The best Italian restaurants in London

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  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Canto Corvino

    Best Italian restaurant for: small plates


    Dish to order: the beef short-rib Rossini

    Andrew and Ninai Zarach, who used to rootle around for top-notch Italian ingredients to import, own the two Manicomio restaurants in Chelsea and St Paul’s – scenes of many a button-popping, expense-account lunch. This is new territory for them. It’s a beautiful, twinkly space, with vintage glass panes, reclaimed wood and blackened steel, reminiscent of French industrial design. Head chef Tom Salt (sometimes visible in the open-plan kitchen) has loosened up the Italian menu without going too bananas.

    FOOD

    The menu’s to-the-point and small-platey, though a main should be ordered. A sharing slab of four-colours-pink seafood crudo – slivers of king prawn, sea bass, salmon and mullet – will vanish in seconds, followed closely, perhaps, by soft twists of duck tortelli peppered with borlotti beans and slices of sausage. Many mains arrive with the bonfirey scent of the Josper grill. A poached-pear pudding was a total surprise, an artistic swoop of pansies, tufts of panettone, blackberries and muscat-soaked grapes. It’s all so good you’ll consider dropping by for breakfast the next day.

    DRINK

    Fire up the appetite with a fiery Chilli Cracker (strawberry vodka and chilli) at the standalone, zinc-topped bar. The wine list will take you on an insider tour of the Italian regions.

    By Rick Jordan

    Address: Canto Corvino, 21 Artillery Lane, Spitalfields, London E1


    Telephone: +44 20 7655 0390


    Book online

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Ida, Queen’s Park

    Best Italian restaurant for: a cosy supper


    Dish to order: the very creamy penne con guanciale affumicato, panna e porri

    In a Grade II-listed former corner shop on the cusp of leafy Queen’s Park and quietly cool Kensal Rise, this family-run Italian joint has been producing steaming plates piled with pasta from its half-open kitchen since 2007. Tiny tables jostle among the shelves and fridges stocked with imported and homemade Italian food that is for sale by day, when the restaurant becomes a deli, and the walls are barely visible beneath retro posters. Recipes come from owner Avi’s mother, a home cook born in a hilltop town near Perugia, for whom the restaurant is named. Order an antipasto of silky cold cuts, creamy gorgonzola and crunchy crostini, followed by bowls of hand-rolled pasta tossed in punchy ragù, scattered with clams for an excellent spaghetti alle vongole or – our favourite – penne topped with smoky pig’s cheek and cream. Go for a carafe of the Sicilian house white, which is a lemony Pieno Sud, or a beer from local brewery Wolfpack, and make a mental note to return for breakfast, served on weekdays. By Sarah James

    Address: Ida, 222a Kilburn Lane, Queen’s Park, London W10 4AT


    Telephone: +44 20 8969 9853


    Website: idarestaurant.co.uk

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    OFFICINA 00, Old Street

    Best Italian restaurant for: industrial cool on Old Street


    Dish to order: the fried raviolo cacio e pepe starter

    Named after the flour typically used to make pasta, this contemporary pasta workshop and Shoreditch restaurant (interiors are tiled in green, and there are lots of trailing succulents) is playing with Italian tradition and flavours. Grab a seat near the pasta station, where hipster chefs in aprons roll, fold and pinch fresh pasta into all sorts of shapes. A soft gnocchi is made with pumpkin and fried with sage and butter, then dotted with some sharp blobs of gorgonzola that help cut through the rich butter. Corzetti, a round, frisbee-like pasta, is cooked with white wine, wild mushroom, fennel, sausage and parsley; shell-like cavatelli comes with padron peppers, almond pesto and crispy coppa. We could have taken or left the starter of zucchini fritti with burrata – it’s the pasta that has locals coming back week after week. If you try just one thing to start, make it the fried raviolo filled with cacio e pepe. By Tabitha Joyce

    Address: Officina 00, 156 Old Street, London EC1V 9BW


    Telephone: +44 20 8037 7161


    Website: officina00.co.uk

    NORMA, FITZROVIA

    Best Italian restaurant for: on-trend Sicilian flavours without the queues


    Dish to order: if it’s on the specials menu, order ravioli with sheep’s cheese and wilted greens

    Just around the corner from Fitzrovia’s it-restaurant of the moment Circolo Popolare, low-lit Norma is (like Circolo) a Sicilian restaurant that serves (like Circolo) hearty plates inspired by the Italian island. Unlike its more-hyped neighbour, it is not plagued by hour-long queues – book a table at one of the discreet booths, surrounded by tiled floors and arches that give the dining room a Moorish feel. At the helm is chef Ben Tish, who trained under Jason Atherton. His authentic plates come thick and fast – spaghettini fritters are crisp while a chickpea panelle (also a fritter) is fluffy, and loaded with zingy salsa verde. We liked the namesake pasta alla Norma, which is a simple supper with tomatoes, aubergines and ricotta. Mains nod toward Sicily’s close relationship with nearby northern Africa in dishes such as seafood stew with saffron couscous or roasted North Sea hake with pumpkin, ‘nduja and pickled tomato. All the wines are Italian – we recommend the bold Puglia red Negroamaro, which can be ordered by the glass, and as a happy coincidence it’s the most affordable on the wine list, too. By Sarah James

    Address: Norma, 8 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LS


    Telephone: +44 20 3995 6224


    Website: normalondon.com

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    LEGARE, BERMONDSEY

    Best Italian restaurant for: hearty plates of flavour

    Dish to order: Tajarin burro e salvia

    Not far from favourites 40 Maltby Street and Flour & Grape is Bermondsey’s latest addition, Legare, a fun fresh-pasta joint in the shadow of Tower Bridge. The credentials here are impressive – there’s a Trullo alumnus chef and an ex-Barrafina general manager at the helm, and it’s evident that this duo know exactly what they’re doing. The large kitchen opens onto a space that feels intimate yet comfortable, so settle in at a cosy corner table and slurp on fresh pick-of-the-day oysters before diving headfirst into the pillowy parcels of gnocco fritto and folds of fatty mortadella. We’d also suggest you try the stringy stracciatella that comes sprinkled with spicy soppressata, all doused in rich olive oil, and the fresh citrus salad with crispy fennel and zingy mint leaves. The pasta is made fresh on-site so do try a few to sample the various shapes and forms. Al dente ear-shaped orecchiette with crumbled fennel sausage and cavolo nero is topped with crunchy breadcrumbs while the tajarin, a thin ribbon pasta, is doused in creamy butter and punchy sage. Speak to your waiter about choosing a wine to compliment each dish and go with their suggestion – they know their stuff. By Katharine Sohn

    Address: Legare, Cardamom Building, 31 Shad Thames, Tower Bridge, London SE1 2YR


    Telephone: +44 20 8063 7667


    Website: legarelondon.com

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    MAREMMA, BRIXTON

    Best Italian restaurant for: coastal Tuscan flare

    Dish to order: Pappardelle with wild-boar ragù

    Tuscan cooking is well known and loved, but the Maremma coast? Not so much. Food from the area follows a Tuscan theme, yet with its close proximity to the sea a coastal taste gets thrown into the mix. And at the corner of Brockwell Park, occupying a prime corner spot on Brixton Water Lane is Maremma, a through and through homage to this lesser-known area of the Silver Coast. Inside, wooden tables, distressed walls, copper pendant lights and an imposing print of a large cinghiale (the wild boar that is a staple in Tuscan cooking) make for a contemporary welcome, and the food doesn’t disappoint. Kick off with some antipasti – bite-sized cuts of salumi e formaggi or a silky tuna tartare with crispy capers – but save room for the primi. Smooth ribbons of pappardelle with meaty wild boar ragù and pillows of tortelli Maremmani doused in sticky butter and sage sauce are the winners. If you’re up for more, the tagliata steak – juicy slices of beef with rocket and Parmesan – is great for sharing. Be sure to try one of the bold wines from the cellar, all almost exclusively from Maremma, to wash everything down. By Katharine Sohn

    Address: Maremma, 36 Brixton Water Lane, Brixton, London SW2 1PE


    Telephone: +44 20 3186 4011


    Website: maremmarestaurant.com

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    TRULLO, ISLINGTON

    Best Italian restaurant for: seasonal dishes with Italian flair

    Dish to order: pappardelle with beef-shin ragu

    This always-packed north London restaurant has been a favourite since it was launched in 2010 by Jordan Frieda, ex-River Café, and Tim Siadatan, an original recruit at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen project. There are bentwood chairs, white-linen-covered tables, net curtains, and a menu that changes daily. Choose from antipasti of crispy bruschetta with salty anchovy paste and creamy burrata, and charcoal-grilled dishes of Black Hampshire pork chop and zingy salsa rossa. Don’t skip the primi – the pasta dishes are the stars of the show (the pici cacio e pepe never disappoints). Sibling restaurant Padella (regarded as one of the best restaurants in London) might have eclipsed Trullo when it comes to the hype, but this old-school Islington stalwart is still one of the best in town.

    Address: Trullo, 300-302 Saint Paul’s Road, Highbury East, London N1 2LH


    Telephone: +44 20 7226 2733


    Website: trullorestaurant.com

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    BOCCONCINO, MAYFAIR

    Best Italian restaurant for: classic Italian cooking in a grand setting


    Dish to order: the daily fresh market fish special

    Bocconcino serves up hearty, classic Italian food in elegant but pared-back surroundings. Muted neutrals, lofty ceilings, glass walls and copper accents lend all the refinement you’d expect of a Mayfair restaurant, and the menu is generous, too. Antipasti include soft-as-a-cloud burrata with pesto and juicy tomatoes, and slow-cooked, lemony artichokes. Get them to share along with a basket of rosemary flatbread, served hot from the woodfire oven. Then there’s an almost overwhelming choice of pasta, pizza, meat and fish, with daily market specials for the latter. Red gurnard was on offer when we visited, theatrically filleted at the table and served with the freshest homemade tagliatelle and a tomato, black-olive and caper sauce. Wash it all down with whichever Italian wine the sommelier suggests. By Olivia Holborow


  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Palatino, Clerkenwell

    Best Italian restaurant for: hearty home cooking

    Dish to order: fried squash and sage leaves

    Another Italian winner from chef Stevie Parle, this industrial space has parquet floors, huge metal windows and splashes of sunny, Tweety-bird-yellow leather. But while the interiors are slick, the food on the menu is seriously hearty. An antipasti of deep-fried sage leaves dipped in honey with squash is a must-order. And, as we have come to expect from Parle, the homemade pasta is a winner too: porcini and ricotta ravioli and rigatoni with veal pajata. Secondi plates include goose leg served with cotechino and mustard fruits, while a whole grilled sea bass comes with a zingy salsa verde. For pudding, stick to the classics – the boozy tiramisu is one of the best we’ve had.

    Address: Palatino, 71 Central Street, Clerkenwell, London EC1


    Telephone: +44 20 3481 5300


    Website: palatino.london

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Flour & Grape, Bermondsey

    Best Italian restaurant for: simple small plates

    Dish to order: lardo bruschetta

    Although it’s tempting to stick to pasta and wine – as the name above the door recommends – you’d be a fool to skip the small plates here. Yes, there are the usual juicy nocellara olives, but the bruschetta comes without a tomato in sight – slathered with warm lardo and topped with walnuts and honey. Roasted pumpkin sits on a bed of creamy ricotta, sprinkled with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds, and smoked eel is served with beetroot and horseradish. The straight-up pasta is made each day in-house. There’s a choice of eight – from spaghetti with roasted almonds and basil to a rich tortelloni stuffed with roasted pork shoulder and doused in sage butter (pictured). You won’t want to skimp on the starters or mains, so our advice is to skip pudding and order an extra plate of pasta (the calamarata with squid, white wine, chilli and pistachio is a standout). Bermondsey Street is now jam-packed with cool places to eat (both José and Pizarro are yards away, as is Casse-Croûte) but this pub-like pasta restaurant more than matches them. Excellent pasta without the queues you’ll find at Padella.

    Address: Flour & Grape, 214 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ


    Telephone: +44 20 7407 4682


    Website: flourandgrape.com

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Franco’s, St James’s

    Best Italian restaurant for: A blast of southern European sunshine to counter the generally overcast conditions of St James’s

    Dish to order: The cannolo with pistachio ice-cream is the best you’ll find this side of Sicily

    The fact that a place has been popular for ages is no guarantee of anything; after all, Disneyland has been popular for ages. And so it is with Franco’s, which has occupied this unlikely spot by the corner of Jermyn Street and St James’s Street – behind White’s, basically – since a time when, for most English people, pasta was, as columnist Ian Jack has rather brilliantly put it, ‘a rumour’. Franco’s has undergone several transformations over the years but the fundamentals remain the same for one of the best Italian restaurants in London – impeccable classics delivered con brio. The spaghetti carbonara is not always on the menu, but you can always get it if you ask – and you should.


    Address: Franco’s, 61 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6LX


    Telephone: +44 20 7499 2211


    Website: francosondon.com

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    LINA STORES, SOHO

    Best Italian restaurant for: making friends with the chef

    Dish to order: pici with Umbrian sausage and porcini mushrooms

    The folks at Lina Stores know a thing or two about serving up excellent Italian food. The stalwart deli has been supplying its regulars with handmade pasta and all the trimmings since the 1940s. Now you don’t even have to take it home and cook it. Instead, skip a few streets over to Greek Street and let chef Masha Rener (who came from Italy to head up the Soho restaurant) do it for you. Not that you could ever recreate anything as sensational in your own kitchen; feast on spicy ‘nudja with ricotta, gorgonzola and pear, veal ravioli, pappardelle with rabbit ragu, and amarena cherry tart. Masha’s energy is infectious (ask nicely and she might even share her recipe for the aubergine polpette).

    Address: Lina Stores, 51 Greek Street, London W1D 4EH


    Telephone: +44 20 3929 0068


    Website: linastores.co.uk

    Lina Stores: A Great Little Place We Know, with Masha Rener

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  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    BOCCA DI LUPO, SOHO

    Best Italian restaurant for: a date

    Dish to order: sea-bream carpaccio with orange and rosemary

    If you can, bag a couple of spots at the marble-topped counter of this smart and shiny hotspot and then eat your way through Italy’s most delicious regional dishes. The option of small or large portions means they are made for sharing; kick off with home-cured beef, pecorino and rocket from Tuscany, followed by anchovy-stuffed sage leaves from Rome, Calabrian orecchiette with ‘nduja from Calabria and sea bream with zesty gremolata from Puglia. Skip a sit-down dessert and instead pop across the street to Gelupo (the restaurant’s gelato shop) for a scoop of the best hazelnut ice cream in all of London and eat it as you wander the thrumming streets of the West End.

    Address: Bocca Di Lupo, 12 Archer Street, Soho, London W1D 7BB


    Telephone: +44 20 7734 2223


    Website: boccadilupo.com

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Padella, Borough Market

    Small and fast pasta place near Borough Market

    Padella, near Borough Market, is from the guys behind neighbourhood restaurant Trullo in Islington. The queue up Borough High Street each evening suggests that their second restaurant is not aimed purely at locals. Don’t let that put you off: tables turn fast and there’s space to sit downstairs. And anyway, the pasta is worth the wait.

    EAT

    Is there anything more comforting than pasta and cheese? Everyone’s going crazy for the pici cacio e pepe: wiggly worms of pure joy swimming in a pool of molten cheese. It’s the ultimate comfort food. The small plates of handmade pasta are not easy to share so it makes sense to make the most of the antipasti: a wet and wobbly burrata, broad beans on bruschetta (the black swan of restaurant food), crisp radicchio salad, blood-red beef tartare. There are two tarts for dessert (almond-and-rhubarb or chocolate) – order both.

    DRINK

    It wouldn’t be a proper Italian without Negronis on the menu. Other classics include Americanos and Aperol Spritzes alongside a couple of wines and two London lagers on tap.

    By Hazel Lubbock

    To read our guide to Borough Market’s best restaurants, click here.

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    SORELLA, CLAPHAM

    Best Italian restaurant for: an affordable tasting menu

    Dish to order: tagliatelle with pork and ‘nduja ragu

    The latest from The Dairy stable, Sorella is inspired by the time Irish chef Robin Gill spent at two-Michelin-star Don Alfonso 1890 on the Amalfi Coast. Now his food comes with an Italian accent, but fans will recognise his signatures: crispy chicken skins top cheese agnolotti, some of the best desserts in London (including Pump Street chocolate and fennel gelato) are never too sweet, and his love of charcuterie, fermenting, pickling, curing and smoking are present and correct with plates of 20-month-aged prosciutto Marchigiano and black-pepper coppa served with tangy farm pickles. And, of course, there’s still the brilliant-value chef’s menu for £45, meaning you can rack up the drinks bill from the all-Italian wine list.

    Address: Sorella, 148 Clapham Manor Street, London, SW4 6BX


    Telephone: +44 20 7720 4662


    Website: sorellarestaurant.co.uk

    To read our full review of Sorella, click here.

    CIAO BELLA, LAMBS CONDUIT STREET

    Best Italian restaurant for: a sing-along with your spaghetti

    Dish to order: seafood pasta al cartoccio – opened from a greaseproof parcel at the table

    This classic old-school Italian on Lambs Conduit Street is all about the atmosphere – there’s a piano player who sings Rat Pack favourites and guitars hanging on the walls – as well as straight-up food without any unnecessary frills. Ask for a table upstairs rather than downstairs to be in the middle of the action. Or on a balmy summer’s evening, sit outside and people-watch on one of London’s most charming streets as you feast on Napoletana pizza with salty anchovies and capers, hearty spaghetti with meatballs, and home-made tiramisu – with shots of raspingly sweet limoncello to finish, of course.

    Address: Ciao Bella, 86-90 Lamb’s Conduit St, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3LZ


    Telephone: +44 20 7242 4119


    Website: ciaobellarestaurant.co.uk

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    WOLF, STOKE NEWINGTON

    Best Italian restaurant for: authentic dishes in a retro setting

    Dish to order: monkfish with crispy butterbeans

    Wolf is a Stokie stalwart, a glorious space of mid-century furniture, panelled walls and marble tables. The location might be inauspicious – next to a cash-and-carry and a fried-chicken shop – but this is one of the coolest spots in Stoke Newington’s restaurant-packed streets. The seasonally led menu is overseen by Karla Knowles, who came straight from Petersham Nurseries. The authentic meat-heavy dishes such as osso buco are excellent, but the vegetarian options shouldn’t be overlooked: tonnarelli with creamed aubergine, spinach, chilli, basil and pine nuts is particularly hearty. To drink, make it an Aperol Spritz spiked with blood orange.

    Address: Wolf, 110 Stoke Newington High Street, Stoke Newington London N16 7NY


    Telephone: +44 20 7254 4141


    Website: wolf-restaurant.co.uk

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    LUCA, CLERKENWELL

    Best Italian restaurant for: a special occassion


    Dish to order: Parmesan fries

    From the owners of The Clove Club (Daniel Willis, Johnny Smith and chef Isaac McHale) is another exciting London restaurant. This is an all-singing Italian à la carte menu though, without a tasting menu in sight. The interiors are crawling with greenery and the space is candlelit making it a great place for a date. Don’t skip the starters – there’s beef carpaccio with oyster emulsion, sea robin crudo with buttery Capezzana olive oil and turnip tops with smoked cod’s roe. The open pasta kitchen serves delicious homemade pasta and there’s a lovely bar, perfect for a Negroni later on.

    Address: Luca, 88 St John Street, Clerkenwell, London EC1


    Telephone: +44 20 3859 3000


    Website: luca.restaurant

    Click here for more on Luca

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Pastaio, Soho

    Best Italian restaurant for: a very affordable Soho supper


    Dish to order: crab, chilli, agretti, black & white spaghetti

    Named after the Italian word to describe someone who makes pasta by hand, Stevie Parle’s Soho spot is the place to come for exactly that. The chef, who is also behind Rotorino in Dalston (above), has simplified things for this central London spot. Plates of pasta, made that day, are served with simple ingredients in a simple setting: canteen-style terrazzo-patterned tables lit with pendant lights. The black-and-white crab spaghetti packs a punch, and the cacio e pepe doesn’t disappoint.

    Address: Pastaio, 19 Ganton St, Carnaby, London W1F 7BN


    Website: pastaio.london

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    PASSO, OLD STREET

    Best Italian restaurant for: a boisterous dinner with friends

    Dish to order: fried artichokes with salsa verde

    This big, buzzy restaurant just off Old Street roundabout isn’t your typical neighbourhood Italian joint – and it’s not trying to be. Rather, it’s an East London take on a LA-meets-the-Med restaurant, with smart, tasty food and a super-cool aesthetic (concrete floors and a centre-piece copper pizza oven in the theatrical open kitchen). The pasta is made on site every day; langoustine ravioli in rich tomato sauce and orecchiette with octopus ragu are standouts. Chef Massimiliano laquinoto is ex-Shoreditch House, while the extensive wine list was put together by superstar sommelier Zeren Wilson.

    Address: Passo, 80 City Road, London EC1Y 2AS


    Telephone: +44 20 3883 9377


    Website: passorestaurant.com

    To read our full review of Passo, click here.

    MELANZANA, BATTERSEA SQUARE

    Best Italian restaurant for: rustic, understated grub


    Dish to order: melanzane alla Parmigiana

    Victoria Beckham has been spied at this tiny trattoria on Battersea Square. A deli operates during the day, serving fresh pasta and charcuterie, and in the evening (even on Mondays) the intimate space, filled with well-worn wooden chairs and tables, is bustling in the best possible way. Order a selection of starters to share, including the creamiest burrata, crispy zucchini fritti and lemon-topped calamari. The bubbling-hot melanzane is hard to beat but there’s a long pizza menu too. Just don’t skip a generous serving of tiramisu to finish. Limoncello always follows.

    Address: Melanzana, 140 Westbridge Road, London SW11 3PF


    Telephone: +44 20 7228 5420


    Website: melanzana.co.uk

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    ARTUSI, PECKHAM

    Best Italian restaurant for: Sunday lunch


    Dish to order: pasta of the day

    The day’s short menu is scrawled on a chalkboard at this Peckham restaurant hotspot. Ravioli might be stuffed with a sweet-pea puree; tiny shells of orecchiette are teamed simply with broccoli, chilli and buttery Parmesan; pappardelle might come with a thick ragu. But as well as pasta, there’s lemon sole, pork belly or a leg of lamb with aubergine and courgette. Puddings include home-made ice cream or almond and olive-oil cake. Go on a Sunday (do book) and you can eat all three courses for just £20.

    Address: Artusi, 161 Bellenden Road, Peckham London SE15 4DH


    Telephone: +44 20 3302 8200


    Website: artusi.co.uk

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    CAFÉ MURANO, ST JAMES

    Best Italian restaurant for: a reliable small-chain

    Dish to order: saffron-hued risotto Milanese with osso bucco

    Angela Hartnett’s spin-off from her Michelin-starred Murano is the sort of place you wish you had as a local, in a ‘Cigarettes and Coffee’ kind of way, to scrape a chair at the counter after a hard day and order your usual vermouth or slide into a leather-lined booth for a long supper. The menu is northern Italian and full of strong, earthy flavours and impeccably sourced ingredients: mushroom and lardo bruschetta, spaghettini with squid and mussels, venison saddled with creamy Parmesan polenta. The Covent Garden spot has its own pasta shop next door, but the St James’s is the most convivial one to shore up in. Both the truffle arancini and risotto Milanese come highly recommended.

    Read about our other favourite restaurants in Covent Garden.

    Address: Café Murano, 33 St James Street, St. James, London SW1A 1HD


    Telephone: +44 20 3371 5559


    Website: cafemurano.co.uk

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Polpo, Soho

    Best Italian restaurant for: Venetian fare

    Dish to order: pork-and-fennel meatballs

    The original of Russell Norman’s Venetian-bacari-inspired restaurants is a great place to grab a bite in Soho. The basement bar feels like a hidden-away secret and was serving tiny tumblers of Campari Spritz long before they swept every hipster bar in the capital. In the buzzing and cosy ground-floor restaurant order a selection of herby meatballs (there’s also a veggie option), creamy buffalo-mozzarella pizzette and nicely spiced crab and chilli linguine or a delicious dish of squash, gnocchi, blue cheese and walnuts.

    Address: Polpo, 41 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 9SB


    Telephone: +44 20 7734 4479


    Website: polpo.co.uk

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    OSTERIA TUFO, FINSBURY PARK

    Best Italian restaurant for: secret neighbourhood gem

    Dish to order: porchetta riccia

    Going for an Italian in Finsbury Park used to mean Pappagone’s and a pizza but that changed when couple Paola (from Naples) and Morris (from Milan) opened their black-and-white neighbourhood Italian a short passeggiata from the Tube. Here are lovely home-made pastas, plump burrata, rabbit ragu from an Ischian recipe, thumblets of orecchiette with chilli-flecked broccoli and anchovies, all scoffed with a glass of soft Negroamaro or blossomy Falanghina to hand. Order the porchetta ariccia – salty, crispy layers of pork on well-tanned potatoes, drizzled with honey and orange – or the squid-ink pasta with fresh clams.

    Address: Osteria Tufo, 67 Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 3HZ


    Telephone: +44 20 7272 2911


    Website: osteriatufo.co.uk

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    FRANTOIO, CHELSEA

    Best Italian restaurant for: warm Italian service


    Dish to order: vitello alla Milanese

    Frantoio is the sort of place where the owner (Bucci) greets you by name even if you’ve only been here once before – and it was five years ago. And it’s this kind of warm service that has turned the restaurant into an old-time neighbourhood establishment and earnt it a reputation for honest, home-cooked food. The menu is no frills and as a result delivers simple yet impeccable classic Italian dishes, made from tangibly fresh and seasonal ingredients. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just been hijacked and taken up into the Tuscan hills.

    Address: Frantoio, 397 King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0LR


    Telephone: +44 20 7352 4146


    Website: frantoio.co.uk

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  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Cicheti Fritto Misto at Polpo, Soho

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Dishes at Padella, Borough Market

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Radish salad at Bocca di Lupo

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Pudding at Artusi, Peckham

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Kitchen bar at Bocca di Lupo, London

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    A pasta dish at Luca, Clerkenwell, London

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Inside Padella restaurant, London

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Piedmont family sharing lunch at Cafe Murano St James

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Baccala Fritto at Wolf, Stoke Newington, London

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Luca restaurant, Clerkenwell

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Plates of pasta at Rotorino, Dalston

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Tagliatelle at Wolf Restaurant, Stoke Newington, London

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Artusi, Peckham, London

  • The best Italian restaurants in London

    Tagliatelle at Bocconcino, Mayfair