Kanada-Ya makes the best bowl of tonkotsu ramen anywhere in London. There’s always a line of students from Hong Kong and Japan outside any of their shops (even in the cold – usually a good sign), but it’s absolutely worth the wait. With the totally reasonable prices (just over a tenner for the basic bowl of noodles), it’s a good deal. There’s not a whole lot for vegetarians, so don’t bring them with the hope that there’ll be a veg stock or tofu option. Do go for a casual, no-reservations spot where the atmosphere is full of the sounds of conversation and people slurping noodles. Expect not to linger, but to leave happy.
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Temper Covent Garden
Temper Covent Garden is a loud and fun spot from the same people behind the Soho and City branches. This one specialises in pizzas and ‘not pasta’.
Nutshell is a pink and pretty Persian restaurant that’s great if you’re looking to share a few mezze plates and a bottle of something nice.
Lima Floral is a big, colourful restaurant, where you can eat Peruvian classics and drink pisco cocktails whilst escaping the crowds of Covent Garden.
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Inko Nito is a large, casual spot in Soho serving Japanese and Korean inspired sharing plates from the robata grill, plus salads, and sushi.
Ichibuns is a super colorful Japanese restaurant in soho set over three wildly different floors. The menu is all a bit mad, but also a lot of fun.
Not only is the sushi at Sushi Atelier on Great Portland Street great, it’s also very affordable. Sit at the bar and get the 12-piece omakase.
Suggested by our writers
Compared to other ramen restaurants, Ippudo in Covent Garden has the advantage of a cool-looking dining room, a bigger menu, and more room for groups.
Lanzhou Noodle Bar
It doesn’t look promising from the outside, but Lanzhou Noodle Bar near Leicester Square makes excellent Chinese hand-pulled noodles.
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