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If you’re longing for the ultimate risotto, and London is in your travel plans, British food critic Andy Hayler has you covered.

As Hayler reported for Elite Traveler, Italian food has been embedded in the London restaurant scene since Italians emigrated there in the 19th century. There are 2,000 Italian restaurants currently in London–3,000 if you count pizzerias, he explains–but at the high end of the spectrum there are three that have received Michelin stars.

Well worth a visit, says Hayler, are the following:

The River Café. Located near the Thames in Hammersmith, the café has attracted celebrities and media foodies since its opening in 1987. Dishes, including its signature wild mushroom risotto, are often very simple but based on ingredients that are high quality, with prices to match.

Murano. Located in Mayfair, Murano was established by Angela Hartnett, whose cooking is inspired by her Italian grandmother. But dishes like pumpkin tortellini and monkfish braised in squid ink fregola illustrate her very modern take on Italian food.

Locanda Locatelli. This distinctive restaurant in Marylebone completes the trio of starred London Italian restaurants. Giorgio Locatelli serves the most traditional Italian food of the three. On his menu is a selection of classic and innovative pasta dishes like chestnut tagliatelle with mushrooms or rabbit leg with polenta and Parma ham.

If you want to venture past the Michelin ratings, a personal favorite of Hayler’s is L’Amorosa. Situated in Stamford Brook, the restaurant is home to chef Andy Needham, who earned a Michelin star for Zafferano in Belgravia for many years. While his food trends toward the simpler side these days, Hayler claims his saffron risotto and deeply flavored meat ragu dishes with pasta rival the best.

Another good choice is Enoteca Turi in Chelsea, serving dishes from various regions of Italy, and offering a surprisingly good Italian wine list to complement its palate-pleasing food.

Source: Elite Traveler

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