Italian Restaurants in Chelsea
1. 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”.
2. 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”.
3. 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”.
4. 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”.
5. 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.
6. 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 two years ago), and “when busy, it’s pretty much shoulder-to-shoulder”.
7. 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”.
8. Aglio e Olio Italian restaurant in Chelsea 194 Fulham Rd - SW10
“Honest”, “fresh-tasting pasta and Italian staples” have won a major fanclub for this “unobtrusive” but “buzzy and very good-value institution” near Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. “Service is high-speed” and there’s a “fun atmosphere” – but be warned, it’s “not for the hard of hearing”.
9. Mona Lisa International restaurant in Chelsea 417 King’s Rd - SW10
“Very popular workers café by day, rather trendy restaurant by night!” – this veteran at the ‘wrong end’ of the King’s Road enjoys a “slick” double life as Chelsea’s “fun cheap eat”.
10. Ziani’s Italian restaurant in Chelsea 45 Radnor Walk - SW3
Squashed trattoria off the King’s Road that’s long been a staple of the Chelsea crowd, who find it fun packing in like sardines next to their neighbours. In the year that saw the death of founder and long-term owner, Roberto Colussi, feedback has become a little more mixed than once it was, but it’s still tipped by fans as a “favourite”, especially by those with kids in tow.
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