Mamma Mia! Italian restaurants in London don’t get better than this! From rustic pastas to mouth watering pizzas, London’s Italian restaurants have something for everyone.
If you are looking for authentic fine dining or for a slice of La Dolce Vita without leaving the country, then check out our list of the top restaurants for authentic Italian food in London. You will not get much more genuine than that… Buon appetito!
Enoteca Super Tuscan
Nestled away on a calm Spitalfields backstreet, Enoteca Super Tuscan is the one that’s most evocative of Italy itself. As the name relates, wine is an important beverage here, and you can find some very impressive bottles from Tuscany and more affordable options. Some of its creative antipasti platters, grilled meats and Tuscan bean stews are worth relishing.
Villa Di Geggiano
It is a marvellous 15th-century palazzo in Chianti with a noble lineage and is known worldwide for producing some of the most delicious red wine. It has an outpost in west London on the Chiswick High Road, with a front garden full of olive trees where you can enjoy cocktails especially Passionfruit Martini and grilled meats from the Bianchi Bandinelli family’s favourite salumeria. The restaurant serves foodies such as tagliolini with fresh crab meat, pici cacio e pepe and Tuscan sausages. Not to forget the organic and delicious wine, brought directly to the table from the Geggiano cellars.
Highly acclaimed for offering the finest Italian cuisine, River Café by Hammersmith riverside is one of the oldest Italian restaurants in London. The wonderful thing about River Café is that it has been serving ingredient-focused dishes since 1987. At around £35 for most main courses, it does not come cheap, yet it is worth experiencing.
Bocca di Lupo, Soho
Whether nibbling on small plates at the bar or seated at the chef’s table, an evening at Bocca is always fun. Having won numerous accolades, it remains one of the best restaurants for Italian dining in London with its delicacies that bring the best of Italy’s regional specialities.
As a Chelsea institution, it serves seasonal Italian dishes with flair. The menu balances staunchly Italian recipes with ingredients befitting the postcode, especially come autumn with tagliatelle, risotto and veal covered in shavings of the finest white truffle. The veal and wild boar ragus are hearty while lighter dishes such as tuna avocado tartare and yellowtail sashimi with yuzu exhibit the excellence of ingredients used. This is the perfect place to try something different such as Sicilian-inspired chargrilled swordfish with caponata, or the calves liver with cipolline and smoked pancetta – at Daphne’s you can’t go wrong.
A former pub, this renovated restaurant is rammed to the rafters with Victorian and Edwardian antiques. It has hand-painted walls and ceilings. Not to forget the special food. From the best tuna from Spain to turbot from Italy, it offers the best of Italian delicacies.
Mele e Pere
Specializing chiefly in rich meat and cheese-led dishes from Northern Italy, Mele e Pere in Soho serves a mix of small antipasti-style plates, boldly-flavoured salads and indulgent pastas that make liberal use of parmesan, butter and truffles. Propping up the bar is a great way to sample a few of the smaller dishes, and from 4-7pm every weekday is ‘aperitivo hour’ meaning 50% off drinks with any food order.
The polpo (octopus) has many arms (blink and it’s grown another – at Harvey Nicks in both London and Leeds), but we’re drawn to its Chelsea site, which feels slightly more permanent than some of the others and where the upped portion sizes mean you can really get stuck in. Among the new dishes are cod cheeks, osso buco and a hearty flank steak.
The best things in life come in small packages, and Murano, Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-starred restaurant, is no exception. It is cool and airy in the summer months and warm and cosy in winter. With excellent customer service, scrumptious Italian dishes and Italian wine, dining at Murano is worth it.
The sourdough pizza place in Brixton Market way now has more than 25 branches across the city. It serves the best pizzas in town, with an enviable chewy base and toppings that benefit from high-quality ingredients. The chief attraction is backed up by exquisite Italian cheeses, gutsy salads and cured meats.
You either get Cipriani food or you don’t. Scampi thermidor, tagliolini verdi gratinati and zabaglione cake may sound like Italian staples but with the Cip treatment they become something divine. Cipriani restaurants have never been only about the food, and this outpost is no exception. C London has a scene with a capital S – Harvey Weinstein, Flavio Briatore and Tamara Ecclestone treat it as their London canteen.
Highbury Corner restaurant Trullo is a real gem, displaying with prominence the from-the-heart style of cooking that Italy is known for. In fact, you can see the chef (glass of wine in hand) cautiously dishing up food plates at the open kitchen as you dig into grilled meat and fish or gutsy freshly-made pastas. Expect to pay around £10 for starters and £20 for mains.
L’anima – ( Update: Seems to be Closed )
Chef Francesco Mazzei heads up the modern City Italian L’anima where comfy surrounds are switched for glass walls and hip white furnishings. Cheffy techniques work only to draw out flavour in a menu of classics that includes slow-cooked pasta dishes, grilled meat and fish where the ingredients are quite rightly left to do most of the talking. Main menu varies between £15- £35 but if you are eating on a budget, you can always try the excellent bar snacks, starting from £4.50.