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Time to get your pasta fix at Padella restaurant in London!
Every time we visit Borough Market or London Bridge, we generally always spot a long line of people snaking around the outside of Padella, London’s most popular pasta place (try saying that several times after a negroni).
Named after the Italian word for ‘Pan’, Padella pasta restaurant is a fixture of the Borough Market dining scene.
Padella restaurant is proud of its relatively simple yet delicious menu and inexpensive prices (for London) – with a second Padella pasta restaurant now open in Shoreditch in east London, you can easily see Padella’s ‘recipe‘ for success.
Padella pasta restaurant is the brainchild of Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda, the founders of famous pasta restaurant Trullo in Highbury.
They realised there was a gap in the market for authentic and affordable handmade pasta in London. As at 2023, Padella’s pasta prices for mains start from £8.50 per dish (for a small plate of tagliarini with dried chilli, garlic and pangrattato). Paddella’s starters begin at £4 for a plate of mixed olives.
We’ve visited Padella in Borough Market many times over the years and we noticed it was one of the first to adopt virtual queuing.
These days, gone are the lengthy queues outside Padella, replaced by a virtual queue (more on this later).
At our last visit to Padella in late 2022, we were fortunate enough to get a prime position at the counter, meaning we could see the chef’s at work, whilst also allowing us to see the hustle and hubris of London life outside from the nearby window.
Service at Padella is polite and brisk and you choose from a two sided paper menu, which is updated regularly. We opted for several dishes (prices all correct as at February 2023).
Padella Pici Cacio & Pepe for £11.50 – their most popular dish, a delicious and hearty cheese and pepper sauce, which is so good you could lick the salty sauce off the plate.
Padella Fettuccine with Cobble Lane Cured Nduja, Mascarpone and Lemon for £12 – a little fiery.
Padella Ravioli of Westcombe Ricotta with Butter and Sage for £12.50 – rich, zingy and melt in the mouth amazing.
All dishes came within about 10 minutes of ordering and served at the same time with sharing plates.
Like their menu, the Padella interior decor at their Borough Market is clean, crisp and not too cluttered. Most of the seating area is downstairs, plus there are several smaller tables just outside the front of Padella.
For our three dishes and a small beer (session lager – 330ml), we paid £46 which also included the 12.5% tip / gratuity – not too bad for a sit down meal in a central London location with fresh as food.
Fun fact – since we first wrote this Padella restaurant blog in 2020, the price of Padella’s pepe pasta dish has increased by 127%!
Planning a trip to Padella soon? Here are our top tips for making the most of your Padella experience.
Use the WalkUp app at Padella
Before, the queues at Padella were lengthy and often all the way around the market. Now, no queuing is necessary; well, not in person anyway.
You are asked to download the WalkUp app (apple and android), where you can join a virtual queue.
It’ll tell you roughly how long you have to wait, meaning you can grab a drink at a nearby bar before your table becomes available. We recommend arriving as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
We went for a swift half across the road at the historic The George pub (dating back from 1676), the only pub in the UK managed by the National Trust!
Once your place is ready in Padella, you have 10 minutes to make your way there before your table is released.
Save some dough for bread
The pasta sauces at Padella are so good it almost seems criminal to waste them. So as to not lick the plate with your tongue (and hopefully avoid a scene), order a £2 side of sourdough bread to make the most of your sauces.
Order more than one plate of pasta per person
Although these aren’t tapas, the portion sizes at Padella aren’t massive so we’d recommend you get 3-4 dishes per two people – it is always nice to mix and match as well.
The most expensive dishes at Padella are not necessarily the best
Prices per main pasta dish at Padella varied from £8.50 to £16 – of the several we shared, my (Neil) favourite was the Pici Cacio & Pepe.
We also noticed the couple next to us also just order two plates of this and then mopped up the leftovers with a side of sourdough bread – smart cookies.
Make a day of it
Pasta la vista – we’d return in a heartbeat to Padella (especially now given how easy queuing is with the WalkUp app).
However, if you are heading to the area especially to eat at Padella, why not make a day of it and grab a dessert or additional supplies in Borough Market to take home after. You’re welcome!
View the menu at www.padella.co/
Check out our other London blog posts
- South Bank walk – one of the best walks around London (with map)
- The Churchill Arms – the most colourful pub in London
- A guide to Victoria Park Village and park
- Street Food Markets and Food Courts in London guide
- Best things to do in Greenwich, London
- Little Venice London – a complete guide
- Things to do in the historic Square Mile London
- The 10 best markets in London
- The most colourful places in London
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