The best restaurants in London

Until fairly recently, it had been rather hard to find a decent restaurant in the Covent Garden area - it being a bit, shall we say...touristy. But that's started to change and a number of great spots have opened - not to mention the remaining odd classic like Rules. Here's a short run-down of the current best places to eat in Covent Garden,  

 

The Barbary
Address: 16 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP
What We Know: This is the sibling restaurant to the hugely popular The Palomar. It features food from the Barbary Coast of North Africa to Jerusalem and it's a solely counter dining restaurant too.

 

Encant
Address: 16 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7NJ
What We Know: When it opened, Bravas Tapas was adorned with many plaudits, even if it wasn't in the most central of locations. But now the chef, Victor Garvey has moved into Covent Garden with his own modern Spanish restaurant.

 

Native
Address: 3 Neal's Yard, Seven Dials, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9DP
What We Know: Native restaurant is focusing primarily on wild food - both in its meat (game and rare breeds) and in the veg with a big focus on the new trend of roots-to-stem eating.

 

Frenchie
Address: 16 Henrietta St, Covent Garden London WC2E 8QH
What We Know: Launched by the same folk who run the popular French neighbourhood restaurant Frenchie in Paris, their London restaurant has a French/British twist to many of the dishes - all with British sourced ingredients. Look out for excellent cocktails too.

 

Cafe Murano Covent Garden
Address: 36 Tavistock Street, London WC2E 7PB
What We Know: The Covent Garden Cafe Murano was the second of Angela Hartnett's diffusion restaurant range to open. It also features a shop and cafe next door where you can pick up freshly made pasta and sauce (as well a decent bottle of wine) to take home with you.

 

Barrafina Drury Lane
Address: 43 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5AJ
What We Know: The ever-popular Barrafina now has a third outlet, which should help to relieve the queues on the rest. Best known for high-end Spanish tapas, this has been an instant hit.

 

Lima Floral
Address: 14 Garrick Street (Floral Street entrance), Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9BJ
What We Know: This is the second restaurant from Virgilio Martinez whose original in Fitzrovia was a big hit. This Covent Garden restaurant adds a ‘piqueos bar’ - the Peruvian equivalent of a tapas bar.

 

Balthazar London
Address: 4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ
What We Know: Keith McNally, an English ex-pat, has done particularly well to make his mark on the New York restaurant scene. Balthazar is a go-to place for most tourists and locals in the Village. McNally is now back in the UK with London branch of Balthazar which was one of the biggest openings of 2013. Expect brasserie style food in a spectacular room with great service and a master bartender on the cocktails too. Plus there's a takeaway bakery next door.

 

MEATMarket
Address: Jubilee Market Hall, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden London WC2E 8BE
What We Know: The follow up to Meat Liquor is more of a convenience food affair, so the queues should be considerably shorter. Expect a few new burgers and hot dogs, alcoholic milk shakes, soft serve developed with Ice Cream Union, and the option for take out if you can't grab a table.

 

The 10 Cases
Address: 16 Endell Street, London WC2H 9BD
What We Know: Just near Covent Garden, this bistro offers a "small but ever changing wine list" and a menu that changes every day to match the list.

 

The Opera Tavern
Address: 23 Catherine Street, London WC2
What We Know: From the same stable as Salt Yard and Dehesa, this serves tapas-style dishes in a refurbished pub setting. Their teeny Iberico pork and foie gras burgers are worthy of the trip here alone.

 

Rules
Address: 35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7LB
What We Know: One of London's oldest restaurant, there has been a Rules serving food in and around this part of Covent Garden since 1798. Here is where you come if you're after history and classic British dishes, served well.

 

Looking for more?

Check out the latest reviews of Fitzrovia, Soho and Covent Garden restaurants and all the Covent Garden news too.

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