Cora Pearl


Hattie Lloyd 15/12/23

The Best Covent Garden Restaurants

Think the restaurants in Covent Garden are there solely to cater to tourists? Then the only thing you’ll be eating are your words.

From gourmet kebabs at a hidden chef’s table to slap-up steak dinners, lively counter dining spots and a grand cafe-restaurant that looks like it’s just waltzed out of Vienna, Covent Garden’s restaurants have so much more to offer than just pre-theatre dining.

So, whether you’re off to see one of the best theatre shows in London or stand-up at The Top Secret Comedy Club (though you didn’t hear that from us), here’s 16 of the best restaurants in Covent Garden that you absolutely can’t miss:


Story Cellar

story cellar covent garden

Tom Sellers’ first Story was pretty good (after all, it only won two Michelin stars…) and his follow-up here in Neal’s Yard ain’t bad either: a more casual space where you can sit up on marble counters and watch the chefs go to work on racks of succulent rotating rotisserie chicken. Downstairs, there’s a walk-in wine cellar and a couple of plushier sit-down tables surrounded by banquette seating, coloured in a deep shade of red. That’s the other side of the story…

Details: 17 Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9DP | Book here

Dishoom Covent Garden

dishoom restaurant covent garden

Every Londoner needs to go to Dishoom at least twice in their lives (not just for dinner, but for breakfast too). The popularity of these old Bombay-inspired restaurants is clear in the nightly queues – though at least you’ll receive a cup of warm chai tea for your troubles. The Covent Garden restaurant is the original don and offers up all Dishoom’s cult Modern Indian dishes that have taken the capital by storm – the black daal, bacon naans, chicken ruby – in a swish setting styled after old cinemas from Bombay’s 1940’s Talkies Era. 

Details: 12 Upper St. Martin’s Lane, London, WC2H 9FB | Book here for breakfast, lunch & larger groups

The Barbary

the barbary covent garden

Carol Sachs

Following up one of the most acclaimed restaurants in London (The Palomar) is tough. But The Barbary makes it look easy. All they had to do was pick a good spot (the colourful nook that is Neal’s Yard), do that spot justice on the inside (achieved via low-key, bare cement walls left from the previous tenants, and a smooth, zinc horseshoe dining bar), riff on the cuisine that brought their debut so much acclaim (here, it’s inspired by the Barbary Coast – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya), and do it really well. Which, luckily, they have done.

Can’t get a seat at The Barbary? Head to The Barbary Next Door, located…right next door. It’s essentially a mini Barbary, where, sat up at the counter, you can feast on similar North African fare, but this time with sommelier-extraordinaire Honey Spencer (Sager + WildeThe Mulwray) curating the wines.

Details: 16 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, WC2H 9DP | Book here

Blacklock Covent Garden

Blacklock Covent Garden

When your inner caveman is crying out for premium cuts of red meat and plates piled with charcoal-grilled chops, Blacklock will do the trick. The Covent Garden restaurant is the growing empire’s biggest yet, with waiters wheeling out porterhouses, juicy cheeseburgers, steak sarnies, Sunday roasts, pork chops and everything in between to its capacity of 110 hungry carnivores. If the selection is already triggering the meat sweats, opt for the All In, which gives you and a pal a share of everything for £25 a head. Do leave room though for their legendary white chocolate cheesecake – trust us, you won’t want to be sharing that…

Address: 16a Bedford Street, London WC2E 9HE | Book here

The Delaunay

Delaunay best Holborn restaurants

The Delaunay is a stately, European-styled grand café-restaurant that wouldn’t look out of place in Bavaria or Vienna, and comes with the food to match: schnitzels, tarte flambée, sausages, strudel… they’re all here. They also run special menus for the theatre, but if you’re especially strapped for time, you can always nip by their takeaway counter on the corner for traditional sweet and savoury pastries.

Details: 55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB | Book here



Oyster spots generally shuck. But Parsons is an adorable, date-worthy little eatery coming to you from the team behind The 10 Cases (another great restaurant and wine bar, just across the road). Tucked away on Endell Street, it’s a little oasis in the crowded madness of Covent Garden, with intimate, tightly-packed tables, beautifully cooked seafood and plenty of wine to settle in to an evening with.

Details: 39 Endell Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BA | Book here

Clos Maggiore

clos maggiore covent garden

It’s almost impossible to pronounce, but any time Clos Maggiore does pass someone’s lips, it’s likely to be followed by a lot of praise. It’s one of Covent Garden’s most famous restaurants, by virtue of the unspeakably elegant interiors (plush chairs, roaring fires and a canopy of blossoms over the main dining room). But it’s more than just good looks: Clos Maggiore serves up a sophisticated fusion of Italian and French dishes, and is a sure-fire winner to keep in your date night pocket.

Details: 33 King St, London WC2E 8JD Book here

Kebab Queen

kebab queen covent garden

Hidden away behind a floor-length, pastel pink curtain in the basement of another restaurant is, no doubt, London’s poshest and prettiest kebab shop. Well, technically, it’s more of an intimate chef’s table, with seats for just eight diners around a bespoke countertop (onto which the food is directly served). New head chef Pamir Zeydan will treat you to an innovative menu fusing Kurdish and Mediterranean influences, like dover sole and spit roast cağ (lamb) kebabs.

Details: Below Maison Bab, Mercer’s Walk, Covent Garden, WC2H 9QE | Book here

Bancone Covent Garden

Bancone, Covent Garden

If you’re looking for fresh pasta, this is one place you can bancone being good. The carby stars of the show at this Michelin Bib Gourmand-winner are all hand-crafted daily, from silk ‘handkerchiefs’ with walnut butter and confit egg yolk to bucatini cacio e pepe, all served alongside a small selection of Italian antipasti and a list of all-Italian wines.

Can’t get a table? Try Notto Covent Garden, just off the piazza.

Details: 39 William IV Street, Covent Garden, WC2N 4DD | Book here

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

Hawksmoor, Seven Dials

Perhaps no restaurant has so rapidly become inwoven into the fabric of the London restaurant scene as Hawksmoor, whose second branch sits underground on a Covent Garden side street. You’ll find juicy steaks (Yorkshire Longhorn, sold by weight from the blackboard), classic cocktails (each one has a small biography printed in the menu), excellent sides (the fries are cooked in beef dripping, of course), and gorgeous interiors (it’s set inside a former brewery, with all the dramatically lit, revamped industrial features you could hope for).

Details: 11 Langley Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9JG | Book here

Cora Pearl

Cora Pearl, Covent Garden

Cora Pearl was a renowned 19th century courtesan who accrued vast amounts of wealth, jewellery and clothing as mistress to society’s elite. And now she’s gone and got herself a Covent Garden restaurant, too. A follow up from the Kitty Fisher’s team, it’s an elegantly designed spot serving up a concise menu of Modern European dishes, and what can only be described as a super-chip

Details: 30 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8NA | Book here



A glitzy, four-storey temple to New Orleans cooking, tucked down a surprisingly quiet side street in Covent Garden. Head chef Slade Rushing puts together a menu of fresh seafood, traditional gumbo and po’boy sandwiches in the verdant dining rooms, while upstairs sits a gorgeously plush cocktail bar and roof terrace, with live jazz every week.

Details: 13-15 West Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9NE Book here

Café Murano

Cafe Murano, Covent Garden

Despite being deeply polished and sophisticated, this is essentially the ‘Jeans’ label to Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-starred flagship, Murano. Which means for a remarkably decent price tag you can score unbelievably delicious Italian grub, in a totally date-worthy setting.

Details: 34-36 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7PB | Book here



You might know Rules as the self-proclaimed oldest restaurant in London. Established by Thomas Rule in 1798, it serves hyper-modern Asian fusion cuisine traditional British food. But it hasn’t made it this far by refusing to yield to new ideas, and although the menu involves classic game pies, puddings, and roasts, they’re throwing in new & inventive ingredients like pomegranates and dandelion, and there’s a top notch cocktail bar, too, where you can even attend cocktail masterclasses to learn from the best.

Details: 35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, WC2E 7LB | Book here

J Sheekey

sheekey restaurant covent garden

Tucked discreetly away from Leicester Square down a little flagstone-paved alleyway by Wyndham’s Theatre, Sheekey’s decor is timelessly elegant, leaving the spotlight to shine on the excellently sourced and prepared seafood, from melt-in-the-mouth stone bass with prosciutto, to razor clams served in their long shells, to the oysters they’ve been famed for since they opened in 1890.

Details: 28-32 St Martin’s Court, Covent Garden, WC2N 4AL | Book here

Barrafina | Drury Lane & Adelaide Street

Barrafina, Covent Garden

Hopefully, Barrafina’s extraordinary reputation precedes it. If not, allow us to give you a very brief rejoinder… Imagine walking into a scleral-white, cozy eatery packed with stainless steel, marble and mirrors, and sitting down at an open kitchen bar where London’s most prestigious tapas team are plating up a colourful mixture of contemporary and traditional Mallorcan and Catalan tapas dishes. Then enjoy it all for real at either of their two Covent Garden restaurants.

Details: 43 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5AJ | 10 Adelaide St, London WC2N 4DH | Book here


Liked exploring these fine Covent Garden restaurants? Time to discover the best Covent Garden bars, too