Fine dining restaurants in Covent Garden

Discover the stylish and sophisticated cuisine in Covent Garden

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Covent Garden is home to some of the finest restaurants in London. From succulent steaks at Hawksmoor Seven Dials to a superior French affair at Balthazar, spoil yourself and visit one of the top tables in the area. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.


Balthazar

Private dining room now open
  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Rarely has a new London restaurant been so anticipated – or so hyped. Stories about Keith McNally’s London branch of his New York restaurant have been trumpeted by glossy magazines and newspaper supplements since the rumour began, more than three years ago. Breathless speculation anticipated this Manhattan interpretation of a French brasserie becoming the hottest destination for London dining of 2011... then 2012... and now, in 2013, it’s actually opened. Balthazar

  1. 4-6 Russell Street, WC2E 7BN
  2. Main courses £13-£37
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Hawksmoor Seven Dials

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

This former fruit warehouse is now Carnivore Central in Will Beckett and Huw Gott’s confidently expanding empire, and the bar a place of pilgrimage in its own right for cocktail geeks. Winner of Time Out’s Best New Restaurant award in 2011, the discreet-fronted basement location is elevated to a high-end destination with a characterful interior of reclaimed materials and the fan-boys’ zeal for premium meats and other taste sensations. The bad news is, with a similar

  1. 11 Langley Street, WC2H 9JJ
  2. Main courses £15-£30. Set meal (noon-3pm,...
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Moti Mahal

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  • Offer

Class, poise, judgement: these words might well be embossed on Moti Mahal’s burnished copper bar, beside the serried ranks of expensive whiskies. This London outpost of Delhi’s celebrated restaurant group is geared to international business diners and priced accordingly. Weighty linen tablecloths, polished wooden flooring, an ambient soundtrack and a spotless open kitchen (viewed behind a curvaceous glass partition) lend gravitas to the ground-floor dining room – as do

  1. 45 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5AA
  2. Main courses £9-£28. Set lunch £15 2 courses...
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Barrafina

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Who’s to blame for the no-reservations trend, which leaves us queuing for an hour or more to get into a restaurant? Some might point the finger at places such as Polpo in Soho, Burger & Lobster in Mayfair or Meat Liquor in Marylebone. But the first restaurant that gave a mandatory wait with dinner was Barrafina in Soho, which opened in 2007. And that hour-long queue for proper Spanish tapas is still there. So is this second branch of Barrafina worth the seven-year wait?

  1. 10 Adelaide Street, WC2N 4HZ
  2. Meal for two with wine and service: around £90.
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Kopapa

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Fusion maestro Peter Gordon (of the Providores & Tapa Room) co-owns this handily located, stylish all-dayer. He oversees an exciting and well-executed menu that runs from breakfast to dinner, with missteps a rarity. Turkish eggs (poached eggs with yoghurt, hot chilli butter and flatbread) – a favourite from the Tapa Room – makes a welcome appearance on brunch and breakfast menus. Lunch features weighty sandwiches (steak on focaccia with caramelised onion, mustard cream

  1. 32-34 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9HA
  2. Main courses £10.50-£20. Set meal (5-10.30pm...
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Christopher's

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Offer

This Covent Garden fixture reopened in spring 2013 after a major refurbishment of its grand, imposing premises (Grade II-listed and formerly a casino). Everything we ate during our weekday lunch was excellent: two starters from the carte and a couple of dishes from the set lunch. Two clichés of London’s American restaurant scene, caesar salad and crab cakes, were flawlessly executed. From the set lunch, beef carpaccio was top-notch yet almost overshadowed by a main of

  1. 18 Wellington Street, WC2E 7DD
  2. Both Main courses £17.95-£68 Set meal...
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Ladurée

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Best-known for their macarons and other confections, the Paris-based Ladurée has opened a branch in Covent Garden Piazza. This is their third in London, the flagship being a remarkable café inside Harrods. While this latest Ladurée doesn’t have the same wow factor, the location is hard to beat, opposite the Apple store and with outdoor tables on the cobbled piazza. Be warned though that you’ll be assailed by street performers, as their main stage is right next door.

  1. Covent Garden Market, WC2E 8RF
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Les Deux Salons

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

One of the trio of restaurants from powerhouse pairing Anthony Demetre and Will Smith (the others are Arbutus and Wild Honey), French brasserie Les Deux Salons comes with certain expectations. It certainly looks the part, the building rescued from its former incarnation as a Pitcher & Piano and turned into two sumptuous floors of gleaming black and white parquet, dark wood and deep leather banquettes. The menu isn’t afraid to stray beyond the traditional brasserie remit, with

  1. 40-42 William IV Street, WC2N 4DD
  2. Main courses £8.50-£30 Set dinner £9.95 2...
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Axis

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Offer

The unusual cylindrical shape of this basement restaurant gives it a height and grace that compensate for the lack of windows, and, with its serene decor, make for a calming bolthole from the Theatreland crowds. Axis is comfortable, quiet and chic, if not especially memorable, with most of its character coming from personable, experienced staff good at intuiting whether you want to banter or be left alone for a business lunch. The carte dishes are also mainly based on a few good

  1. One Aldwych, 1 Aldwych, WC2B 4BZ
  2. Main courses £19-£24. Set meal (noon-2.30pm...
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Rules

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Rules may look as though nothing has changed for 50 years (or more, the restaurant was established in 1798), but this old-stager hasn’t made it this far without adapting to the times. Together with the dark wood and red colour scheme, patterned carpet, caricatures and old paintings are modern touches. Witness the Kate Middleton cocktail (Sipsmith gin, Pinky vodka, Lillet aperitif wine and crystallised violets and rose petals). A menu of classics, with an emphasis on game, runs

  1. 35 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LB
  2. Main courses £17.95-£34.50
More info
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