals available too so keep your eyes peeled. Other offers at the moment include:
  • 2 for 1 Mains when travelling with LNER - see here
  • Three course meal and drink for two for £49 with Virgin Experience Days - see here
  • Pre-theatre set menu - see here 



Bubba Gump Shrimp | Main Menu

Do you know when you dine somewhere and you remember it for the rest of your life? Well the Shrimp Bucket in Cancun is one of those places for me. Steve had only just proposed at the start of the week and we spent the evening drinking sol and feasting on unlimited shrimp with gorgeous sunset views over the lagoon. It's a place that has so many happy memories for us but sadly has now closed. Anyway, the buckets of shrimp in all varieties available at Bubba Gump Shrimp kind of reminded me of The Shrimp Bucket and being 19 again and may be part of the reason I loved it so much.

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - Forrest's Seafood Platter

The menu is vast but in the end I opted for 'Forrest's Seafood Platter'. At £21.50 it is fairly pricey but I skipped a starter to keep the costs down (cheaper mains are available). I think this is a good dish to try on your first visit as you get a bit of a bit of their best-selling dishes. Breaded Southern Fried Shrimp, Seafood Hush Puppies, Fish Goujons, Fries, Three Sauces plus Coleslaw seemed like a good combo. I will be honest when I say that the fish goujons weren't special but I absolutely adored the Seafood Hush Puppies - next time I visit I will be ordering these alone. The Breaded Shrimp were good too and the fries were tasty and perfect with the dipping sauce. It did feel a little like mass-catering and the kind of food you'd maybe get at TGI Fridays but I was fine with that. Sometimes that's what you want from a meal.

Bubba Gump Shrimp | Children's Meals

The children's menu is the main reason I loved Bubba Gump Shrimp. It's a bit of a steal at £6.95 for a main, side of fries, piece of fruit and a mini bowl of jelly. You are dining in central London and I was shocked to find somewhere this cheap. Juice is pricey at £2.50 and a kids 'build your own dessert' is £3.50 but I reckon you could skip dessert - Jack has a big appetite but was full up after his main, fruit and jelly.

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - children's meal in shrimp boat

Children receive a colouring/activity sheet on arrival and I love that their meals are served in shrimp boats - such a cool touch. The staff were lovely with Jack and Heidi and as service was so speedy, the whole experience didn't feel stressful at all.

Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review  - build your own sundae

Our bill was £44 (with one child dining free) including tip which for a substantial seafood main for myself, 2 kids meals with fruit and jelly, a round of drinks and one build your own sundae for Hieid I found to be exceptional value for central London and I would definitely recommend visiting if you're in the area. There's also a mini Forrest Gump shop at the entrance if you'd like to pick up a gift or some merch.

One thing I will say is I've read reviews to say that the London branch isn't as good as the branches in America so if you've visited Bubba Gump Shrimp in the USA, I'd maybe lower your expectations a little if you visit their London branch. It's still fab, just not 'America-amazing' if you know what I mean.

Looking for other ideas for days out in London? Check out these posts:



Disclosure: We paid for our own meal. 

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Dining with Kids in London | Bubba Gump Shrimp Leicester Square Review

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2 comments

  1. I appreciate your tips for saving while dining. May well give this place a look next time we travel to London!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have always wanted to visit hear as I love Forest Gump, it sounds like you all had a great time. The kids meals sound great value too x

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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