Italian delis in the UK
A typical Italian meal begins with antipasti and includes cured meats, olives, cheeses – great for sharing. The key to a perfect antipasti is good-quality ingredients (see Jacob Kenedy’s guide to putting together antipasto misto). Here’s our pick of delis selling authentic Italian delicacies in the UK.
I Camisa & Sons, Soho, W1
This small family-run deli in the heart of London’s Soho is popular with Londoners and Italians alike (always a good sign). It may be small but it’s packed with Italian goodies such as pastas, sauces and cakes. The deli counter is a real treat, with traditional Italian charcuterie, pesto, fresh gnocchi and must-have anchovy-stuffed olives. There’s also a selection of freshly baked breads so you can have sandwiches made in front of you with any of the ingredients on display. Prices are reasonable, too.
61 Old Compton Street, W1. T: 0207 437 7610.
, Islington, N1
A well-stocked Italian deli in North London, packed with Italian meats, cheeses and antipasti, including Cotto Alla Brace, an Italian leg of pork, boiled then oven roasted with rosemary and spices. Prices are on the expensive side, but then it is in Islington.
23 Canonbury Lane, London, N1. T: 020 7354 4335.
, Chelsea, SW19
Luigi opened his first store in London in 1973, and has been bringing authentic Italian food to the capital ever since. Stocking farmhouse cheeses, cured meats, salamis, estate olive oils, vinegars and gourmet pastas, amongst others, the shop also has a popular online store with next day delivery.
394 Fulham Road, London SW19. T: 020 7352 7739.
, Clerkenwell, EC1
Four generations from the same Italian family have run this deli in the heart of London’s oldest Italian community. There’s a huge range of dried pasta in every shape, plus meats, cheeses, Italian biscuits (in beautiful packaging), fine wines, Grappas and Prosecco. At the rear of the shop is an espresso and panini bar with a seating area offering a range of freshly made snacks.
167-169 Farringdon Road, EC1. T: 0207 837 1586.
Henshelwoods Deli, York
Henshelwoods is a friendly, old-fashioned deli in historical York that sells fine produce including olives, Italian pastas, gnocchi, pasta sauce, European and British charcuterie, continental cheeses, oils and vinegars. Chef Kirk Vincent, ex-head chef at Carluccio’s Neal Street restaurant in London’s Covent Garden, produces British foods with Italian flavours to take away. On a sunny day, treat yourself to an Italian picnic (£12 a head) or the antipasto picnic (£13 a head).
10 Newgate, York, YO1. T: 01904 673 877.
A fine foods store based in the centre of Nottingham, Delilah offers a wide range of products from around the world, including Italian meats and cheeses. It operates a ‘try-before-you-buy’ policy on its cheese, meats and pâté counters, and boasts a tapas-style food bar serving Italian and Spanish delicacies, including goat’s cheese wrapped in prosciutto, mixed chargrilled Italian vegetable and buffalo mozzarella salad, and cheese and charcuterie platters. Hampers can be bought online; the Italian hamper includes Fresh figs wrapped in fig leaves, Black & white farfalle and Ciappe di Liguria (dry-baked Italian bread).
15 Middle Pavement, Nottingham, NG1. T:0115 948 4461.
This traditional deli, based in Ferndown, Dorset, stocks Italian salamis, Parma ham and home-cooked hams, and has shelves packed with pastas, sauces and olive oils. It also specialises in organic and gluten-free produce, and offers made-to-order fresh sandwiches made with ingredients from the deli.
489 Ringwood Road, Ferndown, Dorset. T: 01202 855 166.
With five branches and concessions in Bristol (plus more in Bath and Exeter), Chandos is a popular deli chain overflowing with Italian meats, cheeses, antipasti ingredients and dry produce, as well as a selection of sandwiches and wine. Chandos even gets a delivery of fresh fruit and veg from the markets of Milan every week.
121 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8, plus other locations in Bristol, Bath and Exeter. T: 0117 970 6565.
This deli and restaurant is a slice of Italy in the heart of Edinburgh and a mecca for foodies near and far. Owned and run by Mary and Philip Contini, descendants of Italian immigrants, Valvona & Crolla is a family-run business that has been going since 1934. It boasts an impressive range of charcuterie (mind your head on the hanging salamis) and Italian cheeses, including four types of Pecorino. The deli is particularly famous for its Fonteluna sausage, made to a family recipe that dates back 200 years. It’s semi-cured, so can be eaten raw or cooked, and is flavoured with chilli and fennel. Valvona & Crolla also sells a wide selection of fine Italian wines, cakes and cookware.
19 Elm Row, Edinburgh, EH7. T: 0131 556 6066.
Wales’ most famous deli stocks a good range of Italian meats and cheeses, as well as foods from all over the world. Salamis, lardo (salted pork back fat that’s similar to bacon), prosciutto, bresaola and spicy Italian Calabrese sausage are amongst the delicacies to be found in store. A second branch recently opened.
38-46 Royal Arcade & St David’s Centre, Cardiff. T: 0292 022 9265.