Vegetarian Food Stories

Foodspot Review – Circolo Popolare (London)

Looking for a romantic and cosy Italian restaurant in the Soho area of London (that also surrounds you with alcohol, yes lots of it)? Then Circolo Popolare is the place to be!

At a glance 

  • Location: London
  • Cuisine: Italian food
  • Price: approx. 3-14 pound per starter, 15-20 pounds per main and 7-10 pound per dessert.
  • Rating: 8/10

Circolo Populare

Circolo Popolare is a part of the Big Mamma Restaurant Group (I’m not kidding – that is really their name) located in Soho. My dear friend surprised me with this place for a celebratory dinner (thank you!).

The outside of the restaurant did not really stand out, but when I walked in, my oh my, I was stunned. The interior and lighting was beautiful, it had a romantic candle light dinner setting, there were (fake) plants and flowers hanging from the ceiling and oh my, you are SURROUNDED by bottles of different alcohols (ok – might be a nightmare for recovering alcoholics). Lots of wine, but also hard liquors. The restaurant was packed. My friend told me she had to make reservations weeks in advance and we only have a window of 2 hours to eat. So, let’s get eating!

The food

The menu changes monthly, which I think is nice as it makes you want to come back more often. the dishes had cheesy/funny names inspired by pop culture (e.g. Bread Sheeran, Kale Me Maybe, What Do You Bream?). They have lots of vegetarian options and enough vegan options, so nice!

Bread Sheeran

As a starter I chose ‘Bread Sheeran‘, I mean come one, when I saw that name I had to try it haha, and of course because of my deep love for a good burrata. The dish was wonderful. The burrata was so big and almost was bursting (see my Instagram for the grand cutting and creaminess). It was super creamy and filled with red pesto on the inside. Under the burrata were crunchy croutons hidden (hence the ‘Bread’ in the name). The combination of the soft burrata, flavours of the pesto and crunchy croutons were out of this world.

Naughty Garlic Bread

My friend chose the ‘Naughty Garlic Bread‘ as a starter. Love the name, but I didn’t think this garlic bread was that naughty. The garlic flavours were really subtle – too subtle (I love garlic). And the dough was a bit dry.

Ha-Ricotta Torcigloni

When the main dishes came, we asked for chili peppers, because we like a kick. The staff gave us a whole bowl of fresh red hot chilli peppers, def complimented the dishes.

As a main dish my friend and I shared a pasta and a pizza. I opted for the ‘Ha-Ricotta Torcigloni‘, pasta in tomato sauce, ricotta cheese on top and fresh basil. The pasta was well cooked, but the sauce was too salty and watery in my opinion. The red hot chili peppers  made this dish better for me.

Pizza Emrata Burrata

We also opted for the ‘Pizza Emrata Burrata‘ (yes – we really love burrata). This pizza was a combination of burrata, smoked straciatella, lemon, olives and capers. The dough was delicious. The overall pizza was however a bit too soggy for my liking, the dough got soggy in the middle quick. It is always tricky with burrata pizzas as the burrata has so much moisture on it own (a pizza restaurant of Amsterdam  gave me the burrata separately (sealed) when delivering the pizza, they explained it was because they didn’t want the pizza to get soggy – smart thinking, might post about this place later).

The Passion of Cheesecake (vegan)

We had the ‘The Passion of Cheesecake‘ for dessert. Vegan cheesecake with passionfruit glaze and sauce. This was delicious and unique! The cheesecake was dense and full and the passion fruit flavours were refreshing, def could had another slice.

At the end of the meal, we were offered a limoncello on the house in exchange of a 5-star review on Google. My friend thought Ah, that’s why they almost only have great reviews on Google. But, what is my verdict? Let’s talk about the staff first though.

The staff

We were waited by Karim. He was really friendly and also patient when we asked questions about the food (my friend is pregnant). He was quick and pro-active. Even though we were there for longer than 2 hours, he did not rush us to get the bill and to get out. It was a good experience.

Final verdict 

8/10. Love the interior and whole vibe of this restaurant. Perfect spot for a romantic night or girls night out. They have a lot of vegetarian options and enough vegan options. The popculture inspired names of the dishes were cheesy, but funny. The quality food however varies. The dishes I def recommend are Bread Sheeran and the Passion of Cheesecake. Will come again!


Address: 40-41 Rathbone Pl, London W1T 1HX, London (United Kingdom)

Website: Circolo Popolare

Follow me on Instagram for more vegetarian and vegan foodspots reviews and recipes! The reel I made about cutting the Burrata you can find here and the reel of Circolo Popolare + all dishes will be coming soon on my Instagram.