Covent Garden is known for being a bit of a tourist trap but there are some real restaurant gems nestled in this hood. From a casual chicken joint to slick French fare, these are the places you wanna be eating at. Here’s ten of the best restaurants in Covent Garden.
1. 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
The vibe of this Jidori is very similar to the Dalston original, with simple, light wooden furniture and pastel green tabletops although sadly there’s no open kitchen set up here….they do have a karaoke room in the basement though! All the menu classics, like the katsu curry scotch egg, salmon tataki and yakitori, are all present and correct, as well as new additions green tea noodles with yuba and kikarage and a grilled onion salad with red shisho and ume dressing.
15 Catherine St, London, WC2B 5JZ
4. 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
5. 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 big new 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
Eneko Atza, whose three Michelin-starred Bilbao restaurant Azurmendi is no.16 in the World’s 50 Best, is the man responsible for Eneko. It’s a more relaxed vibe, but fortunately he hasn’t gone too casual – service is slick and the cooking creative, with some presentation tricks you’d certainly associate with Michelin fine dining. There are some impressive dishes here, like roasted Iberico presa with chickpea and garlic cream and hake in a light tempura – go basque in it.
One Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BZ
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
8. Frog by Adam Handling
The sister site to the East London outpost of The Frog, 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
Covent Garden Grind will have you hitting up the coffee-come-cocktail bar for more than just drinks thanks to their modern British dinner menu, with small plates like salt cod brandade with garlic crostini, smashed sweet potato, spiced nuts and yoghurt, and hot apple crumble sundae. As usual, Grind has all your coffee and cocktail needs taken care of, the signature Grind Espresso Martini is a real winner…it’d be rude not to have at least one.
42 Maiden Ln, London, WC2E 7LJ
10. 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