River Cafe

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River Cafe

This legend, though well off the beaten track (I mean it’s in Hammersmith, a good 15 minutes walk from a tube for goodness sake), still holds strong as the doyenne of the London Italian scene some 25 years after first opening its doors. True, it’s an effort to get to, and yes, the nose-to-tail tables can make things feel a bit cramped, while the long, thin room, hemmed in by a sleek steel bar is starting to feel a little dated, but the classical, simple and flawlessly executed food stands the test of time. In fact, the daily-changing, seasonally-picked dishes are nigh on sublime. Then again, for the price they need to be really – even a truly outstanding pasta dish goes down with a wince at £24 for a rather daintily-sized main course portion. Nab a table outside when the weather’s good to avoid all the hubbub inside and try and make sure someone else is paying.