Italian Restaurants in Chelsea
1. La Delizia Limbara Pizza restaurant in Chelsea 63-65 Chelsea Manor St - SW3
2019 Review: This “great little Italian pizza place” in a side street off the King’s Road is a “best-in-class for a cheap and cheerful bite”. There’s a “limited menu, but what it does it does well”… and has done for yonks.
2. Al Forno Pizza restaurant in Wimbledon Town 2a King’s Road - SW19
2021 Review: These “buzzing family-run Italians” in southwest London create “an exceptional atmosphere” for large parties of all ages – and “they won’t break the bank”. “Despite the celebratory brouhaha, they produce a very respectable menu of traditional dishes – fish stew, duck, pizza on demand” – “even the veggies are catered for”. “Expect noise and old people dancing.”
3. Ziani’s Italian restaurant in Chelsea 45 Radnor Walk - SW3
This diminutive but “highly enjoyable” Venetian trattoria off Chelsea’s King’s Road (named in honour of the Doge who laid out Venice’s Piazza San Marco) is “really popular with the locals” for its “great buzz”, led by the “loud and funny waiters”. Founder Roberto Colussi died five years ago, but it has carried on in the way he intended, and will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.
4. Made in Italy Italian restaurant in Chelsea 249 King’s Rd - SW3
“Rustic décor, friendly service and great pizza” win recommendations for this long-running duo, whose Chelsea branch boasts a heated roof terrace. They make their own fresh cheeses at a factory in Battersea, and their “burrata heart on a pizza is a creamy delight”.
5. La Mia Mamma Italian restaurant in Chelsea 257 King's Road - SW3
2021 Review: 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.
6. Wild Tavern Italian restaurant in Kensington and Chelsea 2 Elystan Street - SW3
“Hopping Chelsea local” (overlooking Chelsea Green), whose owners George Bukhov-Weinstein and Ilya Demichev also play a part in other casual luxury brands such as Beast and Burger & Lobster. Here, a vaguely Alpine interior hosts an offering whose menu incorporates a raw bar and pastas, plus prime steaks and fish grills sold by the 100g. Results are generally good, but whether they represent fair value is debated (“such an exceptional bill should not be presented to anyone with a weak heart…”)
7. Lucio Italian restaurant in Chelsea 257 Fulham Rd - SW3
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, this family-run Italian on the Fulham Road is “everything you’d expect in an upmarket Chelsea restaurant” – although the service, led by host Lucio Altana and his sons Dario and Mirko, “is rather better than you might anticipate”.
8. Riccardo’s Italian restaurant in Chelsea 126 Fulham Rd - SW3
This “welcoming neighbourhood spot” on a Chelsea corner “won’t win awards – but it won’t let you down” with its “reliably tasty” Tuscan cooking. “The only downside is if you go late, the noise level is high.”
9. Daphne’s Italian restaurant in Chelsea 112 Draycott Ave - SW3
“A real favourite” of the Chelsea set since the 1960s, when it was launched by Daphne Rye, Richard Burton’s agent (but most famous for its 1990s association with Princess Di) this smart Italian still has its cheerleaders, who insist that “it never fails” – “the best just get better”. Others beg to differ, saying it’s “sad to see such an establishment going downhill”, or damning it with faint praise as “pleasant enough if rather undistinguished”. These days it’s part of Richard Caring’s Caprice group, and feeds shoppers from nearby Brompton Cross.
10. Manicomio Chelsea Italian restaurant in Chelsea 85 Duke of York Square - SW3
This modern Italian “favourite” makes good use of its large and attractive terrace in Chelsea’s peaceful Duke of York’s Square, and has a big and loyal following as a result. Fans say the food is “interesting” too, but more sceptical diners feel that’s debatable. It also has a twin in the City, which attracts much less comment.
11. Polpo Italian restaurant in Chelsea Duke of York Square - SW3
2021 Review: Now over ten years old, this Venetian/Mediterranean chain has suffered a drip-feed of branch closures, with only two now trading: Soho and Chelsea. And in August 2020 it parted ways with its co-founder Russell Norman. Fans do still applaud the duo’s “very convivial and fun” formula, but the groups woes have stemmed from Venetian small plates that are often “no better than fine”, and at worst “uncared for” or “very mediocre”. Perhaps it will now finally turn a corner?
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