Fantastic place! The pastas are cooked perfectly al dente (according to my Italian mother-in-law), the pizza is particularly amazing with its brick oven-ness, and the four cheese gnocchi is fluffy and delish. Great service and definitely very reasonably priced, both food and wine. Order more than one pizza and its served on a long wooden slab as one giant pie! It's my go-to restaurant for friend outings and date night.
The atmosphere is really fun too, you feel like you're outside on a lovely Italian terrace. I have yet to order something that I haven't liked, although I normally stick to the pizza...it's THAT good!
I Love italian food and go to Italy a lot so know my italian food. Santa Lucia is nothing to write home about.
The restaurant ambiance is rustic and done nicely in that down to earth, warm setting.
The food is average and for what you get you overpay in my opinion. The marinated olives are served on a bed of rucola and seemed to just have come out of a can.
Then the octopus salad was served the same way and tasted a bit bland.
The aubergine parmigiana was fine.
The as main I had the rigatoni al'arrabiata, which was cooked al dente, not spicy as it should be and terrible presentation, they served it on a round flat plate. My husband had the mixed seafood plate.
Octopus was done nicely but the salmon and tuna/ swordfish were overcooked.
The service was okay.
In the end was an ok dinner but won't go back.
I know this place is quite popular, and I quite like the atmosphere, but I just don't like the pizza. I find is extremely heavy, gummy, and finish feeling bloated, and more unfortunately, unsatisfied.
I recently ate at Pizza East Portobello which was beyond excellent -- after having such incredible pizza not too far away for approximately the same price I feel silly for eating here.
All this said, my 3 companions enjoyed it so who am I to say?
I like pizza...I like Made in Italy...and since Santa Lucia is the same thing, I like it too.
To date, I haven't found one of these chains around London. You know it's the real deal when half the patrons are speaking Italian, the waiter chases after you on your way to the loo saying "bella, bella, bella" and other unintelligible Italian things, and homemade orechielle is on the menu.
Great easy going date spot or lunch. Always good for a big group too as you can get pizza by the metre.
Pizza heaven - quite literally. This is my favourite pizza place in the world, even Santa Lucia's sister restaurants (such as Napule, Fulham) can't quite keep up to her standards!
Where on earth do you begin to wax lyrical? The interior of Santa Lucia is so cute, warm and friendly you feel at home as soon as you step in. It's in true Italian style ... they say you can always tell a good restaurant from the amount of "natives" that eat in there, and this one is always chokka full of noisy Italians families!
The pizza is to die for. They come served on huge wooden trays which - the first time you see them - you can't believe. The pizzas here are, without doubt, unsurpassable. The quality of the dough base, the toppings - delizioso!! There really is nothing to fault here (unless you are allergic to cheese, then watch their faces as they try to figure that one out).
The starters, desserts ... oh gosh, there is just too much to choose from, truly. Again, the tiramisu is heavenly and is just as it should be. Wines, beer ... again, your average choices and at average prices. I do thoroughly recommend the prosecco 'tho, which is a good price for a restaurant.
I can't eat pizza anywhere else now - I've tasted the best and get to Chelsea as often as I can.
Food is delicious, ambience is wonderful and a fun spot for friends to gather (for pizza by the metre - as stated by a previous reviewer) - in a brilliant location! Perhaps everything seems a little better when you're drinking, but I've always enjoyed myself here!
please see also:
This was a recommendation made independently by two Italian friends, so I would have actually expected more from this casual Italian restaurant/ pizzeria.
Santa Lucia is part of the Made in Italy Group that has several branches all over London.
We dined at another branch on King's Road (Made in Italy) some time ago and were not that happy, as the pasta was overcooked and the service not really up to scratch. But after the strong recommendations that this is the best Italian in London we decided to try Santa Lucia anyway.
It claims to be authentic Italian and it definitely is: there are Italian waiters and loads of Italian customers and everything is slightly chaotic ;)
My friends mainly praised the pizza, however there is a problem: I am not very keen on pizza. It's not that I hate it but i could live happily without coming close to a pizza ever again So I checked before we went and Santa Lucia does have plenty of non-pizza options on the menu.
We initially got a table, then were moved to a different table and then were ignored for what seemed endless (mind you, we were very hungry). I have to say that the service picked up during second part of the evening and the waitress that was responsible for our table was really quite friendly.
We shared Scamorza Al Forno A Legna (6.95) between the four of us as a starter, just as well we shared as it was huge and rich. It was ok but did not overly impress.
For the main I ordered Pennette a Modo Nostro (8.50) with aubergines, tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. I particularly stressed that I wanted my pasta al dente (because of our previous experience at Little Italy and because I dislike overcooked pasta even more than pizza). The waitress seemed quite hurt by my request and pointed out, that as an Italian restaurant, they always serve pasta al dente. When I got the pasta it was surprise, surprise! overcooked.
Believe me, I was seriously annoyed. I just hate it when you ask for your food to be prepared in a certain way (and I am not talking about unreasonable requests) and your wishes are being ignored (it had just happened to me very recently as well with my not so rare tuna at FishWorks in Richmond). I used to not say anything on occasions like this and suffer in silence but now I am fortunately getting better and better in sending my food back. However, it still is an unnecessary and unpleasant disruption of the evening.
My anger aside, when my pasta came back the second time, it was nicely cooked and I actually really liked the sauce, with just enough mozzarella to not make it too heavy and nicely cooked aubergine.
I have to say that also the pizza eating fraction was not ecstatic about the food: the Pizza al Pomodorini, Rucola e Prosciutto (8.95) apparently was too dry.
In their favour, Santa Lucia is really not very expensive, and, especially if you don't mind if your pasta is overcooked, the food is not bad.
For me, it was not the most pleasant experience and I would not particularly recommend this place. Finally I start to understand why most of my Italian friends never go to restaurants to eat pasta. They say they can do it better themselves. And I'm sure they can.
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