Italian Restaurants in South Kensington
1. Chucs Italian restaurant in South Kensington 97 Old Brompton Road - SW7
Aiming for a taste of La Dolce Vita lifestyle, these retro-glam Italian cafés and restaurants mostly occupy the same sites as the eponymous clothing brand, and deliver classic casual Italian menus mixing pizza and pasta (both typically over £20 a plate) with both more and less substantial dishes. A brief involvement with Zaha Hadid’s Serpentine restaurant has ended, but a new, sixth branch debuted in July 2021 in the heart of St John’s Wood (on the site of a former Côte). With 84 covers, it’s the largest outlet to-date and opens all day from breakfast.
2. Riccardo’s Italian restaurant in Chelsea 126 Fulham Rd - SW3
It’s “nice to sit under the canopy on a summer’s evening”, even if it “can be crowded and noisy”, at this “well-established neighbourhood Italian”, on a prominent Chelsea corner site. An early exponent of serving Italian food tapas-style, it still wins praise for its “reasonable prices” and dependable standards.
3. Lucio Italian restaurant in Chelsea 257 Fulham Rd - SW3
This family-run Italian in the Fulham Road has built a solid fan-base over almost two decades for its seasonal cooking – including “particularly good fish” – and offers “spectacular value” for lunch. It is not hugely known, but regulars will travel from across town for a meal.
4. 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.
5. Aglio e Olio Italian restaurant in Chelsea 194 Fulham Rd - SW10
“No-frills” Italian near Chelsea and Westminster hospital that’s “consistently good without being flashy”. The “menu doesn’t change much, but the kitchen knows what it’s doing, including the excellent pasta dishes”. Top Tip: “the zabaglione is to die for”.
6. Chelsea Cellar Italian restaurant in Chelsea 9 Park Walk - SW10
This “lovely little basement local”, hidden behind an “easy-to-miss entrance” near Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, serves “excellent Italian fare at acceptable prices” in a usually expensive part of town. There’s also “a fantastic assortment of wine”, and the real clincher is that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy it. Top tip: “a delicious burrata to start, followed by fantastic pasta is a real winner”.
7. L'Artigiano Italian restaurant in Kensington and Chelsea 343 Fulham Road - SW10
This Fulham Road newcomer on ‘The Beach’ opened mid-lockdowns with a contemporary Italian offering. It’s the brainchild of Leandro Longo (La Caricatura) and chef Ignacio Fuggiero (The Met). You can opt for an eight-course tasting menu (as well as two-course, three-course and à la carte options) but the approach has strong, traditional Italian roots.
8. Stecca Italian restaurant in Chelsea 14 Hollywood Rd - SW10
2021 Review: Hit and miss feedback on this Italian three-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”.
9. Rossopomodoro Pizza restaurant in Chelsea 214 Fulham Rd - SW10
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”.
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