ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

Pasta, pizza, gelato? We’ve rounded up the best Italian restaurants in London that will leave you screaming MAMA MIA.

Italian Restaurants in London Highlights

Bocca Di Lupo might be an oldie but it’s a goodie. The Soho restaurant serves up a mix of small and large plates with menus changing everyday, and a banging selection of homemade gelati. With a solid wine list and buzzy atmosphere, it’s always a good night at Bocca Di Lupo.

Margot is relatively new, but it has the feeling of a proper classic. Serving up classic Italian fare, from cured meats, carpaccio and tartare dishes to salads, homemade pasta and a range of meat and fish main courses, it really ticks all the boxes. Grub doesn’t come in cheap, but it’s SO worth it.

Francesco Mazzei keeps things nice and simple with a menu of fresh pastas, pizzas and some killer sides. MUST orders include the zucchini fritti, seafood fettuccine topped with mussels, squid, and scallops and bergamont baba. Radici is one of our fave spots in Islington and defo worth checking out.

Theo Randall has been at The Intercontinental for over ten years, but we’re still not bored of their incredible pasta dishes. Their slow cooked pigeon agnolotti and the beef tagliatelle are defo worth digging in to and don’t miss out on THAT lemon tart for dessert.

LEGARE

Cardamom Bldg, 31 Shad Thames, Tower Bridge, London SE1 2YR, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 3:30 PM, 6:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Situated in Bermondsey, Legare is a welcoming neighbourhood Italian restaurant started by the upbeat duo Jay Patel and head chef Matt Beardmore. The ideal spot for some summer’s day pasta on their private alley seating or a cosy night in their minimal decor indoor seating. There’s a strong focus on seasonal ingredients with hearty, unpretentious portion sizes. Menu highlights include orecchiette with braised rabbit & swiss chard, tagliolini with anchovy butter & pangrattato and ricotta & pistachio cannoli for dessert. All of this can be washed down with some of your low sulphite friends from Legare’s respectable organic natural wine list. The team was also awarded a well-deserved Bib Gourmand accolade from the Michelin Guide in January 2021, so you know you’re in safe hands.

THE RIVER CAFE

Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, Hammersmith, London W6 9HA, UK

Opened in 1987, The River Cafe is one of London’s most influential restaurants, launching the careers of Jamie Oliver and Theo Randall to name a few. Still as relevant as ever, The River Cafe is the model that a lot of the other restaurants on this map are based on: fresh, seasonal Italian ingredients, treated with the lightest of touches. The River Cafe changes its menu twice a day (yes TWICE) depending on what’s available and in season, but you can always be sure that it will deliver the goods. There’s anitpasti such as Roman artichokes with Amalfi lemon, and sea bass carpaccio; pasta dishes like ravioli stuffed with buffalo ricotta, garden herbs & lemon zest with marjoram butter; and secondi of whole wood-roasted pigeon, and chargrilled Scottish scallops with zucchini fritti, chilli and mint. For dessert there is one thing that is always on the menu – the classic, unbelievably gooey and rich chocolate nemesis cake. A meal at The River Cafe doesn’t come cheap, but it’s well worth a splurge at least once to experience one of London’s most iconic restaurants.

BOCCA DI LUPO

12 Archer Street, London W1D 7BB, United Kingdom

Bocca Di Lupo might be an oldie but it’s a goodie. The Soho restaurant serves up a mix of small and large plates with menus changing everyday, and a banging selection of homemade gelati. With a solid wine list and buzzy atmosphere, it’s always a good night at Bocca Di Lupo.

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TRULLO

300-302 St Paul's Rd, London N1 2LH, UK

Even though Padella is the spin-off restaurant, it’s arguably more famous than its big sis Trullo (low prices and long queues will always attract attention). Not only can you get the very same pasta (admittedly the selection is smaller) including the famous beef shin pappardelle and the pici cacio e pepe, but at Trullo you’ve got some knockout seasonal Italian dishes on offer too, from rustic antipasti to fish and meat cooked over charcoal.

GLORIA

54-56 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3QR, UK

Gloria is Parisian restaurant group Big Mamma’s first foray into London and they certainly arrived with a bang. It’s full on, both outside and in with bright colours, plants, a central bar with hundreds of glowing bottles, and every inch of space decorated with pictures and mirrors. The menu is just as OTT with massive sharing pastas, carbonara served at the table in a cheese wheel, pizzas with names like Regina Instagram and Robert De Nitro, and lemon meringue pies the size of your head.

RADICI

30 Almeida Street, London N1 1AD, United Kingdom

Francesco Mazzei keeps things nice and simple with a menu of fresh pastas, pizzas and some killer sides. MUST orders include the zucchini fritti, seafood fettuccine topped with mussels, squid, and scallops and bergamont baba. Radici is one of our fave spots in Islington and defo worth checking out.

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CIRCOLO POPOLARE

40-41 Rathbone Pl, London W1T 1HX, UK

If you like your restaurants OTT then you won’t find anywhere better than Circolo Popolare. The second London restaurant from the Big Mamma group, after the equally extra Gloria, is massive and every inch of the interiors are decked out, from thousands of spirit bottles lining the walls to ceilings covered in plants. As you’d expect, nothing is subtle here and that includes the food – carbonara is served tableside inside a giant wheel of cheese, there are sharing size giant open lasagne and the mushroom pasta comes blanketed in truffles and a rich mascarpone sauce.

THEO RANDALL

InterContinental London, 1 Hamilton Pl, London, W1J 7QY

Theo Randall has been at The Intercontinental for over ten years, but we’re still not bored of their incredible pasta dishes. Their slow cooked pigeon agnolotti and the beef tagliatelle are defo worth digging in to and don’t miss out on THAT lemon tart for dessert.

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MARGOT

45 Great Queen Street, London, UK

The warm and inviting space of Margot has been designed beautifully with classic green leather banquettes, elegant decorative tiles, and a long zinc bar in front of an open kitchen. It serves classic Italian fare, from cured meats, carpaccio and tartare dishes to salads, homemade pasta and a range of meat and fish main courses. You’ll defo be wanting a least a couple of those fresh pasta plates.

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LOCANDA LOCATELLI

££££
8 Seymour St, London W1H 7JZ, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:30 – 11:00 PM

Opened by Giorgio Locatelli in 2002, Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli is known for smart Italian food, and though it’s a high-end place, it’s got a great convivial atmosphere too. You can expect dishes like artichoke salad with Parmigiano Reggiano, roast rabbit leg with polenta & grilled radicchio, basil-crusted plaice with potato & black olives and the pasta is top-notch too. It is on the spenny side, so save this place for a special occasion – although there’s nothing stopping you from coming in for a plate of pasta and a glass of wine. Treat yo’self.

MARCELLA

165A Deptford High St, Deptford, London SE8 3NU

Coming from the people behind the much-loved Artusi in Peckham, Marcella is serving up bangin’ Italian food in SE8. The look and feel is very similar to Artusi, all stripped back wooden furniture, white walls, bare wood, and an open kitchen at the back of the room. The short menu is chalked up on the wall and it’s one of those ones where you just want EVERYTHING. The fried artichokes and saffron arancini are mega, the fresh pasta is up there with the best of them and you’ll wanna leave room for the puds too.

LUCA

88 St John St, London EC1M 4EH, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Luca, from the team behind The Clove Club, serves modern Italian food using British ingredients, so there are traditional-with-a-twist pasta dishes like agnolotti cacio e pepe with short rib and spaghettini with Morecambe Bay shrimps & mace butter alongside plates like Orkney scallops with jerusalem artichoke & nduja, Cornish halibut with porcini & pancetta, and salt-baked celeriac with chanterelles. Whether you for a plate of pasta or the whole antipasti, primi, secondi, dolci route, don’t under any circumstances skip the parmesan fries. The bar at Luca is a separate and distinct space and people are encouraged to drop in and have a drink and snack, so you can still get a flavour of the place if you’re short on time.

LINA STORES

££ - £££
51 Greek St, London W1D 4EH, UK

Lina Stores, which has been supplying Londoners with the best Italian ingredients for over 75 years, is a Soho institution, has a pasta restaurant on Greek Street just around the corner from the Brewer Street deli, as well as a site in Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. The restaurant has the same mint green exterior, with counter dining on the ground floor and tables in the basement. Pasta is the star of the show here – it’s all handmade daily in the deli, just like it has been since 1944, and head chef Masha Rener has created a menu that features Lina Stores classics as well as regional Italian specialities. The pici with porcini and Umbrian sausage is a standout with the gnocchi with new season peas and salted ricotta running it a close second though. Thankfully the portion sizes allow for you to try a few and, yes, you will be wanting all of them.

MAREMMA

36 Brixton Water Lane, London SW2 1PE, UK

Housed in the former Montego Inn in Brixton, Maremma is all about showcasing produce, particularly game and seafood, and wine from the Maremma part of Tuscany (it’s the southwestern portion by the coast FYI). Much of the wine list hasn’t been seen in the UK before so you really are getting something new. The menu is tight, with only a handful of antipasti, primi and secondi – definitely don’t miss the signature tortelli Maremmani, fat parcels stuffed spinach and ricotta, and swimming in sage butter.

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