Diego Cardoso’s Top 5 Italian Restaurants in London

Diego Cardoso, Executive Chef at Harry’s Dolce Vita, shares his favourite Italian spots for a bite in London.

Cacio e pepe at Padella

Padella. Diego says, ‘Great spot for a quick bite when in Central London, and I love the fact you can see the guys working behind the counter! It’s all very straightforward and relaxed – no fuss and delicious pasta! Go for any of the pastas; they’re all delicious.’

Padella, 6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ


Bernardi’s. Diego says, ‘Bernardi’s is a lovely spot on the corner of Seymour Street and Seymour Place, just round the corner from Marble Arch. With the good weather finally starting they’ll have all the windows open; it’s such a beautiful space in the summer. I’m a big fan of the selection of cicchettis available at Bernardi’s, especially the pizzette – their confit leak, taleggio and celery leaf pizzetta is fantastic.’

Bernardi’s, 62 Seymour Street, London W1H 5BN


Luca. Diego says, ‘Whenever I find myself in East London craving Italian food I have to go to Luca. Luca serves delicious, creative cooking in a peaceful setting; the approach is respectful of tried and tested traditional Italian methods, with a few broken rules here and there.’

Luca, 88 St John Street, EC1M 4EH

Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries. Diego says, ‘This is one of my favourite places in London – everything about it is special. Beautiful surroundings, with fantastic, seasonally changing menus. I love the idea of eating in a nursery. The main restaurant gets booked up pretty far in advance, so if you can’t get a table, check out the tea house, which serves lovely salads and cakes. Petersham Nurseries is definitely worth the trip to Richmond if you ask me!’

Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, TW10 7AB


Margot. Diego says, ‘This place is great for a spot of glamour, amazing cocktails and impeccable service in Central London. Delicious food in incredible surroundings, with that “everything is possible” service that makes you feel special. Margot is perfect for an indulgent date night meal.’

Margot, 45 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5AA