Pizza, pasta, grilled meats and fish – it’s hard to go wrong when it comes to Italian restaurants. With so many to choose from in London, we’ve hand-picked some of Best Italian restaurants in London for you to try for yourself.
Italy is the home of comfort food, with filling portions and rich flavours characterising the nation’s cuisine. Luckily for Londoners, there’s no need to hop on a flight to taste some of the finest Italian nosh to ever exist.
Italian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisine types in the world and can either be brilliantly rustic, beautifully refined or simply elegant. The good news is that in London, you can find all of these different styles of Italian food in one city. With a wealth of fantastic ingredients, it is only natural that Italian food is so flavourful and full of colour, and each region of Italy brings something special to the table. From simple pizza and pasta to more complex dishes, the beauty of Italian food is that there is something for everyone to enjoy.
London has an abundance of great Italian restaurants to offer, from simple pizza joints to elegant fine dining restaurants and it is often hard to choose. To help you out, we’ve compiled this handy guide to the best Italian restaurants in London, so that you don’t struggle too much when deciding where to get your next pasta or pizza fix.
Every one of the restaurants featured in our list of the best Italian restaurants in London has been tried and tested by our expert team of food critics, so you know you’re in safe hands. Whether you’re looking for affordable pasta in London Bridge, over the top Italian desserts in Shoreditch, or glamorous cuisine in Mayfair, this list has something for you.
Read the full review: Sorella
148 Clapham Manor Street, London, SW4 6BX
Chef Robin Gill has transformed what was once his experimental restaurant The Manor into a rustic Italian joint. Come for the heavenly Semolina sourdough, and stay for the charming service, Italian-accented drinks and deliciously moreish pasta, including veal ragu pappardelle.
Read the full review: Legare
Cardamom Building, 31G Shad Thames, Tower Bridge, London, SE1 2YR
Housed in an old dockyard archway, this tiny restaurant in Shad Thames punches above its weight when it comes to pasta. Silky, fresh plates of pure comfort food joy are bookended by simple antipasti and homemade desserts.
Read the full review: Locanda Locatelli
8 Seymour Street, London, London, W1H 7JZ
Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli deals in old-school glamour and confident dishes from the Italian cannon. Handmade pasta is the star of the show, but everything on the menu here is the product of hyper-seasonal produce – the wine list is worth exploring too.
Read the full review: Sartoria
20 Savile Row, Mayfair, London, W1S 3PR
Chef Francesco Mazzei heads up this smart Italian on Savile Row, which pairs the simple with the luxurious to great effect. Make sure to stop by the late-licence bar on your way out for a Negroni and some light bites.
Vasco & Piero's Pavilion
Read the full review: Vasco & Piero's Pavilion
15 Poland Street, Soho, London, W1F 8QE
A fixture of the Soho scene since 1989 and one of the few remaining family-run restaurants in Soho, this charming dining room serves Italian classics with a focus on the specialities of the owners’ native Umbria.
Theo Randall at the InterContinental Park Lane
Read the full review: Theo Randall at the InterContinental Park Lane
InterContinental Park Lane, 1 Hamilton Place, Green Park, London, W1J 7QY
A five-star hotel requires a five-star dining experience, and Theo Randall delivers with this Park Lane flagship. A stylish, yet unpretentious dining room is matched with a menu of hearty food that includes superb pasta dishes and heavenly Italian desserts.
Bocca di Lupo
Read the full review: Bocca di Lupo
12 Archer Street, Soho, London, W1D 7BB
Serving some of the best regional Italian food in London, Bocca di Lupo is suited to both quick meals at its counter or lingering dinners on the tables at the back. The menu changes with the seasons, but always delivers.
Read the full review: Bocconcino
19 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8ED
This smart Mayfair joint backs up its stylish looks (think plush seating and glittering chandeliers) with some serious substance. Perfect for date night, dishes such as oozing buratta and pasta spun in a wheel of cheese are guaranteed to ignite romance.
Read the full review: Bancone
39 William IV Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4DD
Fresh pasta joints are no longer the novelty they once were in London, but this casual Covent Garden restaurant will win you over with its buzzy atmosphere and pocket-friendly prices. Our advice? Order the intensely buttery potato and sage gnocchi.
Read the full review: IT London
28-29 Dover Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4LX
With a predecessor venue in Ibiza, Michelin chef Gennaro Esposito has since brought his signature Italian style to Mayfair. Interiors are glitzy, the mood is upbeat with a party spirit and the food is pricy – but it is also delicious. If you’re willing to splash the cash to eat in one of London’s most glamorous locations, this one’s for you.
Read the full review: Gloria
54-56 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3QR
People primarily come to Gloria to have fun, but the food is still better than it needs to be. Soak up the electric atmosphere while tucking into loaded pizzas, pasta showered with truffle and the now-legendary lemon meringue pie.
Read the full review: Murano
20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5PP
Angela Hartnett’s Mayfair flagship is a fine diner like they used to make them, combining an exquisite ‘Britalian’ menu with slick, unobtrusive service. Prices can be high, but the excellent value set lunch menu offers a budget-minded way around them.
Read the full review: Franco's
61 Jermyn Street, St. James's, London, SW1Y 6LX
Open all day, Franco’s has had a place in Londoners' hearts for over 60 years. Grab an al fresco table if you can, while the considered Italian menu is versatile enough to work for both business breakfasts and late-night dates.
Theo’s Simple Italian
Read the full review: Theo’s Simple Italian
34–44 Barkston Gardens, Earls Court, London, SW5 0EW
When looking for the best Italian restaurant in London, you don’t always want a full-on fancy affair. For low-key comfort food Theo Randall’s eponymously named Theo’s Simple Italian offers cosy surrounds and big plates of crowd-pleasing plates like fritto misto, expertly made pastas and divine desserts.
Read the full review: Daphne's
112 Draycott Avenue, London, SW3 3AE
Refined Daphne’s is one of the jewels in the ever-expanding Caprice Holdings portfolio, with flawless and friendly service a given. The kitchen serves delicious regional Italian food, while tempting desserts and an extensive Italian wine list round out the experience.
Read the full review: Luca
88 St John Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 4EH
From the team behind Old Street’s Clove Club comes this ‘Britalian’ restaurant which takes style inspo from the 1950s. Classic, freshly made pasta is the unequivocal highlight, but the likes of gooey Parmesan fries also put on a good show.
Read the full review: Trullo
300-302 St Paul's Road, London, London, N1 2LH
This Islington mainstay (which is also responsible for much-feted Padella) has hordes of fans and it’s easy to see why. A lively atmosphere, relaxed interiors and an excellent regional wine list all contribute to Trullo’s success, as does the hyper-seasonal menu.
The River Cafe
Read the full review: The River Café
Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, Hammersmith, London, W6 9HA
A true classic, River Café still pulls in the crowds more than 30 years after its debut. Eye-watering prices may be off-putting, but that seductive riverside terrace and the decadent likes of the chocolate nemesis make it all worth it.
Read the full review: Padella
6 Southwark Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 1TQ
Arguably responsible for London’s spate of no-bookings restaurants, Padella has spawned a thousand imitators, but is still yet to be beaten. Its whirlwind success can be put down to its unassuming simplicity – an uncomplicated menu of affordable and superb pasta.
Read the full review: Cecconi's Mayfair
5a Burlington Gardens, London, London, W1S 3EP
Monochromatic floors and emerald green chairs are instantly recognisable as belonging to Cecconi’s, a concept which has now been shipped all over the world. The Mayfair original still holds its own though with a simple menu championing comfort food classics.
Read the full review: Artusi
161 Bellenden Road, London, SE15 4DH
Artusi is confident in its own ability, offering a concise menu that allows the quality of the ingredients to shine through. You could easily eat here for under £30, but the ice cream and all-Italian wines are worth splurging for.
If you can’t get enough of all things Italian, check out our pick of the best pizza restaurants in London.