The best restaurants in London

Once only somewhere you'd find tourists eating out, Covent Garden's fortunes as a foodie destination are now such that there's almost too much choice. Which is where our handy edit to the best restaurants in WC2 comes in. We've brought together the very best restaurants in Covent Garden, surrounding the main market and beyond.

 

balth
Address: 4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ
What We Know:

Keith McNally, an English ex-pat, is big on the New York restaurant scene where Balthazar is a go-to place for both tourists and locals in the Village. He returned to the UK to open this, serving brasserie style food in a spectacular room.

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bancone
Address: 39 William IV Street, London, WC2N 4DD
What We Know:

Popular from the moment it opened, Bancone's key attraction is its head chef who trained in Locanda Locatelli who's behind those amazing 10-hour cooked ragus.

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Barrafina Drury Lane
Address: 43 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5AJ
What We Know:

The ever-popular Barrafina's Drury Lane outpost has a lovely wraparound terrace, giving it an alfresco edge over the Adelaide Street and Dean Street branches.

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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.

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chicksourscg
Address: 1A Earlham St, London WC2H 9LL
What We Know:

Originally set up in Haggerston, this fried chicken restaurant is a collaboration between Carl Clarke and David Wolanski. As well as serving excellent fried chicken - tenders, wings and burgers, they also do a mean line in sour cocktails. Not to mention the amazing Szechuan Aubergine, one of our favourite London dishes.

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surnaturelsnew
Address: 8-10 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP
What We Know:

This wine bar comes from the same people behind the hugely popular Experimental Cocktail Club and this bar's sister site in Paris. Expect the wines to steer clear of the mainstream and the food to be a mix of seasonal British and French cuisine.

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condesa
Address: 15 Maiden Ln, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7NG
What We Know:

Condesa is a small tapas restaurant in Covent Garden with dishes inspired by both Spain and Latin America. Here you'll find a combination of Spanish tapas like jamon Iberico next to beef cheek tacos and ceviche along with plenty of cava and sherry, of course.

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corapearl
Address: 30 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8NA
What We Know:

Following on the success of their Shepherd Market restaurant the team behind Kitty Fisher's opened their second restaurant on Covent Garden's Henrietta Street, with George Barson in charge of the menu.

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dintaifung
Address: 5 Henrietta St, London WC2E 8PT
What We Know:

The hugely popular Taiwanese dumpling restaurant arrived in London to serve up their famous steamed soup dumplings and lots more. The queues around the blocks may have gone, but the consistency is still there.

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dishoomcg
Address: 12 Upper St Martins Lane, London WC2H 9FB
What We Know:

This is the original Dishoom, the self-styled Bombay cafe that propelled them to success. You'll find small plates, inspired by Indian street food - not to mention bacon naans.

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eneko
Address: One Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
What We Know:

Eneko Atxa is best known for his Basque restaurant, the three Michelin starred Azurmendi. This is the London outpost of his more informal Spanish restaurant - but still with a Basque menu at the heart of things.

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flatironcg
Address: 17-18 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8QH
What We Know:

Flat Iron are known for bringing affordable steak dinners to the masses, but without losing the quality. You can get a really good steak and chips here without breaking the bank, all thanks to mainly serving up the affordable flat iron cut. Be prepared for a wait for a table at peak times, it's very popular.

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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.

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greatqueenst
Address: 32 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AA
What We Know:

This is the central London gastropub from the same people behind The Anchor and Hope and the Canton Arms. As with their other pubs, there's a regularly changing menu and the downstairs cellar bar is a handy place to know about.

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Hawksmoor Seven Dials
Address: 11 Langley St, London WC2H 9JG
What We Know:

Located in the old Watney-Combe brewery, complete with original vaulted brick ceiling, the new Hawskmoor restaurant looks as though it's been down this narrow Covent Garden street forever. There's also a private dining room for up to 14 people and a bar where you can pop in for 'a casual burger and beer'.

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J Sheekey
Address: 28-34 St. Martin's Court, London WC2N 4AL
What We Know:

Often seen as both the theatregoers and the actors' port of call post-theatre, Sheekeys is a London institution. Best known for its seafood, including an incredible fish pie. A must-visit for every Londoner.

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Jidori Covent Garden
Address: 15 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JZ
What We Know:

The second Jidori, follows in the footsteps of the popular Dalston original. So you'll find yakitori and other Japanese treats are at the heart of the menu. Plus, if you're in the mood, head to the basement for sake and karaoke.

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Joe Allen
Address: 2 Burleigh Street London WC2E 7PX
What We Know:

This long-running Covent Garden restaurant has moved from its original location, but somehow looks almost identical. There's a brasserie menu but made sure you order their excellent burger (it's not listed on the menu - you have to be in the know).

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lanzhou
Address: 33 Cranbourn St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 7AD
What We Know:

Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar serves up hand-pulled noodles in its location near Leicester Square tube. It's definitely the noodles that you're coming here for (stick to those), served up into the early hours of the morning.

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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.

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maisonbab
Address: 4 Mercer Walk, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9FA
What We Know:

This is from the same people as the original Le Bab - but it's a restaurant of two halves. Upstairs you'll find their next-level kebabs which are inspired by and are paying homage to great kebab houses. And downstairs is the hidden counter dining restaurant Kebab queen. This is a different beast altogether, offering a kebab tasting menu like no other.

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margot2
Address: 45 Great Queen St, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5AA
What We Know:

This high-end Italian restaurant in Covent Garden comes from Paulo De Tarso and Nicolas Jaouën, who both have a strong pedigree in the London restaurant scene. With them in charge, the service is top notch and it's one of the smartest Italian restaurants in the area.

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meatmarket2
Address: Jubilee Market Hall, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden London WC2E 8BE
What We Know:

The first follow up to MEATliquor is more of a convenience food affair. Here they serve up their classic 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.

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monplaisir
Address: 19-21 Monmouth St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9DD
What We Know:

Mon Plasir is billed as London's "oldest French restaurant" - with its current owners keeping it in the family since the 1940s. As you might imagine from such a traditional establishment this does the classic dishes very well.

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Parsons
Address: 39 Endell St, London WC2H 9BA
What We Know:

The people behind the 10 Cases wine bar opened this, their second restaurant, just across the road from the first. The focus is on seafood, with daily catches on the board every day and the wine list is excellent.

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Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden
Address: 27 King Street, London WC2E 8JD
What We Know:

Petersham Nurseries has opened in Covent Garden with two restaurants. La Goccia focuses on Italian aperitivo while the main restaurant is The Petersham, with the same approach to slow food cooking as the original in Richmond.

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room1
Address: 9 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ
What We Know:

The people behind New York's infamous Pac Man dumplings have made it to London. The menu here is a modern take on Chinese dim sum with a few NYC influences too.

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Rules
Address: 35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7LB
What We Know:

One of London's oldest restaurants, 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. The upstairs cocktail bar is legendary.

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tempercovent
Address: 5 Mercer Walk Mercers Yard, London WC2H 9FA
What We Know:

This is Neil Rankin's temper restaurant in Covent Garden where cooking over fire is a big thing and you can get some of the best tacos, flatbreads, steak and meats in town.

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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.

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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.

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thedelaunay
Address: 55 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BB
What We Know:

Chris Corbin and Jeremy King (The Wolseley, Zedel) are behind this huge restaurant, designed by the late David Collins. It's in a super position for pre and post theatre and the cafe at the front is handy as well.

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The Frog Covent Garden
Address: 34-35 Southampton St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7HG
What We Know:

Adam Handling has brought his Frog concept from Spitalfields to Covent Garden. Expect a bigger, more traditional restaurant and some dishes unique to this location.

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ivynew
Address: The Ivy, 1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ
What We Know:

One of London's great, classic restaurants, the Ivy had a major revamp not too long ago. The changes brought in a new central bar area with plenty of counter dining spaces. The menu has a mix of classic Ivy dishes like the Shepherd's Pie and more contemporary fare.

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operatavbernnew
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.

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oystermen
Address: 32 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8NA
What We Know:

The Oystermen originally started up as an oyster-shucking pop-up but their Covent Garden restaurant is so much more. It started tiny before they acquired the next-door space and doubled the size. But all along, they've been serving up excellent seafood from a menu that depends on the catch of the day.

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Tredwells
Address: 4 Upper St Martin’s Lane, London WC2H 9NY
What We Know:

Tredwells is from Marcus Wareing, but it's run by Chantelle Nicholson who has taken this "casual but informed restaurant" and turned it into a popular Covent Garden haunt with a strong focus on veggie dishes.

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The best of Covent Garden

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Borough and London Bridge  |  City of London  |  Clerkenwell  |  Covent Garden  |  Fitzrovia  |  King's Cross  |  Knightsbridge  |  Islington  |  Marylebone  |  Mayfair  |  Peckham  |  Shoreditch  |  Soho |  Victoria and Pimlico

 

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