The Barbary Next Door

Afghan, Moroccan·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of The Barbary Next Door

Silver Award

As younger siblings go, The Barbary Next Door has a punchy personality despite its petite stature (pretty typical). The tiny candle-lit space is crammed with eager guests drunk on the promise of some of London’s best Middle Eastern food, a crowd that emits a happy hum punctuated by one liners from the funny, friendly team.

Those familiar with The Barbary’s style will recognise much of the same cookery here, albeit in a slightly more casual format. There are just ten seats and food comes quickly to help diners stick to their strict timeslot. Things kick off with bread and dips, but hold the thought of hummus, this isn’t your average mezze. A pillow of steaming Afghan khobz bread – you pronounce the k, FYI – was accompanied by Zaalouk (a rich slow-cooked garlicky tomato dip) and Machluta (a smoky chargrilled courgette concoction mixed through yogurt).

Larger plates included an incredibly fresh, thickly cut ‘Sunset’ crudo that was well seasoned and lifted with coriander oil and citrus notes as well as fine slices of chilli. The Barbary Next Door is the kind of small plates place where you simultaneously want to try every tiny creation and also wish for main-course portions of each dish because actually you’ve changed your mind and don’t want to split the spoils with your dining companion after all. A dilemma of the highest order. Other highlights included a ‘burnt ends’ style ox tail stew and sweet chicken pastilla pastries topped with cinnamon and icing sugar for an oddly addictive sweet and savoury twist.

The kitchen team work methodically from their position at the end of the room while the front of house staff keep things ticking over drinks-wise at the bar. A collection of pretty vintage glassed are dished out and topped up with interesting wines, never lying empty for long, plus there’s a really good lemon and mint soft serve too.

So, the big question remains, is the youngest member of the Barbary family destined for favourite-status? Maybe, but you didn’t hear it from us.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Afghan, Moroccan
Cool, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Chef’s table, Counter dining, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Dates, Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating


From the team behind The Palomar and The Barbary, The Barbary Next Door is the sibling site to an already established duo. This informal, relaxed restaurant sits adjacent to its namesake, right in the heart of Covent Garden.

Aesthetically pleasing, the interiors have been designed to evoke the look and feeling of Andalusian bars crossed with airy Moroccan courtyards. At the heart of the space is the zinc bar with its counter seating. Accommodating just ten guests, this intimate set-up is perfect for solo dining or cosy dates. Additional seating can be found on the terrace where more traditional tables allow for alfresco dining come the warmer months and offer some top-class people watching. Aqua green tiles, plus furnishings and distressed antique mirror glass add to the transportive feel of the space.

The Barbary’s head chef Daniel Alt is at the helm of this kitchen too, and food-wise the menu takes its cues from Moorish and North African cuisines. Snacks include Moroccan olives and candied peanuts, while a substantial bread menu features specialist bakes like Frena – a fluffy pita-style bake topped with rich anchovies. Designed to share, the small plates range from fresh blood orange and grapefruit salad with fennel and tarragon though to mackerel fricassee. More substantial mains include a heartily stuffed chicken filo pie and warm tagines that range from oxtail or chicken through to vegetarian options.

Wine director and sommelier Honey Spencer has curated a specially designed wine list that stands up to the bold food flavours. Here Old World wines are championed, with a focus on organic bottles. Favourites include Guerrouaine Blanc “Les Trois Domaines” 2018, a Sauvignon Blanc from Morocco’s first controlled appellation.

The Barbary Next Door also serves breakfasts which include ktefa (a brick pastry layered with crème anglaise), Roadside Eggs (eggs gently poached in a rich tomato sauce with lamb mince) and maaqooda (a Moroccan tortilla).


Is it open for breakfast?

Yes, the team serves breakfast daily.

Helpful? 0

Who is the head chef?

Daniel Alt heads up The Barbary Next Door.

Helpful? 0


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

Opening Times

Mon 17:00-22:00
Tue 17:00-22:00
Wed 17:00-22:00
Thu 17:00-22:00
Fri 17:00-22:00
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 10:00-22:00
Sun 10:00-21:00


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