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Roast, Hawksmoor | © whatleydude/Flickr
Roast, Hawksmoor | © whatleydude/Flickr
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The Best British Restaurants in Covent Garden

Picture of Christina Dean
Updated: 27 June 2017
You certainly don’t struggle for variety when in comes to food in Central London, but traditional British food has maintained a strong presence in Covent Garden, with some of London’s oldest restaurants still standing and serving. Here’s our guide to the best British restaurants in the area.

The Ivy

Restaurant, British, $$$
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100-years-old and still going strong, restaurants don’t come more classic than celeb haunt The Ivy. Understandably it’s been through a few refurbishments, the latest coming courtesy of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, which has seen the famous green banquettes stay but a brand new bar take centre stage. Executive Chef Gary Lee’s menu reflects the same mix of traditional and modern, with the iconic shepherd’s pie now sitting alongside a selection of Asian inspired dishes and it’s still luxury all the way.

Amazing dinner tonight @ #theivy 👨🏿‍🍳👌🏼 #foodporn #foodstagram #food #foodie #foodblogger

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Sun:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Mon:
12:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Tue:
12:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Wed:
12:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Thu:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sat:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Dinner, Lunch

Atmosphere:

Gourmet, Traditional

Rules Restaurant

Restaurant, British, $$$
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Rules Restaurant
Rules Restaurant | © Herry Lawford/Flickr

Established by Thomas Rule in 1798, Rules has the distinction of being the oldest restaurant in London. As you’d expect from a place that’s been in operation for over 200 years, survived two wars, seen nine monarchs on the throne and welcomed everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Charles Dickens, it’s traditional. You can dine on oysters, steak & kidney pie and game surrounded by the old school glamour of dark wood, red velvet and doormen in top hats.
More Info
Sun:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Mon:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tue:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sat:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Dinner, Lunch

Atmosphere:

Gourmet, Traditional

Battersea Pie Station

Restaurant, British, $$$
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Pie and mash may be commonly associated with the East End but there are a few places to find the real deal in Central London. Battersea Pie Station is one such place. They use free-range meat, fresh veg and proper pastry made by hand in their hot and cold pies, with traditional sides like mash and liquor sitting alongside salads and coleslaw. You can get the whole lot to go too.

British pies 🇬🇧 #foodporn #england #stillinlondon #conventgarden

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More Info
Sun:
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Mon:
11:00 am - 7:30 pm
Tue:
11:00 am - 7:30 pm
Wed:
11:00 am - 7:30 pm
Thu:
11:00 am - 7:30 pm
Fri:
11:00 am - 7:30 pm
Sat:
11:00 am - 8:00 pm

Meal service:

Takeaway, All Day

Atmosphere:

Casual, Traditional

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

Bar, Restaurant, British, Seafood
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Hawksmoor is consistently rated as one of the best places for steak in London and the Seven Dials site doesn’t let the side down. Housed in a former brewery, this branch offers an express menu for those dining pre-theatre and a bar menu featuring burgers and sandwiches, as well as the full list of prime cuts and indulgent sides.

More Info
Sun:
12:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Mon:
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mon:
5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Tue:
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tue:
5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Wed:
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Wed:
5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Thu:
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Thu:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Fri:
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Fri:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sat:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Gourmet

Flat Iron Covent Garden

Restaurant, British, $$$
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With its no reservation policy, meat and sides menu and £10 steaks, Flat Iron revolutionised the idea of what a steak restaurant could and should be like. Even with five branches across town, it’s rare to turn up and walk straight to a seat come the evening so be prepared for some queuing. It does mean that the restaurant is always buzzing and those flat iron steaks come out from the kitchen fast and perfectly cooked. For those keen to learn more about the art of the perfect steak, the Henrietta Street branch regularly hosts butchery demonstrations and they only cost a tenner too.

#meat #roselemonade #06052017

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More Info
Sun:
11:45 am - 11:30 pm
Mon:
11:45 am - 12:00 am
Tue:
11:45 am - 12:00 am
Wed:
11:45 am - 12:00 am
Thu:
11:45 am - 12:00 am
Fri:
11:45 am - 12:00 am
Sat:
11:45 am - 12:00 am

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Casual

Rock & Sole Plaice

Fish and Chip Shop, British, Seafood, $$$
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As well as having a pleasingly punny name, Rock & Sole Plaice is one of the city’s oldest fish and chip shops, having been standing in Covent Garden since 1871. They haven’t messed around with their 145-year-old recipe either, so whether you go for cod, haddock, scampi, or a battered sausage you’re getting the authentic chippy experience. It’s on the pricey side for fish and chips but you’re buying into London history after all. Although not seaside adjacent, they do have outside seating.

More Info
Sun:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Mon:
11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Tue:
11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Wed:
11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Thu:
11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Fri:
11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Sat:
11:30 am - 10:30 pm

Meal service:

Takeaway, All Day

Atmosphere:

Casual, Traditional

J Sheekey

Restaurant, British, Seafood, $$$
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Even a century on, J Sheekey is still right up there when it comes to the best seafood in London. Nestled in the heart of theatreland, J Sheekey remains popular with actors and celebrities, with the walls adorned with photographs of famous faces. From fresh oysters and shellfish, to more indulgent dishes like the lobster Thermidor and Sheekey’s Fish Pie, delivered with old-fashioned customer service, it’s hard to beat J Sheekey for a celebratory meal or romantic rendezvous.

😋#dins

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More Info
Sun:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Mon:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tue:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sat:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Gourmet, Traditional

Native

Restaurant, British
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As the name suggests, the focus at Native is on wild food native to UK and chef Ivan knows his stuff, having worked at River Cottage HQ. Naturally this means the menu changes seasonally but there’s always a good spread of game, like wild hare ragu or pigeon kebabs, fish and foraged vegetables and herbs. It’s a tiny restaurant, taking the place of what used to be a bead shop, but it’s charming, complete with rustic décor and fresh flowers on the tables.

👌 always great #EatNative #NeilsYard

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Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Cosy, Gourmet

Indigo at One Aldwych

Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, British, Gluten-free, $$$
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The menu at Indigo, one of the in-house restaurants at One Aldwych, is entirely dairy and gluten free, but that hasn’t stopped Executive Chef Dominic Teague from cooking classic and hearty British dishes like Orkney scallops with Granny Smith apples and cauliflower, highland venison with celeriac and apple, elderflower and hazelnut crumble. Although the restaurant is situated in a luxury hotel, the atmosphere is relaxed and informal, making it suitable for a quick bite or a three-course meal.

More Info
Sun:
6:30 am - 10:15 pm
Mon:
6:30 am - 10:15 pm
Tue:
6:30 am - 10:15 pm
Wed:
6:30 am - 10:15 pm
Thu:
6:30 am - 10:15 pm
Fri:
6:30 am - 10:15 pm
Sat:
6:30 am - 10:15 pm

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Casual, Gourmet