Food: This popular pasta bar serves fresh, hand rolled pasta with homemade sauces at very affordable prices. Named one of the best 100 restaurants in the city in 2016 by TimeOut London, Padella serves unusual dishes like ravioli of Wiltshire ricotta with raw peas and mint and tagliarini with Dorset crab, chilli and lemon. There is almost always a long queue, as the restaurant does not take reservations. The menu is small but well conceived and includes a selection of antipasti, Italian wines, grappa and aperitifs.
Service: Servers are friendly, attentive, upbeat and on the ball. And they all smile a lot too, which is nice!
Must try: Pici cacao e pepe – a handmade pasta with marjoram, lemon and golden garlic that won best dish 2016 at the London Restaurant Festival Awards, the pappardelle with eight hour Dexter beef shin ragu, marinated spinach with chilli, garlic and anchovy, and the totally addictive Castelvetrano green olives.
Ambience: The restaurant is compact with only 25 all-bar seats on the ground level and another 35 seats in the basement. The atmosphere is convivial, casual yet classy. Think Italian Osteria meets Manhattan martini bar.
Average price per person: £25
Address: Padella. 6 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TQ, England, United Kingdom.