you’re reading

Where to Enjoy an Authentic Italian Aperitivo in London

 Back to Top

Food & Drink /

Where to Enjoy an Authentic Italian Aperitivo in London

Where to find a world class Aperol Spritz...

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more

0
Topics: cocktails / Italian / Italy / London /
       

For when you’re not sipping Campari in Capri, this is the next best thing… 

Whether your drink of choice is Campari, Aperol Spritz, a glass of bubbly or a classic Negroni, these London spots are the best places to enjoy a traditional Italian aperitivo with a side of la dolce vita.

Cecconi’s

Cecconis Pizza Bar

One of the best Italian restaurants in town is the obvious choice for an elegant evening Spritz or two. In the warmer months, secure a little table outside and watch the well-heeled Savile Row crowd go by. Just opened is also Cecconi’s Pizza Bar on Old Compton Street serving cicchetti (the traditional accompaniment to an aperitivo) larger dishes, and, naturally, pizza, for when you decide to make a night of it. cecconis.co.uk

Bar Italia

This Soho stalwart is the go-to for clued-up locals and homesick expats alike. Two Italians set up the bar in 1949 and it has been a meeting point for lovers of the Bel Paese in London ever since. As well as wonderfully strong coffees, they make a mean Aperol or Campari Spritz in the evenings – and its location opposite Ronnie Scott’s means world-class jazz is the obvious next step. baritaliasoho.co.uk

The Best Plastic-Free Bars in London

Manitoba Tigella

Manitoba Tigella

Highly recommended by a host of Italian expats, Manitoba is the first bar in London to specialise in tigelle, a traditional bread from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy which accompanies cured meats and cheeses at aperitivo time. Order a variety alongside your pre-dinner glass of prosecco, just as they do in Bologna for ultimate authenticity. Otherwise, head to the Italian Aperitivo every Thursday from 6–8, where you can enjoy discounted cocktails with access to an impressive free buffet of cicchetti, arancini, pasta, meatballs and a whole host of other Italian treats. manitobatigella.co.uk

Polpo

The king of small plate restaurants, Polpo’s Venetian cicchetti are legendary on the London food scene. Naturally, they host their own Aperitivo Time every day from 3–6pm where you can sip on a Spritz and nibble bar snacks for £5 – and select cicchetti are just £1 apiece. Buonissimo! polpo.co.uk

Rosetta

Rosetta Aperitivo

Thursday is the new Friday, especially at Rosetta, the Italian ‘agricultural food’ restaurant which hosts a weekly aperitivo from 5pm. Just like in Italy, you pay only for your drinks and get to indulge in the Italian buffet for free – so gorge on traditional cold cuts, cheese, olives, freshly-baked breads and more. rosetta-farm.co.uk

The Best Brunches in London

Lina Stores

Head to Lina Stores’ restaurant in Soho for Italian drinks and fabulous food, including pasta made fresh every day. Pair notoriously strong Lina Stores Negronis with a few antipasti, and you should be able to last the night… linastores.co.uk

Bar Termini Centrale

Bar Termini Centrale

Where better to enjoy your aperitivo than on a dedicated Campari Terrace? Featuring a variety of Campari-based cocktails, including a Campari Old Fashioned and Sbagliato, there’s even a special £4 aperitivo menu for slightly less hard-hitting pre-dinner drinks which is available daily between 5 – 7pm. The perfect place for sipping and watching the world go by in sophisticated surroundings. bar-termini-centrale.com

Princi

This canteen-style restaurant-cum-bakery on Wardour Street is so buzzy that people spill out onto the streets with Aperol Spritz in hand during aperitivo time. By far one of the best-made Spritzes in London (it’s harder than you think), choose your own cicchetti from the vast selection of freshly-made delights on offer. Top tip: once you’ve filled up, make sure to take home a slice of strawberry crostata for later; it’s heavenly. princi.com

Dukes London

chase distillery

By far one of the best cocktail bars in London – and no doubt largely because of Italian bar manager Alessandro Palazzi who only uses the finest ingredients straight from his native country. This isn’t the place to go for a watered-down Spritz, though. Order the famous Vesper Martini for a proper pre-dinner cocktail that packs a punch. dukeshotel.com

Where to Eat in Bristol: A Foodie’s Guide

TruffleSecco

This Camden restaurant specialises in the dream combination of truffle and prosecco. Head down between to enjoy wine and Aperol Spritz alongside a sharing platter of olives, white truffle popcorn and more tasty treats. trufflesecco.com

Quaglino’s

Quaglino's Q Aperitivo

‘Quags’, as it’s more commonly known, is one of the most fashionable places to be spotted in London, and always ahead of the curve, they’ve launched their very own Q Aperitivo to liven up your Thursdays this summer. A traditional charcuterie platter and other cicchetti are included for free when you order any aperitivo cocktail, and you’ll be treated to the sweet sounds of Italian live bands. quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk

Ritorno Chelsea

Ritorno Chelsea Negroni

This self-proclaimed Aperitivo Bar is a regular haunt of Chelsea residents who enjoy a taste of Il Bel Paese. Giulio and Filippo, the two Italians behind Ritorno’s success, ensure the aperitivo experience (every Sunday 4-9 pm) is as authentic as possible with impeccably-made drinks and a complimentary platter of delicious cicchetti. The Virgin Aperitivo is a great alternative for non-drinkers. ritorno.co.uk

Finished drinks and ready for supper? Head to one of the best special occasion restaurants in London