TTI Top 5 – Best Italian Delicatessens, London

TTI Top London Italian delis.

London Italian delis

If you’re an Italian food lover like me and been to Italy, I’m sure you have had some of the best food of your life. I have cupboards full of amazing food memories from my many trips to the fatherland.(the tiniest supermarkets, spaghetti & tomato, best fried calamari etc). After every trip, I get so inspired by all the delicious and original dishes that I eat on those trips that I always try to re-create them back in my Peckham kitchen. The quality of ingredients in Italy is exceptional as local sourcing in towns and cities is still extremely important and is a huge contributing factor to the excellence of Italian cooking.

Living in London, I’m lucky to have a huge resource of international food available to me; quality supermarkets, farmers market, independents, food specialist stores etc etc. However, one of my favourite past times is heading to a London Italian deli, spending hours picking up every product, telling myself how much I need it and buying half the deli.

After the closure of the family deli a few years back I have been on a life mission to discover the best Italian deli London has to offer. With a huge Italian community settling here many many moons ago so many Italian delis and food shops opened. However, the landscape of the city has changed immensely in the the last 20 years so they are not as available as they used to be. Read about my favourites, go and visit them and make sure to keep them open. This city needs them! . I know this is a top 5 list, but you lucky lot have been given 6. In no particular order, here are my best London Italian delis.

Giacobazzi

A traditional family run Italian deli in London is like a unicorn. However, Giacobazzi is alive and kicking since 1991 run by Raff, Renato and their son Carlo. Based in Hampstead heath, this deli is filled with so many goodies priding themselves on their home made fresh pasta and antipasti. I loved how you could watch handmade filled pasta being made on the shop floor, highlighting the freshness of their produce.

Recommend: Fresh pesto, filled tortellini and cannellini bean salad.

150 Fleet Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 2QX

Nearest station: Hampstead Heath

Website: www.giacobazzis.co.uk

Salvino

Sicilian run deli in North London is run by a pair of brothers, Antonio and Stefano who opened its doors nearly 40 years ago. This family run deli is packed floor to ceiling with all essentials for Italian food lovers. The shelves are stocked with the best known Italian food brands and the deli counter has the best selection of fresh produce. Their charcuterie range includes one of my favourite brands, Villani and their slicing skills are so excellent. Well sliced meat really enhances the flavour. Trust me when I say that not everyone can slice meat properly but these guys do an excellent job. They also pride themselves on making fresh pasta which is made available on Saturdays. They offer a fabulous service in which they personally text their customers and advise them of their pasta specials so that they can place their order. I love that personal touch.

Recommend: Sliced charcuterie, fresh pasta and great valued Italian larder goods.

47 Brecknock Rd, London N7 0BT

Nearest station: Kentish town

Website: www.salvino.co.uk

Lina Stores

Lina Stores is an Italian delicatessen in the heart of London’s Soho. They import and sell authentic Italian produce. Named after the original owner ‘Lina’  who was from Genova, the deli originally opened in the 1940s. Today it’s one of the few Italian establishments that have kept their door opens after so much change in the ever evolving Soho. The guys at Lina make their own fresh pasta, cakes and other hot dishes and sandwiches on site. You can also buy freshly brewed Italian coffee if you need a pick me up. The product selection is more high end than some other London delis and offers the best Italian brands from pasta, olive oils, a wide selection of Italian regional meats and cheeses, wine and so much more. They also have an amazing range of hampers which make for great gifts for Italian food lovers.

Recommend: Fresh pasta, fresh sausages and cheese selection.

Nearest station: Piccadilly circus

Website: www.linastores.co.uk

I Camisa & Son

A little corner of Italy right here in Soho. This small deli reminds me of the ‘salumerias’ found across many Italian cities and towns. Love that the team all wear the traditional white deli jackets worn by the ‘salumieri ‘in Italy. Filled floor to ceiling wth products as well as a fridge full of fresh produce (pasta, antipasti, charcuterie and cheeses) II come here regularly to buy the basic larder goods that I need. I get my dry pasta (they have a huge range of pasta shapes), olive oil, tinned goods which is needed in my everyday cooking. I also come here regularly for the best Italian sandwiches. Working only five minutes away,  I choose to come here to get my lunch rather than spending money in other commercial chain establishment. You can choose what ever combination you want and they will make it for you there and then.

Recommend: Fresh sandwiches, larder goods and dry pasta

61 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 6HS

Nearest station: Leicester square/Piccadilly circus

Website: www.icamisa.co.uk/index.html

Vallebona

In the middle of an industrial park you can find this hidden gem.  A little hard to find but trust me, its totally worth looking for. Vallebona is predominantly an Italian food wholesaler but this space is open to the public to purchase their products. Set up in a warehouse it has a very different feel to the other London Italian delis but I do like its point of difference. The products are beautifully curated in the space and one of my favourite things is the separate room allocated to all the fresh charcuterie and cheeses which is equally beautifully set up and reminds of spaces back in Italy. One thing that is important to note is that they also offer a sit down service where customers can come in with friends to sit down and enjoy amazing cheese and ham boards with a beautiful glass of wine in this unique setting.

Recommend: Pop in for a glass of wine and enjoy their fresh produce.

Unit 14, 59 Weir Rd, London SW19 8UG

Nearest station: Earlsfield/Wimbledon Park

Website: www.vallebona.co.uk

Monte’s Delicatessen

Set up in the heart of Islington, this deli has such great high end quality Italian produce. When I use to live in Hackney for a short stint, this was my go to place for buying a selection of great charcuterie and cheeses. They sell more specific regional product that you may not find in other Italian London delis and I loved trying different things when I go in. Again, the team here have great slicing skills which really elevates them in what they do and present and wrap the food up beautifully.

Recommend: pesto, sliced charcuterie and cheeses

23 Canonbury Ln, London N1 2AS

Nearest station: Highbury & Islington

Website: montesdeli.com