What's for Lunch? Opera Tavern, Covent Garden

By tikichris Last edited 73 months ago
What's for Lunch? Opera Tavern, Covent Garden

Phenomenal and atypical tapas in an elegant setting from the boys who brought us Salt Yard and Dehesa: oh yes. Unless you've made Opera Tavern your de facto dining destination and have somehow become accustomed to all the yum on offer, at some point during a visit here you will find yourself uttering “wow” or similar. The dishes are beautifully presented and absolutely delicious.

Opposite the Drury Lane Theatre and seconds from the Opera House and the rest of Theatreland, this two-storey bar with friendly and efficient service is a no brainer choice for pre and post theatre nosh, but don't let any lack of drama in your life keep you from enjoying the show here. Anything you order will come to the table looking prepared for the lead role in a palate pleasing performance. Lunch here (when it's still bustling but not so jammed) will have you feeling like a star. It's a convenient and comfortable venue without a drop of stuffiness or pretence in its refined atmosphere. A bit of a treat for a solo lunch break or a smart choice for casual catch ups, the versatile menu (you can dabble a little or devour a lot) is a marvel for midday and lingering afternoon meals.

Diva dishes include cute and meaty mini Ibérico pork and foie gras burger (£6.50), courgette flowers stuffed with goats’ cheese and drizzled with honey (£7.95) and roasted heritage carrots with date purée, caprini fresco, pine nuts and cumin (£5.25, pictured). Sounds novel, and it is. However, flavour and value seem to trump novelty with every dish. The menu changes fairly regularly and Londonist wishes crispy Ibérico pigs ears for three quid had been on it during our visit. No worries though, encore dining sessions here are definitely a worthwhile consideration.

Food is just half the fun though. Opera Tavern does a damn fine wine and drinks list. Sherry features prominently. Cocktails are of the classic variety. Characterful wines are mostly Spanish and Italian, with something for most budgets and an impressive number offered by the glass.

Opera Tavern is located at 23 Catherine Street,WC2B 5JS. Enjoy.

Photo/Chris Osburn

Disclaimer: Londonist visited Opera Tavern upon invitation by the bar.

Last Updated 24 April 2012


"Disclaimer: Londonist visited Opera Tavern upon invitation by the bar."

Fair enough, but this reads less like a review and more like an advert; for the reader it is a little embarrassing. Do expenses trump all objectivity?


I've always like the Opera Tavern - there's not much to dislike about it. The mini burgers are £6.50 each though.

Helen Magowan

I've eaten here and it is spectacular. Couldn't disagree with a word of this review. Sometimes things are just good.


We have been to the Opera Tavern recently. Had high expectations and was disappointed. Not about the food but the service. Maybe we just had bad luck. Pouring out a second bottle of water without asking, and hurrying us through our bottle of wine opting a second bottle right away, again without asking. And then the bill, including an "optional" 12,50 % fee! I always give a (large) tip but I like to decide for myself how much. If we had been satisfied with the service I might not have mentioned it but now I decided to pay the original amount without the fee. It seemed this was not usual and the waitress had to go and ask and in the end it was okay to pay the lesser amount. But by then I was so pissed of about the whole thing I didn't leave a tip at all.
Now I wonder does everybody pay this included fee without wondering if this is correct? And asking 12,50% is not very modest.
What we ate was delicious but if you want to eat a full meal it will cost you a fortune.