The best pasta in London: 16 restaurants where carbs are king

It's true what they say, you can never have too much pasta

Updated on 26 October 2021

The best pasta in London: 16 restaurants where carbs are king

We don’t want to brag, but we think we could easily write an entire novel on our love for pasta, so when we’re asked for our recommendations for the best pasta in London we can’t help but feel our heart skip a beat. This opportunity to talk about one of our main passions in life (the others being gin and tonics and pizza, of course) often leads to daydreaming, professions of love, and lengthy discussions as we find ourselves going down a rabbit hole to rhyme off all our favourite places to indulge in an Italian feast.

Italian cuisine and freshly made pasta have come hand in hand since the beginning of time of course, and since Italian cuisine is so popular in the UK, it may come as no surprise that there are hundreds of great pasta dishes in London to try.

From the cheap and cheerful pasta restaurant revolution, to the more luxury and expensive places offering up pasta to be enjoyed for special occasions or days when you feel like splashing out, there really are pasta dishes for everyone to enjoy.


It would probably take a while for you to go around all the best pasta restaurants in London and try all the top dishes and then to decide the best ones, so we’ve put together a list for you. As you might imagine, we’ve done a lot of on the ground research, just to be sure, and our team has worked together to come up with a list of all their favourite places to go – including old-time popular spots and new, hip hangouts. If you’re ready to make your way through the best pasta places in London, all you have to do is give it a read and then take your pick. And who says you just have to pick one, why not make yourself a shortlist and undertake a personal challenge to try them all. Just know, you have our blessing.


What: Pici with colatura di alici, chilli, garlic and pangrattato
Why: Legare, we think, is somewhat of a hidden gem. Well worth the stroll out past London Bridge and along the Shad Thames riverside, Legare is found in renovated industrial arches and has a pared-back, cool aesthetic. Add to the buzzy ambiance a few plates of some of the best pasta in town from an ex-Trullo chef and you’ve got a guaranteed enjoyable evening. The menu changes regularly, but we can’t say no to anything topped with golden pangrattato. The open kitchen allows you to watch the theatre of the team at work, and with perfectly made dough each day pared with simple but satisfying sauces, this is a pasta pilgrimag worth making time and time again.
How much: £14
Where: 31G Shad Thames, SE1 2YR

Pasta Evangelists at Harrods

What: Spaghettoni all’aragosta
Why: With an already established reputation for fantastic postal pasta, Pasta Evangelists have taken things to the next level with their bricks and mortar restaurant. Serving up incredibly fresh pasta coupled with sweet service, this is an unexpectedly delicious addition to London’s Italian restaurant scene found in none other than Harrods. A slight drawback is that it closes by 7pm during the week, but come the weekend you can enjoy plates of pasta up until half ten at night while enjoying live music.
How much: £39.50
Where: The Restaurants - Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, SW1X 7XL

Ave Mario

What: Mafaldine al Tartufo
Why: Okay, nobody ever accused the Big Mamma Group (who also own Gloria and Circolo Popolare) of making the very best pasta in town, but what they are guilty of is knowing how to show guests a good time. At Ave Mario - their latest restaurant - you’ll find a buzz like nowhere else in the city, incredible interiors, jovial staff, and a menu of Instagram-friendly pasta dishes worthy of the limelight. One such creation is their creamy mascarpone and truffle serve. This little chap comes in individual copper pans and is coated in a rich sauce with plenty of black truffle shavings on top for instant aesthetic appeal.
How much: £18
Where: 15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QG

Lina Stores

What: Agnolotti verdi, black truffle and ricotta
Why: With an unmissable green and white colour scheme, the iconic Lina Stores is the place to be for intimate dinners when you’re on a bit of a budget. Staff recommend you order three dishes for two diners which is ideal if you want to try a range of items from the menu. The Agnolotti verdi is a must try but other dishes worth noting are the crab spaghetti, ricotta gnudi with sage and brown butter and pappardelle with slow cooked veal ragu, rosemary and sage.
How much: £14
Where: 51 Greek Street, W1D 4EH


What: Spaghetti with red prawns, chilli, tomato
Another to add to the list of cheap and fun pasta places, Pastaio’s communal tables and laid back atmosphere are just a part of why it's such a hit in Soho. As with the previous restaurants on the list, everything is under £20. Go for the spaghetti with red prawns and tomatoes if you fancy indulging a little, but other great dishes include the carbonara bucatini and the mozzarella ravioli.
How much:
19 Ganton Street, W1F 9BN


What: Scarpetta spaghetti
Pasta may be best known as a comforting and homey dish, but sometimes it’s fun to enjoy it in plush surrounds. At the chic Sette restaurant (a New York import of the Scarpetta group), you’ll find that the signature Scarpetta spaghetti is the star of the show. Deceptively simple, the pasta is served al dente in a rich tomato sauce and it’s worth savouring every bite.
How much:
4 Knightsbridge Green, SW1X 7QA

Café Murano

What: Tortelli, pumpkin, amaretti and sage
Angela Hartnett’s, Café Murano is the ‘it’ restaurant of the moment and with pasta dishes this good, we can see why. The tortelli with pumpkin and sage is definitely worth a try. On the days when you don’t fancy a pasta dish, the chicken Milanese, risotto and venison are worth a try too. 
How much:
From £11
33 St James Street, SW1A 1HD

Bocca di Lupo

What: Tajarin with raw duck egg and Parmesan
Why: When you’re about to go to the theatre, sometimes all you really want is a dish that is great and feels special, but can be eaten quickly. Pasta is the ideal thing for this and as Bocca di Lupo is located in the theatre district, it makes sense to give it a visit before you head to your show. Try the tajarin with raw duck egg and Parmesan, and ask for a shaving of white truffle on top to bring it up a notch. Other dishes you could try are the tagliatelle with ragu Bolognese or the pumpkin and amaretti cappellacci with butter and sage.   
How much:
12 Archer Street, W1D 7BB


What: Spaghetti Arrabbiata  
Although this dish is simple and to some, may seem a bit boring, Italian cuisine thrives off a few simple ingredients, so sometimes keeping things pared back is just what a pasta dish needs. Bocconcino’s spaghetti arrabiata is a must try along with the ravioli zucchini e ricotta and tagliolini with porcini mushrooms and stracciatella cheese. Following the motto of ‘excellent quality ingredients, honest cooking and first class service’ you can guarantee a great pasta dish as Bocconcino’s.
How much:
Part of a set menu
19 Berkeley Street, W1J 8ED

Vasco's & Piero's Pavilion Restaurant

What: Spaghettini voiello with prawns and cherry tomatoes
Why: This Soho old timer - Vasco's & Piero's - isn't interested in gimicky dishes or photo opportunities, it has one drive and that is creating properly authentic plates of Italian food. The prawn spaghetti dish is one of the restaurant's most popular serves thanks to the sweet combination of the shellfish with a classic tang of tomato. With both starter and main sizes you can choose to enjoy a plate of fersh pasta to kick off your evening, or go all in and indulge in a hearty portion. 
How much: £10.50 / £18.50
Where: 11 D'Arblay Street, W1F 8DT


What: Bucatini with brown shrimp and seaweed butter
Translating to ‘bar’ or ‘counter’ in Italian, Bancone has three different dining bars you can sit at to watch the chefs work while they cook up your dishes. Talk about dinner time entertainment. Its pasta is made fresh daily and with so many exciting dishes to try, you’ll find it difficult to pick just one. Thankfully we’ve done the hard bit. Give the bucatini with brown shrimp and seaweed butter a try. It may not be you’re first choice when ordering at an Italian restaurant, but given Bancone cooks up dishes from over 20 different regions in Italy, why not expand your horizons and try something new.
How much:
39 William IV Street, WC2N 4DD


What: La Gran Carbonara for two
This 70s inspired trattoria in Shoreditch not only does great pasta dishes, but the over the top décor transports you back into the 70s in the best way possible. From loud and kitschy carpet to old school drapes it somehow manages to make dated décor look cool. Aeshetics aside however, the food is spectacular at Gloria. The carbonara is best for two people and cooked the traditional Italian way with egg, parmesan and served in a wheel of cheese of course. Other dishes worth noting are the pappardelle with sautéed chicken livers and the potato gnocchi with semi-dried tomato.
How much: £16 per person
54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR


What: Gnocchi with nutmeg butter
As the original cheap and cheerful pasta restaurant, Padella’s freshly made pasta attracts flocks of people daily. The best part is every dish is under £20. We recommend going for the buttery gnocchi but other dishes that are worth a try include the pappardelle with beef shin ragu, ravioli with squash, ricotta, sage and olive oil, and of course the famous cacio e pepe. If you’re planning on paying Padella a visit get there early because there is always queues.
How much:
6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ

Circolo Popolare

What: Gnocchi Tricolore
As the quirky sister restaurant of Gloria (mentioned above), Circolo Popolare's great authentic Italian dishes aren’t the only thing you’ll want to visit for. The stunning décor and quirky cocktails alone are worth a trip. Pasta-wise, go for the gnocchi tricolore – a big piece of gnocchi filled with ricotta, San Marzano sauce and topped with pecorino and parmigiano. Other dishes worth noting are the great open lasagne and mafaldine al tartufo.
How much:
40-41 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HX

Cecconi’s Mayfair

What: Tonnarelli cacio and pepe
Residing on Burlington Gardens in Mayfair, this modern Italian restaurant screams luxury and elegance. With dark wood finishings, velvet chesterfields and white table cloths, this is a special occasion restaurant. Since it’s an Italian restaurant and the pasta is made fresh daily, it would be silly not to order some. We suggest you keep things classic and go for the tonnarelli cacio and pepe because you can’t beat a cheesy pasta dish, but other dishes that also definitely worth a try include veal cannelloni and crab ravioli.  
How much: £17
5A Burlington Gardens, W1S 3EP

The River Café

What: Tagliatelle al Pomodoro
This Michelin-starred restaurant is a must visit for any foodie. Specialising in Italian cuisine and having trained a number of celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, it is safe to say they may be one of the best restaurants in the City. Using the highest quality ingredients and complex cooking methods, the tagliatelle al Pomodoro may be a simple pasta choice to go for, but made with fresh pasta and cooked by expert chefs, it may be the tastiest pasta dish on this list. Other dishes worth mentioning at The River Cafe include the tagliatelle al ragu and linguine con Granchio.
How much: £20
Where: Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, W6 9HA

Can’t get enough of Italian food? Check out our list of the best Italian restaurants in London.