Osteria Antica Bologna, Clapham


Since I moved to London over 6 years ago, I’ve always wanted a local Italian - but in all the places I lived, I never found the one. The one that made me want to keep going back for more. But finally, after years of hunting I’ve found it in Osteria Antica Bologna. 

Located on Northcote Road, this place has been around for over 20 years and provides the most homely feel with their rustic wood panelled interiors and friendly staff who seem genuinely happy to get back to having people dine with them. 

But, to be quite honest with you, the food is so excellent that even if - and they’re not - the people running this restaurant were vehemently rude, I would still return because the food is so great I couldn’t keep away. Look at me forming a toxic relationship with food. 

Whilst in many Italian restaurants, you might find a spaghetti bolognese or a carbonara, neither are to be found on this menu as it focuses on - and you might have guessed it - food from Bologna. 

The menu consists of Antipasto, fresh homemade pasta, meat & fish, their daily specials and dessert. Now I will warn you, it’s hard to choose and actually I’ve had to have a pasta course before our main because their Ravioli of the Day is just to die for - I’ve now had the pumpkin and ricotta with a rosemary butter, asparagus and ricotta with sage butter and beef and veal - all to die for, and get the large because you will, I promise, want more.

They have an incredible selection of antipasti available too; everything from the classic Bruschetta - which clearly is made with fresh tomatoes, herbs and an extra AF olive oil - to their Fritto Misto, which is deep fried calamari, prawns, whitebait and courgettes are worth coming back for - and on a sunny day, if you don’t want to eat a full meal, you can enjoy this whilst watching the world go by on their terrace! 

Pasta...I couldn’t not talk about pasta. Their pasta - as I mentioned above - is truly epic, but if you fancy something else other than Ravioli then their Linguine al Granchio blends sweet crab with a vibrant sweet chilli and white wine sauce for a lighter option! Or, their mushroom pasta is luxurious, delicious and packs a punch in terms of flavour. 

Now onto one of my biggest regrets, they had Monkfish as their special on their menu for a couple of weeks but each time I’d opted for something different but they genuinely do change their specials so alas, I did not get to try it but I live in hope it’ll come back. 

But, their Fiorentina (a chargrilled t-bone steak, served rare) is out of this world. I have never had a steak cooked as well as it was here, and I’ve eaten more steak than I’d care to admit. It is cooked rare - how it should be - but I am sure if you were more of a medium rare they’d accommodate, but please - and I beg you - do not order it medium or well done because it would be a waste.

And for the finale, their desserts are - shock - out of this world. The pistachio creme brulee has changed my life, and now no dessert will ever compare. But I can also firmly recommend their Tiramisu and Panna Cotta. Both excellent choices.

As a restaurant that has struggled in the pandemic, it’s one I love to support because the food is truly incredible, the staff are beyond amazing and the wine list is brilliant too FYI. It’s incredibly reasonably priced for the quality of the food and produce, and you are made to feel welcomed from start to finish. If you visit, you will probably come across Stefania and Mario who are the most incredibly welcoming people and always on hand to give you recommendations on drinks, wine, food and more. 

Antica Osteria Bologna,
23 Northcote Road,
SW11 1NG

020 7978 4771


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