15 best Italian restaurants in London?

15 Best Italian Restaurants in London

London is renowned for its vibrant culinary scene, offering a diverse range of cuisines from around the world. However, when it comes to Italian food, the city truly excels, boasting an impressive array of restaurants that are sure to satisfy any craving for authentic flavors and exquisite dining experiences. In this article, we will take a closer look at the 15 best Italian restaurants in London, each with its unique charm and culinary delights.

  1. 1. Locanda Locatelli
  2. 2. River Cafe
  3. 3. L'Anima
  4. 4. Padella
  5. 5. Trullo
  6. 1. What type of cuisine does Locanda Locatelli serve?
  7. 2. What sets River Cafe apart from other Italian restaurants?
  8. 3. Who is the chef at L'Anima?
  9. 4. What is Padella known for?

1. Locanda Locatelli

Located in the heart of Marylebone, Locanda Locatelli is a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant that prides itself on its commitment to serving traditional dishes with a modern twist. The menu at Locanda Locatelli features a variety of homemade pastas, fresh seafood, and delectable desserts, all crafted with the finest ingredients to ensure an unforgettable dining experience.

Situated in a stylish and elegant setting, Locanda Locatelli offers a refined atmosphere that perfectly complements the exquisite flavors of their dishes. With a team of talented chefs and a commitment to using only the freshest ingredients, this restaurant truly stands out as one of the best Italian dining destinations in London.

Some highlights of the menu at Locanda Locatelli include their signature dish, the homemade pasta with truffles, which is a true indulgence for truffle lovers. Additionally, their seafood dishes, such as the grilled octopus with lemon and herbs, are known for their delicate flavors and perfectly executed cooking techniques.

To complete the dining experience, Locanda Locatelli offers an extensive wine list featuring a curated selection of Italian wines. From crisp whites to full-bodied reds, there is a wine to suit every palate and complement every dish.

2. River Cafe

Nestled along the picturesque Thames, the River Cafe has been a go-to spot for Italian cuisine since its opening in 1987. With a focus on simplicity and seasonal ingredients, the restaurant's menu showcases classic Italian dishes such as risotto, homemade pasta, and wood-fired pizzas.

What sets the River Cafe apart is its dedication to sourcing the finest produce from local suppliers. This commitment to quality is evident in every dish, where the flavors of the ingredients shine through. The restaurant's wood-fired oven adds an extra layer of authenticity to their pizzas, resulting in a perfectly crisp crust and smoky flavors.

The River Cafe's dining space offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, with large windows overlooking the Thames. Whether you're enjoying a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner, the stunning views and warm ambiance make for a truly memorable dining experience.

One of the highlights of the menu is the tagliarini with wild mushrooms, a dish that perfectly captures the essence of Italian comfort food. The pasta is cooked to perfection, and the earthy flavors of the mushrooms create a harmonious combination of tastes and textures.

3. L'Anima

Situated in the heart of the City of London, L'Anima offers a contemporary take on Italian cuisine. Led by the award-winning chef Francesco Mazzei, the restaurant presents a menu that combines traditional flavors with innovative techniques, resulting in a truly memorable dining experience.

L'Anima's interior is sleek and modern, with an open kitchen that allows diners to witness the culinary magic happening right before their eyes. The menu at L'Anima showcases a variety of dishes that celebrate the richness and diversity of Italian cuisine, from delicate seafood creations to hearty meat dishes.

One of the standout dishes at L'Anima is the lobster linguine, which features succulent pieces of lobster tossed in a rich tomato sauce and perfectly al dente pasta. The combination of flavors and textures in this dish is a testament to the culinary expertise of the chefs at L'Anima.

In addition to their exceptional food, L'Anima also offers an extensive wine list, featuring a wide selection of Italian wines that perfectly complement the flavors of the dishes. The knowledgeable sommeliers are always on hand to help diners choose the perfect wine pairing for their meal.

4. Padella

For those seeking a more casual dining experience, Padella in Borough Market is a must-visit. This bustling pasta bar is renowned for its handmade pasta dishes, prepared with precision and served at affordable prices. Be prepared to queue, as this popular eatery tends to get busy!

Padella's menu features a range of classic pasta dishes, from simple yet flavorful spaghetti with tomato and basil to more indulgent options such as pappardelle with slow-cooked beef shin ragu. Each dish is made to order, ensuring that the pasta is always cooked to perfection and the flavors are perfectly balanced.

In addition to their pasta dishes, Padella also offers a selection of antipasti and desserts. The burrata with roasted tomatoes and basil is a popular choice for starters, while the tiramisu is a must-try for those with a sweet tooth.

The casual and lively atmosphere at Padella adds to the overall dining experience. The open kitchen allows diners to watch the chefs in action, creating a sense of excitement and anticipation. Despite its popularity, Padella manages to maintain a warm and welcoming ambiance, making it the perfect spot for a relaxed meal with friends or family.

5. Trullo

Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Highbury, Trullo is a hidden gem that captures the essence of Italian cooking. From their homemade pasta to their wood-fired pizzas, each dish is crafted with care and attention to detail. The warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for any occasion.

Trullo's menu reflects a commitment to using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, ensuring that each dish is bursting with fresh flavors. The homemade pasta is a standout feature of the menu, with options ranging from simple yet satisfying spaghetti with garlic, chili, and olive oil to more complex creations such as fettuccine with wild mushrooms and truffle butter.

The wood-fired pizzas at Trullo are also not to be missed. The thin and crispy crust is the perfect base for a variety of toppings, from classic margherita to more unconventional combinations like nduja, mozzarella, and honey. Each pizza is cooked to perfection, with the flavors of the toppings melding together to create a truly memorable taste experience.

6: River Café: Known for its focus on quality ingredients and traditional Italian dishes.

The River Café, situated in Hammersmith, London, has earned a stellar reputation for its unwavering commitment to quality ingredients and its dedication to crafting authentic Italian dishes. Established in 1987 by Ruth Rogers and the late Rose Gray, the restaurant has become an iconic destination for those seeking a genuine taste of Italian cuisine in the heart of London.

One of the key pillars of the River Café's success is its emphasis on sourcing the finest seasonal and local ingredients. The restaurant has established strong relationships with suppliers who provide fresh, high-quality produce, allowing the chefs to create dishes that showcase the true essence of Italian flavors. The menu is dynamic and reflects the changing seasons, ensuring that guests experience the best ingredients available throughout the year.

The culinary philosophy at the River Café revolves around simplicity and respect for the inherent flavors of each ingredient. Traditional Italian recipes are honored and executed with precision, allowing the natural tastes to shine. The chefs at the River Café pay meticulous attention to detail in their preparation, presenting dishes that are both visually stunning and a delight to the palate.

The restaurant's ambiance is another notable aspect, providing a warm and inviting atmosphere that complements the dining experience. With a focus on excellent service and a commitment to creating a welcoming environment, the River Café strives to make guests feel like they are part of an authentic Italian gathering.

Over the years, the River Café has attracted a diverse clientele, including food enthusiasts, celebrities, and culinary connoisseurs, all drawn to its reputation for serving some of the most genuine and delectable Italian cuisine in London. The restaurant's legacy continues to grow, cementing its status as a landmark destination for those seeking a true taste of Italy in the heart of the British capital.

7: Zafferano: An upscale Italian restaurant in Belgravia known for its classic Italian dishes and elegant atmosphere.

Zafferano, nestled in the sophisticated neighborhood of Belgravia in London, stands out as an upscale Italian restaurant celebrated for its classic Italian dishes and refined atmosphere. Since its inception, Zafferano has been a go-to destination for those seeking an elegant culinary experience steeped in the traditions of Italian gastronomy.

The restaurant's commitment to classic Italian cuisine is evident in its menu, which features a selection of meticulously crafted dishes that pay homage to the diverse regional flavors of Italy. From time-honored pasta recipes to expertly prepared seafood and meats, Zafferano's menu reflects a dedication to authenticity and quality. Ingredients are carefully sourced to ensure the highest standards, and the chefs take pride in presenting dishes that capture the essence of Italian culinary heritage.

Zafferano's ambiance plays a crucial role in creating a memorable dining experience. The restaurant's interior is often characterized by a sophisticated and tasteful design, contributing to an atmosphere of understated luxury. The elegant decor and attention to detail enhance the overall dining experience, making Zafferano a popular choice for special occasions, romantic dinners, and business gatherings alike.

Service at Zafferano is known for its professionalism and attentiveness, adding to the overall sense of refinement. The staff is well-versed in the menu, offering recommendations and ensuring that guests feel pampered throughout their dining journey.

Whether patrons are indulging in a classic Italian dish or exploring the restaurant's carefully curated wine list, Zafferano aims to transport diners to the heart of Italy. The establishment has become synonymous with excellence in Italian cuisine within the London dining scene, attracting a discerning clientele who appreciate the intersection of tradition and sophistication that Zafferano has masterfully achieved. As one of Belgravia's culinary gems, Zafferano continues to draw admirers seeking an elevated Italian dining experience in an atmosphere of timeless elegance.

8: Polpo: This Venetian-inspired restaurant has multiple locations in London, offering small plates and traditional flavors.

Polpo, a distinctive dining establishment with multiple locations across London, brings a taste of Venetian-inspired cuisine to the city's vibrant culinary scene. Known for its laid-back yet stylish atmosphere, Polpo has carved a niche for itself by offering a menu centered around small plates and traditional Italian flavors, particularly drawing inspiration from the culinary traditions of Venice.

The concept of "cicchetti," Venetian-style small plates or tapas, takes center stage at Polpo. This approach allows diners to experience a variety of flavors in one sitting, making it an ideal choice for those who enjoy sharing and exploring diverse dishes. The menu showcases a range of carefully curated options, from seafood to meats and vegetables, each reflecting the simplicity and authenticity of Venetian cuisine.

Polpo's commitment to delivering traditional flavors is evident in the use of high-quality ingredients and a focus on classic preparation methods. The dishes celebrate the rich tapestry of Italian culinary heritage, and the menu often evolves to incorporate seasonal ingredients, ensuring a fresh and dynamic dining experience.

The restaurant's ambiance is characterized by a casual and convivial atmosphere, with a design that often reflects the rustic charm of Venetian bacari (wine bars). Exposed brick, wooden furnishings, and low lighting contribute to a relaxed setting, making Polpo an inviting space for both casual outings and intimate gatherings.

With its multiple locations, Polpo has become a popular choice for those seeking an approachable yet authentic Italian dining experience in London. The success of Polpo lies in its ability to balance the traditional flavors of Venetian cuisine with a modern and accessible presentation, making it a go-to destination for food enthusiasts looking to savor the essence of Italy in the heart of the city.

9: Bocca di Lupo: A Soho-based restaurant that serves a variety of regional Italian dishes, showcasing the diversity of Italian cuisine.

Bocca di Lupo, situated in the heart of Soho in London, stands out as a culinary gem that celebrates the diverse and rich tapestry of Italian cuisine. Renowned for its commitment to authenticity and the exploration of regional flavors, this restaurant has become a go-to destination for those seeking a true taste of Italy.

At the core of Bocca di Lupo's identity is its dedication to showcasing the breadth and depth of Italian culinary traditions. The menu is a journey through the various regions of Italy, with each dish carefully crafted to highlight the unique ingredients and cooking techniques of specific locales. From the coastal regions of Southern Italy to the hearty dishes of the North, Bocca di Lupo offers a culinary expedition that captures the essence of Italy's gastronomic diversity.

The restaurant's commitment to using high-quality, seasonal ingredients further enhances the authenticity of its dishes. Bocca di Lupo's chefs pay meticulous attention to sourcing, ensuring that each ingredient reflects the flavors and traditions of the region it represents. The result is a menu that evolves with the seasons, providing guests with a dynamic and ever-changing culinary experience.

The ambiance at Bocca di Lupo complements its culinary offerings. The restaurant is often characterized by a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, reflecting the lively spirit of Italian dining. The open kitchen adds an interactive element, allowing diners to witness the culinary craftsmanship that goes into each dish.

Bocca di Lupo has garnered praise not only for its diverse and authentic menu but also for its knowledgeable and attentive staff. The waitstaff is often well-versed in the intricacies of the dishes, offering recommendations and insights to enhance the dining experience.

For those looking to embark on a culinary journey through the diverse landscapes of Italy without leaving the heart of London, Bocca di Lupo remains a standout choice, celebrated for its dedication to regional Italian dishes and its role as a culinary ambassador for the rich tapestry of Italian gastronomy.

Best Italian restaurants in London for a romantic date night?

 some Italian restaurants in London that are known for their intimate settings and special ambiance, making them suitable for a romantic date night. Keep in mind that the status and popularity of restaurants can change, so it's advisable to check recent reviews and make reservations in advance:

  1. Clos Maggiore (Covent Garden): Often referred to as one of the most romantic restaurants in London, Clos Maggiore boasts a beautiful indoor courtyard with a retractable glass roof, creating a magical setting.
  2. Gauthier Soho (Soho): While not exclusively Italian, Gauthier Soho is known for its intimate atmosphere and high-quality cuisine. The setting is elegant, making it a suitable choice for a romantic evening.
  3. Margot (Covent Garden): Margot offers a sophisticated and intimate atmosphere with a classic Italian menu. The ambiance is upscale yet warm, making it a great choice for a romantic dinner.
  4. Babbo (Mayfair): With a focus on traditional Italian flavors and a stylish interior, Babbo provides a charming setting for a romantic date night.
  5. Ristorante Frescobaldi (Mayfair): This Italian restaurant is known for its elegant decor, extensive wine list, and a menu featuring Tuscan-inspired dishes, creating a romantic and upscale ambiance.
  6. Dabbous (Fitzrovia): While not exclusively Italian, Dabbous is a Michelin-starred restaurant with a minimalist yet intimate setting, offering a unique and memorable dining experience.
  7. Il Baretto (Marylebone): A charming Italian restaurant with a cozy atmosphere, Il Baretto is known for its traditional dishes and welcoming ambiance.
  8. Vicoletto (Notting Hill): Tucked away in Notting Hill, Vicoletto offers a cozy and romantic setting with authentic Italian cuisine and a varied wine selection.

Remember to check the latest reviews, menus, and current status of these restaurants before planning your date night, as the dining scene can evolve over time. Making a reservation is often a good idea, especially for popular and intimate establishments.

Where to find the best pasta in London?

some places known for their exceptional handmade pasta. Keep in mind that the restaurant scene can change, so it's a good idea to check recent reviews and ensure these places are still offering the same quality:

  1. Padella (Borough Market): Padella is renowned for its handmade pasta dishes and is known for its reasonably priced, high-quality Italian cuisine. The restaurant doesn't take reservations, so be prepared for a possible wait, but the food is worth it.
  2. Burro e Salvia (Shoreditch): A fresh pasta shop and restaurant, Burro e Salvia offers a selection of handmade pasta dishes using traditional Italian methods. They also sell fresh pasta if you want to take some home.
  3. Trullo (Islington): Trullo is known for its fresh and seasonal Italian dishes, including handmade pasta. The menu changes regularly, offering a variety of pasta options made with precision and care.
  4. Lina Stores (Soho): Lina Stores is an iconic Italian deli in Soho that has expanded to include a restaurant. They are known for their fresh pasta, and you can also buy their pasta to cook at home.
  5. Palatino (Clerkenwell): Palatino, by chef Stevie Parle, is inspired by the food of Rome. They make their pasta in-house and offer a variety of traditional Roman dishes.
  6. Emilia's Crafted Pasta (Aldgate): Emilia's Crafted Pasta focuses on the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Their pasta is made fresh daily, and they offer a variety of classic pasta dishes.
  7. Theo Randall at the InterContinental (Mayfair): Theo Randall is a renowned Italian chef, and his restaurant at the InterContinental hotel is celebrated for its fresh pasta. The menu features a selection of handmade pasta dishes with seasonal ingredients.

Before planning your visit, it's recommended to check the latest reviews and verify the current status and menu offerings of these establishments. London's culinary scene is dynamic,

Top Italian restaurants in London for a special occasion?

some top Italian restaurants in London that are known for providing a special and upscale dining experience, making them suitable for occasions such as birthday celebrations, anniversaries, or a fancy night out. Please note that the status and popularity of restaurants can change, so it's advisable to check recent reviews and make reservations in advance:

  1. Dabbous (Fitzrovia): While not exclusively Italian, Dabbous is a Michelin-starred restaurant known for its innovative and high-end cuisine. The minimalist yet sophisticated setting makes it suitable for special occasions.
  2. Locanda Locatelli (Marylebone): Helmed by renowned chef Giorgio Locatelli, Locanda Locatelli offers a refined and elegant setting. The restaurant is celebrated for its authentic Italian cuisine, making it a top choice for special occasions.
  3. Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester (Mayfair): A three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester offers a luxurious and sophisticated dining experience. While it's not exclusively Italian, the restaurant incorporates Italian influences into its modern European menu.
  4. Murano (Mayfair): Chef Angela Hartnett's Michelin-starred Murano showcases modern Italian cuisine in an upscale setting. The restaurant's elegant decor and attentive service contribute to a special dining experience.
  5. Ristorante Frescobaldi (Mayfair): With a focus on Tuscan-inspired cuisine, Ristorante Frescobaldi offers an upscale and stylish atmosphere. The restaurant is known for its exceptional Italian dishes and an extensive wine list.
  6. Margot (Covent Garden): Margot combines a sophisticated setting with classic Italian dishes, creating an elegant atmosphere for special occasions. The restaurant's attention to detail and high-quality cuisine make it a notable choice.
  7. Cecconi's (Mayfair): Located in the iconic Mayfair, Cecconi's is an Italian restaurant known for its chic ambiance and classic Italian dishes. It's a popular choice for those looking to celebrate in style.
  8. Galvin La Chapelle (Spitalfields): While not exclusively Italian, Galvin La Chapelle offers a stunning setting in a former Victorian chapel. The restaurant serves a mix of French and Italian-inspired dishes in an elegant atmosphere.

Remember to check the latest reviews, current menus, and the availability of reservations before planning your special occasion. Additionally, the London dining scene is dynamic,

In addition to their pasta and pizza dishes, Trullo also offers a selection of antipasti and desserts. The burrata with roasted peppers and basil is a popular choice for starters, while the tiramisu is a perfect way to end the meal on a sweet note.

With its cozy and inviting interior and a menu that showcases the best of Italian cuisine, Trullo is a must-visit for anyone seeking an authentic and memorable dining experience in London.


1. What type of cuisine does Locanda Locatelli serve?

Locanda Locatelli serves traditional Italian dishes with a modern twist, including homemade pastas, fresh seafood, and delectable desserts.

2. What sets River Cafe apart from other Italian restaurants?

River Cafe sets itself apart by sourcing the finest produce from local suppliers and using a wood-fired oven to create authentic and flavorful pizzas.

3. Who is the chef at L'Anima?

L'Anima is led by award-winning chef Francesco Mazzei.

4. What is Padella known for?

Padella is known for its handmade pasta dishes, prepared with precision and served at affordable prices.

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