If you are going to set yourself up for the day with a filling meal, you may as well do it properly and visit a restaurant. Granted though, Covent Garden might not be the first place you think of when it comes to brunch in London. Firstly, very few people actually live in the area (it’s mostly home to offices and entertainment venues) and secondly, Covent Garden is more widely known for its late-night restaurant scene (thanks, of course, to the various nearby theatres). Nonetheless, Covent Garden brunch restaurants do exist if you know where to look for them.
Many of the restaurants in the area may seem to be there purely for the purpose of dinner but dig a little deeper and you will uncover a whole host of delicious early morning menus in Covent Garden just waiting to tempt you to a plate or three of treats. There are of course a handful of high-end hotels which are well versed in what people want first thing in the morning, but there are also some more unusual choices – a Bombay style breakfast, or a Peruvian feast, for instance. It is these slightly more niche options that are sure to impress family or friends visiting from out of town.
It is worth noting that some of the restaurants in our list might be considered breakfast spots, rather than brunch places (it is a fine line), but we have included as many options as we can so that you can decide whether you want an early start or the chance to lie in a little. Make sure to explore all of our top picks competing for the title of ‘best brunch Covent Garden’ below and let us know if you think we have missed anywhere that deserves a special shoutout.
Why: The Delaunay is every bit as traditional and grand as its Piccadilly sibling The Wosleley and is perfect for smart brunch meetings and special occasions. The restaurant’s strong Viennese vibe is reflected in a ‘Viennoiserie’ bakery menu plus a Viennese breakfast of smoked ham, salami, Gouda, egg and rye bread that make a refreshing change from the usual sausage sandwich, porridge and fruit salad.
Where: 55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB
Why: In the mood for free-flowing drinks and more meat than you could shake a caveman’s stick at? Header to Temper’s Covent Garden branch for the bottomless barbecue brunch, which is served on weekends. Expect a tray of barbecued meats including burgers and chicken wings, alongside helpings of fries and your pick of bottomless cocktails, wines or beers.
Where: 5 Mercer Walk, Mercers Yard, WC2H 9FA
Why: Dishoom’s take on the café culture of old Bombay (quirky vintage styling included) hits the spot with Londoners – and brunchers will be pleased the breakfast menu is served daily until 11.45am. Highlights include the Kejriwal (two fried eggs on chilli cheese toast) and the acclaimed bacon naan roll. Alternatively, fire-toast with pink-peppercorn and pineapple jam makes a sweeter start to the day, eased down with chai or maybe a cocktail. If you arrive in after breakfast has finished then why not go all in on a spicy start to the day and order a few plates from the grill section of the main menu.
Where: 12 Upper St Martins Lane, WC2H 9FB
Salvador & Amanda
Why: Fancy a trip to Spain without shelling out for a flight? Just tango on over to Salvador & Amanda, where you can enjoy a three-course Spanish bottomless brunch. Tuck into the likes of chorizo and egg hash and churros dipped in chocolate sauce, all while making the most of 90 minutes of free-flowing sangria, house wine or cava.
Where: 8 Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JA
The Ivy Market Grill
Why: With its smart terrace overlooking Covent Garden piazza, a dapper bar and populist all-day menu, this offshoot of The Ivy has oodles of all-round appeal for breakfast as well as brunch. Ivy signature dishes such as shepherd’s pie add to the allure. Other sound choices range from chicken Milanese topped with fried egg to a comforting dessert of apple tarte fine. Full English breakfasts, cream teas for tourists, and quick-fix theatre menus complete the happy picture.
Where: 1 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8PS
Why: At hi-tech Japanese restaurant Inamo, the ‘bottomless’ part of brunch doesn’t just apply to the drinks, but the food too. While you get merry on your choice of wine or beer, you can also tuck into unlimited helpings of sushi and Asian-style tapas - think Korean barbecue ribs, satay chicken skewers and dragon rolls.
Where: 11-14 Hanover Place, WC2E 9JP
Why: The unofficial canteen of the West End theatre industry, Joe Allen provides American comfort food to anyone in need of an early-morning pick-up. The brunch offering ranges from a full English, baked goods and egg dishes to grilled steak with hash browns and eggs. Those who aren’t averse to a drink first thing may wish to try the Prosecco and gin Reviver cocktail, served from 10am.
Where: 2 Burleigh Street, WC2E 7PX
Kaspar’s at The Savoy
Why: For a glamorous breakfast in a restaurant full of history, look no further than The Savoy. Kaspar’s is well known for its seafood specialities so brunch-goers should not miss favourites such as crab benedict, salmon royale and grilled kippers. This being a world-famous hotel, international options include dim sum and green tea, and teriyaki salmon and miso soup.
Where: The Savoy, Strand, WC2R 0EU
Why: Don’t be confused by the name, as Ping Pong is not a table tennis venue, but instead a dim sum restaurant. Head here on the weekend to get your fill of dim sum classics such as steamed dumplings, spring rolls and chicken skewers, as well as 90 minutes of free-flowing cocktails.
Where: 23-24 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NA
Why: Do you fancy Italian or Peruvian for brunch? Monmouth Kitchen offers both – served daily until 10.30am (11am Sunday) – plus a full English. This hotel dining room looks sexier than many of its ilk, with tables overlooking pretty Monmouth Street. The Italian brekkie features char-grilled ciabatta and truffle hollandaise with eggs and pancetta, while the Peruvian teams scrambled eggs with coriander, avocado and anticucho meat skewers. Choose Bellinis or Machu Mary cocktails to accompany.
Where: 20 Mercer Street, WC2H 9HD
Why: Strictly for the girls and the gays, Bunga Bunga’s raunchy ‘Buff brunch’ features muscular male performers from the worlds of circus, cabaret and burlesque strutting their stuff. While the men do their thing, guests can quaff glasses of free-flowing pink Prosecco for 90 minutes, alongside bottomless pizza for an hour.
Where: 167 Drury Lane, WC2B 5PG
Why: From almond croissants to pain au chocolat, you can’t deny that the French offer some pretty tasty brunch options, and Aubaine’s seasonally changing offerings specialise in buttery baked goods. Prefer something more substantial? The full French comes with Toulouse sausage and Alsace bacon.
Where: 22 The Market, The Piazza, WC2E 8BH
Covent Garden Grind
Why: For a low-key, relaxing brunch head to Covent Garden Grind. Here, you will find a calming space and a simple menu of brunch and breakfast favourites - think the likes of smashed avocado on toast and ham and cheese croissants. Pair your brunch dishes with a super green smoothie or a cold-pressed juice.
Where: 42 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LJ
Why: Abuelo is primarily a coffee house, but it does offer a short but tempting menu of brunch dishes. Alongside your warming cup of coffee, you can tuck into the likes of figs with honey, smashed avocado on sourdough toast or an egg and prosciutto breakfast roll. Not in the mood for coffee? Opt for a green smoothie or fresh fruit juice instead.
Where: 26 Southampton Street, WC2E 7RS
Why: Keith McNally’s lively upscale brasserie lives up to the reputation of his NYC original. The food usually wins approval too, including the weekend brunch which has a ‘petit’ version (served 9-10am, including full English) before the full monty kicks in (10am-4pm). The meal could be as simple as coffee and croissants from Balthazar’s boulangerie next door, or a feast: scrambled egg and Cornish crab, New York pancakes, or even caviar with blinis.
Where: 4-6 Russell Street, WC2B 5HZ
The Black Penny
Why: Named after London’s first coffee shops, where the price of admission was a penny, The Black Penny scores on two fronts for brunch. Coffee provided by Alchemy is one of them, and a range of traditional brunch dishes alongside a few twists is the other. Speciality hashes include the must-order crispy duck hash.
Where: 34 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5AA
Why: The Covent Garden Hotel’s restaurant has all the boutique charm and slick service you need for a business brunch. All the usual brunch suspects are present and correct at Brasserie Max, plus some welcome fish specialities. Kedgeree, a smokehouse kipper with lemon and herb butter and the salmon and cream cheese bagel are all worthy alternatives to avo toast and bacon sandwiches.
Where: Covent Garden Hotel, 10 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9HB
J Sheekey Atlantic Bar
Why: The Legendary J Sheekey Atlantic Bar is not only home to one of London's most attractive terraces, but it also serves up a delectable Sunday brunch. Naturally, the seafood dishes are the stars here – think a classic prawn cocktail topped with flowering avocado slices, tangy cubes of tuna loaded onto a crispy taco shell, and a decadent crab mac 'n' cheese. Sides aren't an aferthought though and feature the likes of cripsy golden fries topped with chorizo and manchego, while desserts see sweet waffles drizzled with maple syrup.
Where: 28-32 St Martin's Court, WC2N 4AL
Big Easy Covent Garden
Why: Celebrating New Orleans in all its sinful glory, Big Easy lays on a weekend ‘boozy brunch’ including a choice of alcoholic beverages (from house wine to Mojitos). This good-timing crab-shack and barbecue kitchen is located in a former Victorian power station, with many original features intact and a formidable nine-metre bar. Order clam chowder or Cobb salad; alternatively, choose the limitless pork and chicken-based barbecue or a fresh lobster feast.
Where: 12 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NA
Why: Christopher’s handsome Grade II-listed Victorian building makes a seemly setting for a reliably good Stateside weekend brunch. The menu is extensive, incorporating buttermilk pancakes with maple-cured bacon, corn beef hash, blackened salmon with jambalaya risotto and a ‘superfood’ brunch of warm kale and butternut-squash salad. Likewise, liquid accompaniments can take the healthy path (a citrus beet cleanser smoothie) or the naughtier route (Patrón XO Espresso Martini). The choice is yours.
Where: 18 Wellington Street, WC2E 7DD
Flesh & Buns
Why: Sunday brunch at this boisterous izakaya-style Japanese drinking joint isn’t cheap, but a Bone Daddies Bloody Mary on arrival, followed by Prosecco while eating will soon put you past caring. Choose as many of the eight small plates as you wish – perhaps miso soup, crab California roll, and chicken yakitori – then a ‘flesh’ dish (crispy piglet belly or Portobello mushroom, for instance) with buns. At Flesh & Buns doughnuts and sobacha creme brulee round things off.
Where: 41 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LX
Why: Michelin-starred wunderkind Ollie Dabbous has entered this hotel-based collaboration with the guys behind the Experimental Cocktail Club. Henrietta’s corridor-like dining room is outshone by his internationally flavoured Sunday brunch menu, where miso chicken salad and shakshuka share space with maple-syrup waffles, warm madeleines, croque monsieurs – and the inevitable full English. Choose from sourdough, English muffin, brioche or cornbread as accompaniment.
Where: The Henrietta Hotel, 14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
Ladurée Covent Garden
Why: Sweet-toothed brunchers should make a beeline for the intimate Parisian teahouse that’s part of Ladurée’s macaron emporium. Like a beautiful French boudoir, the two tiny rooms are decorated with pastel shades and velvet banquettes. The exquisite cakes are in great demand, though you’ll also find brunch-style dishes such as Ladurée omelette (with ham, Emmenthal, mushrooms and tomato) and soft-boiled egg with caviar. Alfresco seating on the terrace or piazza is a further draw.
Where: Unit 1, Covent Garden Market, WC2E 8RF
Why: Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez first wowed Londoners with Michelin-starred Lima in Fitzrovia. This more accessible sibling has a six-course weekend brunch where sea bream ceviche with tangy, spicy tiger’s milk is just one of the four small-plate treats. Next, choose a main such as chicken breast with Andean herb sauce and citrusy aji panca juice from Lima Floral's menu, before a pudding of shortbread filled with dulce de leche. Pisco Sours will ease you into the day.
Where: 14 Garrick Street, WC2E 9BJ
Looking to catch a show while you're in Covent Garden? Take full advantage of early dining offers with our pick of the best pre-theatre menus nearby.