French Restaurants in Covent Garden
1. Le Garrick French restaurant in Covent Garden 10-12 Garrick Street - WC2
“A delightful throwback to the French bistros of the 1980s, set over a couple of floors, with tables crammed into nooks and crannies” – this Covent Garden stalwart is “very romantic, with its candles and cosy booths”. The “traditional, unpretentious food” is “good value” (“nothing fancy, but consistent”) while the “staff are so friendly”: if you’re in a hurry pre-theatre, “they put you through fast without seeming to hassle you”, but “if you have more time they let you linger”.
2. Le Restaurant de PAUL French restaurant in Covent Garden 29-30 Bedford St - WC2
Our bakery, café and restaurant at 29 Bedford Street was the first branch of PAUL in the UK and is just behind the beautiful St. Paul’s Church. You will find PAUL almost on the corner of King Street in the heart of Covent Garden, just a few minutes’ walk fro...
3. Chez Antoinette French restaurant in Covent Garden Unit 30 The Market Building - WC2
As a child, my grandmother used to prepare delicious Tartines in her kitchen for me. Having lived in London over the past 5 years, I became homesick and those memories came fluttering back. After a while, it became clear to me that I had to put all my effort and hard work into my...
4. Clos Maggiore French restaurant in Covent Garden 33 King St - WC2
“I saw a guy go down on bended knee to his girlfriend… she said yes!” This “luxurious and magical” haven – somewhat unexpectedly located “in the heart of Covent Garden” – continues to “live up to its reputation as the most romantic restaurant in London”, and “for a meal with that special someone, you won’t find much better”, especially if you can bag a table (book months in advance) for the “blossom-festooned conservatory” (which some reporters feel is essential to a successful visit; to others it’s merely “the icing on the cake”). Unusually for somewhere “oozing romance”, standards elsewhere “are not compromised to deliver a memorable experience”: “the food might not be the absolute pinnacle of modern British cuisine”, but “it’s more-than-competent” and “the star gourmet attraction is a wine list of almost biblical proportions”. Top Tip – “lunch/pre theatre set menus offer superb value for the excellent quality”.
5. Mon Plaisir Restaurant French restaurant in Covent Garden 19-21 Monmouth Street - WC2
“For a romantic touch of Paris”, this “archetypal” Gallic bistro in Covent Garden (dating from 1946) certainly looks the part – “a warren of rooms”, which has seen numerous additions over the years, and where the “delightful” ambience is at its strongest in the oldest section of all. The cuisine is very “traditional” and, according to most diners, “still superb after so many years”; but others are more nuanced in their praise: “it’s not the best French food by far, but a visit is like meeting an old friend who’s been in your life for decades”. Top Tip – “the pre-theatre deal is great value”.
6. Henrietta Bistro French restaurant in Covent Garden Henrietta Street - WC2E
Southwestern France and northern Spain are inspiration for the “interesting menu” at this “lovely” yearling bistro in a boutique Covent Garden hotel (which has a “very good bar” too).
7. Boulevard International restaurant in Covent Garden 40 Wellington St - WC2
In the tourist hell of Covent Garden, this traditional brasserie is easily missed but worth remembering for a “cheap ’n’ cheerful” bite. Even those who say “it’s not too inspiring” feel it’s “hard to fault for a speedy pre-theatre meal”: “just like half the brasseries in France – classic dishes, realisation can be mediocre, but very reasonably priced”.
8. Terroirs British, Modern restaurant in Covent Garden 5 William IV St - WC2
“Tucked away off Trafalgar Square, you’d need to know about this very buzzy wine bar to find it… but sadly many people do as it’s normally packed out”. Ten years ago, when it opened, it was a major sensation thanks to its then-novel combination of “really adaptable”, gutsy, Gallic tapas (“plates of meat, cheese, paté, etc”) washed down with “a superb (if somewhat baffling and esoteric) wine selection, featuring some very interesting natural wines” (it’s actually owned by wine importers, Les Caves de Pyrenes). Nowadays the prevailing view is that it’s “good but very expensive for what is in effect an uncomfortable and noisy café”.
9. Frenchie French restaurant in Covent Garden 18 Henrietta Street - WC2
Gregory (nicknamed ‘Frenchie’ by Jamie Oliver at Fifteen) & Marie Marchand’s stylish three-year-old is “a treat, with all its signature dishes imported from their charming Parisian venue of the same name”, delivering “beautiful French food”, served in a lovely, stylishly-neutral, modern space. Despite the arrival last year of Dale Sutton (the executive head chef of their French operations) however, ratings continue to head south here, and critics feel it’s “lost its edge” since its stellar early days. No question, though, it’s a “fun” and “useful spot in Covent Garden” that many still extol as the site of their best meal of the year.
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