For a bowl of something (seriously) good, discover our list of lip-smacking pasta joints in London – from the pastel-hued Lina Stores to the sophisticated Baconcone. Buon appetito.
While you peruse our index of lip-smacking pasta joints, don your own negroni hoodie and check out Citizen Femme X Novel Mart’s playful playlist, ‘Welcome to the Italian Riviera’. The culmination of our cacio e pepe and Negroni-fuelled dreams, the playlist is compiled with an Aperitivo lifestyle in mind; so pour yourself a spritz and let the music play. Listen here.
Their stalwart Soho deli has been considered something of an institution since it opened in the 1940s. While the option to shop some A-grade supplies to whip up a wowing meal at home certainly appeals, on lazier days we find great comfort in the knowledge that we can whizz over to one of Lina Stores’ multiple eateries for a pasta-focused dining experience (with none of the cleanup). Seated amidst mint green décor you’ll feel transported to the likes of Portofino (or somewhere equally paradisiacal). Our go-to order: the spicy ‘nudja with ricotta washed down with one of the best negronis in London.
Burro e Salvia
Shoreditch-dwelling Burro e Salvia (which translates as “butter and sage”) is a real gem of place. Drop by to pick up freshly made pasta to cook at home, or grab a table at the rear of the premises and dive into, for example, a sumptuous mezzelune coated with a sheath of grated parmesan. Alternatively, why not hone your technique at one of Burro e Salvia’s pasta-making workshops, trying your hand at anything from tagliatelle to farfalle. At the end of the class you’ll get to take your creation home. Yum.
Bancone’s Piccadilly and Covent Garden outposts are perfectly positioned for city-dwellers’ lunchtime escapades. We’re loyal to the CG location, and like to grab a spot along the marble countertop for a front-row seat to the real-time cookery show: watch as chefs roll out and assemble fresh pasta front and centre. Best known for its luscious silk-handkerchief pasta with walnut butter and confit egg yolk, if it’s your first visit to Bancone this dish is a must. Whatever dish you choose, you can expect big portions at a reasonable price.
Feeling a little extra? Gloria is the place for you – read: subtlety is not in this sunshine-yellow trattoria’s vocabulary. The dining rooms are Capri-inspired, whilst Italian waiters are dressed in candy-striped uniforms. But if you thought the interiors were theatrical, consider the menu. The restaurant’s La Gran Carbonara – served in a giant pecorino – and vertiginous slices of lemon-meringue pie are the stuff of Instagram dreams. Another great (and impossibly XL) pasta option: the high-rise lasagne: ten layers of fresh pasta, meaty ragù, aubergine, and melting mozzarella.
Italian flair and the best of British ingredients combine at Luca, a small but mighty eatery in Farringdon. Upscale Italian, without an inch of pretension, Luca is all charm. Pasta is the main event here, with the open pasta kitchen serving delicious homemade dishes. If it’s on the menu the day you visit, order the lobster spaghetti. Post-prandial, hit the chic bar and order ‘The Luca Spritz’, with notes of bergamot and bitter-sweet orange.
Campania & Jones
All wooden tables and exposed brick, this former dairy has oodles of rustic charm. The Southern Italian restaurant, located just off Columbia Road, serves a menu of traditional dishes from the region. The short daily menus feature homemade pastas – think tortelli, gnudi, pappardelle, and co – with Campania’s pasta made by hand daily. They also offer pasta ‘to go’ should your meal leave you craving for more of the same – pick up a jar of their fresh ragu while you’re at it.
From the team behind The Dairy and Counter Culture, Sorella, located in Clapham, is one of our favoruite Italian restaurants in the capital. Fresh, simple dishes are the menu’s overarching theme. Their crab linguine with fennel and chilli is a must-order – but do leave room for a slice of zingy Amalfi lemon tart.
This Islington neighbourhood eatery is a pasta mecca. With no frills, but oodles of charm, diners will enjoy an array full-flavoured dishes, including delicious fresh pasta (psst, it’s hand-rolled before each service). Our top choices: the pappardelle with beef shin ragu and the tagliarini with black truffle, parmesan, and egg yolk.