Ciao Bella: The Best Places For Pasta In London
Mantra to live by: there’s never a bad time for pasta. London is home to an abundance of restaurants serving up dishes from truffle tagliatelle to a traditional carbonara – Absolutely lists our favourites for when only pasta will do.
The Best For… A Casual Lunch
Lina Stores, Various Locations
The instagrammable restaurant with a no frills menu has locations in both King’s Cross and Soho. Doubling up as a delicatessen, the focus on fresh ingredients is clear from the get go – and the quality of the food is evident from the first bite. The interiors look like something out of the pages of a vintage magazine, with guests being drawn in by the pistachio green colour scheme and ambient lighting. Head down for a stellar breakfast menu (alongside a super strong espresso, of course), and our top pick from the menu – the Tagliolini al Tartufo e Parmigiano.
The Best For…Unparalleled Views
Tavolino, 2 More London Riverside SE1 2DB
Sitting directly overlooking the river at London bridge is neighbourhood Italian, Tavolino. On a sunny day, punters can sit outside and soak up the sun, whilst imagining they are sunning themselves in Positano. With a focus on fresh produce, menu highlights include Sicilian red prawn bucatini with pistachio and Burrata, heritage tomato, cucumber, capers and pickled shallot – truffle fans will rejoice at the option to add ‘summer truffle’ to any dish. The cocktail menu is strong, featuring the summer staple ‘Watermelon Blush’ with Colonel Fox gin, watermelon, lemon, egg white and their signature Espresso martini – a strong contender for our favourite espresso martini in London.
The Best For…Instagram Lovers
Ave Mario, 15 Henrietta St WC2E 8QG
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past several years, Londoners will be familiar with both Gloria and Circolo Polpare – both of which you will have inevitably seen on your Instagram feed at some point. The brains behind the two restaurants, Big Mamma Group, have recently opened their third installment with Ave Mario – complete with zebra-striped walls, red seating booths and neon bathrooms (move over Sketch, there’s a new insta bathroom in town). We urge guests to try the IL TIGRAMISÙ, a decadent portion of their famous ‘not so classic’ tiramisu that will leave you running to the gym for the next week – but it’s so worth it.
The Best For…Authenticity
Officina 00, 156 Old Street EC1V 9BW
Authenticity is at the very heart of Officina 00, the traditional Italian restaurant by Elia Sebregondi and Enzo Mirto. The menu is brought to life with traditional Italian recipes that have been used by Italian households for decades. The duo behind the restaurant believe, and we firmly agree, that making pasta is an art form. If you want to wow your friends in the kitchen, book in for one of their pasta making workshops, where guests will be given the tools and knowledge to cook pasta like the Italians do. Located just off Old Street roundabout, Officina 00 is the perfect place for a late night dinner – we thoroughly recommend the Pork Ragu Pappardelle. There is also a range of beers and wines on tap – making it the perfect location for an after work tipple.
The Best For…An Elegant Evening
Bocca Di Lupo, 12 Archer Street W1D 7BB
Since opening in 2008, Bocca Di Lupo has received stellar reviews from food critics across the capital for its range of traditional dishes from across different regions of Italy. The menu, cooked up by the brains behind London’s favourite gelato parlour Gelupo, is somewhat intimidating upon first glance – take the Rigatoni con la pajata, for example – milk-fed calf’s intestines with the mother’s milk inside, with tomato & pecorino. The attentive staff are all too happy to guide guests through the menu, and of course there are a number of more classic options (including the very delicious Chicken scallopine with marsala & girolles), however, guests should try and stray from their comfort zone if they dare. Afterwards, be sure to wander to nearby Gelupo to try some of their famous Peanut Butter Stracciatella ice cream before taking a stroll through Soho.
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