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
££££ - £50 - £79
Eat at Home
Takeaway service
Cool, Cosy, Dark and moody, Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Romantic, Traditional, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Chef’s table, Counter dining, Dog friendly, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


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

Manicomio Chelsea is featured in

This venue also offers

Manicomio City

Manicomio City


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

020 7730 3366 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 18:00-22:00
Tue 18:00-22:00
Wed 18:00-22:00
Thu 18:00-22:00
Fri 18:00-22:00
Sat 18:00-22:00
Sun 18:00-22:00


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23 Reviews 

Michael H

07 April 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Birthday Dinner

An exceptionally pleasant afternoon indeed. The service was immediate and courteous and attentive. The sellections on the menu were most interesting and everything we chose was prepared to perfection and tasted extremely delicious.

Laurence H

16 December 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4.5
Never Disappointed

A long time favourite since opening 20 years ago. 

Never been disappointed 

Matthew W

29 January 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 1
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 3

Unfortunately we had to send back the chicken as it was undercooked. Not something you expect from this level of restaurant.

Otherwise food was okay but not amazing, priced wise is comparable to similar restaurants.

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

23 March 2022  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4

Lovely staff, great location and food. Outdoor option.

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.
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