Eat your way around Covent Garden
Once known for its living statues and snap-happy exchange students, these days Covent Garden is the hub of a thriving foodie scene. Whether you’re after an NYC-style breakfast, a chef’s table lunch or supper at a chic French bistro, WC2 is where it’s at.
Balthazar4-6 Russell Street, WC2B 5HZ
The quickest way to a Londoner’s heart? Definitely cocktails for breakfast. The capital soon embraced this polished New York import when it arrived on our shores in 2013.
It’s buzzy anytime but comes into its own for indulgent brunches: the pancakes, eggs, waffles and curative Bloody Marys were made for hungover Sundays.
Recommended: Almond waffles with berries and crème fraîche.
26 Grains1 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
You’ll feel virtuous just looking at the menu at this small, open-fronted breakfast spot, tucked away in hip Neal’s Yard. There are a few savoury lunch options on offer, but the mainstay is breakfast; bircher muesli or perfect porridge, topped with banana and cacao nibs.
Recommended: Apricot-elderflower bircher muesli.
The Barbary16 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
This intimate Neal’s Yard kitchen has pedigree, as little sister to Soho’s feted Palomar. Its culinary influences stretch from Israel into North Africa and the Med, and the pay-off is truly delicious.
Bag one of the 24 stools around the open kitchen to watch the chefs char octopus and blister flatbreads to perfection.
Recommended: Monkfish chermoula.
Henrietta14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
Culinary wunderkind Ollie Dabbous’s new venture pulls out the stops with an accomplished seasonal menu, spot-on service and atmosphere galore. If you think you hate hotel restaurants, that’s because you haven’t spent an evening here devouring slow-cooked Saddleback pork and confit Jersey royals.
Recommended: Beef tartare with nasturtium and rye.
Frenchie16 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
Gregory Marchand’s Parisian bistro was an instant hit when it opened in 2009, and his first London outpost has matched that success. It’s all in the chic but inviting interior, daily changing menu and imaginative flavour combinations; for the ultimate indulgence, go for the tasting menu.
Recommended: Bacon scones with maple syrup and clotted cream.
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