Covent Garden Restaurant Revival
Posted on: September 10, 2013
Whilst Covent Garden has always been a tourist favourite, restaurant-savvy Londoners often gave it a wide berth, usually landing further West between Soho, Marylebone and Mayfair. But this is no longer the case – after one high profile restaurant opening after the other, Covent Garden has become a worthy restaurant destination in its own right.
Highest rated restaurants in Covent Garden
FoodVerdicts today lists close to 60 Covent Garden restaurants (all reviewed by London’s food critics and bloggers) and the standard is high with more than a third of them reaching a Verdict of 70% or higher.
Here’s an peek into the diverse restaurant world of Covent Garden with some of the most talked-about and highest rated restaurants in the area. Click on the Verdict badges for restaurant reviews, info and online booking (where available):
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
As we write this article, L’Atelier boasts the highest Verdict of all Covent Garden restaurants (based on 14 expert reviews). The restaurant combines creative Michelin-starred cooking of the highest order with a modern, buzzy vibe, particularly on the ground floor, where you can dine at the counter and see the chefs in action.
One of London’s most discussed restaurant openings of 2013, the London version of hugely successful New York brasserie has divided the critics. But whilst the restaurant critics are arguing about how the food compares to native London brasseries (we’re counting 10 Yay and 6 Nay reviews), Balthazar has undeniably brought a dash of New York drama and glamour to Covent Garden.
This Spanish tapas bar and restaurant is a favourite of London’s food experts. The Telegraph’s Zoe Williams wrote excitedly about “so much going on in every mouthful, and all the flavours were so individual, so characterful, it was like a hip-hop dance-off. Made of food.”
Just because Close Maggiore isn’t new or hidden doesn’t mean we can leave it off the list. French cuisine, extensive wine list, blossom-filled conservatory, seriously romantic, what more can we ask for?
Hawksmoor Seven Dials
When hip steakhouse Hawksmoor opened a Covent Garden branch in 2010, it was a sign of good things to come in the area. Three years on, the steaks are still as good, and Hawksmoor have bagged a spot on Observer Food Monthly’s ’20 Best Restaurants of the Decade’ list.
Shake Shack Covent Garden
A recent arrival to the heart of Covent Garden (inside the Market Building), iconic US burger joint Shake Shack has had a good start with lots of media buzz and Londoners keen to discover ‘Shack Stack’ burgers and ‘Concrete’ desserts without having to fly to New York.
Not far from Italian restaurant Polpo Covent Garden (also owned by restaurateur Russell Norman), there is Mishkin’s, a self-described “kind-of Jewish deli with cocktails”. Don’t expect kosher food, but rather a New York / Jewish inspired menu (with Reuben on rye, Chicken matzo ball soup, Brick Lane salt beef and more) and a fun, buzzy atmosphere.
It’s the Covent Garden sibling to celebrity-favourite The Wolseley dedicated to middle-European food. It’s a place to indulge in dessert binges (Black Forest Gateau, Lucian Ice Cream). It’s also the most glamorous place to eat a big plate of sausages. As John Walsh wrote in the Independent “you can’t help feel it’s your kinda place”.
And if you are curious what else Covent Garden has to offer, explore our list of the area’s best reviewed restaurants – reclaim Covent Garden from the tourists!
[Featured images: L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon; Mishkin's]
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