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5.3 /6 Excellent 157 Reviews


city centre Italian £££ +100
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About Carmela

Carmela is an authentic, family-run Italian restaurant in the heart of Horsham town centre on Denne Road. With a strong local reputation, gorgeous renovated 16th-century manor location and friendly character welcoming passers by, Carmela is always bustling and boasts an atmosphere reminiscent of a Sicilian seaside trattoria. This association continues on the plate. Run with passion and care by the Racti family, Carmela respects the traditional techniques of Italian food, though adapts the dishes to fresh, local British produce. Luckily, seafood fits beautifully into both these requirements – try the king prawn, gem broccoli and chilli maremonti and you’ll see what we mean. With fabulous outdoor seating, great wines and beer, satisfying pizzas, meat and vegetarian dishes, too, Carmela is a great choice for authentic Italian dining in Horsham.

Opening Hours

  • Monday 12:00 - 22:00
  • Tuesday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Thursday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Friday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Saturday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Sunday 12:00 - 22:00
Carmela, 3 Denne Road, RH12 1JE Horsham

View Main Menu


157 Reviews

5.3 /6 Excellent 157 Reviews
Atmosphere: excellent
Waiting Time: no waiting time
Food: heavenly
Noise: quiet
Service: extraordinary
Quality/Price: cheap
84 6
49 5
16 4
6 3
0 2
2 1
4 reviews so far 6
05.08.2017 09:31

We absolutely love this place! Another big family birthday to celebrate, and they really help us do this in style. From the moment we arrived the staff were attentive and helpful and nothing was too much trouble. The menu choices are excellent and delicious. There are vegetarians and gluten-fee diets amongst us and all discretely dealt within the menu - fabulous! Will be back very soon.

1 review so far 6
02.08.2017 16:53

Lovely friendly relaxed atmosphere, the waitress was incredibly helpful and knowledgable on the wine list and the menu. Would highly recommend this restaurant for relaxed family evenings

1 review so far 6
31.07.2017 18:57

What can I say about Carmela's? We were seated immediately and offered drinks. We received nice wine, beautiful food and great service as always 😊

1 review so far 6
29.07.2017 17:27

The food was amazing and the staff were very helpful in helping us choose our food-we were stuck for choice with so many options. Carmelas is now my new favourite restaurant!

2 reviews so far 4
14.04.2017 08:21

Having had an excellent experience just a few weeks ago, we decided to dine at Carmela's again. We were a party of five adults. Greeted warmly we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at the bar. After 30 minutes we were shown to our table. Starters were slow to arrive but were very good. Our mains took even longer. One main was disappointing, but the other four were excellent. An alternative main was offered but declined. Overall, a pleasant experience but overshadowed by slow service. Staff were aware and apologised for the delays. Carmela's is an excellent restaurant so we will return. Thankfully, the food compensated for the delays!

1 review so far 6
27.03.2017 07:56

So pleased we chose Carmela! Meeting friends in Horsham we decided to try this Italian restaurant for the first time. Warmly greeted on arrival we were not rushed and had plenty of time to enjoy a pre-dinner drink before being shown to our (upstairs) table. For our starter we selected a sharing platter comprising fish, prawn, calamari and a salad garnish which was delicious. Mains were very tasty as were the desserts. We chose the Sicilian red wine which was superb. The table service was friendly and efficient. All in all, an excellent restaurant.

1 review so far 5
09.04.2016 09:13

My husband and I went for lunch at Carmela's. We received a warm welcome and were shown to our table. The restaurant is very light and airy, and the chairs are comfy. There is a lot of variety on the menu, I'm sure there would be something for everyone. The waitress was very friendly, and answered my fussy questions! I chose the Beef salad, which was steak served on a rocket salad with Parmesan, and sweet potato fries, my husband had pizza. We both really enjoyed our meals. We will return.

1 review so far 6
22.10.2016 08:12

1st time at Carmelas. Simply amazing. Lovely family feel and we were looked after by lovely staff from the moment we walked in. Our food was delicious and the pudding was delightful. Finished off with a desert wine. I would recommend Carmelas without hesitation and will definitely be returning.

3 reviews so far 4
15.05.2016 18:58

Food was really good, but service not so good. We were advised by our waitress to order a starter as our main course was going to be a while as they were busy. I didn't want one, but my husband ordered a starter which never came, but our main course came in good time. We had to ask twice for a jug of water. My husbands cheese and biscuits took ages, which we wouldn't have minded but they brought my desert which proceeded to melt whilst we waited for his. When our bill arrived we had been charged for the starter that never arrived. Individually none of these things were really terrible, but this is not a cheap restaurant and I would expect better service particularly as they had plenty of staff working.

1 review so far 5
11.07.2016 18:04

Hi I took my parents to this restaurant as they love Italian food and the experience is divided by strong plus and minus. The positive is the staff are welcoming and efficient. The service excellent. The main courses,signature dishes,steak,risotto and black ink spaghetti were very well prepared and delicious. Looking around quite a few people had pizzas which all look scrummy. The negatives are small starters and side dishes and only had Frascatti x2 bottles (parents like a drink) both over £25 each ,in fact all white wines over £20. Overall the parents loved it and that counts for a lot!

1 review so far 6
29.07.2016 08:17

We celebrated our wedding anniversary at Carmela and both had a shared starter of variety breads. These were excellent. Followed by a fantastic mushroom risotto that was as good as the one we had in Verona. Lovely atmosphere and friendly efficient service.

1 review so far 4
31.03.2016 19:21

Overall this is a very pleasant restaurant, however, they need to update their website in line with what they offer. The website stated that the offer of a free bottle of wine had been extended until further notice if you pre book for Wednesday evening. This was not the case and we did draw their attention to this. We chose the seared sea bream which was very good, I had the linguine with prawns and clams, very disappointing, the pasta was tagliatelle served with the tiniest clams I have ever seen with a very bland sauce. We have eaten there before on several occasions and find the staff very good.and generally the food quality is also good.

1 review so far 6
26.03.2016 17:13

Really delicious, authentic Sicilian Food. We visited with our son who had visited Sicily on several occasions. He commented on how authentic the ingredients were. We went on a very busy day (when Horsham Piazza Italia was on). The staff were run off their feet and so the wait for our mains was long but they did apologise and the food was worth the wait. We 'll be back when it's quieter.

1 review so far 5
28.10.2016 09:50

We had a very pleasant meal for two. We both had scallops, chorizo and butternut squash as a starter which were very tasty. My wife had the light main of Parmesan and vegetables, whilst I had the liver. The liver was sliced rather than a complete piece but was fine and the accompanying sweet potato fries were great ( but as my wife said, most probably very unhealthy!). The wines were fine and the service was very friendly. Service is added automatically to the bill.

1 review so far 6
21.06.2017 07:34

Excellent food and service! The food is fresh and hand made but we didn't have a long wait between courses like in some chain restaurants we have been to recently! Definitely recommend Carmelas to anyone.

1 review so far 6
02.07.2017 09:16

Lovely evening at Carmelas with great service, delicious food and fabulous company. Excellent value for money for a three course meal and bottle of wine, would highly recommend and will definitely be going back.

1 review so far 6
30.06.2016 10:23

Great food, I had the Rigatone one of their signature dishes and it was full of taste not too much to clear the plate with out feeling over full. The atmosphere is really friendly and although i have only been to Sicily once it has a real Sicilian feel. The italian list is good (they do have other wines as well) and sensibly priced. A nice evening out

1 review so far 4
16.06.2017 08:39

Had an enjoyable meal at Carmela's, great fresh pasta and good service. There was a mix up with one main dish, which was quickly corrected and we had to wait a long time to pay the bill, we were in no hurry so not an issue. Overall an enjoyable experience

1 review so far 6
17.07.2017 07:57

Really nice food and ambience. Restaurant clean and staff welcoming. The Sicilian cuisine was tempting and different from the usual high street Italian restaurants. Awe will return. Lovely to have Carmela locally.

1 review so far 5
26.07.2016 07:55

For a Monday evening, the Carmela was heaving. Always a good sign of good quality food served at a reasonable price. Generous portions of Sicilian food combined with a pleasant atmosphere makes this restaurant a must to try.

1 review so far 6
12.10.2016 19:05

We have eaten at Carmela's on various occasions. Always a pleasant experience. Staff,food and ambience all excellent. Would definitely recommend it to anyone who asked about places to eat in Horsham.

1 review so far 6
28.08.2016 12:23

I don't usually give full marks in reviewing any service, but our visit to Carmela was faultless: delicious fresh home-made food, extremely pleasant wine plus friendly attentive but not pushy service.

2 reviews so far 5
09.06.2017 09:43

I had a lovely meal at Carmela, greeted with a friendly smile and looked after by attentive and happy staff throughout the evening. The freshly made pizzas are delicious!!! Can't wait for my next visit.

1 review so far 6
03.05.2017 09:43

I went here for a meal with a few friends. Their lovely staff were more than happy to add a couple of seats to our table at late notice - even though the place seemed packed to the rafters! The food was delicious and the menu varied. All in all, I could recommend more highly.

1 review so far 6
08.03.2017 14:47

We had a brilliant night at Carmela's celebrating birthdays with the family, excellent service and yummy food. We all can't wait to go back! Thank you.

1 review so far 6
07.01.2017 09:26

This is our favourite restaurant as it is a family run business. The food is beautifully cooked. The staff are friendly and attentive. We were a group of four on this occasion but went as a group of nine previously and the service was just as good. Would highly recommend this restaurant.

1 review so far 6
05.09.2016 08:25

The food was amazing and the staff very attentive without being overly so. I always love my meals at Carmela's and this time was no different

1 review so far 6
05.11.2016 07:56

Fantastic Food, Fantastic atmosphere, Fantastic Service and very very friendly. We will certainly be returning and can highly recommend Carmela if you want a lovely experience.

1 review so far 6
03.03.2017 07:13

Had an evening meal at Carmela's which was lovely. Very good menu choices - especially good Vegetarian options. Efficient, polite and helpful staff. Will definitely return.

1 review so far 6
29.05.2016 08:37

Attentive service lovely ambiance. Carmelas is our new favourite restaurant . Huge portions and hot delicious food. The best Italian restaurant in West Sussex well done!!!

1 review so far 5
30.05.2016 07:30

Went to Carmelas for a birthday lunch and were not disappointed. It was our first visit and the staff were really friendly and most importantly the food was excellent. Would recommend.

5 reviews so far 3
30.04.2017 09:51

I used to love this restaurant, but I wouldn't go back anytime soon unfortunately. The food wasn't great - my partner had the £20 fish stew and couldn't eat the octopus/squid because it was so rubbery. We did tell the waiter but there was no offer of a complementary drink or removing it from the bill - as we've experienced in other restaurants. When we given the bill the lady (manageress?) didn't even make eye contact with us, let alone ask about our food we'd complained about. Such a shame, when it first opened this restaurant was great, not sure what's happened:(!

2 reviews so far 6
28.05.2016 07:58

Authentic Italian food, great quality. Makes a change from the usual chains. Service was very good. The food was very well cooked, I highly recommend the house special which is a seafood stew, and the tuna was also delicious. Pizzas are homemade and have a great range of toppings including swordfish.

2 reviews so far 6
26.06.2016 07:45

We visited here last night. The food was absolutely delicious and service was excellent, discreet but attentive. We were booked for 7pm as, even booking over a week before, we could either eat at 7 or 9. I guess that in itself shows how popular this place is. Would highly recommend

1 review so far 6
28.05.2016 07:57

Our food was amazing and good value for money. Brilliant service with very friendly staff. Will definitely go back again to Carmela absolutely loved it.

2 reviews so far 6
12.02.2017 08:28

Carmela catered for all of our needs - one vegetarian and one vegan/gluten free. Very polite and attentive. Very happy customers - we will return.

1 review so far 5
15.10.2016 04:34

Excellent food and service. With so many Italian restaurants in Horsham you have to be that little bit special to be ahead of the competition, and Carmela's certainly is.

1 review so far 5
24.07.2016 09:28

Really friendly staff. Excellent food, although service could have been better. It seemed a bit disorganised. It took a while for the wine to arrive (had to remind them twice), one of our starters didn't arrive, one of the desserts arrived much later than the others. However give them the benefit of the doubt. They were busy.

1 review so far 5
13.11.2016 08:59

Really enjoyed the food and lively atmosphere. Carmelas zuppa di pesce was excellent. Good service. Much nicer than the usual chain restaurants and worth paying a little extra.

1 review so far 5
29.05.2017 08:35

A warm welcome and a table outside on the pretty terrace. We were warned that it does get chilly on the terrace in the evening as no patio heaters or blankets provided, so bring a jumper. The food was beautifully fresh, with a wonderful balance of flavours. Relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Will definitely dine here again.

1 review so far 6
24.07.2017 06:49

Relaxed, friendly atmosphere, helpful staff and fabulous food. There is a good choice of food on the menu, with gluten free options. There is no pressure to rush through the courses either. Have returned to this restaurant several times, and will do so again.

3 reviews so far 5
28.05.2017 14:53

Lovely meal, friendly and speedy service. We love going to Carmela's - never had a bad meal there. Always a different specials choice too. Highly recommend.

1 review so far 6
11.06.2017 10:28

Excellent service and food. Range of food and drinks menu also excellent , we had a table for 6 people upstairs which was great as we were away from any noise from others and the kitchen, so it was nice and cosy.

1 review so far 3
13.08.2017 09:41

The food was very good indeed however because we had to wait longer for one meal ( we were informed of this) when the 4 meals arrived together, the remaining 3 were lukewarm. One of our party ordered calf liver and it arrived without any accompaniment, because he was not offered any at the time of ordering. He was offered sweet potato fries when his meal arrived but, by the time they were ready, he had finished the rest of the meal!

1 review so far 4
11.04.2017 07:59

Sunday evening visit so not many customers. Greeted indifferently. Chairs are uncomfortable and table was sticky... Menu choice was good and varied. We chose the pasta as a main, which was the House speciality and was very good. Desserts are over priced for their size and substance. Would we go back? Unlikely, even though we live a few minutes away.

1 review so far 5
13.10.2016 08:36

Small and cosy restaurant with good service. We had been told that the pasta was particularly good so my husband and I chose a couple of pasta dishes which were both delicious. Will definitely go back. Menu is also not expensive so value for money too.

1 review so far 6
12.04.2016 17:29

What a lovely restaurant, the food and the service were excellent. The ambience of the place was calm and relaxing. We will definitely return and highly recommend to anyone who hasn't found this little gem of a restaurant.

1 review so far 6
15.05.2016 09:00

We went to the restaurant on a busy Saturday evening and were greeted with a very warm welcome. Very relaxed atmosphere and didn't feel rushed at all. Food was fantastic and service was brilliant. Would definitely recommend.

1 review so far 4
19.06.2016 07:57

Lovely food and atmosphere, waiting staff were great buy a bit slow. A small range of drinks was disappointing, automatic tip on the bill is quite presumptuous, if I've enjoyed my time and meal Id like to be able to decide what to tip myself. (although most restaurants seem to be doing it now!)

1 review so far 5
16.03.2017 14:47

excellent quality although a longer than expected wait for our meal (30 minutes at lunchtime) Staff were extremely welcoming and attentive and everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meal. A booking of 6 and no one was disappointed or underwhelmed - we would all return.