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,
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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