Where To Eat Pasta In London

We love pasta. You love pasta. Everyone loves pasta. Here’s where you should be eating it.
Where To Eat Pasta In London image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Pasta is one thing that pretty much everyone can agree on. And with the amount of great Italian restaurants in the city, you have no excuse for eating pasta that’s ‘just fine’. Because excellent bowls of creamy brown crab cacio e pepe and perfect spinach ravioli can be found at these spots in London. They’ll have you giving your boxed penne pep talks about reaching its full potential.


photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch



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We think about Ombra’s dishes nightly. Refined, without feeling tortured, the handmade pastas at this Italian spot in Hackney aren’t smothered in thick, rich sauces which means ingredients like slightly peppery, amber girolles and toasted nuts can really shine. Combinations of pasta and sauces change often with the seasons, but are always really great and light, whether delicate mushrooms or fresh peas and crumbly spring lamb is on.



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Bocca’s pasta is one of the many great things about this restaurant. This isn’t a place you really want to be in and out of. This is a settle down and get your arse into a comfy seat kind of place. Each pasta can be ordered as a small or large plate, and the small plates are generous. We’re very into the orecchiette or tortellini, but the menu changes regularly and you can easily share a majority of the pastas on offer for 20 quid each between two, and that’s a pretty amazing deal for a place like this.

The four-or-so changing pastas on Manteca’s menu aren’t the kind that you’ll see elsewhere. Everything you need to know about this Italian restaurant with a staunch commitment to British produce can be found among incredible pasta dishes like brown crab cacio e pepe and pappardelle hogget ragu. Traditionalists might have a wobble in this slick Shoreditch spot but it’s unlikely to last. Duck fat pangrattato sprinkled on top of a rich ragù is a flourish that even the most hardened Marcella Hazan stan will eulogise over.

In Italy, sfoglina is the term used for the person who runs the show, the person everyone wants to be friends with: the pasta maker. Burro E Salvia’s sfoglina is up front as soon as you walk into the Shoreditch restaurant and shop and, basically, you want to be eating everything they’re making. The signature beef, pork, and spinach-stuffed agnolotti is excellent, while the rest of the menu changes depending on the month. It’s a little pricier than other places, but the pasta is seriously high-quality.

Bancone in Borough Yards is quite simply a beautiful place to eat beautiful pasta. Grab a counter seat and peer into the open kitchen as thin sheets of their signature silk handkerchiefs are tossed in a glossy walnut butter sauce and topped with confit yolks. We’re also big fans of the surprisingly light duck ragù with crunchy pieces of crackling scattered on top like breadcrumbs. For somewhere that feels quite special, it’s all very reasonably priced—like its outposts in Soho and Covent Garden

We all have that friend who really knows their way around a Tame Impala album, can quote a Haruki Murakami novel with ease, and manages to do it all without even really trying. Officina 00 is the squid ink tagliolini-serving, restaurant version of that mate. It knows it’s cool but it’s still laid-back and generally pretty casual. As perfect for a date night as it is for a lunchtime catch-up with mates, this Old Street spot is also really affordable and the must-order corzetti is under £15.

Flour & Grape in Bermondsey shouldn’t just be thought of as a Padella back-up, although it is close by, because you should come to this walk-in only spot to try the roast pork shoulder tortellini regardless. Like all the best things in life, these guys come with a lot of butter. A paddling pool of butter and sage to be precise. This place is an easy win on all fronts really. It’s relaxed but refined, well-priced, and serves a short menu of superbly cooked pasta. Order them all.

With a high potential of spotting famous TV personalities and a menu with at least four black truffle dishes, Signor Sassi is a bit of a scene. Although the buzzy energy at this Knightsbridge Italian spot is part of what makes it fun, the pastas are really great too. Long lunches involve incredibly creamy ravioli, stuffed with an airy ricotta and spinach mix that’s strictly a one-person portion. Make sure to scour the walls for photographs of famous faces while you wait for your crab tagliolini—which is one of our favourite dishes here. 

Owned by the San Carlo restaurant group and located directly by Harrods, Cicchetti has several things to get excited about. From the jazzy dining room that makes you feel like you’ve somehow landed in Venice, to the daydream-worthy truffle and pecorino ravioli, it’s more than worth your time. The gorgonzola gnocchi, which arrives in a baked parmesan basket, is creamy and a real winner. As is the lasagne al forno—a slow-cooked beef ragu with layers of rich tomato sauce and pasta.

If you like great pasta, then heaven probably looks a lot like Luca. This is a proper restaurant (and as a result has some proper prices), but don’t let that put you off because the pasta is sensational. For a meal that’s lighter on your wallet, head to the bar (which just happens to be one of the sexiest bars in London) for lunch—there’s a stunning prix fixe menu that sometimes has a couple of pastas on offer.

Al Dente in South Kensington is a great all-rounder. The Italian restaurant is the equally perfect backdrop for a casual first date as it is for a last-minute catch-up with your favourite people in the intimate corner seats with a view into the kitchen. The menu is filled with excellently executed classics like cacio e pepe and pumpkin ravioli so soft and delicately spiced that you’ll inhale it within five minutes. The pocket-friendly prices mean you could pop in for a speedy, good-value lunch if you’re in the area.  

If you’re from north London and you don’t know about Anima, it’s time to get to know it. The pasta changes daily and comes with a range of ingredients from rabbit to fresh peas to clams. It’s tiny here—22 seats tiny. So we recommend booking to avoid sadness and hunger. Oh and it’s BYOB. And we know this is a pasta guide but they make their own ice cream as well.

If you’re a Peckham local, then you’re probably in Artusi on the regular. If you’re not, then you need to jump on the South London line because this excellent Italian neighbourhood restaurant makes some delicious pasta. There are usually two or three dishes on the menu and you can expect sauces and combinations such as cacio e pepe and the like. Think spaghetti with octopus and broccoli or bucatini with chard and raisins. This pasta is worth travelling for, if required.

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