London's Sicilian restaurants maintain a long history of links between England's capital and Italy's southernmost island. Crusaders to the Middle East poured through Sicily in the 11th century, while from the 16th century, British traders travelled across the Mediterranean. More recently, migrants from the island settled in the East End, opening up London's first Sicilian restaurants and cafes from the 1940s onwards. The legacy of these arrivals is a selection of Sicilian restaurants in London, from Pinner to Belgravia, with plenty of fine places to try the island's delicious cuisine.
What makes Sicily's food so distinctive from the rest of Italian cuisine? Well, the island was controlled for hundreds of years by Arab rulers, giving its food a strong North African influence, with spices like cinnamon playing a large role. Seafood is also huge in Sicily's gastronomic culture, more so than in most Italian regions, and if often paired alongside couscous, often found in the island's northwest corner. Essentially, Sicilian cuisine is brimming with exciting dishes to sample and indulge in and you can discover them for yourself by booking a table at one of London's finest Sicilian restaurants.
A strong suit of Sicily's food culture is its diversity. Arab, French, Spanish and, naturally, Italian rulers have all left an imprint on the food that London's modern Sicilian restaurants offer, providing a range of menu options to cater for almost anyone's personal tastes. For instance, you'll find seafood couscous, pasta alla norma (with tomatoes and aubergines), pastas cooked in rich beef ragus and pork belly roasted with potatoes and peas. Few places blend the French passion for meat, the North African flair for spice and Italy's pasta mastery – but that's what you'll find at London's Sicilian restaurants.
There will always be familiar dishes on the menu at Sicilian restaurants in London, including a wide choice of pizzas. Pizzas may not be native to Sicily, but the islanders have embraced them, adding their own unique twist. In their version, pizza is served with a thick crust in rectangular slices, topped with anchovies, strong cheeses and plenty of tomato. If you're a pizza fan, it's something you need to try when you book a table at any Sicilian restaurant in London with Quandoo.