Grab a pizza the action (Picture: Metro.co.uk)
When it comes to food, Italians really know their stuff.
And while we’d all love to be living La Dolce Vita in Rome right now, Italy isn’t on the green list quite yet.
So until then, why not try the UK’s twist on some of your favourite Italian classics?
From traditional stonebaked pizzas and hearty pasta dishes to arancini and antipasti platters, here are our pick of the best Italian restaurants from London to Edinburgh.
Save us a slice (Picture: Lucas Smith)
This gourmet pizzeria and cocktail bar sits in Manchester’s new £11m food quarter, Halle Place.
It focuses on thin-crust, Roman-style recipes — the base is made from 96-hour, slow-proven sourdough — topped with fine local and European ingredients.
You’ll find the Lardo (with bacon, brie and baby spinach), the Palermo (with mushroom and oven-baked ham hock) and, at weekends, the breakfast pizza, (with sausage, bacon and egg — of course!).
Wash down your pizza with a cut price cocktail (Picture: Rudy’s)
The first London branch of a successful chain that started in the foodie hotspot of Ancoats, Manchester, Rudy’s brings its authentic Neapolitan pizzas and possibly the best-priced cocktails in town (£6.50 for a negroni, anyone?) to Soho.
Prep your palate with an impeccably sourced antipasti plate, then chow down on the chewy-crusted likes of the Calabrese, with hot, spicy ‘nduja sausage, Parmigiana, with roasted aubergine, or Tarantina, with capers, olives and anchovies.
Taste of Sicily (Picture: Cinquecento)
This new Notting Hill Gate location is the third in Cinquecento’s stable.
There are delicacies such as polpettine (meatballs) or arancinetti (fried rice balls) to start, but make a beeline for proper pizzas such as the Sicilia, with aubergine and salted ricotta, or the Tartufata, with wild mushrooms, roasted courgettes and truffle oil.
End with traditional cannoli, pastries filled with sweet ricotta and topped with pistachio.
TRY A PASTA MASTER…
Eat like a real Italian (Picture: Eataly)
Italy’s answer to Whole Foods, by Liverpool Street station, contains four restaurants.
At Pasta e Pizza, try a delicious pasta dish.
Mezzo pacchero all’amatriciana combines tomatoes, guanciale and pecorino cheese, while tagliatelle bolognese features a rich sauce.
Save space for their zesty lemon meringue pie.
Officina 00, EC1
Go crazy for corzetti (Picture: Officina)
This artisanal pasta restaurant in Old Street has a new menu and new outdoor terrace.
Start with the moreish cacio e pepe fried ravioli or spicy braised octopus, then tuck into twisty cavatelli with datterini tomatoes, black olives and capers, or corzetti with wild mushroom and sausage.
Pasta Evangelists, SW1
At-home dining is over (Picture: Pasta Evangelists)
Wildly successful online, Pasta Evangelists have a first dine-in site, in the opulent surroundings of Harrods.
Enjoy the likes of spaghettini with lobster and sun-dried tomatoes, pappardelle with slow-cooked Aberdeen Angus beef ragu, or maccheroni with wild prawns and garlic.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Italian classics get a Scottish twist (Picture: Rico’s)
Scots-Italian chef Stefano Pieraccini uses the finest local ingredients to create traditional Italian dishes with a twist.
Antipasti include Isle of Mull scallops with guanciale, with mains such as baked day-boat halibut, saltimbocca with Goosnargh chicken, and black-faced lamb with violet artichoke.
Al Mare, SW1
There’s nothing fishy about Al Mare (Picture: Al Mare)
At the Carlton Tower Jumeirah hotel, Al Mare focuses on modern Italian cuisine, particularly seafood.
You’ll find delicate dishes such as spicy bluefin tuna tartare, sliced yellowtail with Etna lemon dressing, and sea-salt-crusted wild seabass.
Desserts include classic tiramisu and caramel mille-feuille.
Gino D’Acampo is bringing posh Italian dining to Covent Garden (Picture: Luciano)
TV chef Gino D’Acampo has joined forces with his son Luciano. Crowd-pleasers include bistecca alla Fiorentina and Neapolitan pizzas.
Start with Devonshire crab bruschetta, move on to scallops with a vermouth butter sauce, and indulge in black truffle gnocchi.
Finish with dark-chocolate mousse.
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