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Mimmo La Bufala

Restaurants, Italian Hampstead
4 out of 5 stars
(53user reviews)
Rob Greig Mimo La Bufula

Time Out says

It’s just as well portions are large here, as we enjoyed every last flavoursome bite of our meal. Mimmo La Bufala specialises in southern Italian food, with a bias towards mozzarella (of course) and fish. Daily specials might include classics such as osso buco. A starter of sautéed king prawns was deliciously fresh and juicy. Then followed a memorable pasta dish of orecchiette with fresh spinach, creamy ricotta and tangy sun-dried tomatoes – a perfect mix of complementary flavours.

The long pizza list includes all the classics as well as seasonal variations such as tomato-free ‘biancis’. We opted for ‘Mimmo’s pizza’, named after the ebullient proprietor. In true southern Italian style, its thin base was topped with juicy tomatoes, smoky provolone and melt-in-your-mouth buffalo mozzarella before being baked in a wood-fired oven. This oven links the restaurant’s two dining areas: a small but airy front room in white with shopfront-style windows, mirrors and chandeliers; and a larger, cosier space at the back with less natural light and a grand piano for occasional entertainment.

Our main gripe is the lack of wines by the glass (only house red or white), but it’s the food that is the draw.




Address: 45A South End Road
Transport: Tube: Belsize Park tube or Hampstead Heath rail
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Users say (53)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:40
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:3
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This is one of my favourite London restaurants. The pizzas are delicious, fresh and comforting, the pastas are hearty and authentic. My only gripe would be the decor, the downstairs seating area by the front door has wallpaper that isn't even hung correctly and old fashioned material lampshades that just give that area a strange vibe. This is a restaurant that I will return to over and over again, probably trying a different pizza each time.


If you're used to Pizza Express or other chain restaurants for pizza, this place will be a revelation. For those of us who are used to really good pizza (my mother was Italian and made her own pizza from scratch) this place is like going home (and the best pizza I've found in London in 19 years of searching). The restaurant doesn't look like much from the outside, and it takes a little longer for the pizza to cook than at the chain restaurants (where I suspect the base is already made, with the toppings slapped on for each order), but it so worth it. The Mimmo pizza with mozzarella and provola is just amazing. Excellent value for money too. Don't bother buying it by the slice from the front window--order a whole pizza.

We have visited Mimmo few times already and we are delighted of having finally found a true Neapolitan spot in London!
Fantastic and authentic Italian Pizza & wonderful service and venue! Highly recommend if you are after a genuine Italian quality food experience in London.

Been there for a pizza! The best Pizza in London! Perfect location and very nice and kind staff!

Just had my Sunday Lunch today with couple of friends!Such an amazing Restaurant, Mimmo is absolutely an excellent host. The food just superb!!!After I have tried different Italian Restaurant this is definitely my top one!!!I felt like I was in Italy in a proper Italian restaurant with extraordinary food!Courtesy and politeness!Thank you for made my Sunday!!! Alessia

If you share my view that high quality food needs to be matched by a commensurate level of service, you won't go far wrong here. Mimmo is an amazing individual who showed us hospitality, care and attention to detail. He's supported by warm staff who really do care. The food is excellent.


Part of my ongoing quest to discover the Best Pizza in London – and this place is right up there. Great location for a romantic evening stroll close to Hampstead Heath, the restaurant is contemporary in style, and although it looks a tad dated compared to the pretention of other similar restaurants, there’s a great candlelit ambience. The clientele are generally the well-to-do Hampstead types, and the general prices do reflect this, but the pizza is of exceptional quality, and much more reasonable, at around the £12 mark. I had a white pizza with truffle and mascarpone, which was subtle and delicious. We also tried some of the house wine, which was beautifully described and deviated excellently from the standard restaurant plonk. Definitely recommended for the pizza menu. 

WOW!!!! What an amazing restaurant!!! Had been before and we become addicted to this fabulous restaurant !!The quality of the food was out of this world!!! All the ingredients were true authentic Italian, the food itself was so fresh and the owner, Mimmo,who served us was beyond hospitable. My partner love so much the Italian food and and the amazing service with exceptional fresh food (which you can hardly find these days).Mimmo thank you for such a wonderful evening!!!!! We most certainly will be coming again.


Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed La Bufala's dining experience.  A warm welcome, brilliant service with a smile and the food well presented, fresh and full of wonderful flavours.  Will definitely be going back

Seriously the best pizza I have ever tasted! The staff were very friendly and accommodating! Great ambiance, excellent food and friendly service. You cannot miss this place!

The staff were really warm friendly and welcoming. The atmosphere was great it felt like I was on holiday! I asked the waiter for his recommendations and he recommended the seabass, it was absolutely delicious not to mention a very generous portion. I am not really a desert kind of girl, but I tried the tiramisu and it was to die for! This is the best Italian food outside of Italy for sure. I can't recommend this restaurant highly enough, it's a real hidden gem in Hampstead. I'm already booked to go back this weekend can't wait!

As a long-time immigrant accostumed to fixing a quick sandwitch over lunch pretty much everyday, I sometimes get a nostalgic craving for a real Italian pizza, a long sit-down meal in a place with a good atmoshpere, where food is conceived as a pleasure, rather than as a "must-do". These are the times I then go to Mimmo's, undoubtedly one of the most genuine Italian restaurants in London. 

A first praise goes to the staff, always so welcoming and accomodating. The waiters are very polite, and the owner himself, a very friendly man with a charming savoir-faire, will often come along with a sunny smile to make sure that everything is ok. Having been there many times, I know the waiters by name and I feel treated more like a friend than like a customer. 

The food: being a traditionalist, I have tried very little variety in my menu choice. I always go there to get a specific kind of pizza (Margaritana), and have never been disappointed with it. In fact, I am always very excited when I know I'm going there for dinner and have a Margaritana awaiting for me. It takes a specific palate to appreciate it fully: people who are accustomed to more "turistic" pizzas, to hard crusts and so on, will probably miss the delight of the creamy bufala mozzarella or the softness of the doe. But if you are looking for a proper Neapolitan pizza, you cannot go wrong at Mimmo's. 

The atmosphere: as said, the place has a warm atmoshpere. While being a high-class restaurant, it has a homey feel to it. The staff will be polite and attend after you, chat with you, advise you and accomodate every requests. Yet they are not so invasive that every 2 minutes you have someone refilling your glass and asking if everything is ok (I hate when that happens. I can re-fill my glass myself and I like eating in peace).

Prices: I usually spend between 20-40£, depending on whether I'm simply having pizza and beer or whether I'm feeling fancy and indulge in larger meal with starter, dessert, liquor. I feel like overall this place is very good value for money (especially comparing the pizza to Dominos and the like!), but be warned that if you go there to enjoy a proper meal with pasta, meat and good wine, you will obviously go easily over £60. This is a higher class (though not posh) restaurant, so be ready for it.    

If you want to truly enjoy the place, I would recommend trying to avoid going during peak time (e.g. Saturday evening and such). The place will be packed, the waiters very busy and pressured, and you may miss the relaxed atmosphere I have been praising so far. Aside from that, enjoy my favourite restaurant.    

Authentic Italian in North London. Great food, great atmosphere! 
The pizzas and pastas are great, but the Sea bass chargrilled is on another level.

This crazy restaurant never end to surprise me. I've always been there for the pizza, in my opinion the best of London, but last night I've decided to go for fish and I was really impressed. Mimmo has recently changed his wine list and my husband said the wines are really good and very well priced. I always have great time there. Thank you Mimmo. You're the best. Anna

Always great food - everything on the menu is amazing - in an unpretentious and attentive setting. The closest place to Naples in London!

Was there yesterday for dinner. Think this is the best Italian restaurants in London and the pizza there is definitely the best I've ever had. The atmosphere is great, the staff friendly and Mimmo is a great host.

I was taken by surprise when I tried the pizza; was I step back to south Italy. The tagliatelle with ragù where superb. I have to say that I was wrong thinking you can't have good Italian food in London. The atmosphere as done the rest to make me feel at home. So far the best Italian restaurant I've been in london

What a great restaurant! Without doubt the best place to eat in South End Green bar none. Course after course of excellently prepared Italian fare with twists of originality and a modern edge. House white was pretty good stuff. Staff could not have been more attentive, friendly and knowledgeable about the food

Sorry to say but it has over priced and under flavoured Will not be going back

One of the best pizzas in London: nice place, warm welcome, excellente customer service. Not a large drink selection (just small Peroni beer, overpriced wines), but the food is definitely a choice. Recommended.

I was looking for a REAL italian pizza since I moved to London. after trying many pizzas, many places and many restaurant I had lost any hope. Until I went to Mimmo La Bufala's yesterday for my friend's birthday, I am italian, so you can imagine that I KNOW everything about pizza, and I am a real fan of real pizza. Mimmo's one is definitely the very best pizza you can ever try in London. Simple real italian authentic ingredients, delicious italian recipes and chefs, pizza perfectly cooked and served. It is what I really use to call PIZZA!! I had "La reale" pizza, with mozzarella di bufala added and I cannot describe how delicious awesome, yummy and amazing it was. I tried my friend's one, with provola. DELICIOUS, simply delicious. It is the best real ITALIAN pizza that you will find in London.. It is a MUST EAT, if you are a foreigner but especially if you are an italian missing italian food. The best place to be. Thanks Mimmo.!!!!

Simply best Italian in London. They always cheer me up by their food and their Italian passion. Mimmo is the main character of the restaurant. He welcomes me and my boy friend. and he notices everything we need. I recommend anyone to go there without misconception about Italian food. Simply enjoy it!

This was the first place we wanted to go to after the Christmas break. As always, the welcome was warm and the food was delicious. TimeOut's reviewer points out that the seasonal specials can be more expensive than the regular dishes on the menu. It's true, but they're worth it. - yesterday's seasonal dishes included scallops, truffle tagliolini, and seafood paccheri - all delicious.

Always a pleasant experience, pleased to return to the restaurant under new name Mimmo la Bufala. Mimmo the owner makes the atmosphere special, the menu has changed for the better, though the pizza choice stable and of the highest quality.last dish I had there was wonderful - lasagne al tartufo ( truffle lasagne) , my friend had Sea Bass fillets with courgette crosses, also delicious. For starters we shared the pizza 'Mimmo's pizza' with bufala mozzarella and smoked mozz, fresh tomato sauce..delectable. And we treated ourselves to a really good Amarone.. For real Italian cooking, it's top of my list.

Exceptionally warm welcome. Great service. Personal visit to our table from Mimmo. And wonderful food. Capellini with truffles was divine. The white pizza with ricotta and truffles made my heart sing. Much more than just a neighborhood pasta pizza place.

over priced and poor vegetarian options. Starters and main course came all at once. Risotto was somewhat bitter. Could have sworn there was anchovy in the vegetarian pasta. Most waiters looked in training. The Manager was very friendly and warm...made it difficult to throw up a fuss. But doesn't mean we had a good experience. Keep away.

Words can not express what a really good meal does for the sole amazing host supported by great chef and front of house team if you love food you must visit ask for the gnocchi with truffle it's addictive

Really enjoyed late dinner - service was fantastic with authentic italian manager and waiters who were very attentive. Food was very good , atmosphere ambience style food and the manager and staff make you feel your in a top Hampstead restaurant other restaurants take notice and learn how its done.

I had a fantastic night with my boyfriend this restaurant has got everything you want for a romantic dinner, the atmosphere, the music, not to mention the authentic Italian flavors.

As a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 teens) we have been to Mimmo many times, and have always had great food. For my 50th birthday we wanted a restaurant with good food, good variety, great ambiance and good service. We took our family for my 50th birthday there were 10 of us , everyone really enjoyed their food and wine and the service was excellent.. I cannot praise this restaurant enough we eat out every weekend and we have a good variety of restaurants in Hampstead but I have to say Fratelli is definately the best. I highly recommend it

Had a lovely time, staff every friendly they made a pest of themselves left you to eat at your own pace

Expensive, very poor service( had to ask twice for bill and drinks and wait 15 mins whereas the restaurant was not busy ) Waiters prefered to check his phone than serve the customer ! Food is ok

“Fantastic food an fantastic service” Being half Italian and being brought up on great italian food the food really excedded my expectations! Service was fab and the staff are so friendly. Its the only place i go in Hampstead to eat now...!!!!!

If you have ever been to Italy you will understand the concept of this restaurant - ok the service if you arrive at 8.30 is not always consistent but the atmosphere makes up for this and the food is definitely worth lingering over - take the family at lunch time and do what the italians do and share the food and let the children enjoy themselves. The food is genuine, especially the pizzas, the specials are exquisite and you never know what to choose. A really different experience.

We have been going to Mimmo's for months and he never let us down. Great Italian food, generous portions at a decent price and very friendly atmosphere and service, which is also very efficient, definitely the best pizza in London, I would reccommend it to anybody with a real passion for high-quality authentic Italian food.

Very bad , I have been there a couple a times, I remember 2 years ago the service and food was top class but now both are very bad bad. Not a place to spend a evening.

The best thing about this restuarant is the atmosphere, it was a lovely place to spend a few hours over a nice evening. The food was good, but overpriced, my pizza arrived a bit burnt and we waited for the bill for twenty minutes. The loo held a few nasty surprises too. Overall it's a beautiful restaurant but I would say if you're looking for a low spend for the same quality food, go elsewhere!

We have been going regularly to this restaurant since it opened a number of years ago. The food has been consistently good, from pizza to pasta (I always have spaghetti with clams, excellent!) to fish, meat and desserts, finishing with a good limoncello. During the initial period service was slow because of unexperienced personnel and survived only thanks to Suzy's exceptional efforts. In more recent times experienced waiters have greatly improved the service and Mimmo is always there to ensure everything goes well. I really do not understand some of the bad reviews on this site. This is our favorite local.

I'am ussuall customer to this restaurant,i really enjoied the food but most pleasent thing is the profesionall staff,very friendly,nice and educated.I dont now ,way other people said bad things,....i really like this place...

I am Italian and I go to Mimmo La Bufala (Fratelli La Bufala) once a week. Definitely the best italian restaurant in London. The food is better than in Naples and the athmosphere brings you to Italy especially when Mimmo, the founder and owner, is around. I highly reccommend it.

I live in the neighbourhood and I go there alot , The food is great and the service is excellent. Mimo, the owner, is always there checking whether I like the food and what else can be done. The ambiance is great and now I dont to any other italian place other than this one... for me its like walking into italy :) and I cant believe what i read in the other review about the owner being rude and all ... he s the most sweet person ever... we never had any problems like that... even if we have to wait, its worth waiting.

I've been a few times to Bufala as I live nearby and have been disapointed every time. Having been to Italy on several occasions the food really does leave much to be desired. It is over priced and frankly under seasoned - really quite average. The service is quite slow at the best of times and although the waiters are friendly, they are usually under-qualifed. Not a place I would recommend.

We revisited Bufala on Saturday, thinking that the bad review must be a one-off. It wasn’t. Admittedly 8pm on Saturday is a busy time, but we had to wait ages even to order drinks. The staff are smart and pleasant , but we felt ignored. The food was very slow in coming : no-one around us seemed to be eating either. Starters of “ grilled cheese sandwich” and crostini were OK, but the “focaccia” was more like soggy pizza base. There was another endless wait for mains, and then none were up to scratch: expensive grilled fish (tiny portion, over-done and oily at the same time); pizza (too much cheese, soggy base) and pasta (adequate , but for £13, overpriced for such an average and small portion). Only the (starter) aubergine parmigiana was really pleasant. They obviously consider themselves to be a posh Italian restaurant , with prices to match , but in our opinion, you’d get better food at Pizza Express. Its clearly a strong favourite with the “Hampstead set”, and was certainly buzzing and full, but we thought it a poor deal overall.

Can't believe the other review. I go here about 1 a month and have done so for a year now. This is a great restaurant, VERY Italian with a very Italian decor, atmosphere and staff! I've had bad service once, which I think was a minor blip, about two months ago, because since then and before the service has always been exceptional - fast and very friendly. I've never had bad food so don't know what the other review is on about. The food really is typical Italian, try the steak with parmesan crust - incredible. Perhaps the reviewer doesn't like authentic Italian? It's certainly not to everyone's taste.

Average to bad food that could have been saved by good service, but unfortunately the service received was indifferent at best, and arrogant at worst. After experiencing an overpriced and miserable dinner, I have no idea how this restaurant has managed to get a good review from Time Out, especially in London’s competitive Italian restaurant marketplace. Go somewhere else.

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