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Gaby's (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Jewish Covent Garden
4 out of 5 stars
(17user reviews)

Time Out says

This non-Kosher Jewish deli has been a Covent Garden fixture for more than 40 years. It was saved from redevelopment back in 2011 following some very vocal public outcry - a sign of the kind of esteem in which this place is held. 

It's run by septuagenarian Gaby Elyahou - a man who claims to have brought falafel to London when he opened this eponymous venue back in 1971. Naturally, they feature prominently on a menu that covers most Middle Eastern staples, alongside bits and bobs from Greece and North Africa, too. 

It's an unpretentious place, so expect plastic tables and chairs and a decor comprising mostly of theatre flyers. However, most people visit for the bagels, houmous, stews, grilled meats and falafel - but also to support a long-standing local favourite, too. Takeaway proves popular. 





Address: 30 Charing Cross Road
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square tube
Do you own this business?

Users say (17)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
2 people listening

Have been going to Gaby's since I was a child in the late 80's/early 90's. I've never had better falafels and words cannot describe how amazing their Hummus is. Bit confused by people complaining their salt beef is average- it's not what they're famous for! Also baffled by people insisting Gaby's isn't cheap- you would spend more at Mcdonalds or any crappy fast food chain. The only place in London that hasn't changed or gone down in quality over the last 30 years.


Great for a quick bite but not as 'budget' as I anticipated, and a bit rushed! Tasty food, though.


After years of hearing about this place and knowing of its reputation before I even moved to London I can't lie I was slightly gutted when I finally got to eat here. It is OK at best and expensive at half price which I guess is not surprising given its location. The salt beef is nice but now there are so many places serving superb salt beef this place does not stand out from the competition.

Staff Writer

I've been eating in Gaby's since I was a teenager. It's a real London institution right in the heart of the West End. Great for a quick pre-theatre meal or for a late night snack. The vegatable fritters or the potato latkes in pitta with salad, hummus and tahini are the perfect alternatives to a nasty kebab. It may be a little rough and ready but it's authentic, tasty and very reasonably priced.

★ falafel. £4.50 (eat out). 15 mins to eat (approx.) at normal pace.

Gaby's is a great little restaurant and a West End institution. The salt-beef sandwiches and salads are to die for (as are the falafel options), and I'm really glad the petition helped to keep it open. Certainly worth five stars.

Firstly I would not really describe this as ‘budget’, in fact I would say some of the choices are really quite expensive. For example, I had the salt beef special with beetroot and potato salad costing £12. The quality was good, bread was tasty, fresh and overall had good flavour. Their cheapest main course option is a ‘chicken wrap’ (I’ve had this before and it’s not particularly filling) at £9. Bear in mind that this is a fairly scruffy café and not a plush restaurant (I like the fact that it’s unpretentious though).

Other dishes on the menu are not truly budget, such as the small side salads priced at £4.80 each. Drinks again are relatively expensive: £2 for a mint tea, £3.60 for a glass of orange juice.

On this occasion (have been about six or so times over the last few years) the service was not at all attentive (one meal was served before the other, we could have been told in advance that one would take longer and asked if we wanted to have them together for example). At the end of the meal we were not asked if we wanted a dessert or coffee and we had to chase them for the bill (it was not really busy, about half full).

I think they have shown themselves to be complacent and that’s a pity really especially since their future business is under threat.

I ordered the bagel salted beef with salad platter that turned out to be disappointing as the potato salad was way too salty and the portion small with just a few slivers of beef. The bagel was soft a flat. Giving Gaby's anything more than two stars would be too kind. Overll very disappointing especially ifor anyone from New York..

2 stars is an underestimation. Delicious unpretentious Middle Eastern food and good value for its location in heart of theatre land & film land.

2 stars!? That seems way off to me. Gaby's has long been one of my favourite places to eat in London. Its takeaway pittas in particular - felafel, vegetable or aubergine fritter - are faultless and indescribably delicious, and just about the best use of £4 I can think of. The fact that this characterful, unique place, which has been serving delicious, affordable food since the 1960s is now threatened with closure is an absolute tragedy: it is quite simply irreplaceable and would be an incalculable loss to London. I very much hope the landlords will see sense and reconsider their decision to force the place to close. In the mean time, I'd urge anyone who hasn't been to sample Gaby's food while you still have the chance. (I'd also urge Time Out to reconsider their - to me - spectacularly wide of the mark 2 star rating!)

Gaby's is a great little cafe, and one of few affordable, independent places left in the West End outside of Chinatown. I have to say, the review Time Out review is a bizarre one, both in that it's not North American in style but Jewish (where does the reviewer think America got salt beef from?) / Mediterranean, and also because the review doesn't seem to reflect the number of stars given.

Gaby's has become a West End institution for those in the know. The food is delicious and always arrives promptly, the staff are friendly and helpful, and the prices are amazingly low for central London. For many years it has been the only place my family and I have eaten in town when we have needed a quick snack. But now a large developer wants to close it down to make way for some faceless chain. Sign the petition at

Surely more Greek than North American? Went yesterday and had the stuffed aubergine. It was absolutely delicious and the salad with it was lovely. Really good portion sizes too. The staff were very friendly and, unlike in the above review, when my boyfriend ordered a large salad he was given the choice of the things at the front counter. Would definitely go again.

fantastic and tasty deli a vegan and veggie paradise !! and very cheap for london !!

disagree with the 2stars - a 5 star place, been coming here since student days in the 90's can't fault it!

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