If you go out into the street and ask a hundred people what their favourite cuisine is – which is, presumably, what Richard Osman’s minions do when they’re conducting research for Pointless – you’re pretty likely to hear a lot of: “Italian”. Italian food is one of the most popular cuisines on the planet. It’s difficult to visit a city in the world that hasn’t got at least one Italian restaurant or pizzeria kicking about in the local vicinity – though the quality of what’s on offer can vary rather violently. Italians are passionate about their food and if they find anyone doing a bastardised take or an insulting rendition of their classic dishes, you can be damned sure they’ll be leaving a plethora of bitter one-star Google reviews. I’m not Italian but I am passionate about food. Especially when it comes to eating it. There’s nothing worse than a wasted meal and that’s why I want to make sure you’re eating at the best of the best, too.
London is home to some excellent Italian restaurants as well as some… much less excellent places. I’ve attempted to round up the cream of the crop for you here. Now, before we get started and stuck into the best Italian restaurants in London, I want you to know that we’ve excluded pizzerias from this list because pizza really belongs in its own category altogether. The spots we’ve highlighted, instead, are those which specialise in your more classic Italian fare. The likes of charred bistecca alla fiorentina or homemade ravioli. I’m talking real deal Italian restaurants where you can tell a lot of heart and thought has been put into the menu – places where you can find niche regional dishes as well as incredible versions of more catch-all classics. While we've numbered these entires, this isn't a best-to-worst list or a Channel 5-esque 'Funniest Ever TV Cock Ups' rundown. The number means nothing.
I hope this article will give you an idea of what the best Italian restaurants in London look like, sound like, and taste like. The best way, of course, to find out whether or not you agree with my selection will be to go and check them out for yourselves. Buon appetito.