Top Mediterranean restaurants

picture of Assaggi

London may never have the climate of Andalucia or the Amalfi Coast, but one thing we can replicate (and sometimes outclass) is their deliciously light and summery food. Harden’s brings you 10 top Mediterranean restaurants to sample as the warm weather approaches…


Assaggi W2


“The best Italian food anywhere… and that includes Italy!” – this “simply furnished” (and “noisy”) room, above a former Bayswater boozer, has rightly won fame for its “incredibly fresh” cooking, supplied by “entertaining” staff.

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Al Boccon di’vino TW9


“You eat what the owner bought in the market” (“you have no option but to go with the flow”) at this slightly “wacky”, old-fashioned Italian, in Richmond town centre; practically all reporters are “bowled over” by it – an “always fun, interesting, and filling” experience with “wonderful” food.

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Moro EC1


“There’s nowhere quite like Moro!” – this “joyous” Exmouth Market perennial thrives on its “exciting” Moorish/Andalucian cuisine, “massive and unusual wine list”, and “surprisingly good value”; the acoustics, though, are “challenging”.

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picture of Dehesa



“Truly heavenly” tapas and an “excellent wine list” fuel the “busy buzz” of this stylish haunt, a sibling to Salt Yard, just off Carnaby Street; “despite its initial pokey appearance”, it’s “a lovely place to spend a long afternoon”.

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Zucca SE1


“London’s best Italian” – Sam Harris’s “phenomenal” Bermondsey three-year-old is “on a par with the River Café” yet “at a fraction of the cost”; it’s a surprisingly “civilised” experience too (for which you must book months ahead).

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Portobello Ristorante W11


“Not just great for pizza!” (by the metre) – this “friendly” spot, just off Notting Hill Gate, is also of note for its “really good Italian home cooking” and “charming” service; “sit on the patio in summer”.

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picture of Il Bordello

Il Bordello E1


“On a quiet Wapping street”, a “chaotic” and “very friendly” pizza and pasta stop that’s “always heaving”, thanks to its “outstanding” all-round value (and “huge” portions).

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Barrafina W1


“The best tapas bar in London”… “possibly the world!”; “it’s worth the hour’s wait” to nab a perch at this tiny (23-seat) and “too busy” Soho phenomenon, where there’s an “intimacy” to having “incredible” dishes “entertainingly prepared” before your very eyes; a WC2 branch opens in early-2014.

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José SE1


“The only serious competition for Barrafina”; with its “divine” tapas, “wonderfully diverse” wines and sherries, “super-efficient” service, and brilliant vibe, José Pizarro’s tiny Bermondsey corner-bar is “worth the hype, the squeeze, and the inevitable wait”.

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Mangal 1 E8


“Still the best Turkish grill in London despite the increasing number of imitators” – this Dalston marvel offers a “wonderful meat-fest” and “beautiful salads” too… all at “unbelievably low prices”; BYO.

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