Canela Cafe

4.1
159 reviews
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£25 and under
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Portuguese
Top tags:
  • Casual
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Lunch
Canela brings the diverse and exciting flavours of Portugal to Seven Dials - Covent Garden.
Featuring a menu of regional classics and speciality cheese and charcutarie alongside modern petiscos (small plates). An exclusive wine list is personally sourced by the owner from small family owned vineyards from all over Portugal. Canela aims to deliver an authentic yet contemporary Portuguese food and wine experience.
What 159 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.1
Food
4.1
Service
4.0
Ambience
3.9
Value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JE
London
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2Food 2Service 1Ambience 3

The portion size was tiny for the price. They forgot some of our food and our waiter didn’t speak much English. It’s very pretty in there but we left hungry and poor.

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OT
Glasgow
3 reviews
Dined on 2 July 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

The food was very tasty and the staff polite. They didn’t have the Rose we wanted by the bottle so we had 5 glasses instead. They had run out of a few dishes so things were a bit limited as we don’t eat all the options. Generally good and lovely food.

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CS
Surrey
1 review
Dined on 21 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Canela. The food is authentic and very flavoursome, the service is great, and the ambience is just perfect. It felt as if we were in Portugal for a couple of hours. Thank you Canela, we will be back!

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SR
Newcastle
1 review
Dined on 15 June 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent service. Very good food. A good find in an interesting and vibrant location.

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OT
London
5 reviews
Dined on 7 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Nice cosy environment

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MW
London
1 review
Dined on 2 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Wonderful Food and Service. Went for breakfast and would definitely return and recommend.

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JB
London
2 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

yet another perfect dining experience at Canela! Always a warm welcome, fast (but unobtrusive service) and completely bloody perfect food every time!!! This time there were 3 of us for a quick lunch - the classic salt cod was loved by my two friends (one of whom has eaten this dish many times in Portugal and said the Canela version was up there as one of the best). I had the vegetable salad - hearty but healthy! Afterwards we finished with the classic Portuguese tarts and coffee. If you had a six star rating I would give it six stars. Love this place - it's a gem!

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PC
London
3 reviews
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Portuguese-bases but very innovative cuisine in a very nice environment

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TJ
Toronto
12 reviews
Dined on 16 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Don’t be put off by “cafe”. The staff are attentive and knowledgeable, the food excellent. We went for the small portions to share, which gave us a good choice. Would highly recommend the garlic prawns, make sure you have bread to mop up the juice. Ideal place for eating before going to the Cambridge Theatre. Hope to go back. The house red wine was very drinkable.

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f
London
14 reviews
Dined on 15 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

Great cafe for light bites +/- casual meet up for glass of wine or two. Good ambience and always fairly busy when I've been. Croquettes done well and salads are generously portioned.

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EM
1 review
Dined on 26 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Really good food & really friendly staff. Nice setting & location too. Would definitely recommend for tasty Portuguese food

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B
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on 19 April 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 3

Unfortunately we had a bad experience. Whether it was the food or the wine, an overnight ‘situation’ as a result of the dinner for one of us has no put this restaurant in the ‘non repeat’ column for both of us.

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PS
1 review
Dined on 18 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

A lovely Portuguese restaurant/café tucked in the Seven Dials, Covent Garden area. We particularly enjoyed the Croquetes de Arroz e Cogumelos (Rice Croquettes with Portobello Mushrooms), Alheira Assada e Ovos de Codorniz (Smoked Game Sausage w Fried Quail Eggs) and the Carne de Porco à Alentejana (Traditional Pork meat with Clams, Baked Potatoes and Coriander). All very tasty. A pleasant laid back atmosphere in what can be a frantic area of the West End, with friendly and efficient staff.

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EZ
London
1 review
Dined on 14 April 2019
Overall 2Food 1Service 2Ambience 5

I had really high hopes for this cute little place as the location is great, the vibe and the interiors are very nice and cosy and the prices are very good. The menu too has some very tasty looking dishes but because the rest of my table wasn't eating I just had a "Portuguese cheese and tomatoes" sandwich, which is as uninspiring and unimpressive as it sounds. The saddest part was that it came with a side of salad and crisps. As in Walkers crisps which a) is it really a Portuguese food thing? and b) just looked and felt so wrong in a place like that.

I was also really put off by the service; not sure if it was a bad day (I sympathise we all have them) but our waitress seemed to be moody and abrupt. Again, she might be having a bad day but it came across as unfriendly and unwelcoming. And that salad with crisps didn't help! I still can't get over that. Which is a shame, cos it really is a lovely, quiet place, the food from the table next to us looked nice and the desserts so yummy. I'll definitely give it another go.

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SV
London
1 review
Dined on 7 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

The best Portuguese restaurant I've been to in London, the food was amazing and authentic

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AC
London
1 review
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 4

Cute cafe-style restaurant. Liked the interior, felt like I was in Porto!
Staff were friendly.
Waitress took order for 5 people WITHOUT a note pad. If you are going to do this, you cannot make a mistake. Low and behold, she did. Husband’s meal was wrong and had to be remade. It was delivered 20 mins later.. we’d all finished. We were polite about it yet felt 10% not enough discount especially as 10% service was added! Food was nice enough but very simple and about 20% overpriced on perceived value.
Still think it’s a cuteCafé and conveniently located for evening in Covent Garden.

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MC
London
1 review
Dined on 1 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing food and wine, service with a smile and a lovely atmosphere

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TC
London
1 review
Dined on 31 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

After a chance find I went there for a meal and for a small place it has the right amount of choice for food and drink, the staff are very friendly and it is defiantly good value for money. Will visit again and recommend to friends.

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N
London
1 review
Dined on 28 March 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 1

Although the food was good, we had to get up twice to get the waiting staff to come to attend to our table.
The restaurant closed the kitchen 50 minutes before the restaurants was due to close and turned on all light about 30 minutes before close. At 11pm sharp, they requested us to pay and leave.

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g
London
3 reviews
Dined on 22 March 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

Really nice place and service was friendly and attentive. Food was tasty but was a little overpriced for what it was. Some dishes could have been served hotter. It's very much cafe (simple cooking) which I'd happily eat at for a nice lunch or even a coffee and cake.

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CA
1 review
Dined on 15 March 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 2Ambience 3

If you are portuguese stay away from this place as you won’t eat good portuguese food. We went for dinner on a friday night the restaurant was busy and we were excited to try this new place. We ordered our food one of dishes was carne de porco a alentejana which is a dish that you expect to wait at least 15min to be ready when is freshly done. 5 min later the food came and clearly wasn’t fresh and had been warmed up in the microwave. Potatoes were warm in the outside but cold inside, tasted like they’ve been cooked the day before, pork was dry and could bearly be eaten. We also ordered the dish of the day which was frango de cerveja, same thing was warmed in the microwave, the rice was cold and the chicken was cold inside.

The only good thing was the wine as you can’t go wrong with that as long you buy the right wine. This is definitely not a good place if you are Portuguese and want to have food that will make you feel like home go somewhere else this is definitely a restaurant for tourists visiting london or people who have no knowledge or experience with portuguese cuisine. If you want to represent us do it properly and don’t charge people for low quality food.

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KG
Hertfordshire
9 reviews
Dined on 9 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

Nice little bistro. Great wine. Service was a bit slow when we were there.

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EC
Liverpool
1 review
Dined on 23 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

The food was outstanding but the only slight issue was the tables were small particularly for 3 people ordering 2/3 dishes, which all came out at the same time.

Have also recommmned to friends and will return next time I’m in London

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JF
London
1 review
Dined on 23 February 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

Nice little Cafe in the heart of Covent Garden. My husband wanted to try it as he's Portuguese. We had some little dishes like tapas to start with and they were nice. However I ordered Chicken Piri Piri for main course and it had no spice to it at all and was quite dry. My husband was happy with his salt cod. Service initially was good for starters but we had to wait quite a long time for the main course.

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MM
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful place - favorite place to catch up with friends with great food, wine and service.

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LC
London
8 reviews
Dined on 21 February 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

Nice Portuguese cafe in seven dials area of Covent Garden. Good sharing plates. It was busy the day we were there, but it was half term. Service is efficient, and staff friendly. I marked down one star as once we were served we were then left to our own devices, so had to ask for water top ups, coffee etc. Also, the loos are in an adjacent building in the basement, so you have to be accompanied to the door by a member of staff, which is an odd set up for a place this size. But overall, nice ambience and bookable, which is not always the case in this area.

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ML
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My husband and I came here for Valentines Day. Absolutely love this place. The atmosphere is cozy and fun. The wait staff was very attentive and friendly. And the food was amazing! We got several different smaller dishes to share and everything was delicious. Only thing is to be aware that the toilets are in the building next door! But it was a wonderful evening.

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TB
1 review
Dined on 13 February 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 2

Came out stinking of grease! Toliets are separate to the actual restaurant

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H
London
1 review
Dined on 9 February 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We had a lovely lunch at Canela Café and would definitely return. The staff were very patient with my children (2 of them, 8 and 4). The food was excellent and the atmosphere was perfect.
The only negative was having to go next door to use the toilets, but luckily for us the weather was dry.

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MS
London
54 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

I’ve been to Canela several times and always enjoy it. In fact I’ve recommended it to friends and family as well. Simple, good quality Portuguese tapas and wines, great location and not a chain - a fab venue for Covent Garden.

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MS
London
2 reviews
Dined on 5 February 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

Wonderful Portuguese food in the heart of Seven Dials. Really enjoy the great Portuguese wine selection and food is very good.

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CS
London
4 reviews
Dined on 4 February 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Lovely place, great service. Small portions and the loo being outside the venue doesn't help. Otherwise great

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RC
London
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

The staff were very pleasant and attentive. It was a nice calm venue on a Friday night. We were a group of six and just had drinks but hope to go back for dinner some time.

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T
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on 2 January 2019
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 1

Despite telling OpenTable that I could have a booking st 9:30am for Breakfast, I showed up today to find that they were actually closed. Thanks for wasting my time in waking to Seven Dials. What a waste.

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e
London
1 review
Dined on 29 December 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 2

I have been dining at Canela periodically for four years, but this was my first time as a vegetarian. We saw a play nearby, and I thought Canela would be perfect for post-theatre, but cannot award more than one star when I booked a table and yet could not eat! I appreciate that it was 10pm, but there were only two vegetarian dishes on the menu, one being completely unavailable, the other partially (it would have been a scratch dish of eggs and rice), but the kitchen stays open later than that. The side dishes listed on the website, that my friend and I could have formed a meal from, were no longer produced by the kitchen at all, the website being long out of date. We had to pay for our drinks and leave to dine elsewhere. Luckily, there are other, better brasseries nearby that serve high-quality vegetarian and vegan food late into the night. I'm afraid I have lost trust in Canela and will not be returning.

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S
London
13 reviews
Dined on 13 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Lovely place to meet up in Covent Garden calm with a cool vibe

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SE
Newcastle
4 reviews
Dined on 10 December 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

We like this restaurant very much with its charming staff and delicious small plates of some Portuguese classics and fairly priced house wine from the Setubal peninsula. Good coffee too. Disappointed at the last visit that there were no miniature Alheria sausages with the quail egg -a particular favourite of mine. Some American friends joined me and they particularly like the calm friendly atmosphere at lunch time.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 7 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Service and atmosphere was nice. Good place for small plates or full dinner. Good place for any occasion.

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BB
London
9 reviews
Dined on 3 December 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 3Ambience 1

Visited before for lunch. Thought the food and service were good. This time, on our fifth visit, we found the ambiance had changed. People with tablets and phones were there spending ages over a coffee. It was a bit like being in an office. Very unrelaxing when people bring their work in to a social scene. Couldn't recommend Canela for lunch as there are other restaurants in Covent Garden where you are not plagued by noisy work-based chatter. Sorry.

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PC
London
4 reviews
Dined on 1 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Outstanding food experience! Modern, delicious, Portuguese-inspired food, fantastic wines.

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