Updated July 10th 2020
When some people think of enjoying ‘the great outdoors’ they think of hiking mountains and listening to blue tits coo. Or something. But we’re Londoners. So when we think of the great outdoors, we think of sitting outside a lovely restaurant, fork-twirling some spaghetti with a glass of red for company. What can we say? We just really love nature. Here are 10 London restaurants that have reopened with outdoor dining options, great plates of pasta, and plenty of wines to choose from. Enjoy.
The last time we went to Campania And Jones we ate an obscene amount of pappardelle, watched a cat nap in a corner, devoured some tiramisu, drank some wine, and then considered asking if the cat would mind spooning us for a little while. Basically, it was the perfect day. Both the pappardelle with venison ragu and the wild mushroom and ricotta tortelli are essential, so go hungry or don’t go at all.
We have good news and we have bad news. If you just went and hid under a chair at the mention of ‘bad news’, we understand - 2020 etc. But anyway, the good news is that the most famous pasta restaurant in London is back with outdoor seating at their Shoreditch branch. The bad news is that they’re still walk-in only, but now you can at least join a virtual queue and go and grab a drink somewhere whilst you wait. Plus, any wait is worth it for their cacio e pepe.
Transport yourself back to a long, long time ago. More specifically, the month of March 2020, when you couldn’t even find a bag of sad, dry pasta in a supermarket. Now you can eat fresh agnolotti with crab and ricotta at Sager and Wilde. We love this Bethnal Green spot for its big archway terrace that’s perfect for a summer hang.
Technically, Lardo’s speciality is pizza. But that doesn’t mean they don’t make a mean pasta al forno. Not only have they reopened their large outdoor terrace in Hackney, they’ve also extended it to allow for even more outdoor seating. And let’s say you just accidentally order a puttanesca pizza alongside your pasta, that wouldn’t be the worst thing to ever happen. Not convinced yet? They’ve also got a couple of orange wines on their big drinks menu too.
We dare you to go to Emilia’s Crafted Pasta and sit out on their terrace without ending up in a deep discussion about what you’d name your boat. Overlooking St Katharine Docks, this fresh pasta restaurant serves everything from a simple tomato rigatoni to handmade lamb ravioli in a butter and sage sauce. By the way, we’ve decided to call our boat The David Grey, for obvious Sail Away connotations. Sexy, right. Right?
La Goccia is a seriously good looking Covent Garden restaurant with, potentially, London’s most idyllic courtyard. Forget that courtyard near your office where the city’s angriest pigeons hang out and instead picture a private celebrity wedding ceremony instead. Expect Italian small plates, oysters, and importantly, tagliatelle with beef shin ragu.
Circolo Popolare is home to La Gran Carbonara. If you’re wondering what that is, picture a massive wheel of cheese full of pasta, covered in yet more cheese, and then some more cheese - and you’re pretty much close to understanding this glorious pasta beast. Usually getting a table at this super popular Fitzrovia spot can be a bit of a ’mare given their walk-in queues, but they’re now bookings only and their terrace out back is pretty damn lovely.
Bright is just one of those restaurants. It’s cool. It’s casual. It’s got that confident atmosphere where you just know you’re going to eat something fantastic and try some undiscovered natural wine that you’ll talk about all the way home. And although their menu changes all the time, there’s always a pasta on and they’re always great. By the way, you’re going to want to get involved with the pizza fritta too.
Pastaio is easy breezy. Yes, partly because it’s the kind of casual spot that’ll suit any situation you can think of, but also because they have a big terrace out front. It’s just off of Carnaby Street, so it’s got some peak people-watching potential. And if you hit up the terrace during the evening, it’s got that ‘out out’ feel thanks to all the bars that surround it. P.S. yes, you do need the tiramisu.