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London is ridiculously spoilt for choice when it comes to the best Italian restaurants around. In fact, Fluid would venture to say that, outside of Italy, nowhere does Italian cuisine better than London. Whether it's award-winning celebrity hangouts, local pizza joints, intimate family-friendly spaghetti restaurants, indoor antipasto restaurants, or alfresco wine & dine restaurants, Fluid London brings you our pick of the best Italian restaurants in London, stretching from The City of London to Soho, from Brixton to Mayfair via Hammersmith and Clapham. Pasta justa like a mamma yusta make. Buon appetitio!
Murano by Angela Hartnett
Mayfair / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
For a Mayfair venue, Murano is surprisingly understated. Run by TV chef Angela Hartnett, former Head Chef at the ridiculously OTT The Connaught, everything about Murano is elegant, from the décor to the food. Vegetarians will be especially pleased with the choice here. It's a pricey establishment and can be hard to get a reservation, but it's well worth the wait.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
This hip Venetian trattoria in Soho has a real Greenwich village feel about it - all exposed brick, cool staff and a laid-back atmosphere. The dishes are starter-sized, so it's the perfect place to head on a Friday night with a group of mates. Fluid recommends the Gorgonzola and walnut crostini and pork belly with radicchio and hazelnut. The best thing about Polpo is the price: a typical meal for two with wine should set you back no more than 30 quid.
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
Rather more upscale than your everyday trattoria, you'll find no chequered tablecloths or oversized pepper grinders at Oseteria, an elegant Italian restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Barbican centre. The seasonal menu changes regularly, but is always full of big flavours - think chargrilled vegetables, slow cooked meats, and the chef has something of a magic touch with the humblest ingredients, particularly offal. If you've not time for dinner grab a drink in the bar, where they serve modern twists on classic Italian cocktails, and some seriously moreish bar snacks.
Chelsea / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
Nestled in Chelsea near Kensington, Pellicano is a family-run restaurant providing good quality, wholesome, Italian cuisine with a Sardinian influence and prepared with the freshest ingredients. Fresh homemade pasta dishes such as pappardelle with porcini mushrooms are served alongside tagliolini (thin ribbons of pasta) with fresh crab rocket and chilli and spaghetti with lobster pellicano. Throughout the year, Pellicano also serves innovative salad combinations, together with exciting vegetarian dishes such as culigiones (homemade Sardinian ravioli filled with potato, pecorino cheese and mint, served with a tomato sauce) or grilled goat's cheese with beetroot and spinach.
Marylebone / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
A favourite among London's celebrities, Locanda Locatelli has a predictably long waiting list for reservations. Its sexy surroundings, hip postcode and Michelin star make it a natural choice for the rich and famous, but don't let that put you off - the food here is bloody good. With top chef Giorgio Locatelli at the helm, it's hardly surprising. Prices are steep, but if you can afford it, you won't be disappointed.
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
Caravaggio is the most serious Italian restaurant in the City of London and a firm favourite with the movers and shakers of the square mile, many of whom are regular customers. Occupying the imposing premises of what was formerly a bank, all that remains of the original interior is the ornate high ceiling, with its splendid Art Deco light fittings. A long, marble topped bar by the entrance provides a convenient holding area for what is, at lunch times, a very busy dining room.
Brixton / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
An unassuming joint in Brixton market, you could easily walk past it without a second glance were it not for the round-the-block queues of hungry punters. Franco Manca does arguably the best pizza in London, yet it still retains the feel of a hidden gem. The sourdough pizza bases are made in a traditional wood burning oven and taste as authentically Neapolitan as they come. Excellent value for money, an energetic and cheerful staff - this is a thoroughly decent establishment.
London Bridge & Bermondsey / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
Presenting an irresistible riot of colour, aroma and flavour against a backdrop of handcrafted tiles, local Apulian stone, glass and wood, Pulia's shelves and counters are brimming with a wide array of produce. Here customers will find focaccia, panzerotti, pizza rustica, parmigiana, salads, dried pastas, olive oils, wine, cheeses and cured meats, along with natural juices, organic smoothies, specialist coffees and the famous pasticciotto (Puglia's version of a custard pie).
Blackheath & Eltham / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
Sunsets. Who doesn't love a sunset? What about a sunset on Blackheath as you sit in the window of Zerodegrees? A gorgeous (mostly) Italian restaurant attached to its own brewery, Zerodegrees screams good times and fun nights. Choose from unique pizzas such as the carbonara pizza, complete with gooey egg yolk, or slurp your way through tomatoey pasta dishes. Along with that, sup bespoke beers, vintage beers, European beers, English beers and more.
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