If you’re in SE1 when the carb cravings hit, you’re in luck. Here are our recommendations for best London Bridge Italian restaurants (including nearby Bermondsey and Borough), plus a couple of Cheapo tips for stretching that pay packet a little bit further.

We’ve chosen a pasta with cheese plus a pasta with meat ragu to give you a rough price comparison, then suggested some of our favourites to try. But hey – if you’re all about the carbonara or you like it arrabbiata-level spicy, we’ve got you covered.

Past dish at Gigli, Flour and Grape
Gigli – Flour & Grape | Photo by Amanda David

Flour & Grape

No-reservation gem on Bermondsey Street serving excellent, affordable freshly-made pasta; try the monkfish linguine or the pork tortelloni. If you happen to be there at the right time, you can even watch them making the pasta at the windowside counter. This is the well-deserved local favourite London Bridge Italian restaurant, so get there early – or use the WalkUp app to check live availability information and join the virtual queue once you are within 2km of the restaurant. Alternatively, here’s our top Cheapo tip; kick back and wait for your table in their basement cocktail bar with a cheeky £6.00 cocktail or £5.00 double G&T between 5pm-6pm. Sorted.

Price comparison dishes:

  • Ravioli of ricotta, spinach, parmesan & nutmeg, with a tomato & mascarpone sauce – £10.00
  • Pappardelle with beef short rib ragu – £12.00
Pasta dish Cacio e Pepe at Padella in London Bridge
Cacio e Pepe – Padella | Photo by Amanda David

Padella

Another no-reservation restaurant using the WalkUp app, although they also have a QR code outside you can scan to join the virtual queue. Padella, little sister of renowned Trullo, was the trailblazer for high-quality fresh pasta in a casual, buzzy environment and it’s still hugely popular. Must-tries are the Dexter beef pappardelle, the cacio e pepe and the crab tagliarini; they will also turn a £4.00 scoop of vanilla ice cream into an affogato for an extra £1.00 The restaurant is right on the edge of Borough Market so if it’s lunchtime I tend to get there early, scan the code and then have a blissful mooch round the market to sharpen my appetite – just be careful not to snack on too many tasters!

Price comparison dishes:

  • Ravioli of Westcombe ricotta with butter & sage – £11.00
  • Pappardelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu – £14.00
Lasagne at Cafe Murano
Lasagne – Cafe Murano

Cafe Murano

Upmarket neighbourhood Italian in celebrity chef Angela Hartnett’s group, the Bermondsey site has its own menu. It’s pricier than the first two on our list, but it has a different, grown-up vibe – roomy, light and airy with windows that open onto the street, polished service, the option to book in advance and a leisurely pace to enjoy something delicious and a bit different. It also has a cute little outdoor terrace where you can people-watch the cool Bermondsey Street crowd from the semi-cover of strategic greenery. We wouldn’t be London Cheapo without giving you a hack: there is a lunch/pre-theatre menu option for 2 courses/£23.00 or 3 courses/£27.00 from 12pm-7pm daily.

Price comparison dishes:

  • Spaghettini, courgettes, Burford brown & pecorino – £14.00 (£10.00 for a starter portion)
  • Gnocchi, lamb ragu, lemon and mint – £18.00 (£13.00 for a starter portion)
Pasta dish with clams
Pasta with clams | Photo by Amanda David

Cantina del Ponte

Smart-casual Shad Thames Italian with a huge mural along one wall of the dining room and a covered terrace with views along the river to Tower Bridge. The location means that it can get busy, and service can be patchy; inevitably, prices are also a little higher for such a prime riverside spot. To keep it Cheapo, head over on Sundays between 12pm-4pm and take advantage of the Sunday set menu; 2 courses/£20.00 or 3 courses/£25.00 plus a glass of prosecco or an Aperol Spritz – AND the view. You can also sign up to their newsletter for information on deals and offers.

Price comparison dishes:

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  • Tortelli of ricotta & smoked aubergine – £16.00
  • Lasagna with beef & pork ragu – £14.00

Legare

Relaxed and unfussy Italian run by an ex-Trullo chef and an ex-Barrafina manager, with the pasta made fresh daily. Unsurprising, then, that it serves some of the best pasta near London Bridge. The menu is short and super-seasonal so they’ll always be something new to try, but if there’s fennel sausage available, go for it.

Price comparison dishes:

  • Pici burro e oro (pici pasta with butter and tomotoes) – £16.00
  • Pappardelle with braised duck, sugo d’arrosto (roasting juices, literally ‘a touch of the roast’) & pangrattato (crispy savoury breadcrumbs) – £18.00
Written by:
BIO: Freelance writer, flâneuse and former blogger at London Girl About Town, Amanda is dedicated to sharing the latest on London's restaurants, bars, hidden quirks and general wonderfulness.
Filed under: Eating & Drinking

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