Italian Restaurants in Kensington
1. Clarke’s British, Modern restaurant in Kensington 124 Kensington Church Street - W8
“Have never had a bad meal over the 30 years I have eaten here!”. “You feel spoilt and well treated” at Sally Clarke’s Kensington HQ, established in 1984 – she was a very early exponent of Californian-influenced cuisine in London, a formula she has stuck by ever since with “forever outstanding dishes from seasonal produce” (“fresh-tasting and beautifully prepared”). Opinions differ on the understated decor, which is “a bit cold” for some tastes, but “calm and relaxing to others”. In any case the “lovely and helpful” staff add further vim to the experience.
2. Locanda Ottomezzo Mediterranean restaurant in Kensington 2-4 Thackeray Street - W8
2018 Review: “Excellent, genuine Italian cuisine” helps makes this an “atmospheric” local in a backstreet near Kensington Square Garden. “Everything is homemade from the grissini to the pasta”, and they also do a “great breakfast and top pizzas”.
3. Il Portico Italian restaurant in Kensington 277 Kensington High St - W8
This “lovely neighbourhood restaurant” opposite the Design Museum on Kensington High Street has welcomed customers with “delicious family cooking” from Emilia-Romagna for 55 years. Current owner James Chiavarini has driven its modernisation since the retirement of his father, Pino, who now runs the family farm in Kent. “It’s not cheap”, but “there’s a reason it’s packed every day without having done a marketing drive”.
4. Pino Italian restaurant in Kensington 267 Kensington High Street - W8
Formerly Pizzicotto (RIP) – the Chiavarini family (who have run nearby Il Portico since the ’60’s) have revamped their six-year-old spin-off and in June 2021 took it in a slightly more serious culinary direction. The wood-burning pizza oven is still in operation, but there’s more of an emphasis on trattoria-style dishes, cured meats and pasta. We’ve rated this on the basis that it’s more of a retread than a full re-launch.
5. San Pietro Italian restaurant in Kensington 7 Stratford Road - W8
In a very quiet Kensington backwater, this small Italian occupies the cute site that was for years Chez Patrick (RIP) – it’s more stylish nowadays, serving high-quality fish and seafood either at the downstairs counter, or upstairs main dining room.
6. Enoteca Rosso Italian restaurant in Kensington 276-280 Kensington High Street - W8
2021 Review: “Go for the wine: there’s a great selection” focused solely on Italy at this Kensington yearling, with bottles lining many of the walls. Even fans can note that the food (pasta, cheese and meat boards, salads) “is not as good”, but it avoids any harsh critiques. Brunch here is also a possibility.
7. Da Mario Italian restaurant in South Kensington 15 Gloucester Rd - SW7
This “bustling and busy Italian very close to the Albert Hall” is a “fantastic little place”, where “children are always very welcome and well looked after” and the “food is good, especially the pasta dishes”. “It makes the most of its connection with Princess Diana”, who would bring Princes Wills and Harry here to lunch on pizza.
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