Manicomio Chelsea

Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Manicomio Chelsea

Bronze Award

Those looking to escape the frenetic pace of the King’s Road need look no further than upmarket Italian restaurant Manicomio, a stalwart of Chelsea’s Duke of York Square. Its expansive, floral terrace is perfect for people-watching in all seasons and can definitely be counted among the best spots for alfresco dining in the capital.

Freshly-baked focaccia served promptly by smart staff set the standard for an evening of beautiful food and wine, starting with creamy burrata with prosciutto, peach and fennel, and zucchini flowers with stracchino cheese. From a choice of good-looking mains, our smoked aubergine, broccolini and cashew quinoa was a winner, perfectly complemented by a smoky Chardonnay.

As with the rest of the menu, desserts don’t come cheap, so choose wisely. Our dark chocolate mousse with salted caramel and milk ice cream was as decadent as it sounds, but the strawberry meringue was underwhelming. A patriotic wine list showcases bottles from all parts of Italy, including the islands, plus a small selection from elsewhere.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Eat at Home
Supper, Takeaway service
Cosy, Dark and moody, Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Romantic, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Counter dining, Dog friendly, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Birthdays, Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Manicomio Chelsea

Long-standing Italian restaurant Manicomio Chelsea (there’s a sibling site in the City) is a fixture of Chelsea’s Duke of York Square and well-known among locals as a reliably good place to eat. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Manicomio Chelsea can cater to almost every culinary whim, with well-drilled staff and a warm atmosphere coming as standard.

The dining room here is a sleek and sophisticated affair, complete with navy blue walls, brown leather banquette seating and heavily dressed tables. As for the menu, expect a short but well considered list of classic and contemporary Italian dishes, primed for comfort and indulgence (although there are a few more virtuous offerings for the health conscious too). To begin your meal, order antipasti such as homemade focaccia, a warm bowl of seasonal soup or London burrata with grilled English asparagus and yuzu miso dressing.

For your pasta course, choose between dishes such as rigatoni with native lobster, tomato, chilli and garlic or potato gnocchi with Tuscan sausage and wild fennel ragu. Meat and fish options meanwhile include a classic chicken Milanese with grilled lettuces, runner beans and a Parmesan and caesar dressing, as well as char-grilled yellowfin tuna accompanied by a Panzanella salad. You can also pad out your meal with side orders including zucchini fritti and rosemary al forno potatoes.

For pudding, tuck into traditional Italian desserts of gelato or tiramisu, or cater to savoury preferences with an artisan British cheese board to share between the table. For those who prefer liquid afters, be sure to peruse Manicomio Chelsea’s vast selection of European wines, while those who diners who favour other alcoholic beverages won’t miss out either thanks to Manicmio’s selection of classic cocktails sitting alongside house signatures, plus a range of craft beers and pale ales too.


Does Manicomio Chelsea offer vegetarian and vegan options?

Yes, there are some vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.

Helpful? 0

Does Manicomio Chelsea have outdoor space?

Yes, there is an alfresco terrace at the restaurant.

Helpful? 0

Can you book Manicomio Chelsea?

Yes, booking ahead is highly recommended although walk-ins are welcome if there is space.

Helpful? 0

Are there gluten-free options on the menu at Manicomio Chelsea?

Yes there are gluten-free options on the menu at Manicomio Chelsea.

Helpful? 0


85 Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London, SW3 4LY

020 7730 3366


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-15:00
Tue 12:00-15:00
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-16:00
Sun 12:00-16:00
Mon 17:30-22:00
Tue 17:30-22:00
Wed 17:30-22:00
Thu 17:30-22:00
Fri 17:30-22:00
Sat 18:00-22:00
Sun Closed


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19 Reviews 

Helen P

20 May 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Simon A

06 May 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 5
Value 3.5
Best place in Chelsea

Food was amazing. This is a top 3 Italian place in London. Starters a bit basic, but my word the main was tasty. Service- lack of a smile by the first female host and just a little too keen to take our plates away\ask if we want another drink the whole time. For an expensive place and it being Italian, I think they could improve this a little bit. Maybe its just a Chelsea snobby vibe, but a smile or two wouldn't hurt anyone. 

Richard S

26 July 2019  
Interesting food, friendly service, indoor or outdoor seating with great ambience.

Richard S

31 July 2018  
Very friendly; pleasant design with indoor and outdoor dining; strong menus.

Richard S

04 May 2017  
Unusual cooking with very good service in a fine location.

Frank C

15 March 2015  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 2.5
Very Much for the Very Sane
Manicomio means lunatic asylum in Italian. I asked the hostess why such an interesting name had been chosen and she replied that it was on the site of a previous lunatic asylum. If so, the dubious atmosphere has not carried through to the present day. This is a highly competent restaurant and we had an excellent lunch. Food was beautifully presented and it was perfectly cooked and outstandingly delicious. The restaurant was full, as befits Duke of York Square on a Saturday, but service remained competent although one did have a sense that staffing was short and the stalwarts on duty were rushed. The only quibble is the value for money. The total bill for lunch for four without wine or dessert came to a hundred and seventy four pounds including service. Not terrible but certainly not impressive value either. We recommend Manicomio but do come with a full wallet and with the full realisation that you are in that pricey frontier between Chelsea and Belgravia. Approached with that attitude, Manicomio is a welcome bit of madness.

Nevine H

05 November 2014  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 3
Good Italian though not quite Italy!
I have been here many times and am not dissappointed, nor am I blown away, though the prices do seem to have increased since the last time. We shared a cicchetti platter which offered a good selection and was excellent, though hardly difficult (dried meats, mozarella, salmon tartare, roasted vegetables, tartines of pate and cheese). I followed with light gnocchi with spicy sausage (of which there was very little) and a heritage tomato salad, perfect combination. My colleagues both ate excellent beef ribs & potato cake, though my American colleague was somewhat dissppointed by the portion size... not suprising! 2 deserts - tiramisu and chocolate both rich and superb. Good atmosphere and service (apart from asking 4 times for some water!), I will still return until i discover a better Italian in the area. It is cold and wet now, but heartily recommend going when warmer as there is great outside space, especially for people watchinig in the summer!

Gerald D

29 June 2014  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 3
Manicomio is the perfect choice post an evening performance at the Royal Court theatre in Sloane Square. No need to wade through the entire menu, simply choose a simple pasta to make for a relaxing end to the day. But what is really special here is the Gavi – simply the best example I have drunk. Service was excellent and allowed for my guests to enjoy their supper at a relaxed pace. I will return for another bottle of the house Gavi.

Gavin P

04 October 2013  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4
Value 3
One of the best al greco restaurants in Chelsea
Greeted by extremely polite and helpful maitre d who facilited our table for three outside with ease. The waitress was equally charming and took our order (3 courses each) without any need for notes. Water and vino brought promptly. The food was, as usual, good without being exceptional. (apart from the cheese which was exceptional!) The rain was coming down hard but as we dined beneath one of the huge umbrellas with a strategically placed gas heater nearby nobody really noticed.

Hugo G

30 July 2013  
Food & Drink 4
Service 3
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 2.5
Good food
Good location and very good food let down by average and at times sloppy service, with an expensive finish. Regardless, Manicomio is always reliable and has good alfresco on a warm evening. Pick your waiter carefully!
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