Ciao Bella Restaurant
90 Lambs Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3LZ
- Russell Square Station (0.4 km)
- Chancery Lane Station (0.6 km)
- Contact us:
020 7242 4119
22 reviews of Ciao Bella Restaurant in English
The piano player was over on one side of the room, standing behind his upright piano (no room for anything else in here!), and making his way between lounge standards and old songs that everyone knows - though you could scarcely hear him over the din.
I wouldn't give this place any awards for the food, that's for sure. But you get the feeling it's more designed as the Cheap & Cheerful student haunt or casual meal spot - and who complains about a starter being a plate of microscopic previously frozen prawns in sauce when it's only cost you £6.50, and you've got access to bottles of house red wine for £13.50. In Bloomsbury!
Spaghetti Carbonara is a bit like the Sweet & Sour Pork equivalent of Chinese food - it's probably not particularly authentic or subtle, but you can get it almost everywhere, and I really like it: so that's my Italian yardstick. And on this occasion it was... different. Not bad at all, but certainly not what I was expecting. But again - for £8, and accompanied by wine, good vibe, and excellent conversation, I'd go back in & have it tomorrow!
The piano player belts out a chorus of Old MacDonald's Farm from the piano, totally unnoticed by anyone. We applaud at the end: he looks up with surprise that anyone's paid any attention and smiles at us, where many others in the room stop talking to see what the fuss was about, and several suddenly realise there's a piano there. The restaurant was full when we arrived, and people are still arriving as we leave.
How have I not heard of this place before?
i actually crave ciao bella all the time! i just think its good value for money and a great place to go when you just want to chill and have a laugh! the service is good and everytime i go the food is amazing, dont think ive ever had a bad meal there!!… the atmosphere is really italian based but thats what you want when you go to an italian restaurant!..the owner is always there everday of the week which is a really good sign.. it does get really busy everyday but thats all part of it! it is what it is! BRILLIANT!
Ciao Bella Restaurant
If you are looking for an enjoyable night out, then Ciao Bella is the place. Seating is tight, with noisy chatter and laughter, and a pianist tinkling away in the background. The food is very good classic Italian, and the wine we chose was an excellent drop from Umbria, Le Vele Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi Classico. The staff are polite, welcoming, very busy, and Italian to their bootstraps. We would not visit London without at least one visit. The evening is often finished with a sip of Lemoncello! Reservations are a must.
EXCELLENT found this by using Qype before visiting Bloomsbury. The staff were very friendly, attentive and great with my children aged 8 and 12 , the food is simply delicious and reasonably priced, even the wine didn’t break the bank. It was so good that even though we were only in London for 3 nights we returned here for second meal that was equally as good as the first. Plates were cleared at both meals and anyone with two children and a wife thats the fussiest eater ever will know this is quite an achievement. If you like Italian you’ll love this restraunt.
A friend and I visited Ciao Bella in mid January I had never been there before and it was a last minute decision on a Wednesday night. They were busy but the man who greeted us warmly at the door told us to pop into the pub next door for 20-30 minutes and he would come and get us. 20 or so minutes later he duly came in, carried our drinks and led us to his restaurant and our table. I can be a hearty eater at times and this was the first time in a while that I have been overwhelmed, we shared a starter of lovely garlic bread starter which we couldn't finish and when my pizza arrived it was awesome and tasted spot on. The staff were friendly and cheerful and I do think the man who looked after us went well beyond the call of duty in coming to collect us form the pub.
I would definitely go back and it would be churlish not to give it anything other than full marks.
One of the best value, tasty, and intimate Italian restarants I have been to in London! Prices are cheap (less than a tenner for primi pasta plates, £12-£18 for main secondi meat courses), portions are big, the food is tasty, and service is great. What more can you ask for?
Do try the seafood spaghetti in the bag if you can - that is their signature dish, and they also have a daily special menu which, on my visit, included interesting dishes such as rabbit and traditional Italian dishes such as osso bucco.
Reviewed by The London Insider
Lovely italian restaurant, my first 'local' in London. Always busy, slightly frantic staff but a really warm atmosphere. They're generous with the food (classic italian) and it's really well priced for London.
Even though it gets busy towards the end of the week, they usually try to fit you in and if you're faced with an hours wait there's always The Lamb pub next door, The Rugby Tavern or The Perseverance down the road. It's worth the wait.
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Ciao Bella is amazing! I've been here twice and it's always been a great occasion.
The staff are very friendly, the food is good and the prices are relatively cheap for the area.
I would always ask to be seated upstairs, though, as the downstairs tables can feel a little claustrophobic. Plus, there is a piano upstairs playing cheesy show tunes. It's no contest.
we were a party of six on a saturday lunchtime - with some teens wanting pizza and some adults wanting something a bit more sophisticated. The staff were friendly, helpful, efficient and very authentic Italian, and the food good especially the vongole served in a steamed bag. With a very drinkable Valpolicella, coffee and soft drinks we all had two courses each for £150. Would go again. Busy but not crowded.
My favourite Italian in London! The food is delicious! Brought some friends over (visiting from overseas and been to all the overpriced and stuffy restaurants) and it was the best Carbonarra they've ever had! Linguine al pesto is amazing and pizzas are always perfect! Live piano in the evenings, pretty busy all the time but service is always great. Strongly recommend.
Huge portions at prices which put the Carluccio's around the corner to shame! The place gets really busy in the evenings and at lunchtimes and I've never seen it more than a couple of empty seats. Well worth making a reservation if you're planning to come with more than one or two others.
The starters and the calzone, in particular, are delicious. Service is attentive and good-humoured and the meals don't take that long to arrive, particularly given the number of people ordering. I've been there plenty of times in the past and will undoubtedly do so again in the future!
EDIT: definitely book ahead, especially on a Friday night, which I've seen get fully booked 2 days in advance. Also had a bad experience with mussels here, but once in 10/15 visits leads me to believe it was more of a one-off.
Ciao Bella is a great venue for a dinner with friends, it's always busy and has a great atmosphere but it wouldn't be my first choice for a more intimate evening. However the foods is always good and the house wine's excellent, all for a reasonable price. Service is good but can be a little slow on busy nights, but when having a meal out with friends I don't mind this too much as it gives you a chance to catch up and enjoy more wine!
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
Great Italian restaurant and I can only echo the reviews of others here. The portions were very large, the staff remarkably good humoured, especially dealing with large parties of people (I was on a table of 12). The food was served speedily with no problems at all. We had an early sitting, so unfortunately couldn’t take advantage of the piano bar, but I would definitely go back again & settle in for a late night & enjoy the warm atmosphere.
I haven't actually been to Ciao Bella for an actual sit-down meal. But, I was really impressed with the plate o' yum I had the other day during the Lamb's Conduit Christmas Street Fair. For a mere five quid I got a plateful of meatballs, roast pork (with homemade crisps) and a breaded chicken drumstick. Each item on said plate was dee-lish! This friendly, local Italian resto is now top of my list for the next time I go out for a nice meal. Ciao Bella is steps from one of my favourite pubs too - The Lamb! Yay.
People whose judgement I trust, such as Qyper JuliePH, speak highly of this place too! Hmmm ... need to get back there asap.
This is place is always very busy so that’s a very good sign. it’s in a lovely part of bloomsbury and has some very good pubs nearby (Lamb and flag next door is superb).
The food is fairly priced and of good quality considering the amount they produce. I do prefer a more intimate venue (like L’osteria) but saying that there is nothing wrong with Ciao Bella.
I love this Italian - it’s on one of my favorite streets in London (the very quaint Lamb Conduits Street) and the food is always excellent.
I’m not alone though - it’s get very busy and even on a weekday they’re turning people away. Probably has something to do with the cheap prices in this part of the capital, the staff, the complimentary olives and breadsticks, authentic ingredients and the fact that you can guarantee a great (and pretty lively) meal any night of the week.
Try the tiramisu. It’s homemade and won’t disappoint…
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