Food occupies a rather big part of our day here at Stasher offices. We spend a lot of time eating it or thinking about eating it.
That’s why our new section about London restaurants was met with palpable excitement from the whole team, who were eager to offer their suggestions. All of the restaurants we suggest on our blog are the ones we enjoy ourselves.
However, this article is where things got real.
Suggesting the best Italian restaurants in London was a matter of national pride for our resident Italians Elsa and Oscar. Experts on all things related to pizza, pasta and risotto, our in-house team of buongustai have tried and tested the best Italian restaurants London. Find their verdict below!
From proper Italian pizzas to handmade pasta, here are our top picks for the best Italian restaurants in London.
Just don’t expect to find any garlic bread or Bella Italia in any of them. Be prepared for a lot of hand gestures and head shaking if you utter these words in front of any expat living in London.
#1: Bottega Prelibato
Bottega Prelibato is an offbeat rustic restaurant, hidden in the less touristy parts of Shoreditch. The decoration is equal parts Italian cottage and East End industrial loft. This weird combination somehow works wonders, as Bottega Prelibato transforms from being a deli during the day to a night restaurant.
The menu contains all the staple Italian dishes, with seasonal food and local charcuterie. In true Italian fashion, all plates are served on wooden boards. Must try main courses include the pappardelle with wild mushroom sauce, pan-fried sea bass with asparagus and the black ink scialatielli. Don’t forget to try the tiramisu to complete a sublime Italian dining experience.
- Area: Shoreditch
- Address: 45 Rivington Street, EC2A 3QB
- Website: www.bottegaprelibato.com
- Reservations: +44 2077394995
Scalini is an upscale -but surprisingly cosy- Italian restaurant in South Kensington. Although it is definitely not an option if you are on a budget (expect to pay around £40-50 per person), there are some mind-blowing options on the menu.
All the dishes you will find at Scalini are strictly inspired by Italian classics, such as Tuscan Florentine T-bone steak and lobster spaghetti. Other must-try dishes include the veal with ham, salmon con gamberetti and mushrooms and chicken seasoned with paprika. The wine list is one of the best in London, featuring some of the best French and Italian bottles.
Even though you won’t save any money at Scalini, you can rest assured that it is one of the most solid options in London.
- Area: Knightsbridge
- Address: 1-3 Walton Street, SW3 2JD
- Website: http://scalinilondon.co.uk/
- Reservations: +44 20 7225 2301
Trullo is essentially the adult sister of our favourite Padella restaurant. Forget the queues and the buzz of Padella, as Trullo works with bookings only. Do not expect anything fancy in terms of design, as Trullo perfectly encapsulates the vibe of an actual Italian restaurant. Menus are slightly shorter, but what this restaurant lacks in variety, it makes up in quality.
There is a satisfying variety of antipasti for you to choose from, including bruschette and fresh salads. The main courses are heavenly and include everything you would expect from a typical Italian restaurant.
If it’s your first time around, go for the pappardelle with beef shin ragu or the lamb rump. Desserts are equally impressive, with the Amalfi lemon tart being a particular highlight.
- Area: Islington
- Address: 300 St. Paul’s Rd, Islington N1 2LH Greater London, United Kingdom
- Website: https://www.trullorestaurant.com/
- Reservations: +44 20 7226 2733
#4: Zia Lucia
Zia Lucia is Italian for “Aunt Lucia”, inspired by the lady on the logo. We don’t know whether she is a real family member of either Claudio Vescovo or Gianluca D’Angelo (the owners of the restaurant), but the pizza served here is properly Italian.
In this case, the dough is what makes all the difference: Zia Lucia offers four different options to choose from: wholemeal, vegetable charcoal (looks amazing), gluten-free and traditional.
The pizzas that come out of the two wood-fired ovens (Dante and Wally) are simple, yet delicious. From the humble Marinara to the sumptuous Arianna, you will not be disappointed by the selection of toppings here.
The list of ingredients includes Italian delicacies, such as speck, aubergines, nduja and a host of local cheeses such as taleggio, pecorino and mozzarella. Football fans might opt for the “Andrea Pirlo” (that’s an actual pizza on the menu.
Built inside an old fireworks shop, Zia Lucia roomy enough to be pleasant, without seeming too impersonal. Walk-ins are accepted, however, it might get crowded on weekends.
- Area: Holloway
- Address: 157 Holloway Road, N7 8LX
- Website: http://www.zialucia.com/
- Reservations: +44 20 7700 3708
Santore is a no-frills Italian restaurant in the Exmouth Market area. Even though the design is unassuming, Santore excels where it matters the most: food! Perhaps the biggest badge of honour of this place is the fact that expat Italians in London prefer it.
In the menu, you will find all the stuff you’d want from an Italian restaurant, such as ragu with porcini, orecchiette broccoli and a wide range of appetisers. Try the mixed antipasti if you are starving, but don’t forget to save some room for dessert.
- Area: Farringdon
- Address: 59 – 61 Exmouth Market, Farringdon, London EC1R 4QL, UK
- Website: https://www.santorerestaurant.london/
- Reservations: +44 20 7812 1488
Gloria is a French-run Italian trattoria that opened in Hackney after a spell of success in Paris. With an over the top decoration that resembles a ‘50s holiday retreat, the interior of Gloria is so kitsch that it’s actually posh! That being said, do not expect to find a place to sit anytime soon, as the queues can even be in the hundreds on a Friday night.
The menu items are delightfully indecipherable, including dishes such as YouPorn, Robert DeNitro and Filippo’s Big Balls.
We’ll leave it up to you to discover what each one of those means. From our perspective, everything was unexpectedly delicious.
From the Mafalda ribbons and the 10-level lasagne to the humongous two-person carpaccio and carbonara plates (served in a hollow round of pecorino), Gloria has the attitude, style and food to match.
- Area: Hackney
- Address: 54-56 Great Eastern St, Hackney, London EC2A 3QR, UK
- Website: https://www.bigmammagroup.com/en/trattorias/gloria
#7: Bocca di Lupo
Bocca di Lupo in Soho is regarded as of the best Italian restaurants in London ever since it opened in 2008. There is nothing extremely fancy about it, nor is it associated with any famous chefs. Instead, the owners of Bocca di Lupo choose to ignore the PR stuff and focus on what matters: offering consistently yummy Italian food!
The menu in Bocca di Lupo changes each week, rotating between dishes from all regions of Italy. Most main courses are neatly organised into small and large options, so you can try and find the one that satisfies your taste buds without regrets.
The homestyle food is delicious. From the mouthwatering bocconcini (deep-fried mozzarella) and the pork and foie gras sausage to the truffle salad and wild boar ragu, you will be surprised at how satisfying everything tastes.
With its excellent cuisine and inviting atmosphere, we are sure that you will visit Bocca di Lupo time and time again.
- Area: Soho
- Address: 12 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7BB, UK
- Website: http://boccadilupo.com/food-and-wine.php
- Reservations: +44 20 7734 2223
#8: Burro e Salvia
Burro e Salvia is a cosy Italian restaurant in the centre of Shoreditch. There is not much going on in terms of design and style, but this little pasta joint will win you over with its delicious handmade pasta. The menu changes monthly so there is not a dish we can safely recommend. If you are visiting in May, go for the signature agnolotti Cavour al Burro e Salvia.
Due to its small size, this restaurant tends to get crammed quite fast, so book ahead or buy your food to go. They also offer fresh pasta workshops if you are interested in learning the tricks of the trade.
- Price Range: £
- Area: Shoreditch
- Address: 52 Redchurch St, London E2 7DP Greater London, United Kingdom
- Website: http://www.burroesalvia.co.uk/
- Reservations: +44 20 7739 4429
#9: Anima e Cuore
Anima e Cuore is Italian for “Soul and Heart,” and the owners of this tiny restaurant on the less popular parts of Kentish town surely have plenty of both.
As with most hidden gems around the city of London, this unassuming eatery will not wow you with its looks. Instead, you will find a rotating menu of homemade pasta, coupled with lip-smacking seafood and meat-based sauces. Their ice cream is considered as one of the best in London, so it’s worth a visit for that alone.
Speaking of visits, this place is booked well in advance, so be sure to call them about a month before. Considering the size of the restaurant, this is not unusual.
Their kitchen is about the same size as a walk-in closet and every inch of space matters. No alcohol is served inside, so bring your own drinks, especially if you are celebrating a big occasion (finding a table available is a valid reason).
- Area: Camden Town
- Address: 129 Kentish Town Rd, London NW1 8PB, UK
- Website: N/A
- Reservations: +44 7896 263311
Quartieri is as close as you can get to Naples without leaving the area of Greater London. Managed by the team behind the hugely successful Trianon Vomero pizzeria, Quartieri is equipped with a secret weapon: an authentic Neapolitan oven that will bake your pizza to perfection! All ingredients are imported from Italy, offering an amazing variety in toppings and tastes.
In terms of atmosphere, the restaurant has a friendly and cosy vibe, without lacking in elegance. Overall, Quartieri is a much more exciting choice than nearby chain pizzerias. Pizzas we recommend you get: La Diavola (spicy salami and chilli), Salsiccia E Friarielli (spicy sausage and spinach), and the Pistacchio (pistachio pesto and smoked mozzarella).
- Area: Kilburn
- Address: GQVX+PP London, United Kingdom
- Website: http://www.quartieri.co.uk/
- Reservations: +44 20 7625 8822
Find Luggage Storage in London
Enjoying the best Italian restaurants in London is much better when you are not lugging your heavy bags around. If you’re up for a quick bite before you check in your Airbnb or want to enjoy a nice meal before you go on with your travel, store your luggage in London with Stasher. We offer affordable and convenient luggage storage in all major areas of the city.
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Hi! I am George and I am the Content Lead for Stasher.com. I love travel, writing, making music and meeting new and interesting people.