Vivo - Bringing Casual Italian Dining to London
Situated on Upper Street in Islington, thought to be the longest stretch of consecutive restaurants in the whole of Europe, Vivo does things a little differently to its many neighbours.
Director Will Thompson explains, “We’re in a great location within Upper Street, and we’re probably the only place that isn’t just your classic sit-down restaurant.”
Having spent much of their childhoods visiting Italy, Will and his brother Ben fell in love with the country, and in particular its unique food culture. As a result, they set about bringing a piece of that to Islington.
“It’s such a fantastic country; it has so much to offer. We were fascinated with their concept of casual dining. We found that fast food and takeaway food in Italy was the best that we’d come across. It’s such a fantastic fast food cuisine, but even in a cosmopolitan city like London, we didn’t encounter any places that were so interesting, fresh and tasty with the casual dining concept. The sort of food you’d grab on the streets of Naples; we’re bringing that to London now.”
“Vivo itself was about three years in planning before we opened, so we were very thorough. We took various trips to Italy, looking at a range of concepts, different recipes and foods. That was a really good part of the job!”
Initially the venue’s focus was upon quick and tasty food from the counter, however the addition of their exciting a la carte menu has seen Vivo become one of the most popular and best Italian restaurants in Islington.
“Not only do we have the really extensive deli counter offering where it’s simple and visual, we also have this fantastic a la carte menu, which I think is very fun and extremely good value for money. When the customer gets the food delivered to their table having looked at the prices, they’re so surprised and elated with what they’re getting in front of them. Having paid just £6.80 for a Margherita, they get a massive, proper Neapolitan style pizza put in front of them!”
As Vivo approaches its two-year anniversary, Will explains that the atmosphere and vibrancy of the venue keeps customers coming back as much as the delicious Italian food and exemplary service. “For me, it’s probably one of the best things about Vivo. Many of our regular customers say that the thing that stands out for them more than anything else is the atmosphere and the ambience when you walk in the door; it almost feels like a home from home. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but it’s just that key ingredient that’s so important for the restaurant.”
Vivo are also running a fabulous Christmas menu filled with festive Italian classics, making it the perfect venue for a private or corporate party this winter.