Harden's survey result
“Simultaneously up-to-date and old-school” – one of London’s oldest Italians (dating from 1946) makes an ideal business lunch spot in St James’s, with a busy, bustling atmosphere that’s formal but “not too serious”, and with “excellent cooking and friendly service”. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is also rather “expensive”. Top Tip: “breakfast is always good here… especially if someone else is paying!”.
A “smart” interior where white linen abounds, and “very good” and courteous service are the badges of distinction at this St James’s institution (one of London’s oldest Italians, est 1946). “It’s very pleasant, even if the lack of space between tables is not ideal” and a major favourite amongst local pinstripes. “Perfect for a working breakfast too… unless you find the whole concept abhorrent!”
This “very old school St James’s destination comes with starched linen tablecloths, courteous waiters, high quality – if unadventurous – Italian food… and astronomical prices”; (“just walking in seemingly adds £1m to your personal net worth, but while plutocratic it carries none of the blingy nonsense that passes for style in flashier quarters”). A natural for local pinstripes: “sometimes I just sit and make it my office from breakfast onwards!”
“Attentive” staff know how to treat expense accounters at this St James’s Italian, whose dependable cooking and “absence of riff raff” appeal to local pinstripes (including for a working breakfast); it can also seem a tad “boring” and pricey however, and “all those hedgies make a lot of noise”.
Situated at the St James’s end of Jermyn Street, Franco’s is surrounded by the many lifestyle boutiques, private clubs, art galleries and hotels of the area.
Open all day, the personality of the restaurant evolves from a quietly and gently efficient breakfast venue to a sharp and charged lunch atmosphere, to elegance and romance in the evening.
The lunch and dinner menus highlight carefully prepared traditional and more modern Italian dishes and the relaxed and friendly service ensures there is always somebody to greet you with a smile.
Stefano joined Franco’s as a senior chef de partie two years after the restaurant’s initial re-design in 2005. After successfully working in all the sections of the kitchen, he was soon promoted to the position of senior sous chef. Two years later when the previous head chef resigned, it was an easy decision to promote Stefano to Head Chef. Stefano continues to inspire and delight with new dishes on a daily basis. Although from the north of Italy, Stefano has a passion for many of the ingredients from central and southern regions. With Stefano’s thoughtful guidance, Franco’s continues to focus on ensuring the consistency and quality of all the products we serve.
Our private dining space offers many options and can be set up to suit your needs, for whatever the occasion. From board room style private meetings, product launches, presentations, seminars, cocktail and dinner parties, family re-unions, birthdays and anniversaries Franco’s is the perfect setting for your important event.
Franco’s Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Despite its popularity it retains a freshness both in the food and the service. Genuine italian, the home made the Maltagliati is a hit while the first courses, less Italian, but clean-tasting and appetising also attract. The waitress is friendly, though there's an element of knowing that you're here because it's famous, being one of the oldest Italian restaurants in town. Price of more than £100 a head inc VAT and s/c is a bit touristy, too"
"Very interesting dishes, even on the set menu which is excellent value, beutifully presented. Service and ambience excellent"
"Probably overpriced, with a slightly too old white man lunching vibe. Very good Vitello Tonnato and fried courgette"