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POLPO Smithfield

3 Cowcross St, London, EC1M 6DR

((((* Italian
Main course: £10
Food spend: £25
Opening hours
Monday to Saturday: 11:30 - 23:00
Sunday: 11:30 - 16:00.

Very interesting menu, tasty food, great atmosphere and good value. Perfect venue for a team lunch or evening meal.

Caroline Holmes 09 February 2017
from London

View all 39 reviews

From acclaimed restaurateur Russell Norman, POLPO Smithfield brings Italian small plates to London’s iconic Smithfield Market. Flavour-packed creations are served in a modest setting with exposed brickwork and tin ceilings.

Reminiscent of Venice’s charming backstreet restaurants, POLPO specialises in Venetian small plates and spritz. Hand-rolled meatballs, freshly-stretched pizzettes and fresh colourful salads head up the menu. The main menu varies with the seasons and favourite creations include cuttlefish & squid ink risotto with gremolata, roast stuffed pork, lentils & radicchio and crab & chilli linguine. For dessert, choose from a variety of classics, such as tiramisu or Venetian ricotta doughnuts with cinnamon sugar.

In addition to the main menu, POLPO Smithfield offers a great value all-day set menu, and daily changing specials to look out for on the blackboard. Aperitivo Time takes place every day from 4-6pm. Sip on a refreshing Spritz and enjoy some delicious bar snacks like black truffle crisps & Bella di Cerignola olives, for just £5.

Offering laidback Venetian-style drinking and dining, find POLPO Smithfield a 2-minute walk from Farringdon Rail Station.

POLPO Smithfield

3 Cowcross St, London, EC1M 6DR

Contact +44 2072500034

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Customer reviews for POLPO Smithfield

4.1 ((((* (based on 39 reviews)
87% of diners recommend this restaurant
  • Food (((()
  • Value ((((*
  • Ambience ((((*
  • Location (((()
  • Service ((((*
  • Drinks ((((*

Recommended for

  • lunch (32)
  • dinner (22)
  • trendy (15)
  • business (10)
  • romantic (10)
  • value (7)
  • al fresco (6)
  • large parties (6)
  • child friendly (5)
  • entertainment (4)
  • private dining (3)
  • ((((* 23 April 2017 by Fiona Jerreat from London

    Tasty and interesting Italian food in a relaxed atmosphere. Very chilled staff

  • (**** 17 April 2017 by Parisa Mousavi from London

    Overall it was a terrible experience, we were a group of 8 gone there for lunch. We ordered few starters to share which they came one by one every 5/10 min or so, even the ones that we had asked for 2 or 3 of them didn't come together. They brought small plates after 30 min! Nobody seemed to be bother to clear out tables so we had to do it ourselves. While we were still waiting for few of the starters one of us got their main meal, the rest of main meals all came one by one although we were promised that they were all ready in the kitchen. Meanwhile so many wrong orders came to our table which were for other people. One of us never got their food and we were told his order had been missed. It seemed like they didn't know what they were doing and everything was going wrong.

  • ((*** 13 April 2017 by Jo T from London

    This was my second time at Polpo Smithfield - I'd had an excellent meal the first time, which had fitted neatly into my lunch hour thanks to generally attentive service (although our dessert had had to be cancelled due to time running out and a train to catch), so was confident of the same thing yesterday. However, this was not an expectation which was met.

    It took 15 minutes just to get menus - I had to ask to borrow a lunch menu from the table next to us. The waiter was conspicuous by his absence. Then once we had menus, a different waitress came over with yet more menus. Better late than never, I suppose. But in any case I had to go inside to find someone to take our order. By this point the clock was really ticking and I let staff know I was on a fairly tight schedule. We then waited... and waited... for starters; the wrong dishes were brought to us, then our starter eventually turned up in two separate lots, with a general air of confusion. We then waited... and waited... (are you sensing a theme?) for the mains; again, I went inside to find out what was going on, and reiterated that time was short and I was anxious. The mains, when they arrived, were good (although the meatballs were *very* salty), but I didn't really have time to enjoy them as I was very conscious of the clock ticking. The table next to us, who had ordered *after* us, were done with their mains before ours had even arrived. Not happy.

    At least the bill turned up rapidly. I was annoyed to see the service charge had been added automatically but didn't argue at the time as I was already over 20 minutes late to go back to the office. It took Polpo Smithfield over an hour to serve two simple lunch menus. Farcical.

    Our waiter really needed more training before being set loose on customers. The restaurant was a lot less busy than on my first visit, but the service was much worse. Very unhappy overall. Wish we'd gone to Itsu!

  • ((((* 12 April 2017 by Amy from London

    Small plates in a trendy, rustic setting. Loved the bruschetta with pea, broad bean and ricotta. Need to go back to try more dishes!

  • ((((* 10 April 2017 by Polly Bennett from Oxford

    Delicious food, good service

  • ((((* 29 March 2017 by Aeone Shrimpton from Bedford

    Restaurant was a little dark and pokey. Tables very close together and not very big.... more like a cafe. The food however was wonderful

  • ((((* 14 March 2017 by Kim Ong from Smithfield

    Food was delicious and well-priced. Loved the beetroot salmon horseradish starter.

    However the restaurant's interior was very chilly. The doors were left open on a cold day.

  • (((** 9 March 2017 by Chris Gordon-coker from London

    I've had great dinners at the Polpos in Covent Garden and Duke of York's Square and an exquisite evening at the Polpetto in Soho. However, I've never visited for lunch nor tried my local Polpo in Smithfield. About to leave EC1 after 32 years, so a Monday 12:30 visit seemed like an excellent idea. On paper at least...

    The tables were very close together, so much so that at least two bookings asked to be seated elsewhere, but undeterred we tried the fixed price lunch menu for a change. Not the best idea as the Venetian antipasti for two was dominated by a mound of rather soggy onions and aubergine accompanied by some rather greasy tempura-style vegetables. Crab linguine (a rather dainty portion) and pork for mains were fine, but nothing to write home about; the puddings were excellent as always.

    A pity that it didn’t live up to my other visits but I’ll be sticking to Soho and the ‘small dishes’ in future.

  • ((*** 6 March 2017 by Sarah Pegg from London

    Nice environment. Had set menu which was disappointing. Apart from the arancini, the starter was just all vegetables "roasted" vegetables were slimy. Fried vegetables needed a dip or something to go with them. Crab linguine was microwave hot with a cloyingly thick sauce (was expecting something a lot lighter).
    Service was obsessive in it's water topping but non-existent when our starters needed clearing or when we needed to pay.
    I was disappointed and don't think I'll bother with Polpo again.

  • ((((* 3 March 2017 by Matthew Somorjay from London

    Nice vibrant lunch-time atmosphere. Attentive service. Music was a tad louder than necessary. Ordered set menu which was very good value but my one quibble was that the vegetables in batter were far too salty for my palate, my guest didn't object. Over salting of food is really unnecessary especially given salt is provided at the table.

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