Looking for something to eat or drink in Covent Garden? You’re in luck! Variety is the rule at this popular area in central London with dining options for every budget and taste.
Covent Garden’s restaurants cater to the daily streams of shoppers and tourists, with several eateries conveniently lined along the piazza.
Many eateries accommodate the theatre crowds with pre- and post-theatre bookings and menus. All the standard fast food outlets exist along with an abundance of virtually every sort of eating establishment imaginable.
A trip to this charming area is compulsory for all those arriving on flights to London.
If you’re heading to (or coming from) the theatre, Joe Allen at 13 Exeter Street oozes with Broadway charm (its brick walls are lined with show posters and flyers from several decades). Service is efficient yet informal and friendly. Joe Allen’s discreet entrance and cavernous basement settling wows first timers and keeps the regulars coming back for more.
One cuisine that traditionally has not been well represented in London is Mexican. However, with “Mexican market eating” establishment Wahaca on the scene at 66 Chandos Place (essentially around the corner from Covent Garden Market), it is now possible to partake in fairly authentic and especially delicious Mexican favourites, such as chicken tortilla soup and enchiladas. Wahaca’s airy and bright dining area – not to mention its marvellous margaritas – makes this restaurant a good bet for a relaxing meal.
Does Latin cuisine sound appealing but you’re looking for something other than Mexican? Another brilliant option is Canela Café at 33 Earlham Street. A short walk away in the Seven Dials area, Canela Café offers a range of Portuguese and Brazilian options such as the national dish of Brazil, feijoada. Portions at this stylish café are large and satisfying. Canela also serves a scrumptious assortment of sweet and savoury takeaway treats as well as a number of gorgeous desserts. Canela Café makes lovely freshly squeezed lemonade too.
More Seven Dials options include the incredibly popular Monmouth Coffee Company on Monmouth Street. It’s a quaint and rustic little gem serving arguably the best coffee (and a deletable selection of pastries) in London. You’ll also find a few street vendors, such as a mobile juice bar, along Seven Dials’ streets as well as a number of other small cafés, takeaways and chain restaurants.
Just up the street from Monmouth Coffee and only a year old (but already listed among London’s top restaurants), Kopapa brings innovative cuisine from chef Peter Gordon to the Seven Dials area.
Of course, what would a visit to London be without a proper curry? One of London’s most celebrated Indian restaurants, and also a lovely restaurant for a truly fine dining experience, is Moti Mahal. Located at the corner of Great Queen Street and Drury Lane, Moti Mahal is an elegant two story restaurant with a chef and kitchen staff focused on creating dishes as pleasing to look at as to eat. The freshest of ingredients are to be expected and reservations aren’t a bad idea.
Along with curry, fish and chips is a must-have when visiting London. Rock & Sole Plaice at the corner of Endell Street and Short’s Gardens is a classic serving massive portions with old school style.
A quick and tasty alternative right on the piazza is the West Cornwall Pasty Company, serving up handmade traditional pasties from (yep, you guessed it) Cornwall. These inexpensive and hearty snacks really hit the spot! A nice thing about West Cornwall Pasty Company is the large outdoor seating area. This establishment also serves coffee, beer and a number of other refreshments and snacks.
Steps from Covent Garden’s Piazza and lauded as one of London’s most romantic restaurants, Clos Maggiore is a winner of a setting for a date. The accolades have as much to do with the restaurant’s dreamily cherry blossom-filled conservatory as with the menu … which is gorgeous.
Last but far from least, Covent Garden has plenty of wonderful pubs. Within Covent Garden Market, the Punch and Judy with lots of outdoor drinking areas and a balcony bar, is popular with the tourists. The beautifully decorated Cross Keys, 31 Endell Street, appears more to the locals. As with anywhere in London, the possibilities to grab a pint (or a glass of wine) are endless.
Needless to say, Covent Garden has something for every appetite. The area nearest to its famous market and piazza teems with establishments offering everything from fast and cheap to upscale and formal. And just beyond, Covent Garden’s proximity to London’s Chinatown, Leicester Square and Soho opens up whole new worlds of dining opportunities for those keen to wander a bit. You won’t have any trouble finding a quality meal in Covent Garden.
CC Flickr photo credit: jay.tong