Want pasta made fresh in front of you? Or fancy a feast of small plates? Then these are the Italian restaurants in Shoreditch that you absolutely have to try.
Burro e Salvia
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Pasta is scratch-made by hand every day at Burro e Salvia, just like they do back in Italy. From tagliatelle to tortelloni to orechiette, with fillings changing seasonally, there are a range of fresh pastas available to take home or you can try them right then and there in the small dining room. It’s simple food done very, very well.
Popolo may be small – just 12 seats at the kitchen counter with actual tables upstairs – but it’s perfectly formed. The menu, designed to be shared, draws inspiration from all over Italy with some Spanish and Moorish influences thrown in for good measure. This means dishes like labneh with fried olives and scallops with lentils sit alongside excellent pastas and risottos. Co-owner and chef Jon Lawson trained under Theo Randall, so you know the cooking is top-notch.
Located in the Tea Building, Pizza East has retained the industrial look of the former warehouse space. Now packed with a mix of small and communal tables, the restaurant is always buzzing. Obviously pizza is the focus here, with toppings that range from black truffle and taleggio to spicy sausage and broccoli, but you can also get meat and cheese boards as well as a range of antipasti. In fact there’s enough on offer here for you to skip the pizza completely, but when it’s this good you won’t want to.
Named after an avant-garde 1970s pirate radio station from Bologna, Radio Alice turns out sourdough pizzas that are a little different to those you can get elsewhere – they cook the base first and only place the toppings on after it’s out of the oven, believing that the ingredients taste better fresh. Toppings include some of the best Italian produce, like ‘nduja, prosciutto and gorgonzola, and whilst they don’t like you to alter the combinations, you can get small plates of meats and cheese on the side. They make a mean spritz too, which go with the pizzas very, very well.
Franze & Evans, near the top of Brick Lane, prides itself on fresh and tasty food made using as many locally sourced and organic ingredients as possible. Whether you drop in for scrambled Tuscan eggs, an Italian ploughman’s lunch, risotto or even just an aperitivo, you can be sure of quality Italian produce prepared with care.
This Italian deli-restaurant is wonderfully rustic; blackboard menus, exposed brick, the lot. The pastas are consistently good but the platter section is where Bottega Prelibato shines. Wooden boards come piled with everything from 30 month aged Parma ham to burrata to tuna carpaccio. A few of these plus a bottle of wine and you’ve got yourself a great meal.
Savure brings the art of fresh pasta making from Turin to Shoreditch. Whether you choose to eat in or takeaway, you simply pick your pasta and the sauce you want with it and it’s made right in front of you. Not only are there plenty of combos to choose from but they offer a deal a day at Savure – £6 carbonara on Tuesdays, £5 pasta salads on Wednesdays and so on – so there’s lots to keep you coming back during the week.