food + drink

Best Italian Restaurants – East London

Just some of the best Italian restaurants in East London

Canary Wharf

Emilia's pasta

EMILIA’S CRAFTED PASTA

Emilia’s Wood Wharf serves up simple and satisfying food where you can dine in or go alfresco and enjoy the views across the water. Freshly made pasta is cooked in-house in various inviting ways in the open kitchen, where the chefs and staff are friendly and add a traditional, local feel to the place. It’s the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner with friends – maybe spark up some competition and while away the hours at the custom table bocce (Italian bowls) in the bar area. Marinated olives, heritage tomato bruschetta or a plate of creamy burrata with sourdough bread, washed down with an Amaretto Sour or Negroni is a great place to start. Followed up by the must order, Truffled Cacio e Pepe or the 4-hour slow-cooked béchamel Bolognese, tossed through pappardelle. Just as delicious vegan options include homemade pistachio and basil pesto with sautéed cherry tomatoes or homemade creamy walnut sauce with chestnut mushrooms. For dessert there’s the affogato with creamy mascarpone gelato, that’s worth ordering even if you’re full. Or if you have room, try Emilia’s signature Amaretto tiramisu; vanilla panna cotta with strawberries; homemade pecan caramel chocolate mousse or choose from a selection of 100% natural Italian gelatos.
12 George Street, Wood Wharf, London E14 9QG


Shoreditch

GLORIA

Gloria is a gaudy welcome change to the restaurants we’re inundated with today, an antithesis to the stripped back industrial décor that fills every crevice of Shoreditch. Yes, the food is good but I say it’s more about the occasion, the atmosphere. Gloria is a big night out. It is somewhere to get dressed up, sip cocktails and savour the food, without worrying that your allotted time slot is up.
54-56 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3QR

cecconis

CECCONI’S

Step into Cecconi’s from the hustle and bustle of Shoreditch and be transported to all-day Venetian brasserie, serving the best of northern Italian dishes in the classiest of settings. The decor is understated elegance, less is more, with wooden tables and chairs, allowing the fabulous food to speak for itself. While you get on with the business of choosing starters, order an aperitif – a Velluto, a cocktail of Bombay Sapphire, Chambord, lemon and Italicus, an aromatic liqueur of bergamot peel, lemons, chamomile, lavender and other botanicals. To eat, expect cicchetti – small snacks or side dishes, typically served in traditional bàcari, or bars, in Venice – and pizza and pasta, washed down with glasses of th e best wines Italy has to offer.
58-60 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP


Old Street

Homeslice pizza
Photo by Jack Lewis Williams

HOMESLICE

Whether you’re a fan of a simple Margarita or a controversial Hawaiian, there’s always comfort in knowing what to expect from the humble pizza. But, it’s safe to say, Homeslice Shoreditch is shattering the expectations of pizza conventions, one 20″ pizza at a time. With an ever-changing seasonal menu, this trendy spot rolls out the finest flavour combinations for East Londoners to feast on all year round. Having caught sight of a 20” pizza in real life we opt to go for half and half (kudos to you if you’re feeling ambitious to have one to yourself!). If you’re looking for pizzas with pizazz, then this is the place to go – just be prepared to roll yourself home!
374-378 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT


Aldgate

zia luca pizza
Photo by @haydonperrior

ZIA LUCIA

Start with the creamy and luscious burrata, generously drizzled with olive oil. Then share a platter of cured meats and cheeses. The cheeses are superb and go perfectly with the earthy-tasting charcoal focaccia – this is where Zia Lucia stands out from the pizzeria crowd. Their USP is their experimental dough options – from the traditional flour dough to an unusual vegetable charcoal black base which gives a unique flavour, as well as aiding your digestion. So it’s ciao to post-pizza bloat! Friendly service, excellent pizzas and a fabulous list of toppings. The locals must be delighted to have it on their doorstep.
Unit 1a, 12 Piazza Walk, Aldgate East, London E1 8ZH

Emilias Crafted Pasta - pasta dishe

EMILIA’S CRAFTED PASTA

Start with burrata, served with bread drizzled in olive oil alongside sweet balsamic vinegar. Lunch specials include the Cesarecce pasta in homemade creamy walnut sauce with chestnut mushrooms and toasted Pugliese ciabatta on the side. The portion is generous and the pasta is rich yet light. All pasta is served al dente which means it will be firm to the bite in typical Italian fashion. For dessert try Emilia’s special: vanilla ice cream with biscotti crumbled on top, best when combined with a strong caffe latte. Besides the food being fantastic, the staff are laid back and professional, making you feel welcome and relaxed. If you’d like to try some of the dishes at home, Emilia’s Crafted Pasta also hosts masterclasses teaching you the techniques and execution of their signature dishes.
77 Alie St, London E1 8NH

 

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