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If you need a Venetian food fix, you need Polpo!

Polpo, London

I cannot believe I haven’t blogged about this place yet. I’m disappointed in myself! I have spoken about it on my Food Diaries twitter account (@foodiarieslon) and its Facebook page (Food Diaries London)- both of which you SHOULD like by the way. But I haven’t blogged. Anyway, better late than never! 🙂

I have recently been watching this show on BBC2 called The Restaurant Man and I came across this quote that I loved, “Opening a restaurant just to make money is wrong but it is very important that it does make money”. Who said these great words of wisdom? Russel Norman- the man behind Polpo. I genuinely believe that when you do something that you’re passionate about- it shows and it pays off. Polpo is the exact personification of that quote.

I can’t remember how I came across Polpo. I suppose it was one of many strolls across Soho in hunt for something new and different. Until Polpo, I had not really come across an Italian/Venetian place that I genuinely liked or would recommend. Yeah, there are chain restaurants (like Vapianos- not impressed) or places that may do a good pasta dish- but nothing like Polpo. Since my first trip to this humble restaurant some where in early 2013, I haven’t stopped going there. In fact, I even had my birthday lunch there.

The first Polpo opened in September 2009 on Beak Street and they have opened a few more branches in key locations around London. But still, quite a lot of people I’ve told about Polpo had never heard of it before. That’s London for you. So much choice, it’s crazy!

So what’s so great about Polpo? Other than the food (which should always be the main focus), the location, the staff, the rustic charm and decor, the tapas style menu, the amazing vibe in each of their restaurants and again, the FOOD!

Everything on their menu is top notch. One of my regular favourites has to be the Zucchini salad (usually up on their Specials board and there’s a recipe card for it on tables too or you can ask for it) and potato and parmesan crocchettes. Their menu keeps on changing but meatballs are a special favourite of mine. I had the vegetarian meatballs once and let me just say I am a hardcore carnivore but those meatballs were soooo delicious!! I could’ve eaten them twice. Why don’t you guys ogle at the food photos and scroll down for some parting words at the bottom! 🙂

Polpo- Special of the day (Goats cheese, grapes, pine nuts, honey drizzled on top and crusty bread at the bottom-YUM!)




Spinach, Parmesan and Soft Egg Pizzette
linguine vongole Polpo
Linguine Vongole

My friend’s half Italian and she loves her pasta, obviously! (no stereotypes there!) And she LOVED their Linguine Vongole.

veal meatballs polpo
Veal and Porcini mushroom meatball spaghettini
zuchini salad polpo
Zucchini salad
rock shandy polpo
Rock Shandy for all the non-alchoholics! 😉

This drink is super-refreshing! Perfect to wash down the meal.

crocchette polpo
Potato and Parmesan Crocchette

Mmmm!! The delicious gooey centre of the potato and parmesan crocchette. Whos watching the calories? Not me!

veg meatballs polpo
Chick pea, Spinach and Ricotta Meatballs Spaghettini

grilled lamb polpo

Delicious grilled meat. Have it with a side of their Zucchini salad and you’re there!


I’ve gone to several branches of Polpo (Soho, Farringdon and Covent Garden) and I haven’t had any occasion where the food or the service has been off. It’s always been great and consistent. The food is super yummy and it’s a fantastic place to hang out with friends, an intimate dinner, lazy Sunday lunch or even a family dinner! I cannot recommend this place enough. It’s worth it. Please do check it out- it’s usually quite busy on Fridays and the weekend so try and book in advance.

For more information on Polpo and their menu, please check out their website: Polpo

“Polpo is a bàcaro.  This is a Venetian word to describe a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young local wines.” True to their words! 🙂 xx



  1. April 18, 2014 / 2:29 pm

    Hi! I just finished reading your post and you got me curious on Polpo 🙂 I come from Venice and I would love to see if they took the real atmosphere of a Venetian Bacaro (they are very, very rustic and genuine places, where you can have few but really yummy things to eat, called chiccetti). I would def give it a try! Ciao 😉

    • April 22, 2014 / 9:49 am

      Oh you should definitely check it out. It’s amazing and I go back all the time. Of course it may not be as authentic as back in Venice but I think it’s a great addition in London 🙂 thank you for your message! X

  2. April 20, 2014 / 9:36 pm

    Have you tried Polpetto yet? I keep hearing great reviews! x

    • April 22, 2014 / 9:47 am

      No I haven’t actually! Is it any good?? X

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