Campania & Jones
From the cobbled streets out front, primed for a shady espresso on a hot summer’s day; to the semi-open courtyard behind stable doors overlooking the kitchen; to the space in the back where pasta is rolled in front of stacks of firewood by a woman who ‘learnt it from her nonna’, this is maybe London’s most authentically rustic Italian restaurant. It’s the kind of aesthetic that 100 ad-men on 100 working lunches would never be able to recreate. It’s what Dr. Oetker would have done his PHD in before devising the Ristorante range of ‘authentic Italian pizzas’. It’s what our Monday morning Southern Italian escape fantasies are made of. It’s like if Call Me By Your Name had a baby with that shot of David Gandy on the boat in Capri. In short, it’s absolutely beautiful. And yes, the food is also fantastic. Fresh pastas made in the next room blanched to al dente perfection; deceptively simple salads served in terracotta bowls; and straight forward but expertly cooked mains like roast chicken, garlic and potatoes ooze flavour and charm. And their lunchtime deal of two courses and a glass of wine for £15 isn't too bad either.
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Burro e Salvia
If Italian is your thing and you've a penchant for the pasta, then a pilgrimage to this place is in order. At London's first artisan pastificio their friendly and knowledgeable staff make the good stuff from scratch. Their lunch and dinner menu changes daily: we had the tajarin with luganica fennel sausage ragu which happily reminded us why pasta is better left to the Italians. You can buy the pasta to take it home if you want, along with other Italian specialities and wines. Lunch is served daily 12pm-3pm and dinner (Thurs to Sat) from 6pm-9pm.
The Italian Job
Copious amounts of craft beer served by a charming bunch of Italians. The only swift manoeuvres these guys will be pulling is their downward hand on the beer pumps. You probably shouldn't miss out on their Italian street-food either - hamburgers, charcuterie, you name it. There's a small 'beer garden' out front as well, so you can sip your Italian craft beer on the street.
Ozone Coffee Roasters
Big in NZ for their blend of coffee & brunch, it was a real risk to imagine that formula working in London. But hey, look at them now. Watching their in-house roaster grind up those magic beans from the balcony is pretty satisfying, whilst their all day imaginative brunch offerings are real popular and keep the regulars coming back at all hours. They may have got this far with their coffee, but come the evening it really is more of a restaurant. You would expect pasta with rabbit ragu at just any cafe now would you? You'll find plenty of tech-fuelled meetings and high powered dealings happening on weekdays, whilst it's an altogether more relaxed vibe on weekends. They do their thing, they do it well.
This adorable little Italian delicatessen is a small piece of peace and quiet amongst the hustle and bustle of London Bridge. On offer here are continental breakfasts, melt-in-your-mouth paninis, salads, cured meats and big sharing platters. It's all authentic Italian, including the homemade pasta sauces and those creamy, sexy, come-to-me ice creams, that'll have booking your holiday to Italy in no time at all.