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  • 14 Neal's Yard
    London WC2H 9DP
    Covent Garden
  • Transit information Central Northern Piccadilly Get Directions
  • Phone number 020 7379 0298
  • Business website worldfoodcafenealsyard.co.uk
  • 5.0 star rating
    11/7/2011

    Fresh ingredients, clean flavors, a cozy vibe and a no-nonsense presentation. This place is perfect for a casual get together and I only wish it was closer to my work!

    I cannot think of anything more delightful than chilling out by one of the windows on a sunny day (which has a very charming view of Neal's Yard) and avoiding responsibility forever. I'm usually doubtful of EARTHY HIPPY establishments, but found this one to be lovely.

    The other patrons seemed all similarly upbeat and the seating arrangements (one central bar area and lots of communal tables) definitely make for an inclusive mood.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1/7/2009

    I really liked the vibe in this place.  

    I wouldn't have really known it was on the first floor of a building overlooking Neal's Yard, when Neal's Yard Salad Bar with all its colourful signage monopolizes one's line of sight whilst travelling through the area.  However, for those in the know, World Food Café offers its own bright and cheery surroundings and benefits from multiple juliet balconies that can open the entire dining room floor to the elements on bright and warm days.  While the restaurant is quite small, you're more likely to find a seat at one of its large wooden tables than at one of the small tables you see in the courtyard below belonging to the aforementioned Neal's Yard Salad Bar.  That being said, don't be surprised if someone asks to share your table with you.  

    But enough with the atmosphere, how's the food? Well, it's fabulous. Healthy vegetarian specials that represent cuisines from around the world (hence the namesake) rotate daily and the outgoing and friendly staff offer gregarious service and helpful suggestions.  Everything is jam-packed full of flavour, and the portion sizes are generous.

    Yum o'clock.

  • 5.0 star rating
    20/6/2010
    ROTD 12/2/2011

    In fairness, I don't have many cool as f**k, metropolitan, vegan food eating experiences to compare this to, but wowwee this has set the standard.

    I had an enormous and yummy mixed salad which included olives, coconut chutney, pitta bread, pureed carrot, spinach, tabbouleh, hummus and lots of crunchy salad leaves.  All good, simple wholesome stuff plonked in a large bowl.  In theory I could make it at home but never do because of laziness and the expense of buying all the fresh components.  

    My friend and I sat at the counter and enjoyed watching the staff cooking.  It was a sunny day so the windows were open, the ceiling fans span, and the whole place was beautifully light and airy.  A real haven in the middle of Covent Garden.  My ice cold metal cup of fresh OJ was the perfect finishing touch.

    I left feeling full, healthy, refreshed and impressed by the amount I'd consumed for around £7 (especially in comparision to other food places nearby).  Everything on the menu looked scrummy so I look forward to going back and trying something hot next time.

  • 5.0 star rating
    2/3/2009

    Veggie delights and perfect in spring time...

    This place really is a gem. Today at lunch we didn't mean to end up here, we were heading over to Neal's Yard Salad Bar. After sitting in NYSB we realised it was really overpriced and we didn't actually fancy anything from the menu so we jump across the road to here.

    What a fantastic little place to grab a bite to eat! It's a veggie delight with non-offensive un-scary dishes that are all cooked in front of you. It's also fantastic to look at a menu and no you can eat absolutely anything off it rather than being shown a less interesting, abstract of what everyone else can eat.

    Brilliant for veggies and meatys alike. Yum yum yummy yum yum!

  • 4.0 star rating
    2/8/2009

    Crrrrrrrrrrrrrunch! Crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrunch! Crunch, Crunch, Crunch...

    Hear that yelpers? That's the sound granola lovin', tree huggin', Subaru drivin' Portland Oregon living coming at you hard at the World Food Café.

    Reading through reviews, you'll probably come across words like "vibe" and "earthy," not to mention "hippy," "vegan/vegetarian" and hey, maybe even a "chillax" or two, because it's all here at this tiny vegan/veg kitchen restaurant perched quaintly above Neal's Yard in Covent Garden.

    Just walking in you feel like you've found something special, and from the first bite to the last lick of your plate, you'll savor every minute of the fresh organic goodness these kind folks serve up in front of you.

    Go for the organic, crunchy, granola goodness, stay for the apple crumble!

  • 5.0 star rating
    29/3/2011

    On the first floor above Neal's Yard, this place is a gem. Just gone vegan and this is stunning. Slightly spartan feel to the place, shared large tables with retro old plastic seats but the food is outstanding. I had some crazy Jamaican curry with banana and it was divine.

    My mother was stunned by how good vegan/veggie food can be, and even my father who is a die-hard carnivore had a great meal!

    An oasis tucked away in shopping -ville. Don't miss it.

  • 4.0 star rating
    17/7/2009

    A vegetarians afternoon delight.
    Well it's a lunchtime delight really. The World Food Cafe has been a favourite lunchtime retreat from west end shopping for years. The location is great and it's still holding its own alongside Neals Yard remedies as one of the original occupants of Neals Yard.  The café is set in a relaxing space with communal seating overlooking the Yard and some bar seating around the central food preparation area. This is a great little, hippy at heart, eatery with some great honest food. I have quite a soft spot for the Café. While your tucking into your grub take a look at the photography on the walls, they are all the work of Chris who with his wife are responsible for this Neals Yard vegetarian gem.

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/1/2010

    I've never known a place quite like the World Food Cafe, and I'm glad. It deserves to be in it's own special corner of the world (and Neal's Yard is pretty damn special).

    Their menu is delightful - offering all kinds of vegetarian and vegan goodness from around the globe. Their daily specials are usually pretty spectacular, but their North African plate is a mainstay that warms the soul. Sweet potato and banana and brown rice? I'm sold.

    The best part of all -- seeing your food being prepared by COOL people with FRESH ingredients right in front of your eyes, then sitting and chowing down by the window overlooking the aforementioned Yard of the Neal.

    Wash it all down with a freshly squeezed juice in a little metal cup and you'll be scheduling your next visit already.

    Hands down my favourite lunch spot in Covent Garden.

  • 3.0 star rating
    28/11/2011

    Closed!  

    worldfoodcafenealsyard.c…

    That area is confusing, we spent 30 minutes trying to figure out where the restaurant was, only to give up and later discover that it shut down in July.  At least we weren't crazy!

  • 4.0 star rating
    10/1/2011
    Listed in London & Beyond...

    I used to travel to London frequently several years ago and this was one of my favorite places to come for lunch. I returned over the holidays and was happy to find it is still a lovely spot.

    Good - and healthy - vegetarian food in a cozy and relaxing environment.

    • Qype User jennya…
    • London
    • 8 friends
    • 51 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    30/11/2008

    The World Food Cafe is a lovely spot, hidden in Neil's Yard. It serves up vegetarian grub from around the word; my fave is the African stew on rice. It took me right back to travelling days; you really feel like you're chilling out in some hostel in Rio or something, even though it's gloomy and drizzling outside.

    Everybody sits around huge communal tables, and there's a really nice atmosphere; everybody chats to either other and shares their papers. At lunchtime, service can be a bit higgledy piggeldy, with big queues to pay. If you're in a hurry, I would get the payment out of the way when you order. But all in all, it's a lovely little spot.

  • 4.0 star rating
    7/3/2011

    I try and come here every time I am in the area and meet for lunch with my veggie friends. They offer a great choice of interesting meat-free dishes from around the world. I have never been disappointed.
    I think I also like the fact that it hasn't changed in many years and still has the feel of first-generation vegetarian/alternative cafes to it.

    • Qype User AnnieM…
    • London
    • 98 friends
    • 81 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    30/11/2007

    Neals Yard has a LOT of competition in the healthy food stakes, but I really like the World Food Cafe. The menu doesn't change too often and is a little like Mildred's in terms of getting a plate of food that looks bursting with colour and health.

    You can sit on bar stools around the kitchen which is manned or should I say personned by three very efficient women, who prepare all of the food in the centre. Otherwise there are nice large pine "canteen style" tables to sit at so you can look down at the goings on in Neal's Yard.

    There is a simply gorgeous west indian sweet potato & banana curry with a satay-ish peanut sauce garnished with grated beetroot. My lunch companions often have the Thali which looks good. Recently I tried an oat pancake with grated cheese and fresh spinach - it doesn't sound much in terms of ingredients but works really well. Today I had a very large falafal dish, smothered in hummus / houmous (christ knows how you spell it) with some tabouleh and salad and the ubiquitous grated beetroot garnish.

    Service is fast, me and my friend did the whole thing in half an hour today - but we were in a hurry and we're usually there for a full hour.

    Try the fresh lemonade if you like something really zesty. My favourite drink is a white tea with orange.

    Dishes average out at about £7.25 or £8 but you leave feeling full and healthy.

  • 4.0 star rating
    12/2/2011

    Scene: a typically busy and bustling crowd 'round Covent Garden on a bright and brisk February Saturday. On a rare Saturday off from work, I met up with a friend and had a wander 'round the area for a place to have a cake and tea without resorting to Pret, Caffe Nero, or heaven forbid, Starbucks.

    Half an hour later, steering into the always charming and colourful Neal's Yard, we climbed up the stairs to World Food Cafe, plopped ourselves at the bar area and had ourselves a nice little afternoon of food, drink and hearty conversation. My friend had the hummus and pitta bread and cardamom coffee. I tried some hummus - yum! - but sadly, not the coffee. I had a small pot of mint tea and a banana chocolate cheesecake. Delish! The pot was filled with large fresh mint leaves, and with a bit of sugar in the glass cups the cafe had, one sip and I was transported back to a summer in Morocco where the drink was ubiquitous. The cheesecake was delicious, light yet filling, garnished with starfruit, slices of fresh figs and a cherry. And the fresh whipped cream! Heaven.

    All in all, a nice way to spend an afternoon, busy Saturday or not. Must come back for some savouries soon ...

    • Qype User Rutche…
    • Bristol
    • 24 friends
    • 253 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    25/3/2011

    I love this place.
    Veggie heaven! Not least because it is upstairs! :D
    I immediately feel as though I am on holiday here. And I know I can relax here, because everything is vegetarian or vegan. Not often you get to relax like that, if you choose not to eat animals.
    The sunshine fills the room which is upstairs and it is very well laid out. Very appealing. Always interesting music playing here too.
    The food is delicious. Typically, there is a mezze plate, a curry plate, that sort of thing. Atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Food is always tasty.
    I much prefer it to Mildred's, which went downhill years before it moved to its current location and the staff is much friendlier here.
    It gets busy here. It's always been just for lunch. I don't know if that's changed.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1/6/2009

    I spent a long time searching for a decent Veggie restaurant for a friend to take to during a visit to London. This Cafe more than surpassed both our hopes, with the great system of the high tables surrounding the kitchen, allowing eaters to see everything being freshly prepared. It even tempted us into trying more things than we had initially ordered via the blackboard menu.
    Mind you this is heavy on the wallet, good as a one off every now and again. The service was super fast and any questions are most welcome. We visited during the lunch hours and found it a delightful experience, would love to see what it would be like in the evening. Me thinks a candlelight evening would be great.
    For some reason I think there was something fancy about the toilet, but I can't remember!

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/7/2009

    cute happy friendly sunny.

    no, it's not a ginormous stuffed panda bear, it's WORLD FOOD CAFE!!!

    this spot is super chill, all veggie, and i like it a lot. it's not expensive, the portions are big, and it's a really cool setup. it's on the second floor and there are big open windows overlooking neal's yard courtyard. there's a big central counter and inside there's an island stacked high with mixing bowls and freshly baked cakes surrounded by girls in aprons cheffing it up. it's the definition of an open kitchen and it feels almost like a bunch of friends getting together to enjoy the act of cooking and you happen to be lucky enough to be invited over for dinner.

    the cakes look deeeelisshhhousss too.

  • 5.0 star rating
    3/3/2009

    I adore this place.  I eat here faithfully every time I come to London.  The rotating menu of vegetarian food is consistently great., whether it be Indian, Mediterranean or Mexican.  The cookbook is wonderful too.I confess, I am pining for World Food Cafe just writing this review.

  • 4.0 star rating
    7/7/2011

    This was a fun place to eat. It's tucked away in a little courtyard and you can sit near the windows to look out into said courtyard. We opted to sit at the counter, where I thoroughly enjoyed watching them prepare everything right in front of me. An unusual, yet creative and effective setup. I started off with chips and salsa and then had the special of the day. It was some sort of veggie rice combo with a Caribbean twist. Pretty good. I had the elderflower soda...wish this was available in the U.S. For dessert I had a strawberry and rhubarb crumble with vegan whip on top. YUMMY!

    • Qype User macaro…
    • London
    • 122 friends
    • 127 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    21/11/2008

    This is veggie heaven. Lovely healthy homeade vegetarian food in a hippy setting, what more could you want?! It kind of feels like you're in a big room in someone's house, with the kitchen in the middle and you can see all the food being freshly prepared. It's very low key and chilled out, nothing fancy here, just good and honest food. Everything looked so delicious I didn't know what to choose, but opted for a burrito with beans and salad and lots of yummy things. Very healthy and hearty. Brilliant place.

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/7/2011

    I came here in summer 2004 thanks to a guidebook called Vegetarian London.  This is a small and unassuming place on the second floor of a building in Neal's Yard.  The ladies prepared all the meals behind a big, open counter in the middle of the restaurant, and you could watch them while they did it.  I honestly can't remember what I ate, but it was very good, and I think it might've involved falafel.

  • 5.0 star rating
    7/12/2011

    This is now the Wild Food Cafe. Fresh, wild, healthy/vitality cuisine.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/7/2010
    1 check-in here

    Vegetarian platter very tasty but a wee bit greasy.

  • 4.0 star rating
    22/2/2009
    First to Review

    Great little find in Neal's Yard, near Covent Garden. Vegetarian food only. Very chilled, relaxed atmosphere. We went at lunchtime on a Friday so it was pretty packed, but there's a bar area with seating so we just ate there. Food was great, not always a fan of veggie but this one was superb. Cake selection great too. All in all a great place for an informal lunch or coffee.

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