Food for Thought

Britta Jaschinski
Covent Garden

This no-frills veggie stalwart serves a short daily menu of huge, hearty dishes – mainly soups, stews, stroganoffs and salads – at rock-bottom prices.

Breaking news: Food for Thought has announced that it is to close on Sunday 21 June, and has stated that increasing Covent Garden rents are the reason. There are no current plans to reloate it elsewhere. - Time Out Food & Drink Editors

 

This vegetarian stalwart has hardly changed in 41 years, since it opened in 1974. Is that a good thing? Students, artists, tourists and faithful vegetarians head down the narrow stairs to the basement to be greeted by the same 1970s pine furniture, cramped seating and probably almost the same menu: a vegetable curry or similar, quiche, soup and salad. That’s precisely what keeps devotees returning: guaranteed cheap, hearty food in a convivial setting (you’ll almost certainly be sharing your space with a total stranger). The meal-deals of soup and a salad for £7.20 or a hot dish and salad for £8.40 aren’t, however, quite the bargain they once were. Desserts are of the gut-busting variety yet nonetheless very good – leave plenty of room for the apple and plum crumble. Small gripes: the food isn’t always piping hot; the flavours aren’t especially exciting; and this is not a place to hang around and chat. That said, if it ain’t broke… Takeaway is available on the ground floor.

 

Venue name: Food for Thought
Contact:
Address: 31 Neal Street
London
WC2H 9PR
Opening hours: Meals served noon-8pm Mon-Sat. Lunch served noon-5pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden tube
Price: Main courses £4.90-£8. Minimum (noon-3pm, 6-7.30pm Mon-Sat) £4

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|9
2 people listening
Lucy W

Best ever food in London. Love it. So tasty and such a good price. Can be a little cramped - but worth it! Love the atmosphere too. Nice place to pop in alone when shopping. 

miriam w

I have been to this place many times but I am not going back to it. I have been too many times let down by the quality of food and the service. Plus it is not so pleasant to sit in the basement with no windows for lunch. 

JanK

I love the food and I love the place. Generous portions, good value for money and you get a table faster than at a normal restaurant. I have visited many times in the last 10-15 years and always had good food. Great puddings as well.

Nin

I love this place - its not fancy, but it has good, hearty food, lovely free water with lemone, wonderful soup and home-made bread, salads selection and always a choice of tasty main course. There is even a hefty desert available, juice/ coffee/ tea. It is very small, but people are always ready to make room for you. It is a god send after a day of shopping in covent garden.

Musko

The staff are just the most ignorant people I've come across in London. Customer Service is none-existent. The older bloke just kind of grunts and is not the least bit bothered about being even slightly helpful. I bought a takeaway but decided to throw it away after the bad vibe I got from the staff.

marg

this place is beautiful - downstairs into basement, queue, order, grab a table or squeeze in on one, eat super tasty healthy good food, help yourself to water on the table. Not for lingering lunches, unless you do a late lunch and it's quietened down.

Marta

So yummy... The permanent queue speaks for it. One of the best vegetarian places in London. Not good if you want a calm environment to sit down for a meal, but if you want a quick, cheap and extremely tasty meal in Central London, it is unbeatable.