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The eight best Italian delis in the UK

7 of the best Italian delis in the UK

by Great British Chefs 01 April 2019

Great Italian food is all about great ingredients, so we’ve picked out seven specialist delis across the country where you can find the best authentic Italian produce.


The beauty of Italian food has always been in its simplicity. Though there are some fantastic Italian chefs who are constantly innovating, inventing and pushing the boundaries of their national food culture, the heart of Italian food still lies in classic home cooking and the celebration of wonderful produce. Take Cacio e pepe for example, the simple combination of three ingredients: pasta, cheese and black pepper. It sounds simple enough, but it’s the quality of the produce that makes the dish complete – without a fantastic Pecorino Romano cheese and freshly ground black pepper, it wouldn’t truly be cacio e pepe.

As a result, it pays to go looking for the best ingredients you can find, and there are a few places around the UK that go above and beyond to bring amazing Italian produce to your kitchen. We’ve rounded up seven of the best, from London to Edinburgh, so you can get a true taste of Italy for yourself.

Lina Stores (London)

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The streets of Soho used to be lined with Italian stores selling all manor of beautiful things from the Mediterranean, but these days Lina Stores is one of the few remaining. Thankfully, the store – still family-owned and run after many decades – has become better and better, stocking an incredible range of fresh and store cupboard items, as well as more elusive treasures like bottarga and Italian anchovies, all available to buy in-store. The staff are incredibly helpful too, and Lina’s ravioli – made fresh every day – is some of the best you’ll find in London. Nip around the corner and you'll find Lina Stores' very own restaurant, where Umbrian head chef Masha Rener and her team serve up fantastic Italian plates at very reasonable prices.

18 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0SH. linastores.co.uk

Buongiorno Italia (St Albans)

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When Buongiorno Italia opened as Franco Stores in St Albans in 1978, it was one of the first stores in the area to provide true Italian produce to the people of Hertfordshire, serving a mainly Italian clientele. These days, it’s a thrumming hive of activity – a home for anyone who loves great food, with a well-stocked delicatessen and a busy café that does a roaring trade in antipasti and arancini. Buongiorno Italia even holds wine and olive oil tastings from time to time, which are always a smash hit with the locals.

68 Lattimore Rd, St Albans AL1 3XR. buongiornoitalia.co.uk

Italian Continental Stores (Maidenhead)

Less neighbourhood delicatessen and more superstore, Italian Continental Stores is nicely set up for those who are buying in bulk, with a big car park out front and rows upon rows of gorgeous Italian products. While there isn't much in the way of fresh produce, Italian Continental Stores has a fantastic range of pantry essentials on offer, alongside a monumental list of Italian beers and wines, all available by the bottle or the case.

Jubilee House, Denmark St, Maidenhead SL6 7BN. italiancont.co.uk

4 Cose (London)

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4 Cose in Bethnal Green is a home for the finer things in Italian cooking. It's a shop founded by Cullinan Richards and Andrea Sassi to bring Italian regional specialities over from the Mediterranean and into British homes. The two also have a mutual appreciation of contemporary art, and the walls at 4 Cose reflect this, with lots of Italian-inspired artwork for sale alongside rows of cured meats hanging from the ceiling, cheeses, oils, vinegars and more – most of which wouldn’t normally be available to anyone outside of Italy. It tends to focus on just four exceptional ingredients every month, each of which have been painstakingly sourced to ensure they are the very best money can buy.

7 Vyner St, London E2 9DG. 4cose.co.uk

Salvi’s Deli (Manchester)

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When Salvi’s owner Maurizio first moved to Manchester from his home of Naples, his journey started with a delicatessen in the Corn Exchange, selling a range of authentic Neapolitan items to Italians in the city. Today, Salvi’s is a massive success story – the delicatessen is packed to the rafters with incredible produce and houses a dedicated mozzarella bar. Elsewhere, Maurizio has been able to set up two other restaurants in the city – Salvi’s Cucina and Salvi’s Rosticceria.

1, The Corn Exchange, Corporation St, Manchester M4 3TR. salvismanchester.co.uk

Valvona & Crolla (Edinburgh)

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Valvona & Crolla was one of the very first specialist food stores in Europe when it first arrived in Edinburgh in 1934. Like many others on this list, it started from humble beginnings as a simple shop to serve Edinburgh’s Italian community, but today Valvona & Crolla is synonymous with fantastic food. Not only does it stock a massive range of great Italian produce across multiple delicatessens and food halls, it also has an outside catering company and two cafés in the city that hold regular wine and cheese tasting sessions, as well as cooking demonstrations.

19 Elm Row, Edinburgh EH7 4AA. valvonacrolla.co.uk

Zotta Deli (Wokingham)

The village of Winnersh is around 10,000 people strong, and yet it has an Italian delicatessen that hundreds of larger towns around the UK would give their right arm to have. Still, no one in Berkshire is complaining. Zotta Deli doesn’t have the high-end, artisan selection that others in this list keep, but it's well-stocked with good quality Italian essentials – the kind of things that Italians would really buy at home, all at very reasonable prices.

Reading Rd, Winnersh, Wokingham RG41 5LT. facebook.com/zottadeli

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