I was challenged to explore the area of Covent Garden for one day and put together a little guide for the best places to eat and drink in. So, I spent 12 hours in the area, eating my way through some of Covent Garden’s best vegetarian food and I’ve now put them all in this little post so that you could benefit from my escapades too.
The area is very popular with tourists and visitors alike which means there are plenty of hotels in Covent Garden to choose from, should you want to make a similar culinary weekend trip to me! The area is well known to many due to its famous market, but I want to show that there’s so much more to it, too – such as the vibrant Seven Dials, the colourful Neals Yard and all the many surrounding cute streets with their boutique shops, independent restaurants and bustling bars.
Let’s get started with our list, shall we?
Abuelo is a small cafe and restaurant in Covent Garden, but the little space they do have, they fill very well. The owners’ background is Australian and Argentinian, which the menu and the name reflect (abuelo means ‘grandfather’ in Spanish).
What we had – I went for the burrata & roasted cherry tomatoes on sourdough with balsamic vinegar, rapadura (aka cane sugar) & pink beetroot salt sprinkle, and Jim chose a dish called huevos divorciados de Turco, which consisted of poached eggs, greek yoghurt, salsa roja (a spicy red sauce), chimichurri, creamy avocado, smoked paprika with sourdough toast on the side for dipping. YUM!
Pricing – The burrata and the roasted tomatoes were £11.00 and the huevos divorciados de Turco was £12.00. Both were quite large portions, so I think the prices were appropriate.
Overall rating – 4.5/5 – I absolutely loved the food! My tomatoes were so tasty and I loved the beetroot salt sprinkle – not only did it make the portion super pretty, but it also added a nice savouriness to the sweet tomatoes. All the flavours were intense and I loved the unique combinations.
Tandoor Chop House combines North Indian dishes and flavours with the tradition of British chop houses with a surprisingly good amount of vegetarian (and even vegan!) dishes. The decor is dark, moody and very cosy, and I think it would be perfect for a romantic date night with its red leather booths.
What we had – I opted for the Lasooni paneer which was a dry, garlicky paneer cheese dish roasted in a tandoor oven. Jim went for their vegan main, a celeriac tikka, served with a coconut turmeric yoghurt and toasted cashews. We also ordered a naan bread, a roti (an Indian flatbread) and a black dahl. Both of our main dishes came out dry (as in not in a sauce) which I didn’t realise when ordering, so I was very happy with the delicious black dahl to dip my bread and paneer into.
Drinks? – They had a selection of yummy sounding cocktails as well as their own special gin and tonics, but in the end, I opted for a non-alcoholic one called a Pomegranate Fizz which was *very* refreshing!
Pricing – The Lasooni paneer was £11.00, the celeriac tikka was £9.00 and the black dahl was £5.00, so not too bad at all for central London. The black dahl especially was worth every penny.
Overall rating – 3.5/5, but only because I personally prefer saucier dishes. The flavours, however, were really good, and I’d most definitely go back to try more things. And order more of that black dahl!
There are plenty of options for a sweet treat around the Covent Garden area – here are just a few of my suggestions:
Gelatorino – Gelatorino is an authentic Italian gelateria with a proper gelato machine and gelato made fresh on-site every day. I had their lemon sorbet which was amazing, and my friend Alex tried out the tiramisu flavour which she said was deliciously creamy.
Sugar Sin – Right next to Gelatorino, Sugar Sin is a haven for all sweet lovers! It has a specific soft spot for me as they cater for my Nordic tastes very well by selling lots of different varieties of salty liquorice and other familiar pick and mix sweets from back home. It’s a bit pricey but a perfect treat every now and then!
Fabrique – Continuing with the Nordic theme, Fabrique is a Swedish bakery that does the *best* cinnamon and cardamom buns. You have to try them if you haven’t already!
Doughnut Time – This is something I’ve yet to try myself, but I’ve only heard amazing things about the doughnuts at Doughnut Time. I’m particularly excited to try their Biscoff one which looks a-ma-zing!
Lima Floral is a contemporary Peruvian restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden, in the quaint Floral Street (see what they did there!) and a little sister to Soho’s Lima restaurant. Floral is the baby of world-renowned Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez and boasts a menu designed for sharing and enjoying together with friends.
What we had – We started off with fried sweet potato cakes served with a herb dip and then continued to share three smaller dishes: warm creamy potatoes with a goats cheese sauce, a rainbow quinoa salad with a citrus and avocado dressing and yuca fries served with a huancaina sauce (a spicy Peruvian cheese sauce). Jim also had one of the bigger meat dishes (beef saltadido) which he loved. For dessert, we shared alfajores – an assortment of shortbread style biscuits with a dulce de leche ice cream. Delicious!
Drinks? – I ordered a cocktail called Taste of Lima which consisted of Luna Quebranta pisco, passion fruit and chilli chutney, lime & sugar syrup and was AMAZING. Perfectly sweet and sour at the same time, and honestly one of the tastiest cocktails I’ve had for a while.
Pricing – This is a slightly fancier restaurant and the prices reflect that, though it’s definitely not the priciest restaurant out there. However, as a vegetarian, it wasn’t too unaffordable – the three sharers we had came to altogether £18.00 (the yuca fries were technically a side, so were slightly cheaper). The recommendation is to have 3-ish dishes per person, but if you’re like me and get full easily, 2 will do you just fine.
Overall rating – 3.5/5 – I loved the atmosphere, the cocktail was amazing and I really enjoyed the rainbow quinoa salad (the citrus and avocado dressing was amazing) and the creamy potatoes. The rest of the food wasn’t bad, either, but didn’t tickle my tastebuds as much as those two.
Marquess of Anglesey is a beautifully decorated pub, just across the road from the aforementioned Sugar Sin and Gelaterino. It’s divided into two different spaces – the ground floor pub and a lovely and airy cocktail bar on the first floor called The Lady Charlotte.
We immediately climbed up to the first floor – it was a beautiful day and Lady Charlotte has big windows that are wide open on a nice day which meant it almost felt like being outside. Almost!
The cocktail list at The Lady Charlotte is short but sweet and filled with all the classics. I went for Aperol Spritz (aka the perfect summer day drink – it always reminds me of holidays in Italy) and my friend Alex went for a Pimm’s. Both were solid choices – nothing new or surprising but very refreshing and exactly what we wanted.