If there’s one thing that’s exploded on the London food scene over the last few years it’s pasta. There are SO many great pasta places in London right now, where do you even start? Well, I’ve tried and tested a LOT of pasta places around the city and rounded it up this ultimate list of 13 of London’s best pasta restaurants.
I’ve mentioned Popham’s a lot on the blog. Popham’s are one on London’s most famous bakeries … by day. However, what a lot of people don’t know is every Tuesday– Sunday from 6 pm they do pasta evenings. Their pasta menu is beautifully creative, all handmade and is delicately served on beautiful ceramics surrounded by flickering candlelight. Sticking with their bakery roots, you must get the sticky toffee croissant pudding for dessert! Pasta evenings are at their East London location only.
Best for: Quality and atmosphere.
19 Prebend St, Islington, London N1 8PF https://www.pophamsbakery.com/
Flour and Grape topped my must-eat places in London for 2019. It was my favourite place I ate that year. They’re located at the end of Bermondsey Street, one of London’s coolest streets. They have a menu of 9 unique pasta dishes which all come in at around the £8-£12 mark which is pretty great for the quality you get. My favourite is the beef shin ragu you see below. Inside they have both communal and private tables to enjoy a plate of pasta on your own or with a big group of mates. Flour & Grape is one of those places you can go to for a great meal, great atmosphere but not spend too much either. My kind of place. One tip I would say is they get very busy so try and reserve if you can. Also, they are quite strict on seating times so tables are only available for an hour and half-ish.
Best for: Somewhere both great and affordable.
214 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3TQ www.flourandgrape.com/
Bancone means ‘bar’ or ‘counter’. They are an elegant pasta restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden serving up stunning plates of pasta which change seasonally. Inside the seating is mostly made up of counter stools which offer the best view of the chefs fiercely cooking and dishing up. It’s like going to a theatre show … for pasta. If you prefer, there are more few more private tables dotted around. Their most famous dish is their silk handkerchiefs with walnut butter and a confit egg yolk. How good does that sound? After much success, they have opened up a second site in Soho. Bancone isn’t your casual place for a plate of pasta but more of something for a special occasion. Booking is essential.
Best for: Watching the chefs in action.
39 William IV St, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4DD www.bancone.co.uk/
Padella was the original cool kid of the London pasta scene that in my opinion kick-started the pasta craze. Every day, hordes of people queue outside their Borough Market restaurant for a chance to try their famous pasta which is served at affordable prices but in smaller portions to share with friends. Their most famous dish is their cacio e pepe which translates into cheese & pepper. I’d recommend ordering this with a side of bread and oil for a great meal for less than £10. They have just recently opened a second location in Shoreditch, East London.
Best for: Pasta to share with friends.
6 Southwark St, London SE1 1TQ www.padella.co
Yes, this blog is about the best pasta places in London, BUT if it was about the most gorgeous restaurants in London Lina Stores would also be on that list too. They first opened their strikingly beautiful takeaway deli on the corner of Soho in 1944 stocking hundreds of Italian products. Since then, they have opened two restaurants in Central and North London – both totally worth an Instagram snap for their stunning duck egg blue facade. The menu is made up of small plates of pasta designed tp share with your company. A beautiful place with equally beautiful food. Don’t leave without getting a giant cannoli for dessert.
Best for: Pasta in a beautiful setting.
51 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4EH hwww.linastores.co.uk/
I love Pastaio because it’s one of those places you can make as casual or as special as you want it to be. The menu has a great selection of fresh pasta dishes, as well as an excellent vegan menu of which you’d never tell the difference. Inside is really funky with white marble tables, stainless steel features and sophisticated lighting. Most of the restaurant is made up of large communal tables with a few private ones available. Find them at London’s famous Carnaby Street. Perfect for a bit of shopping afterwards. Just FYI, their fried mozzarella, ‘nduja & honey sandwich is amazing. You HAVE to get it on the side.
Best for: Vegan options.
19 Ganton St, Soho, London W1F 9BN pastaio.co.uk
From the same people that brought us one of my favourite pizza places in London, Zia Lucia, they have now brought us, Berto. Berto are the new pasta kids on the block, recently opened up in North London’s up and coming area of Holloway. All pasta is handmade on sight and gluten-free options are available. For the ultimate experience, I’d highly recommend you order the caciocavallo cheese to start, the cacio e pepe for main and a tiramisu to finish. Italian perfection.
Best for: Big, hearty portions.
155 Holloway Rd, London N7 8LX berto.uk
Via Emilia is a bit of a hidden gem. Yes, it’s in one of London’s most popular areas of Shoreditch but it’s not as well known by the general public. The menu is based on traditional food from a region in Italy from Emilia Romagna where egg pasta was originally invented. If you go, you must get their famous Gnocco Fritto – a soft pillow-like bread gently fried and filled with cheese and topped with mortadella meat. Delicious.
Best for: An authentic experience.
37A Hoxton Square, Hackney, London N1 6NN www.via–emilia.com
Bocca is a really sophisticated pasta experience. Their restaurant is located in the heart of London’s West End, opposite their sister gelato shop, Gelupo. The menu is very substantial with lots of dishes you won’t find at a ‘typical’ Italian restaurant. They have categorised it into fried, oven and stewed dishes, as well as pasta, of course. Not only that, but you can also order most dishes in a small or large size depending on if you want to share or not. Bocca also does a ‘bring your own truffles’ menu where you can order a dish for around £10 and they will clean and slice your truffles for you to scatter over your dish. An unusual but fun experience for any foodie.
Best for: A sophisticated experience.
12 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7BB boccadilupo.com
Circolo Popoliare landed in London just a year or two ago and quickly gained a reputation for being the most beautiful restaurant in London. Not only that, but it also became famous for its Italian dishes including their Instagram worthy carbonara that’s made in front of you inside a giant wheel of cheese. Plus, they do a 5-inch-tall lemon meringue pie! Portions are big and designed for one per person rather than to share. All dishes are to be enjoyed beneath twinkling lights and surrounded by the most impressive wall of Italian spirits you will ever see.
Best for: Impressing someone or treating yourself.
40-41 Rathbone Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1HX www.circuolo-popolare
Burro e Salvia are a small but classy restaurant specialising in fresh handmade pasta. You can buy their fresh pasta from the counter to take away and cook at home yourself or enjoy the experience inside their East London restaurant. Portions are on the smaller side so I’d recommend getting a few to share. The interior is really chic, almost like being in some sort of Italian farmhouse. If you’re lucky, you may get to watch it being made right in front of you.
Best for: If you want to cook fresh pasta at home.
52 Redchurch St, Shoreditch, London E2 7DP burroesalvia.co.uk
‘O ver are a beautiful, high-end Italian restaurant that first opened up in a little corner of London Bridge and now expanded in London’s West End. What makes them unique to all other Italian restaurants is their use of pure seawater in their dishes. Being more high end, dishes come in at around the £14 – £20 so bear that in mind if you’re on a budget. The menu is substantial with lots of Italian classics to choose from. A great place for a pre-theatre dinner or a special occasion. P.S How you pronounce the name of this restaurant I’ll never know. Thoughts?
Best for: A special occasion.
Various Locations, https://www.overuk.com/
St Katherine’s Dock is one of London’s hidden gems. It’s a small marina not far from the Tower of London with lots of lovely places to eat and drink overlooking the boats. One of those places is Emilia’s. Andrew, the founder of Emelia’s travelled to the birthplace of pasta, Emilia Romagna and brought the techniques and recipes he learnt to his London restaurant. Portions are big, hearty and above all, delicious!
Best for: Pasta with a view.
C3, Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 1AT www.emiliaspasta.com
Wait! Before you go…
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