Italian Restaurants in Fitzrovia
1. Vasco & Piero’s Pavilion Italian restaurant in Soho 11 D'Arblay Street - W1F
This endearing Soho veteran escaped closure during the pandemic by vacating its home of decades standing to find these new premises just around the corner. Much of its former appeal lay in its pleasing, old-fashioned approach – here’s hoping they keep the best of its traditional virtues on re-opening in mid October 2021. (Founded in 1971, this latest relocation is actually the second in the history of the restaurant, which then shifted to Poland Street from above the Academy cinema in Oxford Street in 1989).
2. Obicà Mozzarella Bar, Pizza e Cucina Italian restaurant in Soho 19-20 Poland St - W1
2018 Review: This Rome-based chain is inspired by Japanese sushi-bars and serves “tasty small plates of Italian food”. The five “efficiently run” London branches, from South Ken to Canary Wharf, provide a “surprisingly good experience… so long as you like mozzarella or burrata”.
3. Norma Italian restaurant in Fitzrovia 8 Charlotte Street - W1T
“A beautiful restaurant with equally beautiful food!” – the Stafford Hotel’s first ‘extra-curricular’ venture in late 2019 has created an impressive all-rounder. In the “intimate” setting of a Fitzrovia townhouse, “delightful” staff provide dishes either from “an attractive seafood array” or from a menu of Italian small plates, focused on Sicily. One or two reporters feel results are “nice but nothing amazing”, but more numerous are those who say the food is “super tasty” and “absolutely fabulous”.
4. Icco Pizza Italian restaurant in Fitzrovia 46 Goodge St - W1
“Not just cheap and cheerful but good, cheap and cheerful” – “you can’t fault the pizza, thin-crust, well made to order, and tasty” at this veteran Goodge Street pizzeria, est. 1999, where a basic marinara costs just £3.95. There’s now a branch in Camden, as well as delivery-only outlets in Wood Green, Wandsworth and Croydon.
5. Salt Yard Spanish restaurant in Fitzrovia 54 Goodge St - W1
With its quality mix of Spanish and Italian tapas, this cosy bar/restaurant near Goodge Street was a foodie trailblazer when it opened in 2005. The buzz has moved on over the years, but it’s still a worthwhile, well-run venue with interesting food.
6. Cin Cin Italian restaurant in Fitzrovia 21a Foley St - W1
The 25-seat terrace of this small Fitzrovia corner site – previously Bonnie Gull (RIP) – opened first at this April 2021 newcomer: the first spin-off from the well-known Brighton duo of the same name. The outside is actually a bigger space than the tightly packed 20-seat interior, open a month or so later. No survey feedback as yet, but Marina O’Loughlin from The Sunday Times gave its ‘topically brief’ menu (four choices for each course) from chef Jamie Halsall a thumbs-up.
7. In Parma Italian restaurant in Camden 10 Charlotte Place - W1T
2019 Review: “I hate to admit it, but the cappelletti in brodo” (“pasta filled with Parmesan cheese and beef, slowly cooked for a couple of days and served in a rich capon broth, all of which really is exceptional”) “might even be better than my mother’s!!” – This Fitzrovia Italian (run by the Food Roots company, and sibling to Hoxton’s Via Emilia) offers “authentic Parmesan dishes, prepared by authentic Parmesans”, with an emphasis on charcuterie and cheeses from Parma, and with “good Lambrusco served in traditional crockery” (by the bowl) being something of a hallmark. “The restaurant itself is long and narrow and would be a bit of a squeeze when busy, but service is pleasant and prices reasonable. Recommended.”
8. Café Deco British, Modern restaurant in Fitzrovia 43 Store Street - WC1E
Bloomsbury greasy spoon that’s been artfully transformed into a simple bar and modern bistro by the team behind 40 Maltby Street, with Anna Tobias (P Franco, Rochelle Canteen) at the stoves. It was launched in December 2020 and won a big thumbs-up from Guardian reviewer Grace Dent, who – while noting that it “looks a bit like a sandwich shop with lofty aspirations” – found “finely judged, nicely eccentric cooking with a strong undercurrent of country-house living”. Our early feedback is limited but similarly upbeat.
9. Rossopomodoro, John Lewis Italian restaurant in Oxford Circus 300 Oxford St - W1
2021 Review: “Neapolitan influences are evident in the choice of ingredients, and the wood-burning oven makes for good, chewy, charred crusts, unlike most high-street pizzas” – so say fans of this global chain, whose HQ is indeed in Naples. Not everyone is impressed, though, and ratings are dragged down by those who feel it’s merely an “everyday” choice: “OK for a bog-standard group, but not great”.
10. Circolo Popolare Italian restaurant in Westminster 40-41 Rathbone Square - W1T
“More fun per pound (£) than anywhere else in London”. Big Mamma group’s “completely mad” Fitzrovian is long on ambience and – so long as you don’t mind consuming a week’s worth of cream in one sitting – “so much the better for it”, especially if you want to record the outsize plates of simple Italian scoff on Instagram. Even spoilsports who feel “the food doesn’t really warrant the queue or the hype” feel that “the overall experience is pleasant and it’s not bad value for money given the location”.
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