Ciao Bella: The Top 5 Italian Restaurants in London

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Italian never goes out of fashion and never fails to please. Should you find yourself an amazing Italian restaurant or chef, you’ll be heading back for years—taking with your entourage with you as that passionate and family-loving culture would demand. There are hundreds of Italian restaurants in London and some of these are known to be special, really special.

1 Assagi

Set in a modest and unlikely location in a Victorian Bayswater pub, Assaggi pulls in serious foodies, Italian fans and those who like to be rubbing shoulders with a well-to-do and fashionable crowd.

Chef Nino Sassu's dishes are elegantly simple and seasonal. In summer expect grilled fish and beautiful vegetables, while rustic winter meals focus on hearty pasta dishes and gutsy meat and game specialties.

39 Chepstow Place, London, W2 4TS
020 7792 5501

2 Cecconi’s

The only restaurant in London which serves Cichetti (Italian tapas), Cecconi's is a classic Italian restaurant in Mayfair serving food and drink from first thing in the morning until the early hours, seven days a week.

Vibrant yet traditional the restaurant has been drawing in celebrities, the rich and royalty since the 1970s. This glamorous spot serves appropriate Italian dishes around the clock from the 7am cappuccino and granola, to midday lobster salad, then cocktail-hour crostini and evening lamb shank with artichokes and potatoes.

5A Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3AZ
020 7434 1500

3 Semplice

When the likes of AA Gill, hard-to-please food critic from the Sunday Times, and Giles Coran from The Times starting raving about the food, you know it must be good.

Upscale and elegant and with sharp-suited staff working the floor, the restaurant exudes luxury and the promise of some impressive dishes to come. The freshest of Italian ingredients such as Fassone beef, salumi, cheese, virgin olive oil and the wine are sourced from small regional producers to produce Michelin-starred delights like the roast an pan-fried rabbit, the Monkfish served in a light red pepper sauce, and the roast suckling pig served with served with sautéed gnocchi, dried tomatoes, olives, and fresh thyme.

9-10 Blenheim Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 1LJ

4 Zafferano

Michelin starred, Zafferano has been collecting awards and accolades since it opened in Belgravia in 1995. Fittingly the restaurant was recently awarded the top prize at Tatler's 2009 Restaurant Awards for Most Consistently Excellent Restaurant.

Zafferano offers an honest and wholesome take on Italian cuisine, with dishes like ‘Malfatti’ Pasta Parcels with potato and morel mushroom, Lobster and langoustine sautéed with ‘samphire,’ and also Roast ‘Fiorentina’ T-bone Steak with herb salad. There is also an elegant bar offering a selection of cocktails, aperitifs and digestive as well as a bar menu with a mouth watering choice of regional Italian favorites.

15 Lowndes Street, 
Knightsbridge, London,
020 7235 5800

5 Bocca Di Luppo

A vibrant, little trattori in the heart of Soho, Bocca Di Luppo pleases restaurant critics with exceptional dishes at surprisingly silly prices.

Chef Jacob Kenedy presents the best of regional Italian dishes such as the caponata from Sicily, crescentine from Emilia-Romagna, and caponmagro from Liguria.

12 Archer Street, London W1D 7BB, 020 7734 2223

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