Italian cuisine has been part of the London food scene for nearly 200 years – ever since large numbers of Italian immigrants made the city their home in the early 1800 and many of them set up shop as restaurant or cafe owners. As a result, today there are hundreds of Italian restaurants in every corner of the city. That being said, as with everything, there are some Italian restaurants in the capital that are in a class of their own. Whether you want somewhere homely, Michelin-recommended or somewhere that serves Venetian ‘small plates’, read on for a short guide to the best Italian restaurants in London.
Bocca di Lupo, Soho
One of the capital’s most famous Italian restaurants, despite being only ten years old, is located in the heart of Soho, where many Italian immigrants set up shop in the 19th century. Jacob Kennedy and Victor Hugo’s vision for a stripped-back Italian trattoria serving a range of regional treats has been a huge success on the London food scene. All food is either freshly made, including the pasta and the Gelato, or is imported from Italy.
Polpo, Various Locations
Polpo is Italian for Octopus, which is a clue to what’s on the menu at this popular restaurant that has now grown to a number of sites and has won the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand for six years. Based on a Venetian ‘bàcari’ (laid-back restaurant). The menu is based largely on Venetian ‘small plates’ of meat, fish, vegetables and breads.
Il Portico, Kensington
One for traditionalists, this claims to be the oldest family-run Italian in London, having been serving up freshly made traditional food to patrons for over 60 years. Expect to enjoy classic Italian pastas (freshly made each morning) and traditional Secondi meat and fish dishes such as Veal Milanese.
Home of London’s most well-known Italian chef, Giorgio Locatelli, this restaurant showcases some of the least-known but most delicious regional dishes from Italy. A good spot for celeb-spotting too.
London’s best restaurants, just like the top Italian restaurants in Dublin, use quality equipment imported from Italy such as the http://www.forno500.ie/. The best Italian restaurants also pride themselves on home cooking, knowledgeable staff and comprehensive wine lists.
Next time you’re in the capital, check out one of these top Italian restaurants.