Wine & Food

    The Best Restaurants in Covent Garden

    3 September 2020

    The theatre and the opera may be off for the time being but there are plenty of culinary reasons to rediscover Covent Garden. Fewer tourists mean that it’s the ideal time for Londoners to become reacquainted with this part of town. Nothing beats a meal on the cobbles of one of London’s most beloved squares. Here’s where to eat:

    Cora Pearl

    Sunday roast at Cora Pearl

    Once famously described as the purveyor of the finest chips in London by Giles Coren, Cora Pearl does not disappoint. It also, mercifully, delivers far more than just cracking chips. Warm and intimate, Coral Pearl is a small, elegant and romantic restaurant which packs a powerful punch. The menu is so scintillatingly tempting that the worry is you could spend the whole evening just deliberating over what to order. You could, of course, order the whole thing and be broke, full and happy. The chestnut soup is a standout, unless you opt for the most decadent cheese toastie of your life, before the cod with seaweed butter or the delectable Tamworth pork. It’s all good. Just don’t forget the chips.


    Classic American elegance: Christopher’s Grill, Covent Garden

    Cool and classic American elegance are the order of the day at Christopher’s – an airy and vast restaurant that proves it is both big and clever. Famed for their brilliantly-made martinis, Christopher’s is both a fabulous choice for an indulgent after-work drink, and a solid dinner choice with a blisteringly-good view of London. The menu has all the American staples, burgers, pancakes and steaks, elevated to as impressive a degree as the view.


    Classic Italian fare at Margot, Covent Garden

    They simply don’t make restaurants like this anymore. The creation of Scott’s alumni Paulo de Tarso and Nicolas Jauoën; the food here is classic Italian fare, from pappardelle con ragú to carpaccio, tartare and a whole range of Italian cheeses. These are sumptuous, simple dishes done to perfection, all washed down with an impressive (and very well curated) 350-strong wine list. Yet it is the classic, old-school elegance of the place that truly impresses. Situated in the heart of Covent Garden, Margot exudes refinement; from its impeccably dressed waiters to its blue leather banquettes and mood lighting.It is contemporary chic blended effortlessly with timeless charm. Could this be the swankiest Italian in town? Probably.

    Frog by Adam Handling

    Tomato Salad from FROG, Covent Garden

    Good Lord, this place is good. The small venue, with a relatively unassuming frontage on the edges of Covent Garden, boasts some of the most truly impressive, innovative food in the capital. There’s flair and theatrics here (smoky dry ice vibes and oysters big enough to sit in) but also brilliantly concocted flavours; from the lobster served plain, yet dripping in wagyu fat, to wonderfully cooked bread with chicken butter and a dish simply called ‘Mother’ made by Adam Handling when his mother became a vegetarian.

    This truffle dish is remarkably fresh and earthy and would make any vegetarian parent proud, as would Frog’s varied and stellar veggie-friendly offerings.  Though the restaurant is paired back in its aesthetic, Frog is a venue that truly – and rightfully- lets the food do all the talking. Pair all this with excellent service and a scintillating wine list, and you have yourself a truly wonderful dinner. Run, don’t walk here.


    Lamb Rump, Cucumber, Aged Feta, Peas & Radish. (Photo: @barnychef)

    This intimate wine bar, just off the edges of Trafalgar Square is a capital gem. Terroirs serves an impressive roster of brilliant wines, and a menu of simply, earthy and hearty food all with a genuine sense of humour from the staff and a laidback atmosphere. This is pure, unpretentious good food and great wine. The ideal spot for a first date after traipsing through the National Gallery.


    Pistachio tart with raspberry coulis & meringue, Frenchie, London

    Though a relative newcomer to the area; Frenchie has already made its mark thanks to its clean, chic interiors and impressive culinary pedigree. This Henrietta Street eatery is the younger London sibling of Gregory Marchland’s Paris original- all based on the nickname given to him by his former boss, Jamie Oliver. The menu is clean yet expertly executed; modern European cuisine at its finest but with a distinct British touch- the ingredients are all sourced in the UK-there are Maple bacon scones (heavenly), Cornish brill, Sussex Pork and smoked mackerel- all of it set off with a seamlessly paired wine list. What else would you expect from a Frenchie after all?

    Joe Allen

    Joe Allen – beloved by actors

    This Covent Garden staple has been in residence since 1977. Affectionately known as the ‘West End Canteen,’ Joe Allen was founded by a coterie of actors, producers and directors as a sister venue to the iconic New York original. Its exposed-brick, dark wooden panelled walls are adorned with theatre memorabilia and the place is always- impressively- packed after nearly fifty years. Come for the atmosphere, stay for the steak and whiskey cocktails.


    Louie – from the creator of Zuma and Chiltern Firehouse

    The newest addition to Covent Garden’s dining scene is possibly one of its most exciting. It is the brainchild of Guillaume Glipa and Paris Society. Gilpa has already made his mark on the capital with Zuma, Coya, Umu and Chiltern Firehouse. The restaurant is a curious mix of four cities, the influences of which are felt in the atmosphere, architecture and music as well as the menu. The spirit of New Orleans is felt through the live jazz, Po-Boys and BBQ lobster, Paris seeps in through classic French fare, traditional design and a music set list from Hôtel Costes’ Malik Alery, while New York’s buzz (and oysters Rockefeller) are served in an undeniably London setting. There’s a lot going on at Louie, but its charm, ambition and credentials promise to make it a Covent Garden fixture when it opens on the 8th September.

    The Ivy Market Grill

    Bang bang chicken salad, The Ivy Grill

    You can always count on The Ivy. The Covent Garden outpost is yet another prime example of this upmarket chain’s commitment to quality fare and a sleek and sophisticated ambience. Nestled in Henrietta Street, The Market Grill has a classic, warm and modern European brasserie feel with an always reliable menu of brilliantly executed classics and signature cocktails. Like The Ivy Bloody Mary. Perfect for a pre or post theatre dinner, or an indulgent hungover brunch.