L’unico e solo

Our Story


Started by 2 friends in 1955 with the dream to treat Londoners to the fresh Italian food that they loved back home. In the 70 years since, we’ve stuck to the simple recipe. Scroll to tuck into the delicious story of Spaghetti House.

Delicious Italian food, Incoming

As a new generation of Italians brought espresso and ‘la dolce vita’ to London in the 50s, our father Simone Lavarini and his friend Lorenzo Fraquelli decided it was time to introduce the locals to a real deal trattoria in the middle of Goodge Street!

Spaghetti, but not as you know it.

At a time when the British knowledge of spaghetti came from a can and was served on toast, the first slogan of Spaghetti House was so simple, it nearly wrote itself.
‘Spaghetti, but not on toast’. Spaghetti House were here to introduce London to an authentic serving of classic Minestrone and properly made Bolognese. No tins allowed.


As London was swinging, Spaghetti House was opening the doors to their second restaurant on the aptly named Sicilian Avenue, ‘a delightful splash of Sicily’ in the centre of the city. Groovy.

Welcome To The Pasta Party

Word on the street was that there was some seriously exciting Italian cooking going on at Spaghetti House and our guests just couldn’t get enough of it.

Too much of a good thing? Never. That’s why the 60s saw the start of our regular pasta eating competitions won by the likes of a certain Gino Alfano who managed to put away an incredible 2lbs of spaghetti in just 1 minute and 39 seconds. Now THAT’s a pasta eating pro…

The Empire (& Menu) Expands

By the late 60s, the family was growing with Goodge Street & Sicilian Avenue being joined by their new siblings on Oxford Street, Victoria & Knightsbridge.

And as the options for Spaghetti House moments expanded,  the menu was going through a delicious growth of its own with dishes like classic Carbonara & Spaghetti al Pesto becoming staples that we’ve been serving ever since.


A decade of change in the city that saw the first Pride march and the birth of the Notting Hill carnival. London was ready for new – as long as they could still get their Spaghetti House favourites, of course.

Our Love for Local

With the arrival of three more restaurants including Cranbourn Street (perfectly situated to serve the theatre-goers of the West End), London’s craving for our simple Italian cooking continues well into the 70s. Just like we would back in the Bel paese, every day would start with early trips to local markets to pick out the produce which, along with a lot of love and passion, would go into preparing the dishes that the Londoners enjoyed so much.

Under Siege!

On September 28th 1975, nine Spaghetti House staff members gathered in the basement of the Knightsbridge to collect the weekly takings as normal. Except there was to be nothing normal about this night.

Taken hostage by armed robbers, they would spend five whole days down there. Thankfully nobody was harmed, but this would go down in London lore as the infamous Spaghetti House siege.


In an tumultuous era of flux that saw everything from the Falklands War to red-braced yuppies and rave culture, Spaghetti House did what we do best. Remained a constant presence with a friendly welcome and a plate of comforting Italian food that the city could always trust. We also said hello to Spaghetti House Haymarket which was a highlight for us!

Spaghetti House in your house

So popular were our classics that by 1985, even the supermarkets and high-end stores like Harrods and Fortnum & Masons were clamouring to stock us. Spaghetti House had finally made it to your house.

Keeping London Running

In 1986, we proudly sponsored a pasta party at the Royal Lancaster hotel feeding 5000 hungry runners the night before the London marathon. You could even say the next day’s victories were fuelled by farfalle… or at least, we like to think so.


Britpop, New Labour and Penne all’Arrabbiata to ‘spice up your life’. The 90s were here and so began a decade of positivity for the Brits, punctuated by many plates of pasta.

Swapping Meatballs for Footballs

Stepping briefly away from serving steaming plates of traditional Spaghetti & Polpettine, our team of waiters and chefs (with owner Luigi as the goalie) came out of the kitchens and onto the pitch in 1990 to form their very own footie team. Forza Spaghetti House FC!

Grape Expectations

A traditional menu of Italian food needs authentic wines to wash it down with. This is why we headed to the region of Piedmont in the 90s to find the perfect pairings and bring them back to share with our beloved guests. Though the selection may have changed with modern tastes, you’ll still be able to try Gavi di Gavi Contessa and Barbera Vistamonte, chosen on that trip all those years ago.

They’re classic for a reason, after all!


The Millennium Bug, furbies and dresses over jeans may have been mere flashes in the pan but not us –  London’s love for our simple ingredients, cooked to order, continues into the 00s. It was time to bring Spaghetti House to even more boroughs as we opened in Oxford Street, Argyll Street, High Street Ken and even Westfield.

New decade. New look. Same classic tastes.

Through the glory of the Olympics, our mayor getting stuck on a zipline and the man bun craze, we’ve continued onwards with our mission to help to fuel the city we love. Though we might have donned a fresh new look, our dedication to what we do continues, winning both ‘operator of the year’ at the PAPA awards, and the hearts and tummies of the next generation of Londoners.

Present Day

In 2023, we’re still here, still cooking and still just as excited to welcome you as we were back in 1955 when it all began…

Sustainability & Suppliers

Sustainability is not just a buzzword for us – it plays a vital role in how we choose our suppliers and so, unsurprisingly, these are values shared by those we end up working with.

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Takeaway & Collection

After 70 years at the heart of the London food scene, we’re clearly not going anywhere. That doesn’t mean you can’t. Click and collect for food on the go or order a takeaway to come to you now.

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  • Kensington High Street

  • Marble Arch

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