10 of the Best Cafés in Covent Garden (Where You Can Dine In or Takeaway)

Hunting down Covent Garden’s hangout hotspots? Here are 10 of the coolest cafés to visit while in and around the central square. Expect everything from creamy custard tarts to tasty vegan tacos and cinnamon-laden brioche French toast. Bon appétit!

There's no denying that Covent Garden is brimming with theatre fanatics, shopaholics and tourists, 365 days a year. Yet, beyond its crowded cobbled streets and the hustle and bustle of the piazza, there's plenty of must-see (and taste) destinations to discover.

We're all ears for racking up our daily step count around town, but there comes a point when the floral facades and lingering scents of freshly baked goods becomes too difficult to resist. With that in mind, we've rounded up our favourite cafés for foodie feasts, caffeine shots and dreamy decors. So, dive in and dine in or buy-to-go at these postcard-worthy locations.

Crème de la crème: Covent Garden's coolest cafés

grind interior covent garden

restaurant

Grind

There's not much this place doesn't do. Boasting a cocktail bar, espresso bar and a restaurant, Grind has got all bases covered. Seriously stylish interiors flaunt neon-pink LED signs, chalkboard menus, whitewashed brick walls and a marble-top bar. Start your day with one of its cold-pressed juices. We'd strongly suggest a taste of the sweet citrus juice, which is packed with all the essentials: orange, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, turmeric and cayenne. End your day with Tommy's Margarita, and, for an extra kick, request a dash of chilli.

Address

https://grind.co.uk/pages/covent-garden-grind

crepes from creme de la crepe

restaurant

Crème de la Crêpe

Covent Garden

In the middle of Covent Garden’s bustling market, this quaint café serves a variety of sweet and savoury crêpes. Slide into one of the booths and browse the menu – we recommend a Dirty Harry for chorizo, cheddar cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and ranch dressing if you like savoury or, if you have a sweet tooth, the Cheap Date filled with Mars Bar and Baileys will do the trick.

Address

29 The Market The Piazza WC2E 8RE

restaurant

Avobar

Covent Garden

While an all-avocado dining concept may sound basic, Avobar pulls it off with flair. Pairing a breezy Cali aesthetic with superfood dishes, this is the place to perch on a wooden bench surrounded by avo-green tiled walls and hanging plants as you sip on an avo-based smoothie. If you’re feeling peckish, delve into pokè bowls, vegan tacos or brunch plates, and don’t forget to browse the shop, which sells a range of avocado-based skincare.

Address

24 Henrietta Street WC2E 8ND

exterior of santa nata covent garden

restaurant

Santa Nata

Covent Garden

Named after the world-famous pasteis de nata, this café has a speciality that comes as small surprise. Come for freshly baked, creamy custard tarts dusted with cinnamon or icing sugar while watching the pastry chefs work their magic behind a glass wall, and pair it with a glass of Ginjinha – a traditional Portuguese cherry liqueur.

Address

17 Russell Street WC2B 5HP

porrdige bowl at 26 grains covent garden

restaurant

26 Grains

London, United Kingdom

At some stage, we've all been served a bowl of gloopy, lumpy and frankly bland porridge. In fact, we'd go as far as saying having a taste for porridge is arguably the same as having the palette of a Victorian child. But, that was before we were introduced to founder of 26 Grains, Alex Hely-Hutchinson. Having honed her craft in Copenhagen, Hutchinson immersed herself in the complicated process of pre-soaking grains, before dashing straight back to the city to share her secrets at her Old Street pop-up. Today, home is Neal's Yard, where you'll find layers of berries, seeds and cool Scandi-style interiors. Visit from 10-11.45am to snag a bowl of famous five-grain porridge, dolloped with spiced-apple, butter, sesame and almond granola. Rest assured, if you're not quite on board yet, there's also a hefty selection of other savoury sensations, including a smoked salmon plate. Insider tip: this place recently introduced a supper menu, so swing by in the evening to catch another blissful bite.

Address

1 Neal's Yard, London, WC2H 9DP

the black penny interior brick walls covent garden

restaurant

The Black Penny

Covent Garden

Exposed brick, wood panelling and original features… this is a trendy coffee shop at its best. Order a cappuccino and while away the afternoon admiring the 19th-century interiors. Alternatively come for brunch; the brioche french toast topped with whipped lemon ricotta, black-cardamom sugar and blueberry compote is our favourite.

Address

34 Great Queen Street WC2B 5AA

beso pizza covent garden london

restaurant

Beso

Okay, so Beso isn't exactly a café, but this is where Mediterranean zest meets the Big Smoke - and it was recently rated the best place in the city for scoffing sourdough pizza. Round up the troops and head straight to its bar-facing high stools for a full session of tequila-tasting and plate-sharing. We'll be making a monthly pilgrimage here, partly for its pre-theatre and takeaway salad-bar menus, but largely for its dramatic design: picture walls clad with colourful portraits, floor-to-ceiling windows and hanging wine glass racks - all complemented by a thumping jazz soundtrack. Just a heads-up: its handmade pastas are impossible to refuse. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Address

190 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8JL

abuelo wooden tables covent garden

restaurant

Abuelo

Blink and you'll miss it: this tiny South American-Australian mash-up café has an explosively flavourful menu. We're talking brekkie rolls that will leave you sated for the entire day, featuring poached eggs, crispy baked prosciutto, avocados and spicy caramelised onion salsa served on a brioche bun. Dishes aside, this is the ideal location for a slow and lazy mid-afternoon lunch. With dark-wood furnishings, warm pendant lighting and enormous artworks plastered across the walls, it's going to be our new Sunday regular. Don't visit without trying the rose latte - thank us later.

Address

26 Southampton St, London WC2E 7RS

petersham nurseries covent garden facade

restaurant

Petersham Nurseries

London, United Kingdom

A charming courtyard café in the heart of Covent Garden? Naturally, It had Petersham Nurseries' name scribbled all over it. After successfully managing to pull your gaze from the shop's terracotta pots and vivid bouquets, direct your attention to the extensive tea menu and order an extra-large berry-and-hibiscus brew. The ideal lunch? Start with the vegetarian wrap, stuffed with squash, broccoli and houmous, before chomping your way through a slice of Petersham's panettone. If, like us, you're kick-starting the new year with the usual detox, you'll swoon over the salad selection - not to mention the soup of the day.

Address

27 King St, London WC2E 9DS

restaurant

Monmouth Coffee Company

Calling all coffee connoisseurs: this Seven Dials hotspot is known as the best place in Covent Garden to get a proper cup of joe among locals and, with one glance at its lengthy menu, you'll see why. Let's be real - stepping into a packed coffee house can sometimes feel as daunting as arriving in a foreign country for the first time. Firstly, there's milk to consider, next, how the beans have been roasted, and that's before we get to the cup size. But, here at Monmouth Coffee Company, all baristas are trained in the varying tasting notes of the beans, so we're pretty certain you'll find your perfect match. Caffeine addicts should sign up to its newsletter for updates of past and upcoming roasts.

Address

27 Monmouth St, London WC2H 9EU

This article was updated on the 4 January 2022.

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