photo credit: Bocca Di Lupo


Bocca Di Lupo



$$$$Perfect For:Business MealsClassic EstablishmentDate NightEating At The BarImpressing Out of TownersPeople WatchingPrivate Dining


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Bocca Di Lupo has been something of a Soho institution since it opened in 2008, and a plate of orecchiette at the counter followed by a scoop of something creamy from its sibling gelateria opposite is a combination that we’re confident will never get old. More of a well-travelled, classic Fiat wheel than a reinvented one, this Italian restaurant is somewhere you can rely on.

The counter, all gleaming marble until ragù is dropped on it, is where we find ourselves most often. The leather stools are plump (and pleasingly have backs), and the whirl of the kitchen in front is as soothing as a plate of slick pumpkin risotto. Of course, lots of people pop in post-shopping for sage and anchovy fritti, so if you don’t have a booking then come outside peak hours.

A plate of porchetta with braised fennel from Bocca Di Lupo.

photo credit: Holly Liss

A plate of orecchiette from Bocca Di Lupo.

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

A plate of truffle and radish salad from Bocca Di Lupo.

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

A plate of porchetta with braised fennel from Bocca Di Lupo.
A plate of orecchiette from Bocca Di Lupo.
A plate of truffle and radish salad from Bocca Di Lupo.

The menu is a serious showcase of regional Italian food—be it bagna cauda from Piedmont or Milanese ossobuco ‘in bianco’—and that’s where the main dining room comes in. With brown tones and corners of red-nosed men, it has the appearance of formality. But, like a wedding, it mixes the prim and proper with bolognese-stained six-year-olds and canoodling couples feeding each other tortellini. You should definitely try something from the grill because Bocca Di Lupo takes its suckling pig and sirloin very seriously, and it’s some of the best meat in London.

Since it opened, Bocca Di Lupo has seamlessly become part of a club of essential London restaurants. That isn’t to say it’s the undisputed best Italian restaurant around—some things hit and other things miss—but it makes you want to watch Fellini films and eat braised lentils like few other places do. Come by the counter and try it for yourself, just prepare to wait in a gelato queue once you’re finished.

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