Neighbourhoods: where to eat in Covent Garden - expect queues, avoid tourist traps
Covent Garden is high on every tourist guide to London. Makes sense, it’s pretty, it’s central, and has everything is on offer. Throughout history it has served as a vegetables market, centre for theatre and politics - a natural hangout for Londoners of all social classes, looking to conduct business or indulge in their hobbies.
Whether you’re musical and you go off to the Royal Opera and grab tickets to their next production, you enjoy theatre, you’re a shopaholic or a foodie, Covent Garden has it all for you. So whether you’re a local or a tourist (like me), wandering around its side streets is an absolute treat - until your stomach growling.
That’s the main issue with Covent Garden; it’s always crowded. So if you’re looking for a bite to eat, god bless, during lunch time or around 8pm you’re in trouble. Whether you’re eyeing some of the neighborhood’s cheap eats or high end options, patience is your friend. Expect most places will put it to the test.
- National Portrait Gallery - Just a stone’s throw away from Covent Garden, I love wandering around its permanent collection of portraits
- Royal Opera House - One of the most magical places in London for those who love classical music
- St Martin’s Courtyard - A great place to wander around and do some shopping
- Neal's Yard - With its small restaurants and shops, it’s worth a detour
- 26 Grains - Great for breakfast. Their warm porridge options and good coffee are the best way to start your day
- Homeslice - 4 pounds for a large slice of pizza - totally worth it. If you’d rather have a whole pizza, the corn, chorizo and coriander one is to die for
- Chicks’n’Sours - Who could say no to fried chicken?
- Flesh & Buns - Trendy and dark, some of the best bao sandwiches in London
- Polpo - This tiny Venetian restaurant is a great option if you’re going for dinner with an indecisive friend; all the plates are to share. I recommend the spinach, parmesan, and egg pizzetta, summer pea and speck crostini, and the venetian meatballs
- Flat Iron - Affordable and delicious steak option. Steak and salad for 10 pounds - a great deal
- Dishoom - One of London’s most popular restaurants. Try the lamb chops, vegetable samosas, Pau Bhaji vegetables, and spicy prawn koliwada. They’re Indian flavour inspired cocktails are the best complement to your meal - ask the bartender for recommendations
- Shake Shack - Because sometimes all someone is craving is a burger and a vanilla concrete
- Barrafina - One of the best tapas restaurants in London. Tiny so it won’t accommodate a large group. Try the stuffed courgette flower, arroz negro, pork belly and cured meats
- Hawksmoor Seven Dials - If you’ve had a long day and you want to treat yourself with a steak, that’s the place to go
- Sticks’n’Sushi - One of the best affordable sushi restaurants I’ve been to. Their fried Jerusalem artichoke, salmon chirashi and seaweed salad are to die for
- Canela - Portuguese restaurant in Seven Dials. Try their rice balls with mushroom, spicy chorizo in Douro wine and traditional salted cod dish (divine)
- Udderlicious - Delicious ice cream. Their cheesecake and espresso options are worth the extra calories