Soho/Covent Garden

Restaurants in Soho/Covent Garden

In the heart of Covent Garden, waiters dressed as monks scurry around the cavernous basement dining hall of Belgo Centraal serving pots of mussels, platters of spicy sausages with mashed potatoes, and halved spit-roasted chickens, accompanied by Belgian beers.

Located inside the stylish SoHo Hotel in London’s West End, Refuel invites diners to relax and enjoy tempting modern European cuisine. The main dining room is decorated with clean-lined contempoary furnishings and ornate, flower-like light fixtures.

Sketch is far from a simple place to come and dine. French master chef Pierre Gagnaire and restaurateur Mazouz created the space in a historic Mayfair building for more than fine dining: there's a whirlwind entertainment center spread out on two rambling floors.

From the creators of the famed London gastropub Anchor & Hope comes this eatery in Covent Garden. The no-frills interior includes red-hued walls and plain wooden tables amid dim lighting, but seating is also available at the bar.

Although the decor is nothing to write home about, the extensive selection of dim sum, accompanied by never-ending pots of jasmine tea, keeps the dining area bustling at the Jade Garden in Chinatown's Soho neighborhood two blocks from Piccadilly Circus.

Originally opened in 1939, Geales is a traditional fish and chips restaurant (affectionately known as a “fish and chippy”) that uses ingredients from sustainable sources within the UK. The specialty here is, of course, fish and chips, and it can be prepared using pollock, cod, haddock, or sole.

Yauatcha is a contemporary dim sum teahouse that opened in London in 2004. The restaurant offers an all-day grazing experience, specialising in modern authentic dim sum, as well as wok-friendly dishes and other 'small eats'.

Hot on the heels of cheap-chic eatery Wagamama is another affordable (and decidedly better) Asian diner from the same owner: Alan “Hakkasan” Yau.

Hix Oyster & Chop House sits not far from London’s historic meat market, Smithfield. Originally a sausage factory, the Islington restaurant features wooden floors, a marble oyster bar, and tiled walls.

This very well may be central London’s most romantic restaurant.

Ida

Situated in Queens Park, this small Italian trattoria is known for its authentic hand-rolled pastas. The restaurant is run by husband-and-wife team Avi and Simonetta Reichenbach, both of whom have Italian roots.

A bit of Spain in the heart of London, Cigala was inspired by the owner’s mother, who lived in Granada for 30 years. A passion for Spanish food and cuisine is evident in the menu of tapas and desserts.

Hidden behind an unassuming door just off Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, this subterranean sensation from acclaimed restaurateurs Sam and Eddie Hart is adored for its scrumptious Spanish tapas as well as its fabulous bar menu that reads like an enticing novel.

Upon entering Sketch, patrons feel as if they’ve fallen down the rabbit’s hole into a charmingly bizarre fantasyland of neon lights, quirky-bordering-on-creepy statues, chipped gold-plated teacups, bread baskets built from Legos and space-age pod restrooms.