Severely affected by COVID-19 last Winter, Italy has been capable to manage the disruptive effects of the pandemic in time for a surreal, for sure less crowded but not less magical, Summer season. Since it was declared a ‘quarantine-free’ country by the UK government, the peninsula has been visited by tourists willing to soak up the Mediterranean sun and enjoy the unmistakable Italian lifestyle.
To make you remeniscent about your last Sicilian meal or true Milanese aperitivo, we’ve rounded up the best Italian inspired restaurant in London.
La Brasseria Milanese
With its enviable terrace just in the heart of Marylebone Village, this design-led venue is open all day long and it’s equally lovely for a catch up lunch with friends and an intimate date (in this case, I’d recommend booking a table insight, where the soft-lighting and the stunning handpainted booths overhanging the table will make you feel like the only customers in the restaurant).
Runned by brothers Andrea and Alberto Fraquelli, the restaurant offers hearty Italian dishes – you must try their Cotoletta alla Milanese (Chicken Milanese) and their signature Fettuccine with Truffle and Radicchio - in a stylish ambience where reference to Milanese designers like Achille Castiglioni, Fornasetti and Ettore Sottsass are scattered all around. The friendly staff will take care of you – and your pets! - like you’re part of the family.
42 Marylebone High St., Marylebone, London W1U 5HD
Mastering the art of ‘casual fine dining’ for more than 30 years, Il Trillo in Chelsea will serve you the most authentic cuisine from a very specific area that stretches from Liguria to Tuscany. All ingredients are imported from Italy and sourced from trusted farms, while bread, cookies and pasta are all homemade. Try their signature Homemade pappardelle with wild boar and let the sommelier guide you toward the best Tuscan red to pair them with.
The restaurant is owned by three brothers, one of which, Fabrizio, is aslo the Head Chef, having worked in the kitchen since he was a teenager. Fabrizio’s mom sometimes comes to London and you could be lucky enough to taste one of her special dishes.
4 Hollywood Rd, Kensington, London SW10 9HY
Part of the successfull Big Mama Group – which is the brand behind the vivacious restaurant Gloria in Hackney – Circolo Popolare in Fitzrovia is undoubtebly one of the most Instagram friendly places in London. If you think less is more, think again: two rooms are united under a high ceiling clad in salvaged wooden beams, summer wisteria and strings of festoon lights. More than 20,000 bottles of vintage spirits and wines line the walls in a dramatic fashion, while an old collection of vintage plates, pictures and 200m of coloured Italian glass bring warmth and visual interest.
Foodwise, Circolo Popolare offer a modern take on Sicilian and the Mediterranean classic dishes like Sfoglia Norma — gigantic sheets of pasta topped with tomato and aubergines — and pork skewers All’Arrabiata – a spicey tomato sauce.
40-41 Rathbone Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1HX
If you’re a fan of friendly restaurant with marvellous food, this one is for you! Padella is a pasta bar that served hand-rolled pasta with authentic, slow-cooked Italian sauces. Tagliarini, Pici, Fettucine, Pappardelle, there’s nothing that a steaming plate of pasta can’t fixed, especially when its served with a glass of wine coming straight from the barrel.
The real magic happens in the open kitchen: if you're lucky enough to get a spot next to the windows you can watch the chefs plays with parmeasen and flour while preparing the dishes. The most famous one is the cacio e pepe (thick ropes of pasta that are drenched in butter and arrive topped with a snowdrift of grated parmesan) but if you're not into cheese, the daily menù has many others delicious options.
6 Southwark St, London SE1 1TQ
As you might know, every region of Italy has its own individual cuisine and Apulia wants you to discover the one from Puglia, heel of the country. The owner, Vincenzo, has always been passionated about food since his family owned a restaurant in San Giorgio where he used to help his father and become so good at it that by the time he was twelve, was already a pizza chef himself.
Turning this love into a proper job, he opened up a restaurant in Bari with his sister and then decided to move to London to do British a favor and make them try all his grandmother's heavenly receipes.
Not a single soul hasn't fall in love with their Orecchiette con cime di rape and with the family atmosphere of Apulia that makes you travell to Puglia without actually being there
50 Long Ln, Farringdon, London EC1A 9EJ