Italian Food in Shrewsbury

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There has been a definite resurgence of Italian restaurants in the UK over the last few years, and here in Shrewsbury we have seen this pattern as clearly as anywhere. Perhaps people noticed that while other types of restaurants came and went, sometimes with alarming rapidity, the family-run Italian restaurants had a loyal customer base and seemed able to ride the economic downturn. Or perhaps it is the result of numerous television programmes about celebrity chefs heading to Italy to cook regional food and making it look so mouthwateringly appetising.

In Shrewsbury we have firm favourites that have been here for years, La Dolce Vita on Hills Lane, La Lanterna in the Vestry at St Julians and Giuseppe in Frankwell. Having eaten in all of them, we can back up all the positive reviews they have received here on eatShrewsbury. They are all family run by people who know how to produce high quality Italian food that tastes every bit as good as the amazing dishes we have been fortunate enough to eat in places like Naples, Florence, Rome and the Ligurian coast.

But times have changed, and the risks associated with setting up a traditional restaurant are too high for most independent families to contemplate. The vast majority of new restaurants these days are expansions of existing regional or national chains. They already have the capital behind them to run persuasive marketing campaigns, to hire staff and to cover any losses until the restaurant's reputation has become established, and to turn out predictable food to standardised recipes, meaning that the chef having an off night is something that no longer happens.

Looking at the most significant new restaurants that have opened in town over the last few years, Zizzi is a national chain with seventeen (at the time of writing) venues in the Midlands alone! They specialise in what they like to call "local Italian food". Ask have been in town for quite a few years, but they too have a large re-branding and relaunch not too long ago; completely changing the restaurant. They changed from a pizza place that offered a few pasta dishes, to a more traditional Italian style trattoria, albeit chain owned again. And the most recent addition to the town is Carluccios. Again they operate nationally and offer everything from the quick and tasty puttanesca to the home cooking style beef stews with polenta.

How much does Italian food in Shrewsbury cost?

What part does money and the cost of Italian food play in the popularity of this type of food? The food of Italy is usually seen as very affordable, using simple and low cost ingredients to create delicious food on a budget. On the one hand, you can walk into an Italian restaurant for lunch and get a filling bowl of hot pasta or gnocchi and sauce for a very modest price, but at the same time you can pay eye watering amount for a secondo course with veal or lamb. And don't get us started on the price of pizza! Perhaps the Italian restaurant's ability to attract wallets of all different sizes is another of the reasons for their success.

So will Carluccio's be the last Italian restaurant to open in Shrewsbury for a while? Almost certainly not. Our appetite for spaghetti, ravioli, and the myriad other forms of durum wheat shaped carbohydrates we use to accompany tasty ragu sauces, shows no sign of slowing. There are plenty more big national Italian restaurant chains that will almost certainly be considering their options. If we hear of any more new additions, we will let you know here first!

Italian Food and Pizza Restaurants

Growing up, whenever we went out for a meal in a restaurant, it was to an Italian pasta. Eating out was a big treat, something we only ever did for birthdays or big celebrations. I am not sure whether they chose Italian because us kids were unlikely to complain about pasta and spaghetti sauce, or because Italian restaurant owners almost always make a real fuss of children. Or perhaps it was just because Italian food is absolutely delicious when made with love and attention. These days we eat out more frequently, but when it comes to celebrations, or romantic meals, Italian food is always at the top of the list. Fortunately we have some fantastic family run Italian restaurants here in Shrewsbury. We also have ASK and Zizzi on High Street, plus a good choice of pizza takeaways and restaurants.

La Dolce Vita photo

La Dolce Vita

17 great reviews reviews icon

A small, family-run taste of Italy in the heart of historic Shrewsbury. Using only the finest authentic ingredients, prepared and freshly cooked with simplicity.
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La Lanterna photo

La Lanterna

9 people recommend reviews icon

Small Italian Restaurant located in the old vestry at the back of St. Julian's Church. An enjoyable evening is guaranteed.
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Ask photo

Ask

Some interest reviews icon

National pizzeria and pasta chain.
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Pizza Hut photo

Pizza Hut

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National pizza restaurant chain.
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Pizza 1 Stop photo

Pizza 1 Stop

Some interest reviews icon

Takeaway pizza.
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Pizza Express photo

Pizza Express

Some interest reviews icon

National pizza chain.
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Al Piccolino photo

Al Piccolino

Some interest reviews icon

Pizza takaway service.
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Dominos Pizza photo

Dominos Pizza

Some interest reviews icon

National pizza delivery service.
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Giuseppe Restaurant photo

Giuseppe Restaurant

Some interest reviews icon

Small Italian restaurant in the Frankwell area of the town.
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Bella Napoli photo

Bella Napoli

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Italian Cafe, Restaurant and Bar. This place offers some mouthwatering dishes on its menu and is a popular destination for Shrewsbury locals and visitors alike.
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Zizzi photo

Zizzi

No Recommendations reviews icon

Italian Chain Restaurant
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Dough and Oil photo

Dough and Oil

No Recommendations reviews icon

Pizza and Begels Restaurant brought to you by people who love making good food. Simple menu, and a friendly relaxed atmosphere. A great new addition to the town centre.
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La Corallina photo

La Corallina

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Italian Restaurant
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Pizza Hut photo

Pizza Hut

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Pizza.
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Papa Johns photo

Papa Johns

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US pizza chain.
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