• Restaurants
  • Italian
1 Love It

This big German chain has outposts all over the world. This Great Portland street branch - one of three now in London - was their first UK foray, following it up with venues on Bankside and in Soho. 

There's an effort to simplify transactions here. Diners are given a swipe card, with which they use to order items direct from the chefs before paying when they leave. 

The menu is filled with traditional Italian dishes, ranging from antipasti and insalata to pastas, pizzas and a range of specials created by chefs at each venue. Desserts include tiramusi, panna cotta, crema di fragola and ice cream from Green & Black's.  

Venue name: Vapiano
Address: 19-21 Great Portland Street
Opening hours: 11am-midnight Mon-Fri, noon-11pm Sat, noon-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus tube
Price: Main courses £3.50-£9.10.

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening
Danny H

The concept is pretty cool - you sit at big tables with plants and flowers everywhere, you queue and order your own food. However, the service lets the place down, unfortunately. It seemed to take the staff up to 5 minutes to cook each person's individual pasta dish. This is fine in itself, but when there's a queue of 15 people deep, they should really figure out a way to cook a few dishes at a time. Consequently, I had finished my pizza well before my girlfriend even got back to the table with her pasta dish, which was a shame. Nonetheless, the food is very good, and the prices are superb, all things considered. I just wish they would sort out the service system!

Staff Writer

Great modern Italian restaurant with delicious food cooked in front of you. I go here when every I'm in the area!

Emma Perry
Staff Writer

A barn of a restaurant that lacks soul and warmth. The staff are unfriendly and not particularly helpful. The card system of ordering per person might have benefits if you're in a group, but it's confusing if you want, say, pasta AND salad as you have to go to two different points to queue. Also, if your friend (s) order pasta and you order pizza, you'll be eating your meals at different times. This time round I had soup, which was tasty but lukewarm. The water glasses are the size of a thimble so if you're thirsty, you'll be making a lot of trips to the jug at the bar. 

siobhan f

I'm living in London for over a year, and they do my favourite pasta. It's very very cheap, with no service charge, the quality is absolutely great. There could be a long queue, but it's always quick. The place is tidy and clean. Go there for a mid week dinner , or Saturday afternoon.

Diana B

This place is great because it's fast food that isn't junk. Going in a group is good too, because everyone pays for exactly what they eat and there's different prices lists so you can go here even if you're on a budget! Downside is that it's packed most of the time so sometimes tricky to find a place to sit. I wouldn't say the Pizza or the Pasta is superb but it's not bad, especially for the price.


Cannot understand Time Out's rating here. It's a chain restaurant but an excellent one. Had the Scampi pasta dish (essentially a marinara) and thought it was absolutely outstanding with loads of flavour. A friend had similar but with spinach in a cream sauce. Have visited a huge amount of Italian places around the area and very few match for taste, range and price. Every dish that people passed with looked fantastic. It's noisy, cheap-ish fast food but fresh, very well cooked and authentic. Why two stars?


Tried Vapiano for 1st time a week last week. Had an amazing feta cheese and sundried tomato pasta dish, cooked quickly and ate upstairs under skylights. Had business meeting and colleague also ate - perfect meal, great price (just under £18 for two) and couldn't ask for more in terms of deliious fast food that's not 'junk' when time is pressing. I'll be back again, this time with my family.


Canteen-style gourmet dining with a lively atmosphere and fantastic pizza. Definitely try it out if you're looking for somewhere new and interesting!