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Restaurants, Italian Angel
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)

Time Out says

Italian, with a roof terrace.



Address: 57-58 Upper St
N1 0NY
Transport: Tube: Angel
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Users say (4)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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I discovered Vivo's deli last year, when my workmates asked me to find somewhere to go for a summer's lunch. Safe to say, it's now one of our favourite lunchtime haunts! We were met with friendly service, cool interior design, and the most amazing array of Italian deli foods – from calzones and hot parmigiana, to five varieties of salad and ten varieties of dessert. 

The highlight for me however, is definitely the pizza. Giant Neapolitan-style pizzas at very affordable prices, which is always appreciated – the Vegetariana is my personal favourite! The portion sizes and takeaway boxes mean they can also become dinner... The cherry tomato on top? The rooftop terrace. The most relaxed I've ever encountered in London, which is no mean feat. It gets plenty of sun and space in summer, which is perfect for a chilled meal and cocktails with a group of colleagues, friends, dates (all of who I've taken since first discovering it!) Overall, I can confidently say it's definitely my favourite Italian restaurant in London. 
Plus their service on social media is fantastic. Who else would offer you a complimentary pizza when they discovered you dropped yours on a *cough* sober Friday night train?

Vivo is a rare find - a restaurant that disappointed the first time but impressed on the second attempt. Almost always busy, particularly on a sunny day, the minimalist interior serves as a backdrop to aesthetically lovely italian meals, panini, cakes and sweets. My first disappointing experience consisted of a rather dry panino that seemed to me overpriced and over-salty. Yet on a sunny day last week I was again tempted in by the sights and smells of the Italian cuisine. What a different experience! I sat outside to await my macaroni and cheese, thinking wistfully of how lovely it would be to sip one of their aperol spritzes and relax for the afternoon (sadly I was only on my lunch break). When my pasta arrived it was steaming hot, and truly scrumptious. I was particularly pleased by its dish - which from a distance I had thought to be a cardboard container, but was in fact edible pastry! Bingo - double-carb deliciousness. I rounded off my meal with two cannoli - pistachio and chocolate - which were messy to eat but so worth it. Vivo is definitely worth a try, and I may even give their panini a second chance. On a sunny day it has a wonderful atmosphere and a slight sense that you're in Rome rather than Islington, but the food is hearty enough to satisfy even in winter.


Every now and again you find somewhere local in your neighbourhood that makes you want to throw your hands in the air and break out your inner gospel queen to sing a 'hallelujah!' or two because it's so freaking wonderful and it's yours. Well, you don't actually own it but let's be honest for a moment here, we Londoners can be quite possessive of hotspots on our own doorstep. We know we love them and we kinda want to tell you all about them because credit where it's due and all that jazz but we're always sort of wary because we don't want to find out the next time we visit that there's no room for us anymore...I know you understand my dilemma so I know you'll appreciate my sharing with you of a gorgeous Italian place in Islington called Vivo. 

I haven't been to Vivo once. Or twice. I've been a lot. And I've not been for lunch. Or breakfast. Or dinner. I've been for all three. Not in the same day of course - I'm not Joey Tribbiani after all - but yeah, I've been here, I've eaten here, I've drunk here, I've loved it here. 

With outdoor seating both street facing at the front and sky facing on the terrace roof, Vivo is perfectly suited to al fresco summer dining, however with a larger-than-it-first-appears interior, it's also the ideal spot for dining when the weather isn't anywhere near as accommodating or lovely as the staff. Large stone tables for sharing with others mingle with smaller tables that are good for solo or couples' dinners. Gleaming wood décor and a giant white pebble-dashed bar are both modern & elegant and there's an air of warmth and welcome about the whole place. Staff are always friendly and approachable; if you need a table they'll find one for you with the minimum of fuss and if you have a question about the menu, they'll answer with honesty & passion about the know you're in safe hands when the staff genuinely love the food they serve.

So let's take a moment to discuss the food – shall we start with the doorstop size wedges of lasagne that are crammed full of rich tomato sauce, silky sheets of home-made pasta and luscious bechamel sauce? Or maybe the continuously changing tureens of glowing-with-health salads from which you can pick up to 4 different, generous servings for less than £9? Or perhaps you'd like to investigate the rotation of hot food on offer, such as crunchy coated buffalo chicken, giant golden crumbed & cheese stuffed arancini balls, perfectly crimped calzone as big as your arm or ceramic dishes of piping hot & oozy aubergine parmigiana? Or I know, you want to know about the sweet stuff, right? The individual glass bowls of cocoa dusted tiramisu, the perfect rolls of cream filled cannoli, the dark & decadent kinder cake or the prettiest summer berry topped tarts? Yes to all of that? Now you know how I fee!

Whether you're there for a quick, fresh pasta mid-week dinner with a BFF or a lazy Saturday, ricotta hotcake filled brunch with friends, you really can't be disappointed and if, in my own obviously unbiased opinion, Angel is the crown of London dining, Vivo is definitely a Liz Taylor sized diamond sat squarely in the middle.


Nice place, with warm golden wood all around and sleek, minimal furnishings. The tables are meant to be shared with others so be prepared for that. 

I got a counter option of a ricotta, pumpkin and green salad for a decent price- about 6 pounds for a huge plate. I also got a small side portion of the spiced cauliflower, broccoli and radishes as well- all tasty. The counter staff was also nice enough to let me taste a paprika tater before I bought it. 

The waitress places a nice small bowl of seasoned olives on the table prior to setting down the orders. Yum!

My husband loved his ham pizza. 

The merlot wine is decent.

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