La Polenteria

Restaurants , Italian Soho
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(10 user reviews)
7 Love It
Save it
Venue says: "Business lunch in central London? Bring your client to us for an unforgettable experience. We are the only 100% gluten-free Italian!"

An Italian restaurant on Old Compton Street, with a menu going big on polenta.

When this Old Compton Street venue launched back in late 2013 it was one of a few restaurants at the time with single-item menus – in this case, polenta. It recently gave its menu a bit of a rejig to incorporate pasta dishes, though sweet and savoury polenta dishes still reign more or less supreme. It remains gluten-free.

Expect dishes such as polenta with asparagus, egg, scamorza cheese and truffle oil, and polenta gnocchi with truffle cheese, butter and sage alongside a flan of mustard cheese and speck, a courgette box with pickled shallots, and homemade beef ravioli with balsamic reduction, pine nuts and raisins.

Desserts include tiramisu, the La Polenteria cheesecake and a polenta crépe with macadamia nuts. The wine list is exclusively Italian, with every bottle available by the glass. 

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La Polenteria says
A new wind is blowing at 64 Old Compton Street! La Polenteria in Soho is the first 100% gluten-free Italian restaurant in London. With a brand new menu that features polenta, of course, but also homemade pasta and ravioli from the finest Italian tradition, we are attracting all the food-lovers in town. Vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, we aim to promote a healthy lifestyle and meet all our customers' needs. La Polenteria is a whole new concept where fresh, healthy and homemade are the key words.
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Venue name: La Polenteria
Address: 64 Old Compton Street
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening
Tamara B

We took my friend's 4 year old son here who was visiting from Switzerland and who has coeliac disease. It was amazing for him to be in an entire restaurant that's gluten free and being able to choose whatever he liked on the menu. I tried a bit of his ravioli which was tasty and which he ate all of. It's a small restaurant with friendly staff and the atmosphere was better than going to for example Pizza Express which has gluten free options on the menu. The food was ok. I do really like the idea that there's an entire gluten free restaurant as some people must avoid gluten for serious health reasons and not just if they're following a fad diet. 

Laura G

Self advertised as a gluten free italian option, La Polenteria gets creative with the corn flour that is the base for the polenta. You can have it creamy, as in most places, but also on the shape of a pie, gnocchi, and pasta filling. The place is simple but nice, but the food is a bit average, with limited wine selection.

Chesca R

Who knew the polenta was so very versatile. A super choice for a place to eat if you have a vegan buddy, they cater for veggies and meat eaters too. The polenta gnocchi with truffle cheese is rich and silky. They do a great value set lunch menu which I have had a couple of times which included polenta bruschetta, grilled polenta with blue cheese and walnut sauce and absolutely delicious coffee (from a coffee machine shipped over from Italy) served with lemon polenta biscuits. If polenta isn't your thing then pop in for a coffee and a chat with the staff they are super lovely. 

Michelle v

I love this place; the staff is very friendly and the food yummie and fresh. All the dishes I've tried so far were excellent for the price.

Javier S
Staff Writer

Have tried polenta in Italy a few years ago, and wanted to go to a restaurant focused on it.

They create cool and "sophisticated" dished with polenta. Food is really good. I recommended because polenta is a different meal, it's cheap and well located!


The only good thing about this restaurant is the location.Over priced microwaved meals.No thanks.

I'm surprised is even on this list, come on time out, I`m sure you know better....

Díana B

It's ok, but quite stodgy. Polenta is probably one of the cheapest things you can buy and in Italy is considered "poor food" so I think the prices are extortionate when you bare this in mind. Also my food was very obviously microwaved, there was one waiting staff and when I walked past the kitchen the lights were off & no chef in sight... so I can't say I was at all impressed.


I too can't believe that TimeOut rated it 3 stars! I just returned from London from a 2 week vacation and had to stick to a gluten-free / milk-free diet, and finding places that cater to those dietary restrictions is difficult. Most restaurants in London did an okay job at having gluten-free / milk-free options but this place by far served one of the most tasty meals during my two weeks. I had the Pollo alla Romana and the Rocket with fennel, green beans, oranges and olives, and topped it off with a brownie. They also had a lot of vegan options. The owners very friendly and welcoming and the atmosphere was bright and comfortable. Having been spoiled by New York City and San Francisco cuisine, this measured right up to what you would find in either of those cities. Again, not so of a lot of places I ate in London, living up to the American stereotype that British food is often not very good and completely over-priced. 

Also, Time Out has them listed under Chinatown area but it's really much closer to Covent Garden and Soho, one block from Shaftesbury Avenue. 


I can't believe time out has rated 3 stars! The food was delicious and comforting... Perfect in this cold weather! I had the caponata and my partner the goulash. 100% recommend. Lovely friendly atmosphere, good prices especially for soho n the staff are very pleasant! Make sure u try the vegan Cupcakes- yummy!!!