Renowned for its regional diversity, Italy has long been considered one of the gastronomic centres of the world. From traditional Neapolitan pizza to fresh-from-the-water seafood, via hand-rolled pasta and intricate modern fine dining, this diversity and its stellar reputation continue to grow. Explore our list of Italian restaurants featured in the Michelin Guide.
Mele e Pere, Soho
Befitting its Soho location, Mele e Pere is a distinctly on-trend venue, home to a chic basement vermouth bar and retro design features. Despite paying homage to its London location, Mele e Pere aims to recreate the family-run, neighbourhood trattoria of northern Italy where its owners grew up. This ethos is evident on the daily changing menu, with seasonal Italian and British ingredients used to craft authentic, rustic recipes.
Book MICHELIN Specials: 3 courses & vermouth tasting £40 per person
The River Cafe, Hammersmith
The River Cafe serves artisanal Italian food in an enviable leafy spot besides the Thames. A buzzy dining room and waterside terrace play host to a menu of hearty Italian flavours, and a wine list which spans the length and breadth of Italy. Menus evolve with the seasons and change daily, but are characterised by assured flavours and a commitment to sourcing the freshest produce.
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Da Terra, Bethnal Green
Da Terra in Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel sees chefs Paulo Airaudo and Rafael Cagali draw upon their experience working together at The Fat Duck, creating innovative dishes which fuse Italian roots with Latin American influences. Sophisticated and minimalist whilst also relaxed and homely, Da Terra offers a blind tasting menu, with the chefs on hand to present and explain each dish. Eight or 10 creative courses are served, displaying a memorable harmony of flavours and contrasts of textures.
From acclaimed London restaurateur Stevie Parle, Palatino serves simple Italian cooking in a modern setting. A sleek, contemporary dining room provides the backdrop to a range of classic dishes, lovingly prepared on the rustic wood burner and stone oven in the open kitchen.
With a strong emphasis on Rome, the menu is led by fresh pasta of the day, the renowned cacio e pepe, and rich meat dishes such as roasted guinea fowl with wild mushrooms and dragoncello.
Book MICHELIN Specials: Cacio e Pepe & a glass of wine £18 per person
Locanda Locatelli, Marylebone
A stalwart of the London dining scene since 2002, Locanda Locatelli continues to bring Italian fine dining to Marylebone. Covering all regions of Italy, Chef owner Giorgio Locatelli’s menu allows natural flavours to shine, all served in an intimate but sophisticated space. Joined by an extensive selection of wines, cocktails and spirits, expect the freshest pasta, pesce and carne dishes, followed by rich, inventive desserts.
Caldesi in Campagna, Bray
Caldesi in Campagna's Montepulciano-born owner Giancarlo Caldesi showcases regional Italian dishes with a focus on seasonal produce from the surrounding Berkshire countryside. Committed to seasonality and sustainablility, the restaurant offers Italian fine dining in a cosy country setting, complete with a covered terrace that houses its own wood-fired oven.
From the people behind The Clove Club, Luca pairs British ingredients with Italian tradition, adding inventive touches to classic dishes. The seasonal menu is served in a sultry, candle-lit dining room with dark leather seating and exposed brick walls, whilst from the equally atmospheric marble-top bar, freshly shaken cocktails are joined by negronis, grappa and Italian wines.
Il Pirata, Belfast
From the signature duck ragu to a variety of pizzetta, risotto and pasta, the menu at Il Pirata in Belfast highlights the diversity of Italian cooking. A rustic neighbourhood restaurant, dishes are presented without fuss, in a laid-back, familial setting. Flavour-rich wholesome dishes are served amidst minimalist decor and wooden tables, whilst Italian-inspired cocktails are muddled at the bar.
Little sister of The Dairy, simple sharing plates inspired by the Amalfi region are the stars of the show at Sorella. Influenced by the produce from their own farm and Chef Robin Gill’s experience working on the Amalfi Coast, menus are seasonal and designed to be shared at the stool-lined bar or at the informal tables of this intimate restaurant.
With a chalkboard menu and stripped-back decor, Artusi in Peckham puts its seasonal, carefully sourced ingredients front and centre. Tucked away on Bellenden Road, Artusi is all about down-to-earth Italian cooking and hospitality; strong on flavour, presentation and atmosphere.
Cin Cin, Brighton
On a quiet street in Brighton’s North Laine, Cin Cin is a quirky restaurant, occupying a former garage. Diners are invited to sit at the horsehoe counter, and watch on as the chefs craft seasonal small plates and handmade pasta. Divided into nibbles, small plates, pasta and desserts, the Cin Cin menu is led by fresh British produce, joined by an all-Italian wine list and a selection of aperitivi and digestivi.
Rooted in the principles and quality ingredients of traditional Italian cooking, Mono in Edinburgh adds modern Italian flair and experimental ingredients to classic flavours. The wine list is equally forward-thinking, championing lesser-known grapes, and independent and sustainable producers.
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