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Cafe Review: Italo deli in Bonnington Square

Despite having lived in Bonnington Square when Italo deli first opened I never managed to visit it (for Bonnington Square generally here).  You see, we kept different hours.  Off I went to work at 9am, they opened at 10am.  Back I came from work at 7:00pm-ish and they always seemed to be closed.  It was infuriating beyond belief.  Delicious deli food, in the same square where I lived and I couldn’t ever manage to get to it in time.

Well a couple of years later and they are open on weekends and I also had a spare week drifting around London so I got to visit it several times.  And it is perfect.  It is small and the shop overflows with bits of this and that.  You can make special orders and they will source it.  What is best about it is that it is seasonal so your cooking (and eating) can ride alongside with the seasons.  When there is sun there are tables outside where you can eat portuguese custard tart, drink Monmouth blend (I think) coffee and eat their daily menu.

I found myself drifting there every day of my last week in London to have a croissant and a coffee and watch the plants grow (slowly) in Bonnington Square.  People drift in and out and it reflects the diverse nature of the community in Vauxhall/ Bonnington Square.  The street cleaners who grab coffees and sit on the bench watching, the ex squatters and hippys who retain a slight bohemian air to them and those who picked the area as an up and coming destination solid in their delight at this Mediterranean esque outpost.

And the greatest delight is that you will probably never go.  It is only really those who live or work in the area and can navigate their way around the backstreets of Bonnington Square who will visit.  So it will hopefully keep that happy light buzz that just lets you just relax and watch the plants grow.  However, if you live or work in the area do visit; you won’t be disappointed.

As a final aside I can vouch for the quality of their ingredients as whilst I was there last time they were having their meat delivered by Theobald’s butchers on Theobald’s Road (an excellent butcher). In keeping with the relaxed nature of the area the butcher asked if we wanted any meat. Jokingly we replied that we were vegetarian. He simply said “so are the cows”. Best joke I have heard in ages.

Price – £5 is for a snack and a drink

PS – and this is not a site I would normally link to but have a look at the Telegraph here if interested as they give a good history of the food vintage of the owners of Italo (Arabella Boxer and Di Lieto)

PPS – it is also worth knowing you can hunt them down on Twitter @ItaloDeli for details of their lunch menus and specials.

PPPS as I seem to be in a Vauxhall frame of mind click here to see other things to do and eat in Vauxhall.
Italo Deli on Urbanspoon


  1. London Chow

    LOL, I know exactly what you mean. Not the joke but the fact that small local businesses do have a part to play in the local community. Where I live, there's a local butcher and fishmonger, and I bet those customers who queue up outside every morning are from within 15min walk radius.

    It's really businesses like Italo that gives character to a place, isn't it?

  2. The Grubworm

    I love little neighborhood joints where making big bucks comes second to creating a lovely place to stop by, relax and chat. They serve as a tasty hub for local life and give you the chance to get to know people. Lovely.

  3. Tom

    London Chow – hell yes. The more I visit other countries which are not as developed as the UK. And developed should be in inverted commas. The more I realise quite how much we have lost in our rush to develop. There is a movement now for artisan butchers etc. but so many of those are in rich areas like Clapham and not in the everyday areas of London.

    Grubworm – if once people dreamed of retiring and running pubs… maybe this is the new one. I bet that is a severe underestimation of the level of work you have to do but still…

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