When I lived in London, I ate in a great many different styles of restaurant, from Caribbean, to French, to Italian to Chinese. That is the way of London. Its cultural diversity is like no other I have experienced anywhere else and the authenticity of almost all these culinary experiences and more can rarely be called in to question.
Below I have included details of ten of the very best of London’s many, authentic Italian restaurants for you to peruse and hopefully enjoy.
Assaggi, 39 Chepstow Place, Kensington. Tube Stations: Bayswater, Queensway and Notting Hill Gate
This is perhaps an unusual choice for my list but its back to basics, simple cooking made it a must to include. It is a very small establishment so booking is an absolute must. The menu is all in Italian but the friendly staff are forever on hand to help translate.
Daphne’s, 112 Draycott Avenue, Chelsea. Tube Stations: South Kensington, Sloane Square and Knightsbridge
This is a restaurant which has obviously spent a lot of money on its decor. It is a fabulous spectacle to behold and with its ever changing menu of classic Italian dishes is one which we could visit again and again and always find something different to sample.
Enoteca Turi, 28 Putney High Street, Putney. Tube Stations: Putney, Putney Bridge and East Putney
Probably the choice on this list for those on a restricted budget, this family owned and run restaurant however does not compromise on the quality of its food. This is evidenced by its high proportion of regular clientele.
Locanda Locatelli, 8 Seymour Street, Marleybone. Tube Stations: Marble Arch, Bond Street and Baker Street
This restaurant is owned by TV Celebrity Chef Giorgio Locatelli. It is a restaurant frequented by the rich and famous, knowing that they are guaranteed the very best Italian cooking in the grandest of surroundings.
Manicomio, 85 Duke of York Square, King’s Road, Chelsea. Tube Stations: Sloane Square, South Kensington and Knightsbridge
Featuring a large outdoor terrace for eating outside when the weather is fair, this is a restaurant which prides itself on offering regional Italian cooking with the finest of ingredients imported directly from Italy.
Passione, 10 Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury. Tube Stations: Goodge Street, Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus
Famous nowadays as the restaurant where Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver “cut his culinary teeth,” Passione serves up an incredibly varied range of foods from fish, to eel, to rabbit.
Ristorante Semplice, 9/10 Blenheim Street, Mayfair. Tube Stations: Bond Street, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch
Another Italian restaurant which gets the majority of its ingredients directly from Italy. This restaurant’s name translates in to English as “simple” – but isn’t that what all the very best cooking is about?
Sartoria, 20 Savile Row, Mayfair. Tube Stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Green Park
Perhaps if you have been out shopping for a new suit, you may choose to dine afterwards at Sartoria. A very impressive setting with an equally impressive choice of food – but although the style is unmistakably Italian, the menu is peppered with such as Scottish Beef and Cornish Crab. Perhaps best described as an Anglo/Italian restaurant?
Theo Randall at the InterContinental, 1 Hamilton Place, Mayfair. Tube Stations: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge and Green Park
The InterContinental Hotel is the host site for this truly authentic Italian restaurant. Every dish on the menu is a true Italian, rustic classic enjoyed by the chef himself.
Zafferano, 15 Lowndes Street, Knightsbridge. Tube Stations: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge and Sloane Square
This Michelin starred restaurant in plush Knightsbridge (home of Harrods) has a rustic feel of old Italy about it with its bare brick walls and casual setting but dont let this fool you. The food is on a par with any Italian food you will find anywhere in London and specialities include Malfatti Pasta Parcels with Potato and Morel Mushrooms, Lobster and Langousitne sauted with Samphire and Roast Fiorentina T-Bone Steak with Herb Salad.
I hope that at least one of these venues applies to your taste and that you find it every bit as enjoyable as you had hoped it would be.