Best restaurants Covent Garden

With its selection of world-famous theatres, variety of shops and abundance of bars and restaurants, it’s easy to see why Covent Garden is often considered the beating heart of London’s West End. Home to several London attractions such as the The Royal Opera House and the London Transport Museum, there’s plenty to see in the area, while the famous Covent Garden Piazza is home to live entertainers and buskers that draw the crowds. Pair this with Covent Garden’s prime location (The Strand, Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square are all on its borders) and it comes as little surprise that it’s one of the capital’s premier dining destinations. Want to discover the best restaurants Covent Garden has to offer? Come this way.

Updated on 15 October 2019

To the millions of selfie-stick waving tourists that pass through London each year, Covent Garden is a must-visit on their to do list, thanks to its vibrant theatre scene, hordes of upscale shops and vast array of restaurants.

For those who reside in London though, Covent Garden has historically been a bit of a no-go zone, mainly thanks to those aforementioned throngs of tourists and because of the prominence of tourist-trap chain restaurants which are often overpriced and underwhelming. The last few years though have seen a major shift in Covent Garden’s restaurant credentials, with a raft of top-quality dining establishments opening their doors in the area. To help you get to the root of this surprising new dining destination, we’ve rounded up the best restaurants Covent Garden has to offer.

Whether you’re on the hunt for the most romantic spot in London, you’re in the mood to splash the cash at a luxury London haunt or you’re after a cheap eat, Covent Garden is one of those rare London areas that really does have it all. With top chefs and internationally recognised restaurant brands all choosing to open their doors here, it seems that it really is time to start taking Covent Garden’s restaurant scene seriously. If you want to know where to dine in the area, our pick of the best restaurants Covent Garden has on its streets will offer plenty of sound advice.

Simpson

Simpson's in the Strand

100 Strand, London, London, WC2R 0EW

Open for 190 years, Simpsons has stopped itself from looking worn thanks to a recent spruce up. Once you’ve taken in the show-stopping dining room, tuck into a British menu, with trolley service a highlight.

£50 - £79
British
J Sheekey

J Sheekey

28-32 St Martin's Court, London, London, WC2N 4AL

Legendary J Sheekey may be best known for being a favourite among theatre stars, but the top quality seafood and unfalteringly warm service ensure us regular folk can have a great time dining here too.

£50 - £79
Fish
Savoy Grill at The Savoy

Savoy Grill at The Savoy

The Savoy, Strand, Aldwych, London, WC2R 0EU

Overseen by Gordon Ramsay, the long-standing Savoy Grill harks back to a bygone era with its unashamed glamour; think mirrored walls and glittering chandeliers. The meat is the star, served up as steaks and chops.  

£50 - £79
Modern European
Parsons

Parsons

39 Endell Street, London, London, WC2H 9BA

Kitted out to look like a traditional fishmongers, Parsons is a seafood joint with heart. The wine list impresses too – no surprise considering Parsons is a sibling to 10 Cases wine bar across the road.

£30 - £49
Fish
Joe Allen

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7PX

The US-style comfort food at Joe Allen isn’t exactly mind-blowing, but the restaurant deserves a place on our list thanks to its ineffable atmosphere and warm service. Also a great place to spot theatre stars.  

£30 - £49
North American
Burgers
The Barbary

The Barbary

16 Neal's Yard, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9DP

With just 24 seats and no reservations allowed, The Barbary is a homely spot which serves a blend of Israeli cooking that employs both Mediterranean ingredients and North African spices – enticing, affordable and delicious stuff.

£30 - £49
North African
The Petersham Covent Garden

The Petersham Covent Garden

27-31 King Street, London, WC2E 8JB

This Petersham is more glamorous (and expensive) than its Richmond predecessor. Don’t let high prices put you off though, as the menu of beautifully presented and hearty Italian fare is sure to win you over.

£50 - £79
Afternoon tea
Italian
RedFarm London

RedFarm London

9 Russell Street, London, WC2B 5HZ

Imported from New York, RedFarm is a pricey, but fun Cantonese restaurant that’s best known for its Insta-bait Pac Man dumplings. Other quirks include cheeseburger spring rolls and xiaolongbao soup dumplings pierced with a straw.

Chinese
Dim Sum
Clos Maggiore

Clos Maggiore

33 King Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8JD

Clos Maggiore regularly tops lists of the most romantic restaurants in the capital. The best seats in the house are found in the famed glass-roofed conservatory, which is festooned with oh-so-seductive fairy lights and foliage.

£50 - £79
French
Rules

Rules

35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7LB

Taking the title of London’s oldest restaurant (opened by Thomas Rule in 1798), charming Rules is a resolutely traditional spot serving the kind of British food that will make you sing ‘God save the Queen!’

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal Gold List
The Ivy

The Ivy

1-5 West Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9NQ

It may feel like there’s an Ivy on every corner now, but the original still boasts an air of glamour that the spin-offs can’t replicate, with the restaurant even counting the Queen among its fans.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Balthazar

Balthazar

4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5HZ

Balthazar is an upscale bistro suited to all ages and any time of the day. The prix fixe is remarkably good value for this part of town, while afternoon tea and weekend brunch also appeal.

£50 - £79
French
Jidori Covent Garden

Jidori Covent Garden

15 Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5JZ

While most Dalston restaurants don’t end up with Covent Garden sequels, Jidori has taken to its new home with ease. Expect a run of yakitori, small plates and specials, all sticking to Jidori’s free-range ethos.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Cora Pearl

Cora Pearl

30 Henrietta Street, London, WC2F 8NA

Boasting an atmosphere that makes both Londoners and out of towners feel at home, cosy Cora Pearl pulls in the crowds with its Anglo-European menu. Our top order? The finger-licking good ham and cheese toastie.

£50 - £79
British
French
The Delaunay

The Delaunay

55 Aldwych, Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BB

Whether it’s for a hearty breakfast or a pre-theatre pit stop, The Delaunay’s versatile European menu is bound to have something for you. We’d always recommend buying pastries from the Counter to take home too.    

£50 - £79
Modern European
Afternoon tea
SquareMeal Gold List
Dishoom Covent Garden

Dishoom Covent Garden

12 Upper St Martins Lane, London, WC2H 9FB

Dishoom’s winning formula of Indian small plates at reasonable prices has led to locations nationwide –stop by the Covent Garden branch for the likes of bacon naans and lamb keema scooped up with pau buns.

£30 - £49
Indian
Barrafina Adelaide Street

Barrafina Adelaide Street

10 Adelaide Street, London, WC2N 4HZ

London’s archetypal tapas bar, perennially popular Barrafina is all about dainty small plates that pack a serious punch. Be wary of the no-bookings policy, but trust us when we say queues will be worth it.  

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Frog by Adam Handling

Frog by Adam Handling

34-38 Southampton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7HF

The flagship of Adam Handling’s The Frog group, this smart and sophisticated restaurant is often packed to the rafters. All of Handling’s signature dishes are present and correct, including those beguiling cheese and truffle doughnuts.

£30 - £49
British
Bars
Frenchie Covent Garden

Frenchie Covent Garden

16 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8QH

Gregory Marchand’s acclaimed Frenchie (a nickname given to him by Jamie Oliver) boasts a clean and simple dining room, letting the innovative sharing plates do the talking – which shout creativity and flavour from the rooftops.

£50 - £79
French
SquareMeal Gold List
Cafe Murano Covent Garden

Cafe Murano Covent Garden

36 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7PB

A slightly more casual spin-off of Angela Hartnett’s Mayfair flagship, Café Murano deals in modern Italian cooking and cosy, welcoming vibes. Come for the heavenly homemade pasta, and stay for the selection of Italian-themed cocktails.

£50 - £79
Italian
Terroirs

Terroirs

5 William IV Street, London, WC2N 4DW

Bringing some Gallic charm to WC2, cosy Terroirs is best known for its bountiful wine list that focuses on natural and biodynamic varieties. The daily-changing menu, which puts seasonality first, is also worth your time.

£30 - £49
French
Floral by Lima

Floral by Lima

14 Garrick Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9BJ

More accessible than Fitzrovia’s Michelin-starred Lima, this casual spin-off serves up enchanting dishes made with ingredients that aren’t often seen in the capital. For post-dinner Pisco Sours, the basement bar is the place to go.

£50 - £79
Peruvian
Hawksmoor Seven Dials

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

11 Langley Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JG

There may be a handful of Hawksmoors around, but the Seven Dials outpost is probably our favourite. Great for groups, dining here means 35-day aged steaks from The Ginger Pig, creative cocktails and sumptuous sides.

£50 - £79
Steak
British
Cinnamon Bazaar

Cinnamon Bazaar

28 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7JS

One of Vivek Singh’s more casual spots, Cinnamon Bazaar is a riot of colour and flavours. The a la carte revolves around snacks and chaat, but we are also fans of the Indian-style afternoon tea.

Under £30
Afternoon tea
Indian
Kebab Queen at Maison Bab

Kebab Queen at Maison Bab

4 Mercer Walk, London, London, WC2H 9FA

Billed as the world’s first kebab tasting menu restaurant, this marvellous 10-seat operation beneath Maison Bab delicately straddles the line between fine dining experience and all-out parody. It’s truly delicious and tons of fun too.

£50 - £79
Middle Eastern
Turkish
50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo

50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo

7 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY

Overseen by a third-generation master pizzaiolo, this Naples imported pizzeria serves a menu that will knock your socks off. Ignore the gaudy furniture, and feast on some mind-blowingly good pizzas, all at reasonable prices too.

Under £30
Pizza
Margot

Margot

45 Great Queen Street, London, London, WC2B 5AA

This upmarket Italian has elegance in spades and top drawer service too, with smart doormen and suited bartenders nice added touches. The menu is just as classic, featuring the likes of crab ravioli and tiramisu.

£50 - £79
Italian
The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen

The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen

32 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8NA

This humble oyster restaurant proved so popular that in 2018, the team doubled the size of its dining room. Charming hosts, reasonably priced dishes and top quality oysters go some way to explaining its popularity.

£30 - £49
Fish
Kerridge

Kerridge's Bar & Grill

10 Northumberland Ave, Westminster, London, WC2N 5AE

Tom Kerridge’s debut London restaurant is as plush as you’d expect, featuring red leather booths and chic light fixtures. From the accomplished menu of comfort food classics, the decadent lobster thermidor is our top pick.

British
Spring

Spring

Somerset House, Lancaster Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA

Found at Somerset House and masterminded by Skye Gyngell, Spring is a love letter to seasonality which thrills with its disarmingly simple dishes; think the likes of Girolles on toasted sourdough with sheep’s milk ricotta.

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal Gold List
Bancone Covent Garden

Bancone Covent Garden

39 William IV Street, London, WC2N 4DD

Serving fresh pasta at knock down prices, Bancone has been a smash hit ever since opening its doors in 2018. The silk handkerchiefs are the top order, but antipasti put in a strong showing too.

£30 - £49
Italian
Sushisamba Covent Garden

Sushisamba Covent Garden

Opera Terrace, The Piazza, London, WC2E 8RF

It may have swapped out the breathtaking views of its City sister for a grown-up rainforest vibe, but London’s second Sushisamba still features all of its greatest hits – think Wagyu gyozas and tightly packed sushi.

£50 - £79
Peruvian
Japanese

Visiting Covent Garden for its wealth of nearby theatres? Check out our pick of the best pre-theatre dining restaurants in London.