The Best Italian Restaurants in Covent Garden

Interior of Café Murano in Covent Garden
Interior of Café Murano in Covent Garden | Courtesy of Café Murano / Angela Hartnett
Christina Dean

From sleek, high-end establishments to traditional, rustic joints serving regional specialities, Covent Garden is packed with Italian restaurants. When you get a craving for some authentic Italian food, these are the places to go.

1. Sartori

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Italian

Southern Italian food is the speciality at Sartori, with even the chefs coming from Naples. Their metre-long wood-fired pizzas are deservedly popular, but they have a long menu that’s packed with Italian classics and regional Italian wines.

2. Monmouth Kitchen

Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Pizzeria, Italian, Peruvian

Italy meets Peru at Monmouth Kitchen, located on the ground floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel. The menu is split right down the middle between Peruvian and Italian cuisine, so you can chop and change between antipasti, pizza, risotto, ceviche, tacos and anticuchos. The mix extends to the cocktails, with pisco sours sharing space with bellinis.

3. Café Murano

Restaurant, Bar, Cafe, Italian

Interior of Café Murano in Covent Garden
Courtesy of Café Murano / Angela Hartnett

Cousin to Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-star Murano and little sister to the branch in St James’s, Café Murano Covent Garden may be the most laid-back in the family, but the cooking is nonetheless at a very high level. The focus is on flavours from the north of Italy, with the kitchen showing just how good uncomplicated Italian food can be, with dishes such as tomato panzanella, sausage ragu and grilled tuna with pistachio and mint pesto. The place has a buzzy atmosphere but you don’t feel rushed by the service, so you can really linger over those excellent plates of food.

5. San Carlo Cicchetti

Restaurant, Italian

Interior of San Carlo Cicchetti in Covent Garden
Courtesy of San Carlo Cicchetti

Like at the original San Carlo Cicchetti in Piccadilly, the menu at the Covent Garden branch is based around cicchetti, the Venetian take on small plates. There is a broad selection of dishes as the menus at San Carlo restaurants are famously large, so you may have a hard time choosing. With its sweeping marble bar, it’s also a great place to drop in for a glass of wine.

6. Polpo

Bar, Restaurant, Italian

After opening in Soho in 2009, there are now six outposts of Polpo in London and it’s become a firm favourite, having won the Michelin Bib Gourmand award multiple times. The Covent Garden site has the same signature shabby-chic decor as the others, but it also has a larger bar, so you can have a glass of wine or a spritz while you’re queuing for a table – there are no reservations here. It’s a Venetian-inspired sharing menu, with the array of meatballs being particularly noteworthy.

7. Augustus Harris

Cafe, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Bar, Italian

Exterior of Augustus Harris
Courtesy of Augustus Harris

Named after the manager of the Drury Lane Theatre in the late 19th century who was famous for enjoying his food and drink, Augustus Harris brings the Venetian bacari – places where people would meet to drink wine, share snacks and socialise – to Covent Garden. It’s a cross between a coffee shop and a wine bar, serving cicchetti, crostini, salumi, cheese and of course, Italian wine and coffee, with sandwiches available to take away at lunchtime.

8. Da Mario

Restaurant, Italian

Run by Italian couple Maria and Corrado, Da Mario is an understated restaurant that cooks up Italian classics, including a wide variety of pastas and meat dishes. It’s small and simple, but has a convivial atmosphere that you only get at family-run joints.

9. Li Veli Winery and Bistro

Deli, Restaurant, Italian

This winery and bistro specialises in food from the Puglia region of Italy. The dishes are simple and rustic, showcasing the quality produce of the area, like olive oil, broad beans and burrata. The wine list features bottles from across the country as well as varieties from the Li Veli winery in Salento. If you stumble across one you particularly like, you can also buy bottles to take home.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article