Restaurants , Brazilian Covent Garden
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(14 user reviews)
7 Love It
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Guy Dimond

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
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
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Alexandra L

Seven Dials is not exactly short of places to eat; some of the best dishes available in London are within walking distance of that central fountain…steak at Hawksmoor, cauliflower at the Barbary and cheese at Neal’s Yard Dairy are all things you might want to eat at restaurants you might have heard of but you should absolutely add the beautifully tucked away hot-spot of Canela to that list.

Specialising in authentic meats, cheeses & wines imported from the sunny climes of Portugal, Canela has been open for over a decade with a recent refurbishment leaving it an elegant space for a grown-up lunch or dinner with a newly added dining room, perfect for private parties.

Ceilings are high with enormous mirrors and heavy chandeliers adding to the feelings of breezy, warm, decadent openness and the teal & white colour palate bringing continental coastal seaside towns to mind. Wide doors open onto the pavement outside while a glass fronted cabinet proudly displays vast bowls of salad.

Every dish, whether derived from a family recipe passed down through the generations or a classic dish given a modern interpretation, is served with impeccably warm service and understated simple presentation.

Vegetable dishes are fresh and full of flavour while chunks of smoky, paprika-oiled chorizo are some of the best I’ve ever had; meaty, juicy and superb quality, don’t be at all surprised when you find yourself scrapping defiantly for the last piece. Pastries are sweet, light, moreish and perfect with a glass of Moscatel as you sit in the window basking in sunlight and watching passer-by’s headed for nearby shops and theatres.

Canela is not big, it’s not loud, it’s not flashy and you’re unlikely to find z-list celebrities, gaggles of screeching hens or busloads of tourists inside but that’s absolutely its charm. Well, that and the chorizo…

Tiago Almeida

Amazing restaurant!!!!

it's my 2nd visit and it was as amazing as the first time.

I wouldn't say it's typical portuguese but what they do is a modern twist to typical dishes and it's delicious and ideal for a date.

Misha M.

Canela has delicious cocktails and healthy food options! You can also get one of their pasteis de nata for dessert too. Yum! 

Staff WriterStaff Comp

Approachable, friendly and informative team complemented the charcuterie and well priced wine list. We dropped in earlyevening and stayed...

Staff Writer

Best secret place in the Seven Dials! Great spot for drinks, lunch and diner! The atmosphere is laid back and the food high quality. You will enjoy Portuguese charcuterie/cheese board, and a wide selection of tasty wine. Staff very friendly, good service. 

Maggie W
Staff WriterStaff Comp

Great spot for drinks and lunch! One of the best kept secrets of seven dials.

Cookie Monster
moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

Excellent little restaurant just off Seven Dials that brings a touch of Portugal to the heart of London. There was no real need to look at the menu, as the staff recommended both food and wine. Simples.

Eleanor F
Staff Writer

This is somewhere that we just stumbled across on Earlham street, but will definitely be going back to. Absolutely lovely staff, attentive and accommodating. Good menu of small dishes and excellent charcuterie. The salad I had was terrific, topped off with a vinho verde and great coffee.


A terrific find, a great place to drop in for a glass or two of vinho verde and simple plates of tapas style food - try the fish cakes with quails egg.  Really lovely staff and friendly service - recommended

Staff Writer

We dropped in here for lunch at last minute. Not knowing quite what to expect food wise, what we got was a great surprise. Great selection of meats, simple but elegant dishes. Lovely spot. Great staff. One to remember and visit more often.

Tamsin V
Staff Comp

Came here last night on a whim. Staff were lovely - we only popped in for a bottle of white, but we ended up indulging in the baked cheese with honey and thyme which we dipped toasted bread into. Highly recommend it for sophisticated Covent Garden drinks and nibbles with a great atmosphere.

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.

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