The best pasta in London: 26 places in the capital you have to try

Hand-spun yellow silk. Heavenly sauces. Here's the only shortlist you need.

Updated on • Written By Lawrence Calman-Grimsdale

The best pasta in London: 26 places in the capital you have to try

When we’re asked where the best pasta in London is, we can’t help but feel our hearts skip a beat. Thinking of pasta (as with pizza and most Italian food) often leads to daydreaming, professions of love, and lengthy discussions. This love of pasta means we could probably write a whole book about it. But instead, we thought we'd show you where to find the best stuff in the capital.

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 cheap and cheerful, canteen-style pasta kitchens like Padella to upscale ristoranti like Legare, there is a huge range. Some are brand new, while others have been staples of the London pasta scene since 1939. And that's just the places.

Once you arrive, you'll be greeted by a second, arguably even harder choice - what to order. First off, there are over 600 pasta shapes, from the humble penne to the lesser-known radiatore. Then you have sauces, from the three-ingredient cacio pepe, to the deeply rich 12-hour wild boar ragu. Finally, what goes on top? Grated Parmesan is a standard, but things often get more adventurous with toppings like roasted hazelnuts or porcini butter.

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While this list of pasta restaurants in London might seem daunting, we've split it up by area so you can jump to your ends if you so choose. Alternatively (and we prefer this option), use this list as a kind of pasta treasure hunt, crossing restaurants off as you go. To find out more about each one, you can click 'Book now' which will take you to the full review of the restaurant. There you can get some more info and book a table if you're happy with your choice. So, without further ado, happy browsing!

SKIP TO YOUR AREA

Best pasta in central London

Pasta Evangelists at Harrods, Knightsbridge

With an already established reputation for fantastic postal pasta, Pasta Evangelists has taken things to the next level with its 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.
Where: The Restaurants - Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London, SW1X 7XL
Book now: Pasta Evangelists

Ave Mario, Covent Garden

The Big Mamma Group (who also own Gloria and Circolo Popolare) know how to show guests a good time. At Ave Mario - the group's third opening - 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 the 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.
Where: 15 Henrietta Street, London, WC2E 8QG
Book now: Ave Mario

Lina Stores, Various locations

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.
Where: Soho, King's Cross and The City
Book now: Lina Stores Soho, Lina Stores King's Cross, Lina Stores Bloomberg Arcade

Pastaio, Oxford Circus

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, almost 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.
Where:
19 Ganton Street, London, W1F 9BN
Book now: Pastaio

Sette, Knightsbridge

Pasta may be best known as a comforting and homey dish, but sometimes it’s fun to enjoy it in plush surroundings. At the chic 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. Don't miss the Good Life Brunch on Sundays, which includes beef short rib and bone marrow agnolotti (which we are obsessed with).
Where:
4 Knightsbridge Green, London, SW1X 7QA
Book now: Sette

Café Murano, St James

Angela Hartnett’s Café Murano has remained the restaurant of the moment since it opened and with pasta dishes this good, we can see why. The tortellini 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. 
Where:
33 St James Street, London, SW1A 1HD
Book now: Café Murano

Bocca di Lupo, Soho

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.   
Where:
12 Archer Street, London, W1D 7BB
Book now: Bocca di Lupo

Bocconcino, Mayfair

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, for example, is a must try, along with the ravioli zucchini e ricotta and tagliolini with porcini mushrooms and stracciatella cheese. Those seeking something more lavish will be well-catered to by the likes of lobster linguine. Following the motto of ‘excellent quality ingredients, honest cooking and first-class service’ you can guarantee an excellent evening of food here.
Where:
19 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8ED
Book now: Bocconcino’s

Vasco's & Piero's Pavilion Restaurant, Soho

This Soho old-timer isn't interested in gimmicky 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 fresh pasta to kick off your evening, or go all in and indulge in a hearty portion. 
Where: 11 D'Arblay Street, London, W1F 8DT
Book now: Vasco's & Piero's

Bancone, Covent Garden

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 your 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. It's a special one. 
Where:
39 William IV Street, London, WC2N 4DD
Book now: Bancone

Circolo Popolare, Tottenham Court Road

As the quirky sister restaurant of Gloria, 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.
Where:
40-41 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1HX
Book now: Circolo Popolare

Cecconi’s, Mayfair

Residing on Burlington Gardens in Mayfair, this modern Italian restaurant screams luxury and elegance. With dark wood finishings, velvet chesterfields and white tablecloths, 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 are also definitely worth a try include veal cannelloni and crab ravioli.  
Where:
5A Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3EP
Book now: Ceccino's

Luca, Farringdon

Certainly one of the most stylish settings on the list, Luca is as chic as they come without veering into stuffiness. While this isn’t purely a pasta restaurant, the hand-made yellow silk spun here is famous in its own right. There are typically four pasta dishes available at a given time here, so we recommend you take three friends to make sure you get a bite of all four. You might see Cornish crab taglierini with smoked datterini tomatoes, tarragon and chilli, or cardinali filled with spinach with sheep’s milk ricotta tossed in wild garlic, pistachio and lemon.
Where: 88 St John Street, London, EC1M 4EH
Book now: Luca

Brutto, Farringdon

They just don't make 'em like Brutto anymore. This bustling trattoria offers up generous portions of rough-and-ready rustic dishes, all under £20. Order the perfectly al dente ribbons of tagliatelle with melty ragu, or tortellini in brodo (broth) for a good time. As if you needed more encouragement, the drinks are seriously affordable too, so kick off with a negroni before moving to the house wine. 
Where: 35-37 Greenhill Rents, London, EC1M 6BN
Book now: Brutto

Pastan, Barbican

A perfect pasta place for our plant-based pals, Pastan is all-vegan. In the south of Italy, it was common to make pasta without egg, and that’s what’s done here. Meaty dishes like carbonara or meatballs are reinvented to avoid all animal products, but there are new creations too. The Catalonia features cheese and tomato sauce with apricot harissa and rosemary, while the Caspian Sea combines charcoal-activated tagliolini with dill hollandaise and seaweed caviar. Pastan is also available to cook at home so you can get your vegan pasta fix without leaving the house.
Where: 12-14 St John’s Street, London, EC1M 4AY
Book now: Pastan

Best pasta in north London

Noci, Islington

Having blazed a trail of pasta across London via Locatelli, Bancone and Tavolino, Louis Korovilas then opened something a little different. Noci is a relaxed space ideal for a negroni and some fritti to snack on. But, pasta is the main event here, with modern twists on classic dishes. Highlights include mafaldine with ‘nduja, mascarpone, red onion and wild rocket, ricotta gnocchetti (mini gnocchi) with confit datterini tomato or even lamb shoulder open ravioli with chive oil.
Where: 4-6 Islington Green, London, N1 2XA
Book now: Noci

Radici, Islington

With Francesco Mazzei as chef patron, you know you're in for a treat. Radici is a relaxed trattoria, serving up rustic dishes from Mazzei's home region of the Mezzogiorno. While the antipasti, pizza and secondi are also excellent, the pasta isn't to be missed. There's plenty of choice, from seafood fettuccine to truffle tagliolini. Meatier options include paccheri with lamb ragout and tagliolini with beans, pancetta and 'nduja. 
Where: 30 Almeida Street, London, N1 1AD
Book now: Radici

Best pasta in south London

Legare, Tower Bridge

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 ambience 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 pilgrimage worth making time and time again.
Where: 31G Shad Thames, London, SE1 2YR
Book now: Legare

Padella, London Bridge and Shoreditch

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 are always queues.
Where:
6 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TQ; 1 Phipp Street, London, EC2A 4PS
Book now: Padella Borough, Padella Shoreditch 

La Nonna Pasta Fresca, Brixton

New kid on the block La Nonna has yet to become an institution like some others on this list, but it’s well on its way. A true Roman outpost, this casual eatery boasts exemplary service and, of course, excellent pasta. The carbonara here is as good as it gets, while the wild mushroom and truffle tagliatelle was a surprising delight. Don’t miss the smoked stracciatella with Sardinian music paper bread to start.
Where: 7 Market Row, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8LB
Book now: La Nonna Pasta Fresca

Maremma, Brixton

The goal of Maremma is to bring true Tuscan flavours to south London. So far, this goal is certainly being met. Expect hearty favourites like duck ragu pappardelle, wild garlic tagliatelle with confit tomatoes and lemon pangrattato or mushroom and mascarpone cappellacci with porcini butter and pecorino crisp. The non-pasta options here are also excellent, so best to go the whole nine yards (or rather whole four courses).
Where: 36 Brixton Water Lane, London, SW2 1PE
Book now: Maremma

Flour & Grape, Bermondsey

With all dishes under £15 plus plush leather seating, Flour & Grape is almost like a kind of pasta-gastropub. But don’t be fooled by the affordable menu, this restaurant knows its stuff. It even has gluten-free pasta too. Try the monkfish linguine with tomato, chilli and garlic, the pork shoulder tortelloni or the ravioli with caramelised leek, potato, sage butter and parmesan. There are also small plates like salumi, bruschetta and beetroot with whipped goat’s curd and walnut to kick things off.
Where: 214 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ
Book now: Flour & Grape

Best pasta in east London

Gloria, Shoreditch

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. Aesthetics 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.
Where:
54-56 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3QR
Book now: Gloria

Manteca, Shoreditch

Another more recent addition, Manteca is quite unusual in that it offers nose-to-tail Italian-inspired dishes. While there are plenty of other options, it’s the hand-rolled pasta people keep coming back for. Choose from punchy dishes like rigatoni with kale sausage and chilli, brown crab tonnarelli cacio e pepe, fazzoletti with duck ragu and strozzapreti with house sausage, cream and black truffle.
Where: 49-51 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3PT
Book now: Manteca

Best pasta in west London

La Mia Mamma, Chelsea

No one knows how to make pasta like Italian mammas (and nonnas!), and that’s exactly who’s at the helm of this pasta joint on the King’s Road. The dishes here are often homestyle, comfort food but that’s not to say they’re any less interesting or delicious. Try what has been called the best cacio e pepe in town, or branch out with oxtail ragu or pistachio pesto and salty ricotta. There are often deals to be had here, such as a free Aperol spritz, espresso and dessert!
Where: 257 King’s Road, London, SW3 5EL
Book now: La Mia Mamma

The River Café, Hammersmith

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 it 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 include the tagliatelle al ragu and linguine con Granchio.
Where: Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, London, W6 9HA
Book now: The River Cafe

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