A friendly, new-wave café in Covent Garden with a good line in Ottolenghi-style vegetarian dishes.
Please note, Jar Kitchen has now closed. Time Out Food editors, March 2018
As one door closes, so they say, another opens. As we process the sad news that Neal Street’s Food for Thought, a veggie institution with rock-bottom prices, is closing after more than 40 years, only a couple of streets over, newcomer Jar Kitchen shows how far good café food has come in that time – but also how some things never change. Most of us still need friendly places serving good, imaginative food at fair prices – especially in Covent Garden.
Run by Lucy Brown and Jenny Quintero, this smart café sits at the northern end of Drury Lane. The kitchen is open to the ground-floor dining room where Brown, a former model agent, was busy greeting and waiting tables on our visit. So far, so ordinary. What makes Jar Kitchen super is the brief menu, prices midway between caff and restaurant, and delightful dishes.
An Ottolenghi-ish mixed-grain salad looked great, with its pomegranate arils and fresh mint leaves, toasted almonds, roasted heirloom carrots and drizzle of coconut yoghurt. A sizeable bowl costs £8; for an extra £3, the kitchen adds shreds of braised lamb shoulder. Another simple but brilliant dish was a green chopped salad, costing a mere £3.50, featuring pert mixed leaves and an attractively tangy dressing.
Jar Kitchen does vegetarian dishes well, but it’s not a vegetarian restaurant. Scraps of ‘ceviche style’ sea bass (£6.50) came with creamed avocado, chopped fennel, and a multi-seed dressing. Orther dishes might include roast pork belly, or lemon sole with brown butter.
Our only caveat was that every dish we tried contained nuts or seeds, sometimes advertised but sometimes not. If you have any sort of nut allergy (or simply don’t want them in every dish), make this clear before ordering.
There is breakfast service from 8am on Thursday and Friday; later on, a dozen wines are sold by the glass.
Why ‘Jar’? It’s a reference to the glass containers that decorate the place. Apart from this transparent attempt at a theme, nothing here jars at all.
|Venue name:||Jar Kitchen - CLOSED|
176 Drury Lane
|Opening hours:||Tue-Fri 11am-4pm & 5.30pm-midnight; Sat 10am-4pm & 5.30pm-midnight|
|Transport:||Tube: Covent Garden.|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £50.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
- 5 star:54
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:3
- 1 star:3
I had dinner at Jar Kitchen recently for a friend's birthday after hearing loads about it. The place was everything I hoped for: the atmosphere was cosy and the staff was very welcoming, fresh produce, the food did not disappoint, unpretentious delicious modern cuisine. I especially recommend the truffled mushroom and goat cheese tart, it was to die for. I would definitely recommend the place, in fact I will definitely be going back regularly. Easily one of my favourite new spots in Covent Garden.
RIDICULOUSLY GOOD FOOD!
I stuffed my face here with scallops and black pudding, followed by a giant salad with lamb shoulder which was to DIE for and then mini doughnuts. I even won a prize for licking my plate, which makes a change from being thrown out of somewhere.
Super fun, friendly and enthusiastic staff and so welcoming it felt like a home from home, we didn't want to leave.
This part of Covent Garden feels like it has maintained its original charm and is hidden away from all the chains and generic burger joints so you get a proper feel for the place. Jar Kitchen is a welcome addition to the area and if you want an authentic taste of London this is where to head.
I urge you to GO GO GO!
My new favourite place in Covent Garden. Love the food, coffee, wine list. It is a welcoming spot where you can just relax, hang out and be fed really really well!! I am vegetarian and it is always difficult to find a good spot that caters for both meat and non-meat lovers. The mixed grain salad is my fave (option to add lamb shoulder) It's perfect for lunch or a light dinner…leaving room for their amazing Tonka Bean ice cream!
Amazing lunch at jar kitchen. Everything about this place works so well, the staff are very friendly, decor is quirky rustic chic and a wine list different to your usual. The best thing was the food, we shared lots of smaller plates, new flavours and interesting concepts. Can't wait to go back to this gem.
This really is one of London's tucked away gems and I'm consistently impressed with the quality and presentation of the food (review makes it sound like a veggie restaurant but real strength seems to be seafood/meat dishes). The front of house team are always welcoming and warm and they have some really interesting wines on their list. A low key spot with incredibly high quality produce and somewhere I'd happily go for breakfast, lunch or dinner (or all three!). Just seems to keep getting better & better, one of my favourite places to eat in London.
Love this gem of a restuarant. I regularly take models and clients there and we are always well looked after by Lucy and Jenny. Totally recommend everything on the menu! Tomato salad side and sea bass main are my fav and the take away Jar's are a delight. A must visit!
I'm so happy I found this amazing little restaurant in Covent Garden. The Mixed grain salad, with braised lamb shoulder is an absolute delight. Best place in town!!
My new fave restaurant in Covent Garden. Really intimate and relaxed atmosphere, cool deco, friendly staff and amazing food at good prices. Perfect for hanging out and having a coffee (or prosecco/wine) and for a delicious dinner with a group of friends. Highly recommend!
Any restaurant that's brave enough to put it's name in-front of a Full English breakfast to make it their own must mean business. And it didn't disappoint! Great slow cooked eggs, HUGE Portions, proper coffee and friendly service all made my early start for a torturous west end shopping trip on a Saturday bearable.
Jar Kitchen came highly recommended from a foodie friend, so expectations were high, and I was not disappointed. Like another reviewer I came in for a quick bite to escape the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden and ended up staying for hours, accompanied by a cheese board of dreams and great wine. It's got a lovely down to earth vibe, matched by impeccable service and staff that are really passionate about the food they serve, which makes Jar Kitchen a rare sanctuary in Central London. Hats off to the ladies in charge.
I love Jar Kitchen. Stopped in on a Saturday afternoon for a late lunch and ended up staying for a few hours. The food was fresh and delicious and the wine list perfectly varied. Our service was wonderful and the gals that run the joint make everyone feel like a local. Highly recommend Jar Kitchen. I only wish I could take it back to LA with me.
Great little gem of a restaurant. Ideally situated on Drury Lane so I imagine if you're shopping in Covent Garden, on a first date or hitting up a show in the evening, there's no excuses but to pop in and enjoy the food. Clearly a lot of thought has been put into the seasonal British menu and the food here is delivering high on the flavour scale. Check out the Ox Cheek Croquettes. They're awesome. Very friendly staff too, which is a big plus.
Amazing food and great venue. Have been 4 times since it opened, each time trying something else and each time it's been amazing. The salads are particularly good and inventive especially given that restaurants so often see these as a side show. Steak was great, as was the pulled pork sandwich and they nail a cheese board which is 5 stars alone in my book. Staff are friendly and attentive, can't wait to go back!
Cute atmospheric place, staff really friendly and eager to help. Amazing food! Could tell the owners were so passionate about getting it right!
Absolutely amazing venue, food was great and the service was outstanding; they really made me feel welcome. Expect the owners to say hi as well- they were really nice to me and as it was my first trip to London gave me some really good places to go! I will be going back before I leave!
Had heard about Jar Kitchen and was very excited to try it out! I went with 2 friends and was warmly welcomed when I arrived. We were asked where we would like to sit and we decided to dine at the sharing table situated on the lower level. We were offered a great red wine whilst we looked through the menu. I had Ox cheek and Cheddar Cheese croquettes to start which I would recommend. I came with two vegetarians and they were very happy with the selection there. I had truffled goats cheese and mushroom tart for my main which was full of flavour and a good sized portion. I would recommend the ganache and mini doughnuts for dessert as this was my favourite thing (sweet tooth)
Me and my friends were able to catch up all night and after a very relaxed evening we left with full tummy a and big smiles. The girls that own the restaurant were both there and are greatly accommodating and friendly. Will certainly be back! Thanks Jar!!
Delicious food that tastes indulgent but is actually hearty and wholesome and a treat for the eyes. We devoured the nutty grains with soft lamb, octopus that was super fresh and four cheese croquettes that were so moreish! The quirky drinks menu included a Kombucha Punch that we had to go for- one of the nicest meals I've had in ages. Will definitely be back!
I went here for lunch recently and was very impressed. It's refreshing that this restaurant doesn't have a 'concept' it is simply good food with fine seasonal ingredients. There is a varied choice of dishes without being overwhelming. I had the mackerel which was lovely. Service was friendly and efficient.
Fantastic food every time. The supperclubs especially are exceptional. Also a lovely cosy vibe away from the hustle of Covent Garden - can't wait to go back.
A truly unique restaurant - Lucy and Jenny share a passion for delicious food made with the finest ingredients.
Have always had a fantastic time at this local friendly restaurant with excellent food and a great drinks list,their supper clubs are well worth seeking out.
I came here thinking it was for the vegetarians but they do a lot of lot of seafood and meat dishes as well. I had the sea bass with the tomato salad on the side and it was very very tasty. The place has a nice vibe as well.
The food at Jar Kitchen was excellent and the staff went out of their way to make my Nan feel special on her birthday. They gave her a glass of Prosecco, put candles on her dessert and sung her happy birthday.
Lovely little restaurant close to the New London Theatre. The food was amazing. I had the mixed grain salad with lamb and it was delicious followed by the poached pears.
I don't know who got the idea that this is in any way a vegetarian friendly restaurant. There was one salad and one risotto on the menu. We left before ordering.
Less than a year after the TimeOut review, the prices increased 25%! (only checked the salad and lamb mentioned in the review)
Awesome restaurant with fresh and healthy food, hearty service and cute ambience that makes you feel at home :)
The kitchen delivers! Never a bad dish, always interesting food in a cosy and casual ambience. Service is super friendly.
Loved having dinner here - try the ox cheek & cheddar croquettes with aioli if it's still on the menu - and the Skittles jar at the end of our meal was a cute touch. I'll definitely retrun.
Having recently dined I felt compelled to write a review! Great atmosphere, warm friendly staff and excellent food. I would highly recommend the pork belly and shall definitely be returning.. :)
This place ticks all the boxes for me - a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, excellent food and great, friendly service. So much so that I can't stop going back! I have genuinely loved every dish I've tried (so far!) but highlights for me are definitely the chicken liver parfait, ox-cheek croquettes, and the home made beef tagliatelle. I'd never had Tonka Bean ice cream before but it's worth a try.. so delicious. All washed down with an Aperol Spritz. Thanks Jar Kitchen, I'll be back soon!
Friends have been raving about Jar Kitchen so we popped in for dinner last week to check it out. Service and food were top notch and it was a refreshing change to have a waitress who actually knows their menu. We opted for the croquettes, chicken liver parfait followed by the pork belly and steak - all of which were delicious. We spent a good few hours sampling the wine list and people watching from a cosy table by their huge windows. We'll be back!
Great little restaurant in the heart of town! food is topnotch! staff are friendly and there is a really loverly atmosphere making the whole vibe feel homely. Excellent food and value for money can't fault the place!
How refreshing to find an independent and original restaurant in Covent garden. Brilliant food and atmosphere. Loved it and would highly recommend.
Popped into Jar Kitchen on the off chance on Friday evening…cannot fault it!Food was superb and the staff was incredibly friendly.This is looking like a hot contender to become my new fav restaurant in the west end! A must visit for any foodie.
I visited Jar Kitchen towards the end of their opening week and thought there may be the usual teething problems that come along with a newly opened restaurant. However, I was very pleasantly surprised.
The staff were incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and easy on the eye (which never hurts). The atmosphere was buzzing and full of happy chatter, and the food - A small menu full of seasonal goodness! I had the Goats Cheese and Mushroom tart to start, followed by the Pork Belly with the unexpectedly delicious Smoked Grilled Cabbage and after (quite) a few glasses of wine sadly had no space for dessert, which luckily gives me an excuse to go back!
It's very rare to find a little gem like this in the tourist haven of Covent Garden, however, being slightly off the beaten track, Jar Kitchen will no doubt become popular amongst Londoners 'in the know'. Go now while you can still manage to get a table!!
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