Guy Dimond
Leicester Square

This Portuguese café in Covent Garden recently reopened, having expanded with a new second entrance onto Shorts Gardens. The look has been refined: teal blue wooden panelling around the walls, old wireless radios fastened to one wall, and a more discreet servery.  It's fully table service, with 10% added even if you're just popping in for a coffee.

Canela clearly has aspirations and has moved towards the prevailing trend of small plates menu paired with a wine bar vibe. The mainly Portuguese wine list is interesting with plenty of choice, while the food menu remains a mix of Portuguese and Brazilian.

We've been eating here for years, and much the same observation holds true before the refurb, and after: it's a nice place, but pricey for what you get. Simple, peasant-style home cooking, such as a dish of bacalhau (salt cod) with potatoes and eggs, is cheekily priced at £15 for a small 'mai'n portion size – especially when there were still small fishbones in parts of the dish. And with the small plates costing upwards of £7 each, this is not the place to come for bargain Portuguese or Brazilian meal.

However, the service is engaging and the atmosphere pleasant, making this a good spot to pop into for a glass of wine and snack when you're in Covent Garden.

Venue name: Canela
Address: 33 Earlham Street
Opening hours: Meals served 10.30am-10.30pm Mon-Sat; 10.30am-8.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden tube
Price: Main courses £5-£12

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
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Tim A
Staff Writer

Wonderful selection of meats, sumptuous cheeses and absolutely delightful staff. A lovely quiet spot to enjoy traditional simple fare.

Tatiane A

 Overpriced and not worth a visit.  Food quality has decreased and portions aren't sufficient. 

I ordered a feijoada which was really well presented, however, there was very little rice for the amount of beans served. I asked the waitress for a little bit more rice but was refused as everything leaving the kitchen must be in portions. 

Having paid £14,00 for the dish, I found unfair to have to pay for more rice but did not complain. To make my visit even more unpleasant, a few hours later I had heartburn which got me really frustrated about the place. I am convinced the beans weren't prepared at the same day.

Will not go back again.