Italian Restaurants in Chelsea
1. Stecca Italian restaurant in Chelsea 14 Hollywood Rd - SW10
Hit and miss feedback on this Italian two-year-old, in a posh side street opposite the entrance to the Chelsea & Westminster hospital. On the plus side, all reports rate the cooking as good or better. But it can also seem pricey for what it is, and meals don’t always run like clockwork: “the management and the regular clientele were treating the place as the most remarkable restaurant in this part of the world, but our service was very up and down, to the extent they gave us free puddings”.
2. Chelsea Cellar Italian restaurant in Chelsea 9 Park Walk - SW10
“Romantic, quaint and cosy basement” near Chelsea & Westminster Hospital that earns high marks across the board for its “classy and delicious” Italian cicchetti, plus a seasonal menu of larger plates and 250 wines (also available as off sales). “The owners really take care to look after you” and “clearly put everything into this place”.
3. Frantoio Italian restaurant in Chelsea 397 King’s Rd - SW10
The flamboyant owner, Bucci, creates “a great atmosphere” and helps present a “really good menu for both meat and fish lovers” at this “fun” World’s End trattoria. It’s a real “favourite” among locals: “I love, love, love this place! Been going for 20 years and it’s like walking into a family gathering”.
4. Daphne’s Italian restaurant in Chelsea 112 Draycott Ave - SW3
“So civilised” – this Chelsea stalwart was founded in 1967 by Daphne Rye, the theatrical agent who discovered Richard Burton; and a couple of decades later found fame as Princess Di’s favourite haunt. But beyond a local well-heeled crowd its social caché is more limited nowadays, and, despite being part of Richard Caring’s Caprice group, it generates only a middling amount of feedback. The Italian cooking is somewhere between dependable and unexciting… especially at the price: “we go for old time’s sake, but really the food is average”.
5. La Famiglia Italian restaurant in Chelsea 7 Langton Street - SW10
Thanks in part to its “beautiful garden”, this “very friendly”, old-favourite trattoria (est 1966) in a posh and pretty Chelsea sidestreet has attracted more than its fair share of Hollywood A-listers and royalty over the decades, and is particularly popular with the well-heeled locals as a place to bring the little darlings (“as the name says, it is good for families, but it’s very busy at weekends”). Opinions split somewhat on how its long service has affected the realisation of its “real Italian cooking”: “unchanged for 40 years – just lovely” vies with “hasn’t changed in 50 years, very uninspiring”.
6. Made in Italy Italian restaurant in Chelsea 249 King’s Rd - SW3
“Top pizzas” that “taste as good as they look” are the hallmark of this 30-year Chelsea fixture, now with branches in Wimbledon and Battersea. “I couldn’t stop myself from eating every last bit of the dough,” reports one happy fan of the pizza, which is served by the metre.
7. La Mia Mamma Italian restaurant in Chelsea 257 King's Road - SW3
An “intriguing concept” – ‘A rotation of Mammas’ from 20 different Italian regions per year provide the hearty scoff at this welcoming Chelsea yearling, where handmade pasta is something of a feature. By all accounts, the formula works, delivering “interesting dishes not found in your typical Italian restaurant” to a consistently good standard, and – for the ’hood – it’s not especially pricey either.
8. Scalini Italian restaurant in Chelsea 1-3 Walton St - SW3
“The diner is transported straight back to the 1960s, not least because of the breadsticks and very old-fashioned service” at this traditional Italian, close to Harrods. “No doubt because of the location, it’s not exactly a bargain” – the “pricey food, although good, does not quite live up to expectations” – but it’s popular (opening a branch in Dubai last year), and “when busy, it’s pretty much shoulder-to-shoulder”.
9. Lucio Italian restaurant in Chelsea 257 Fulham Rd - SW3
“It’s easy to go too often” to this “friendly” Fulham Road Italian, that has built a strong local following over 15 years. “The menu changes regularly with the seasons” and “portions are generous”, but what is “spectacular value” at lunchtime becomes “expensive in the evening for almost the same menu”.
10. Manicomio Italian restaurant in Chelsea 85 Duke of York Sq - SW3
It’s “always a delight” to visit this sleekly modern Italian duo in Chelsea and the City, which provide an “airy, relaxing escape from the fumes”. “Food and service are of a high quality”, and “there’s been a definite improvement over the last few years”. They’re “undoubtedly a bit pricey”, but “nothing is cheap in these areas”. The group has added a third venue, Canto Corvino, in Spitalfields (see also).
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