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Nov 2, 2007 04:27 PM


Where can I get a nice, tasty, and authentic plate of pasta that doesn't cost too much?? Specially looking for a comfortable sort of place, maybe family-run or something like that, not one of those painfully trendy types.

Been going to Med Kitchen and Carluccio's for my carb fixes -- so I seriously need to move on. Advice? Central London a plus, but I will go anywhere for a tasty carbonara.

Thank you!!

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  1. Balfour on Marchmont street is my favorite. It's priced similarly to Carluccio's, but much better.

    1. Good post, I often find myself wondering the same thing.

      I would recommend a place called De Santis on Old Street (the junction with Goswell Road) - it'a actually more of a panini place (offshoot of a Milanese panini house) and a very good one at that but they do good pasta and risotto too with daily specials and affordable pricing. I also always liked the malloreddus and spaghetti w/ bottarga at Sardo or Sardo Canale although these are both just under the £10 mark so not giveaway.

      From times gone by, Enoteca Turi stands out but that's down in Putney and I haven't been in a long while. So too Metrogusto in Islington but I'm fairly sure that downhill alerts apply to that place, perhaps others can chime in.

      Little Italy in Soho used to be a favourite but by no means a cheap option.

      There's a place near Finchley Road tube called Luigi's which I never once got to in my 2 years living just down the street but I always heard good things and it got a mention on a recent thread on this board.

      2 Replies
      1. re: oonth

        Ah De Santis--that's in my general vicinity and I have always been curious. Must check it out now, oonth. Thanks!

        1. re: kristainlondon

          Whilst you're there, check out the soup place next door. Used to be called Soupacific, has changed name now, can't recall the new name. Set up by a Singaporean woman and with an emphasis on pan-Asian flavours, used to be a firm favourite when I worked in the area.

      2. Yes De Santis. I often go I there for pasta or a rissoto or some their excellent green minestrone. I must also mention their wine list which is well-priced and has plenty of wines by the glass or you can drink the Peroni Gran Riserva.

        In chats with the people there, they tell me that they are the London outpost of a Milanese restaurant. It is mainly a panini place, something I am definitely not into.

        Its cheerful and buoyant there of a lunchtime, but in the evening, that stretch of Old Street can seem rather barren.

        1. I'm never sure what constitutes not costing too much in London -- my view of this has changed the longer I've been here. But an authentically Italian spot (with neighborhood rather than cheap-eat prices) is Caffé Caldesi (118 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2QF). First went here with Italian friends. Simple stuff, done well. The staff is all Italian, which is comforting. A plate of pasta will set you back £11. Of course, you add a glass of wine and a salad, and things begin to add up. Such is life. Such is London. BB

          1 Reply
          1. re: bombaybeauty

            I like Caldesi, too. I first came across them after their cooking programme was shown on TV. They do lots of cooking classes but I never seem to get around to doing anything like that. The owner/chef takes food very seriously and the food is more like what I enjoyed in the States.

          2. Not a sit down place but Maletti's in Soho does fabulous pizzas and pastas - they also have one or two risottos as well. To finish off you can go for a delicious flat white coffee at Flat White on Berwick Street. Yum.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Theresa

                It is what we call a regular coffee in Australia - a long expresso with steamed (not frothed) milk.