THE CALIFORNIA GUIDE TO WHERE TO EAT IN COVENT GARDEN [MAP]
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Visitors to London will invariably find themselves drawn to the thriving hub of Covent Garden; a mecca for shopping, entertainment, culture and superb dining.

Whether you want a quick coffee and delicious Macaroon on the go; an American style burger and fries; or an incredibly lavish meal for a special occasion, Covent Garden has it all. Vegans, carnivores, veggies, chocoholics, caffeine lovers – everyone gets served with exactly what they want!

Here at The California, we are huge fans of dining in this area. It’s just a short walk from our King’s Cross bed and breakfast and is perfectly situated for theatres, bars, clubs and onward destinations that will lure you out for the night. We are often asked where to eat in Covent Garden, or for recommendations for restaurants near Covent Garden, and these are some of our favourite suggestions.

Prefer to explore the sights and attractions of Covent Garden? Our guide to Covent Garden things to do & how to get there has you covered.

Where to eat in Covent Garden – PDF download

Where to eat in Covent Garden map - The California London

 

Three of our favourite restaurants near Covent Garden

Polpo

This chic little Venetian bistro has industrial style decor and a menu to die for. The fish menu is wonderful and the tapas is a huge favourite with locals and visitors alike – although watch out for the generous portion sizes before you go too nuts with your order!

The restaurant is cosy and dimly lit, perfect for a romantic dinner a deux, or an intimate lunch for friends. It’s another trendy no-bookings venue so be warned that it can get very busy with the pre-theatre crowd; we’d recommend arriving later on to bag a table. Look out for meatballs, spinach pizza, authentic Italian fish dishes, tapas and more, with an enticing drinks menu to tempt you too.

Polpo website

Flesh & Buns

This cheekily named venue is brought to guests from the foodie geniuses behind the highly successful Bone Daddies Ramen and Shackfuyu restaurants. This particular offering is a Japanese Izakaya restaurant and bar.

If you’re wondering where to drink in Covent Garden that is relaxed, quirky and really fun, this is the place for you. The Japanese themed drinks menu is complemented with steamed buns, meats, fish, pickles, vegetables and superb sauces.

Enjoy funky cocktails and Japanese spirits and beers. The Frozen Yuzu Margarita is a particular favourite with the locals. Set to a backdrop of rock and roll music, this venue is particularly popular with the after work crowd and a great choice for a group meal with friends if you’re staying with The California Hotel as part of a group booking.

Read more: The King’s Cross food world map

Flesh & Buns website

Homeslice

Homeslice were part of the London street food revolution way back when and made a name for themselves selling incredibly tasty 20” pizzas by the slice or to share. Covent Garden is their original restaurant (of 3) and remains the best: as demonstrated by the never ending queues snaking along Neal’s Yard in front of their door.

The menu is small but bursting with a veritable feast of flavours and toppings, a mix of the classic and the fresh and the cutting edge. Prosecco on tap and wine served by the magnum (drink as much as you want and pay by the inch) accompanies the pizza, making it a great spot for groups of friends or couples.

If you want to secure a table, it’s best to arrive early and put your name down, upon which you can wait it out in an nearby pub. Or if the weather’s good grab a slice or a pizza to go and tuck in whilst people watching on Covent Garden Square.

Read more: Covent Garden Guide

Homeslice website

Clos Maggiore

This is a very special French restaurant that transforms with candles and sparkling lights in the evening, in a flower-filled glass dining conservatory. The food is of very high quality and the wine list is excellent.

This is extremely popular with couples, small adult groups and business diners, and the quality shows. The restaurant has won no less than three AA rosettes since 2008, and there are over 2,000 wine bottles in the cellar. Definitely book well ahead for a special occasion.

Clos Maggiore website

Book direct and save 15% at The California King's Cross b&b

Restaurants near Covent Garden with equally awesome wine or cocktail bars

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor has built a solid reputation over the years of serving the best steak in London across it’s 5 sites, but this Covent Garden outpost also has a separate bar selling fantastic cocktails, beers, wines and spirits. The venue is perfect if you are out for a celebration, set in a quiet street between Covent Garden station and Seven Dials.

Head to Hawksmoor Seven Dials for lobster rolls, burgers and of course the incredible steaks cooked to perfection in the restaurant. And if you’re looking for where to drink in Covent Garden the adjacent cocktail bar is well worth a trip even without any grub, with a range of classic and signature concoctions on offer. Thankfully The California is just a short meander home afterwards!

Hawksmoor website

Terroirs

If unusual, artisan and organic wine is your thing, then head to Terroirs. The venue offers rustic French cooking of the highest calibre, with an informal setting and a welcoming atmosphere.

The menu features platters and small plates, and wine is available by the glass or the bottle, with the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff ready to recommend a vintage grape or an unusual wine. This is a great choice for the grown-ups and very friendly and relaxed – perfect for people watching.

Terroirs website

Restaurants near Covent Garden great for breakfast & brunch

Kopapa

When you’re out shopping or simply getting to know the area around our King’s Cross hotel, we recommend popping into Kopapa. The menu is fusion based and it starts with superb fresh coffee and juices, complemented with hearty and energising breakfasts.

Everything is made with the freshest, prime ingredients and there are also lunch and dinner menus if you’re inclined to return. Breakfast is served from 8am in the week and on a Saturday and brunch begins from 9.30am on a Sunday. Kids are welcome here and the crowd is diverse and friendly.

Read more: Where to find the tastiest King’s Cross brunch

Kopapa website

Monmouth Coffee

Monmouth Coffee is very much worth a visit during a busy day sightseeing in Covent Garden. It’s small, independent and very bijou with a wonderful cosy atmosphere that will work perfectly for solo travellers and couples.

Look out for a superb range of artisan and freshly made coffees, complemented with plates of the freshest and most delectable cakes. One of the really engaging things about the Monmouth is that the staff are truly passionate and knowledgeable about the origin, nature and benefit of every coffee on their menu – and just as jazzed by the cakes!

Read more: Where to find the best King’s Cross coffee

Monmouth Coffee website

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Where to drink in Covent Garden

Café Pacifico

Whilst Café Pacifico is technically a Covent Garden restaurant, the demand for space at its lively tequila bar far outstrips that for the adjacent Mexican Cantina. Until you’ve had too many margaritas, that is.

The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, with a party likely to break out at anytime, even early week. Choose from an extensive list of high quality tequilas chased with a bottle of Aguila if you want to go native, or plump for one of their various margaritas and stay steady for home-time.

This is definitely a venue to swing by with friends or as part of a group, which the substantial range of cocktail pitchers, buckets of beer and sharing platters attest to.

Read more: The groups guide to King’s Cross

Cafe Pacifico website

London Cocktail Club

For a night that you don’t want to end in Covent Garden, a great bar to try is the famous London Cocktail Club. It’s designed as a speakeasy and features a lot of leather and a very quirky drinks menu with classic combinations jostling for space against funky fresh creations.

The crowd is trendy, noisy and begins to gather from office closing hours onwards. The atmosphere is fun and it’s also very popular for coming of age birthday parties with cocktail making classes to enjoy. Or just do like the locals and get down before 7pm for some great offers on 2-4-1 orders.

Read more: The California insider guide to…unusual bars in London

London Cocktail Club website