Covent Garden has a rep for being a bit of a tourist trap and given the crowds that Covent Garden Market pulls in and its proximity to theatreland, it’s not surprising that plenty of chains – including some of the more upmarket ones like Dishoom, Big Mamma (with the mammoth Ave Mario), Blacklock, and Flat Iron, have planted their flags in the area. However, there are some real restaurant gems nestled in this neighbourhood.

With Parisian import Frenchie, the excellent Cora Pearl, seafood spot Oystermen and the legendary Din Tai Fung (which had people queuing for hours for those famous xiao long bao when it first opened) all on the same road, Henrietta Street should be your first port of call when it comes to top Covent Garden restaurants.

But there are plenty of good eats to be had elsewhere too. Parsons, from the team behind wine bar and bistro The 10 Cases, is serving up excellent seafood in a small-but-perfectly-formed tiled room; Petersham Nurseries, branching out from Richmond, is bringing Italian elegance and covetable homeware to the area; Sushisamba is bringing that Japanese-Peruvian-Brazilian fusion to the top of the Market Building; and Bancone is knocking out reliably tasty and affordable fresh pasta.

So from casual chicken joints to slick French fare, these are Covent Garden’s best restaurants – bookmark them all now.

The Barbary

The Barbary is situated in the iconic Neal’s Yard and offers food inspired by countries that span the Barbary coast, from Israel to Morocco. Its dishes are made for sharing and kicking off with the freshly baked super light naan and dips is always a good start. Don’t miss the Moroccan cigars which are deep fried pastry rolls filled with a spicy cod mix, and then there’s the cauliflower Jaffa style which is incredible. It’s a bloody great dining option in Covent Garden, but with only 24 seats and food this good, expect queues.

16 Neal’s Yard, London, WC2H 9DP


The London Frenchie is a bit smarter than its Parisian counterpart, with sleek marble surfaces, leather booths and lots of polished brass. The food is modern and beautifully presented, but this isn’t a style over substance kind of place – it has fur coat and silky red knickers to match. We’re talking dishes like freshly baked sweet maple scones, duck foie gras with rhubarb and smoked eel, and braised pig head with smoked bramley apple, jerusalem artichoke and buckwheat.

16 Henrietta St, London, WC2E 8QH



Having started small in Covent Garden, Oystermen is now thankfully a bit bigger thanks to them getting the next door premises and knocking the wall down. Here you can get oysters and pretty impeccable seafood in smart but relaxed unpretentious surroundings without emptying your wallet either. They’ve got more than oysters of course, with other dishes like queen scallops gratin, spicy crab thermidor, cured sea trout with ponzu dressing and pan-fried hake with parsnip puree on the menu.

32 Henrietta Street, London, WC2E 8NA

fish soup at cora pearl

Cora Pearl

Cora Pearl, the Covent Garden sister to Mayfair’s Kitty Fisher’s, is named after another working girl Cora Pearl and there are nods to her glam life throughout the space, from parquet floors and velvet banquettes to vintage style glassware and trinkets in the bathrooms. Not only does it look beaut, the restaurant is turning out faultless food, from Bloody Mary mackerel to cheese & ham toasties to veal fillet with bordelaise sauce and possibly the most EPIC chips in London.

30 Henrietta St, London WC2E 8NA

Chick ‘n’ Sours

The Seven Dials branch of Chick ‘n’ Sours is worthy addition to the family, with all the same birds and more on the menu. On the chick front, the tenders have been given an Asian twist with punchy Xian Xian spice, coriander and sesame, there’s also the big bun aka The Colonel, and the Mexi-nese nachos are also a winner. It’s a feast worth flying in for.

1A Earlham St, London, WC2H 9LL

Maison Bab

Maison Bab

Whilst by no means massive, Maison Bab is significantly bigger restaurant than the original Le Bab and they’ve nailed the millennial interiors with pink neon, patterned tables, green banquettes and a very jazzy floor. If you’ve been to Le Bab you’ll be familiar with the menu, though it’s not a carbon copy of the Soho site. There are more rustic and bolder dishes on show here, like the doner beignets with both garlic and chilli sauces, meat butter naans and iskender fondue fries. The kebabs are always the winners – we can never resist the pork shawarma, slow-cooked for 15 hours and served with chermoula mayo.

4 Mercer Walk, London WC2H 9FA


The warm and inviting space of Margot has been designed beautifully with classic green leather banquettes, elegant decorative tiles, and a long zinc bar in front of an open kitchen. It serves classic Italian fare, from cured meats, carpaccio and tartare dishes to salads, homemade pasta and a range of meat and fish main courses. You’ll defo be wanting a least a couple of those fresh pasta plates.

45 Great Queen St, London, WC2B 5AA

Smoked mussle, red onion, herbs | London on the Inside

Frog by Adam Handling

The flagship site in his collection, Frog by Adam Handling offers the same flair when it comes to the cookery in a little more sophisticated setting. There’s a real eye for detail in every aspect from the drinks coasters to the very cool cutlery, and the food is incred too, with dishes complexly put together but in an effortless way…think hake, tomato and crab sat in a warm pea jus and chicken, broccoli and miso. YUM.

34-35 Southampton St, London, WC2E 7HG

Lahpet West End

The second location of Burmese restaurant Lahpet, opened in Slingsby Place, a new development just off Long Acre, in 2022. The original Lahpet in Shoreditch did much to popularise Burmese food in London, and seeing as travel to Myanmar is off the cards for the foreseeable future, Lahpet offers a taste of a country we fell in love with when we visited back in 2016. Our advice is to go big on the salads – the tea leaf salad  ‘lahpet’ from which the restaurant takes its name; the ginger salad with toasted chickpea flower; and the green tomato salad with shallot oil. Don’t miss the split pea fritters, served with an addictive tamarind dip, and the coconut noodles with chicken and crispy wonton either. 

21 Slingsby Pl, London WC2E 9AB

Tandoor Chop House

Tandoor Chop House is upping the game for Indian food in the capital, combining a traditional North Indian communal eatery with a classic British chop house. The tandoor oven is the star of the show and you can expect dishes to include tandoori chicken masala, beef bolti, Amritsari lamb chops and tandoor masala pollock. Sides come in the shape of a Dexter dripping keema naan and crispy okra, and its hard to resist the sweet coal-roasted pineapple or chai brulée for dessert.

8 Adelaide St, London, WC2N 4HZ