London's best Italian restaurants

From rustic plates of pasta to finely crafted regional specialities

0

Comments

Add +

From crusty sourdough pizzas to Venetian small-plates and more, tap into London’s vibrant Italian restaurant scene. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

E Pellicci

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

If ever proof were needed that all caffs are not equal, this Grade-II listed greasy spoon on Bethnal Green Road is it. The food may not be much more than reasonably above-average caff grub, but the atmosphere and decor are second to none. Opened in 1900, and still in the hands of the same family, Pellicci’s is an east London landmark. It has an almost opulent feel, harking back to a time when caff culture was king. Chrome-lined Vitrolite panels line the outside, and the

  1. 332 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AG
  2. Main courses £5.50-£8.20. Unlicensed. Corkage...
More info

Franco Manca

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

With its top-notch, UK-sourced (when possible) ingredients, speedy and friendly service, and rapid turnover, the original Brixton branch of Franco Manca remains, for our money, the best pizza joint in London. Both indoor and outdoor seating overlooks the bustling market arcade. Here you can sate a craving for genuine, Neapolitan-style pizza, with a flavourful slow-rise sourdough crust and a variety of traditional and innovative toppings. Purists will prefer either the tomato,

  1. 4 Market Row, Electric Lane, SW9 8LD
  2. Main courses £5-£7.50
More info

Opera Tavern

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Despite growing competition, the Opera Tavern remains one of Covent Garden's best dining options and among London’s top tapas restaurants. Formerly a pub, it’s split into a slightly charmless upstairs restaurant and a cosy, mirror-backed bar at street level. The latter has been stylishly updated with chocolate leather bar stools, copper spotlights and an open grill; the main kitchen is in the beer cellar. The Spanish-Italian menu is kept fresh with regular specials. The

  1. 23 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JS
  2. Tapas £2.80-£15.50
More info

Artusi

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4

When Italian food enthusiast Pellegrino Artusi published his book ‘Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well’ in 1891, it marked a turning point in Italian cuisine. Previous Italian cookbooks had genuflected to France, but once word got round about this innovative compendium of home-style Italian recipes (which took a while), copies started moving faster than a Ducati through an amber light. Every nonna had to own a copy, and Italian bookshops still stock it today.

  1. 161 Bellenden Road, SE15 4DH
  2. Meal for two with drinks and service: around...
More info

Scoop

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Voluptuous folds of colourful gelato undulate across Scoop’s freezer cabinet like rows of love handles. If you can settle on just one, you’re possibly not human. Scoop has been wowing Londoners with first-rate gelato since its first slip of a shop opened in Covent Garden. Expansion has been slow and modest; now there’s also an appealing Soho parlour (with more tables) and another in South Ken. Flavours are classic Italian (biscotto, fiordilatte, malaga, pistachio), but made

  1. 40 Shorts Gardens, WC2H 9AB
More info

Theo Randall at the InterContinental

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Since 2006, when Theo Randall, long-time head chef at the River Café, opened this eponymous restaurant its reputation (and Randall’s media profile) has gone from strength to strength. The colourful, spacious dining room is high on comfort, if a little corporate, with cream leather, walnut wood and olive green shades. Service is caring and warm-hearted and the cooking, in our experience, is joyous. The carte is not cheap, featuring luxury produce such as Limousin veal and wild

  1. 1 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J 7QY
  2. Main courses £28-£38. Set meal (lunch,...
Make reservation

Assaggi

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Opened in 1997, Assaggi was in its early years a modish spot; although the fashionistas have moved on since, the first-floor dining room remains busy, with many customers greeted like long-lost relatives. The interior is low-key, with a breezy colour scheme in peach and blue; the sash windows allow much natural light into the room. As the menu is written entirely in Italian, it is a pleasing tradition to listen to the passionate recital of dishes from the maitre d’. The style

  1. 1st floor, 39 Chepstow Place, W2 4TS
  2. Main courses £19.80-£29.95
More info

Gelateria 3bis

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4

One of our favourite gelaterias has two branches: the first in Rimini; the second, thankfully, right next to Borough Market. Behind a green frontage, its bright, spacious dining room has full-length windows opening on to the pavement in summer. The menu encompasses frozen yoghurt, ice-cream cakes, brioches and crêpes – the speciality coffees are also worth a mention (the Salcedo was a perfect espresso with liquid chocolate and skimmed milk) – but the real star is the gelato.

  1. 4 Park Street, SE1 9AB
  2. Ice cream for two: around £10.
More info

Bocca di Lupo

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The buzz is as important as the food at Jacob Kenedy and Victor Hugo’s enduringly popular Soho restaurant. Dine at the bar and you’re in for a fun night, or afternoon – especially if you’re by the window. It’s the perfect perch from which to watch favourite actresses swan into the clamorous and less atmospheric rear dining room. The menu is a slightly confusing mix of small and large plates to share and, amid the noise, it can be unclear what you think you’ve ordered

  1. 12 Archer Street, W1D 7BB
  2. Main courses £7-£32
Make reservation

Arancini Factory

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The bricks-and-mortar location of marketeers Arancini Bros is an affable retro caff decked with boxes of the day’s fresh produce. From the open kitchen at the rear come arancini (Sicilian-style deep-fried risotto balls) served plain, with salad, in tortilla wraps, or accompanied by a hot stew. There are other options too, like poached eggs on toast for breakfast, and Aussie-themed open sandwiches such as banana with bacon and cheese. We like the homely muffins (carrot and

  1. 115 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8PN
  2. Main courses £4-£7.95. Meal for two with...
More info
See more top Italian restaurants in London

London's best...

Breakfasts

Whether you're looking for a Sunday brunch, or a meaty fry-up – don't miss the most important meal of the day

Sunday lunches

There are few meals more comforting than a traditional Sunday dinner. Go on, stuff yourself silly...

Afternoon teas

Discover the city's best spots for a quintessentially English experience

Steaks

For the very best cuts of meat in the city, visit London's top steak restaurants


Users say

3 comments
chris
chris

Very disappointing sub-standard Italian food.Has the patron learned nothing, offering parmesan already ground up, decanted from a small supermarket container to top an uninspiring soupy bolognese sauce?. Why were my wife's prawns cooked in a mix of olive oil and water then no bread offered for mopping up? Why were the calamari rings leaking grease? A shame, it reminded me of English Italian food 30 or more years ago, but today there's no excuse.The restaurant was empty; taste travels fast, and unless a new chef is brought in, and a patron who takes more pride in what he is offering, this place is doomed.

mario rossi
mario rossi

17 Air Street restaurant Been eating at this,apparently new Italian cute little restaurant in Soho and i was surprised that is not mentioned anywhere on internet. We had such an authentic dinner .The staff made us feel part of the team even if the place was so busy.Lovely italian jazz was playing on cd . I had fritto misto and tasted like i was in the Amalfi coast.My wife had the gnocchi with fresh truffle.Simply delicious ....hope this will help this people and this place to be a little bit famous. Mario

Duncan
Duncan

Also great italian food to be had in the alternative dining scene in London. The 7th floor suppers are the mastgers on Melba. http://melba.co/feasts/217