In 2017 we saw something special: the invention of the pasta. Some say they’d seen it before, but they were wrong, because this was different: it was handmade pasta. It was made by a person’s hand. It was amazing. There’s pasta - we learned - and then there’s handmade pasta. Portion-wise handmade pasta is different as well. It’s a primo - as they say in pasta’s homeland, Italy. This means you order one for a light lunch, or a starter, or several to share if you’re disgusting ignorant gluttons like us. Pasta, on the other hand, is a main course, and that’s what Ciao Bella serves. We’re not even sure if it’s handmade. It may well be. But to call it handmade pasta would be to miss the point. Names don’t matter because it tastes really good. Ciao Bella has been going since 1983, it’s a London institution, and walking in on a Saturday night feels like you’re entering an enormous family dinner party. If you’re feeling frugal but want filling with good food, this is the place to come, and when you do their classic seafood linguine served in a greaseproof paper bag is a must.
More spots in BloomsburySee more
More Italian spotsSee more
Martello Hall is an great bar-meets-pizza restaurant on Mare Street in Hackney. Bring your mates at the weekend, or visit it late night.
Sager + Wilde Paradise Row
Sager + Wilde’s Bethnal Green outpost brings good wine and Italian eats, and mixes it with railway arch vibes and plenty of outdoor seats for summer.
Quartieri is an excellent Naples-style pizza in Kilburn, with a spicy diavola pizza that you definitely need to try.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more