RestaurantsLondonCovent GardenWC2

survey result

Summary

£59
   ££
1
Poor
2
Average
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“OK its a chain”, but these faux French brasseries are one of the most talked-about brands in our annual diners’ poll, due to their huge army of fans who see them as a “not-brilliant but consistent” standby for a “cheap ’n’ cheerful meal disguised as something more upmarket” thanks to their “reasonable prices” and “very pleasant” ambience. For an easygoing breakfast, “family-friendly” meal or pre-theatre pit stop, they are particularly nominated. But while standards of service have held up relatively well here post-Covid, there was a strong feeling this year that the food is “on the wane” with lots of reports of “boring” or even “bad and unappealing” meals (“What has happened to Côte? It used to be so reliable, but we have had several experiences recently when we had to send dishes back because they’d been poorly cooked”).

Summary

£59
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Nothing to set the heart racing, but decent, plain food, friendly staff and reasonable prices” all continue to carve out a surprisingly massive fanclub for this middle-of-the-road bistro chain as a “tolerable and relatively reliable fall back”. It’s particularly liked for breakfast (“something for everyone”), pre-theatre, or a family meal (“unfussy” and “you know what you are getting”). Few reports are wild with enthusiasm though – even some fans fear their feedback reads “almost as if I am damning it with faint praise”. And sagging ratings support those who feel it’s now really coming “off the boil” (indeed, struggling to simmer), in particular when it comes to ambience.

Summary

£63
  £££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“It won’t blow you away, but is still adequate and reasonably competitively priced” remains the upbeat view on this ubiquitous high street chain, whose “bistro-style” offering still has a surprisingly large fanbase (including those with kids in tow). Its ratings are entering the danger zone, though, as it passes from private equity owner to owner – the latest having purchased it out of administration in October 2020. One sceptic notes: “my favourite chain is going from hero to zero under the new ownership, and heading down the same path as Café Rouge and Strada before it”.

Summary

£57
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Top choice when meeting up is more important than the food!” – Richard Caring’s “brisk” modern brasseries are “a cut-above most other chains” and were once again the survey’s most-mentioned national multiple, on the strength of their “very convenient” and often picturesque locations; and an experience generally that’s “safe” and affordable (set menus in particular are very “competitively priced”). That said, even many of its legions of fans don’t suggest that their performance will set the world on fire: “menus offer a range of formulaic dishes, some more wowing than others”, with “basic options such as steak-frites” or burger often touted as the best of the “rather unadventurous” selection. “Service can vary” but usually “problems are swiftly resolved” and staff keep things “speedy” enough.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Côte?

Restaurant details

Highchair, Menu
Yes
No dress code

Côte Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Côte Restaurant in WC2, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Côte restaurant.
Phil L
efficient service, inexpensive fare but not...
Reviewed 2 months, 23 days ago

"efficient service, inexpensive fare but not ready for a speedy return"

Report this comment
David W
Still a great bargain - good food, consiste...
Reviewed 5 months, 15 days ago

"Still a great bargain - good food, consistent quality, sensibly priced wine and cheerful servive"

Report this comment
Robert M
Set menu hits the spot when you have somewh...
Reviewed 5 months, 18 days ago

"Set menu hits the spot when you have somewhere to be. Steak Frites a joy as was the fish dish. Wine also very reasonably priced. Nothing lavish but others could learn from this formula."

Report this comment
Have you eaten at Côte?
Post your own review of Côte and contribute to our annual restaurant review guide.
Post your own review
Make A Booking
Number of Diners:
Required Time:
Powered by OpenTable

Best French restaurants nearby

Boulevard
International restaurant in Covent Garden
£62
  £££
2
Average
3
Good
3
Good
Chez Antoinette
French restaurant in Covent Garden
£47
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
2
Average
Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay
French restaurant in Westminster
£211
£££££
3
Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Opera Tavern
Spanish restaurant in Covent Garden
£60
  £££
3
Good
2
Average
2
Average
Boulevard
International restaurant in Covent Garden
£62
  £££
2
Average
3
Good
3
Good
Joe Allen
American restaurant in Covent Garden
£62
  £££
2
Average
3
Good
4
Very Good