Best-of Guides Greater London

The Best Italian Restaurants in London

8 Restaurants
Brits have long had a love affair with Italian cuisine and its rich, satisfying flavours, and London is obligingly full of restaurants offering authentic fare, from all of Italy's different regions. So whether you just want to grab a quick plate of pasta or are planning a multi-course, gastronomic experience, there’s an Italian restaurant in the city for you. Here’s a selection of some of our favourites.
Updated on 20 February 2024
35-37 Greenhill Rents, Clerkenwell, EC1M 6BN London
££ · Italian

This likeable trattoria founded by the late, great Russell Norman lies a stone’s throw from Smithfield Market and is one of our favourite places to dine in the capital. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere’s buzzing, and the great value menu of authentic Tuscan favourites offers everything from penne with tomato and vodka to some seriously-sized steaks. Add in a signature negroni and you’ve got all the hallmarks of a great night out.

Cardamom Building, 31G Shad Thames, Southwark, SE1 2YR London
££ · Italian

This cosy, bijoux spot is simple in style and run with palpable pride; dishes are lovingly cooked to order and the friendly team provide attentive service. The kitchen is very much part of the room and the classically based, seasonal dishes that come out of it are well-priced and full of flavour. The homemade pasta is a highlight and the well-chosen wine list puts small Italian producers to the fore.

Locanda Locatelli
8 Seymour Street, Regent’s Park and Marylebone, W1H 7JZ London
££££ · Italian

Restaurants come and go but the luxury and warmth of this long-standing Michelin-Starred favourite – along with its accomplished Italian cooking – ensure it remains as popular as ever. The menu takes a tour around all the regions of Italy and the traditional dishes come in generous portions, with unfussy presentation which allows the punchy flavours to shine. Allow yourself plenty of time to peruse the superb all-Italian wine list.

88 St John Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4EH London
£££ · Italian

An elegant restaurant that instantly puts you at ease on arrival, this is one of the lovelier places to enjoy Italian cooking in London. As is tradition, the menu is split into four courses, with pasta dishes like the tortelli of delica pumpkin proving a highlight. Like many of the capital’s best Italians, there is a wine list to match the food – full of premier producers and growers from around the country.

49-51 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PT London
££ · Italian Contemporary

The staff at this appealing, contemporary restaurant are lovely, the Italian menu offers something for everyone, prices are more than fair and the cooking is bold and satisfying – it’s no wonder they're so busy! They use local suppliers, follow a nose-to-tail approach and make everything in-house. The atmosphere is buzzing and, while sharing is encouraged, it’s thankfully not compulsory.

20 Queen Street, Mayfair, W1J 5PP London
££££ · Italian

Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-Starred flagship in the heart of Mayfair bears witness to the passion for Italian cooking inspired in her by her mother and grandmother. The wonderfully appealing menu offers refined, Italian-influenced dishes with their roots in the North of the country, while the wine list features some fine Italian vintages. Charming service ensures guests are put at ease; the only issue will be how many dishes to choose!

6 Southwark Street, Borough Market, Southwark, SE1 1TQ London
££ · Italian

Have a mosey round the stalls of bustling Borough Market while you wait in the virtual queue; once you’re in, try for a seat at the kitchen counter and you can watch the skilful chefs at work. This place is dedicated to pasta, which is hand-rolled in house; sauces and fillings are inspired by the owners’ trips to Italy, and prices are extremely pleasing to the pocket. Fast and friendly service completes the picture.

River Café
Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, Hammersmith & Fulham, W6 9HA London
££££ · Italian

It may be at the pricier end of London Italians, but there’s still something special about this long-standing icon of the capital’s restaurant scene. The simple, produce-led cooking is thoroughly Italian in spirit and delivers on authentic Italian flavours thanks to the quality of the base ingredients. The atmosphere is as good as ever and it remains one of London’s best restaurants for celebrity-spotting.