The best places to eat in Covent Garden, London, according to chef Ollie Dabbous

Ollie Dabbous 
Chef Ollie Dabbous picks his favourite foodie spots in Covent Garden 

Covent Garden isn’t the most residential of areas, admits Ollie Dabbous, co-owner and executive chef at Michelin-starred HIDE in London. “There are pros and cons,” Dabbous admits. “I don’t have a garden, and there’s lots of traffic and tourists, but the street we live on is actually very quiet.”

And there’s a thriving restaurant scene right on his doorstep. “It’s getting better and better,” says Dabbous. “There are a few tourist traps in Theatreland, but there’s been a big improvement around King Street and Henrietta Street in particular.”

Smith & Wollensky

"A time warp, in a positive way" Credit: Smith & Wollensky 

“My go-to. It’s a bit of a time warp, in a positive way. It’s like entering the set of Mad Men. A proper restaurant, without being stuffy. It’s a good steakhouse with simple food. I often get the butcher’s burger with mac and cheese and a green salad.”

The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam St, Covent Garden, London WC2N 6HT; 020 7321 6007; smithandwollensky.co.uk

Jacob The Angel

"A newish café that does lovely coffees and cakes"

“A newish café in Neal’s Yard. They do lovely coffees and cakes. If you can’t get a table there, 26 Grains is nearby, as is St John. Neal’s Yard is touristy but, when the sun goes down, it’s a treat to be sat outside.”

16 ½ Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9DP; jacobtheangel.co.uk

Cora Pearl

"Very cute, and they do proper cocktails"  Credit: Alex Maguire 

“Not a lot of people know about it, but the downstairs bar at Cora Pearl has a few tables. It’s very cute. You can go for a drink and grab a bite, and they do proper cocktails.”

30 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8NA; 020 7324 7722; corapearl.co.uk

Rules

"Where you go to indulge" 

“It might make me sound a bit before my time, but the service is brilliant and people think it’s more formal than it is. You might assume it’s a tourist trap, but the quality of cooking is top-notch. They’ve got a beautiful garden and bar. It’s a place you go to indulge – roast beef, potted shrimp, sticky toffee pudding. Don’t plan to be productive in the afternoon if you’ve gone for lunch.”

35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7LB; 020 7836 5314; rules.co.uk

Panzer’s

"There's a dearth of fruit and veg shops in central London, but Panzer's feels like a luxury"

“There’s a dearth of fruit and veg shops in central London, but Panzer’s, in the new Seven Dials Market, is a greengrocer that originated in St John’s Wood. It has amazing produce: lovely aubergines, tomatoes, courgettes. It feels like a luxury.”

Seven Dials Market, 35 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LX; 020 7733 6267; sevendialsmarket.com