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9 Best Italian Restaurants in London: The Best London Italian Food

When you eat at the table of the best Italian restaurants in London, you should normally feel like you’re miles away from eating London food. Sure, an English breakfast is one of the best foods in the world – at least, in my opinion. But Italian food? It’s got something on me – something no one can erase. I usually split my time living half of the year in London and half in Rome. Now that I’ve gotten the proper Italian culture under my skin, you can understand how important it is for me to find the best Italian restaurants in London. So that, when I’m far from Rome, I can still feel a bit of my other home while eating delicious Italian food.

By the way, if you’re a lover of Italian food in London as I am, you’re going to love to discover those guides here on The London Local:

Best London Food: 9 Best Italian Restaurants in London

gloria shoreditch best italian restaurants london east pizza pasta
Photo: Timeout

London food is famous around the world, and it’s hard to think of a better place to eat anywhere on the planet. The city is absolutely awash with incredible cuisine, from Indian to Japanese, from Thai to Mexican, from Chinese to French…  No matter what you fancy, you’re never more than a short stroll or a quick tube ride away from a fantastic meal.

But of all the cuisines of London, I think the one that it does best is Italian. I’ve written about the best places to get a true Italian pizza in London under £9 some time ago if Margherita is your jam. There’s such an abundance of incredible Italian restaurants in London that it’s literally impossible to go through them all, but here those are the ones I think are the best Italian restaurants London has to offer. Gloria Shoreditch, Zafferano London, amazing Muswell Hill restaurants like Lunablu… They’re all here, the best Italian restaurants in London, and they’ll really just blow your mind.

Best Italian restaurants London: Gloria Shoreditch

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Photo: Timeout

Located in the heart of trendy East London (along with some of the coolest cafes in Shoreditch), it’s almost impossible to be disappointed with a booking at Gloria Shoreditch. I could legit not be writing about the best Italian restaurants in London and leave out Gloria. Set across two floors, this trattoria offers incredible Italian food cooked by a team of 85 from Naples. I love going to the best non-halal and Italian halal restaurants in London and seeing that the team is actually Italian.

That’s always been an important feature of any kind of restaurant for me – I like seeing that the cooks actually belong to the culture. I’m open-minded, but that’s always going to be the best in my opinion; the best pasta in London might be cooked by the Italian team at Gloria Shoreditch.

? Read: The best Italian cafes in London

The oozing pesto heart burrata is some of the best I’ve ever tried, and the restaurant serves some of the best pizza in London, with its gorgeous Neapolitan absolutely to die for! In addition to serving some of the best Italian London has to offer, Gloria also has a fantastic bar and serves cocktails such as the Basic B*tch, or a tasty Negroni served with iced tea.

Best Italian restaurants London: Zafferano London

Zafferano London is located in upmarket Belgravia, and as you might expect from the location, this restaurant offers a true fine dining experience. I consider Zafferano as one of the coolest Italian restaurants London has seen pop up on the London food scene. Their signature dishes include linguine lobster, costata di manzo (Rib of beef), veal Milanese and saffron risotto – so whatever you love about real Italian food, you’ll find something delicious on this menu.

The restaurant offers a range of dishes from all over Italy, and it’s one of the restaurants for the best pasta in London with its Bucatini all’Amatriciana being a particular delight, with its deep, richly-spiced sauce made from cracked black pepper and dried chilies.

Italian restaurants Mayfair: Piccolino London

Piccolino is one of the finest Italian restaurants Mayfair has to offer, as well as one of the best Italian restaurants London as a whole. Located on Heddon Street, Piccolino’s menu is stuffed with classic, expertly-cooked Italian dishes. The Pancetta di Maiale in particular is delightful, made with meat sourced directly from the farm of origin.

Read: The most stunning posh halal restaurants in Mayfair

The restaurant also boasts a lovely terrace with heat lamps and covers, so you can dine al fresco whatever the season. It’s truly one of the best outdoor restaurants London has to offer and you just feel amazing there, all taken care of.

Best Italian restaurants in London: Il Portico London

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Photo: Facebook

Il Portico London is a beautiful little family-run Italian restaurant on Kensington High Street (close to some of the very best cafes in South Kensington – well worth the detour if you love instagrammable cafes, too). It has been in the hands of the same family since the 1960s, when they first came to London from Emilia Romagna, bringing their interpretation of the region’s wonderful cuisine with them. That’s definitely one of the best Italian restaurants if you are looking for truly authentic cuisine.

The menu features the best food from Emilia Romagna, including dishes such as Gnocco Fritto w/ pecorino romano, Melanzane Parmigiana, and Squid ink Tagliolini w/ monkfish & aubergine, shellfish bisque & pine nuts. Some of the best London food currently available. I feel like the best Italian London food always reminds me of being in Rome, and when it does, that’s just incredibly perfect.

Il Portico London also serves some of the best pasta in London – the Tagliatelle w/ pork belly & wild boar ragu is unforgettably gorgeous. Just sayin’.

Best Italian restaurants in Covent Garden: San Carlo Cicchetti

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Photo: San Carlo

The best Italian London? Maybe. Cicchetti is a gorgeous little Italian restaurant in Covent Garden serving delicious Venetian-style tapas dishes. Think bruschetta, burrata, tapenade, and all manner of other gorgeous Mediterranean tapas – perfect comfort London food when it’s raining or for a romantic date with your other half.

If you’re searching for restaurants with outdoor seating in London, Cicchetti is a fantastic choice as it has plenty of table space outside for diners. This is absolutely one of the best outdoor restaurants London has to offer in my opinion and a place where I dress up to enjoy the food and the moment.

You could definitely get up in the morn’, visit one of the best cafes in Covent Garden for some chill artisan coffee and pastries. Then, walk around the city, looking for historical old streets in London like Haymarket, treat yourself to some Japanese shopping, and slowly get back to Cicchetti. A cool day in perspective, imo.

Michelin Star Italian Restaurants London: Locanda Locatelli

Locanda Locatelli is one of the finest Italian restaurants not just in London, but in the whole world, and it’s not hard to see why it was awarded a Michelin star. I love classic Italian food London like delicious and affordable pizza, and pasta is one of my reasons to live. But when you come across fine dining and Italian food combined… That’s another story.

Read: The best halal Michelin star restaurants in London

Locanda Locatelli has some of the best pasta in London on its menu, with some of the standout dishes including Tortelli di zucca e amaretti al burro e salvia, and the Calamarata, coda di rospo, salicornia, capperi, peperoncino e limone. All the most delicious Italian food in just one restaurant in London.

Halal Italian restaurant London: Zonzo Restaurant

zonzo halal italian restaurant london best italian restaurants london
Photo: TripAdvisor

Zonzo London, located in Paddington, is one of the best halal Italian restaurants in London at the moment. The menu is packed full of gorgeous, freshly-made dishes, made with seasonal and locally-sourced produce. There is also a vegan menu and a non-halal menu for those of you who want to enjoy the best Italian London a different way.

Zonzo might be one of the best Halal Italian restaurants London has to offer, but that’s not all. In addition to the incredible Italian food, it also boasts a generous amount of outdoor seating, making it one of the best restaurants with outdoor seating London currently has.

Italian Restaurants London Bridge: Giuseppe’s Ristorante Italiano & Pizzeria

If you’re searching for the finest Italian London Bridge has to offer, look no further than Giuseppe’s! The menu is packed full of classics such as Spaghetti Carbonara, Spaghetti Aglio E Olio, Saltimbocca Alla Romana and Pizza Capricciosa. Having shared my life between London and Rome for some time now, we know that the best Italian food always gets me going – that’s a fact.

Read: The Seriously Best Cafes in London Bridge for Breakfast and Brunch

Giuseppe’s offers some of the best London food available right now, and all the dishes really taste like Italy. For sure, it’s one of the best Italian restaurants London has to offer if you want to take your partner on a date. Do take a good look at their pasta menu – it’s delish and oh-so-satisfying!

Italian Muswell Hill Restaurants: Lunablu

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Photo: OpenTable

Garlic Mozzarella bread. Wood fired pizza. Parmigiana di melanzane. Those are only a few items that Lunablu, a restaurant in Muswell Hill, offers on their incredibly Italian menu. There are not that many restaurants in London that cook food as authentic as Lunablu. When I’m around Muswell Hill and Highgate, I walk so much there in the beautiful areas that I often forget to eat.

Of course, when hunger knocks on the door, you have to answer. For me, the answer is often “Italian restaurant”. If you want to take a date for a romantic evening out, that’s definitely a no-frill restaurant you’ll want to pay a visit to.

9 Best Italian Restaurants London: On The Quest for The Best Italian London

No matter what kind of Italian food you’re looking for – whether it’s home-cooked, high end, halal, vegetarian, or pasta – London has a multitude of Italian restaurants just waiting for you to discover. I’ll make some other specific articles about Italian restaurants in East London, in the North, West and South – bear with me! If you’d like to discover some amazing places for a halal fine dining experience in London, or move forward a chapter with my top 3 Asian restaurants in Chinatown, you know what to do.

If you’d like some other recommendations on the best things to do in London, I can definitely highlight the following:

Until next time!

PS. Did you know that some of the most colorful street art in London is at Brick Lane? Well worth a visit!

Sam

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