Map

Vapiano information

Vapiano offers an innovative way in which to enjoy Italian cuisine. On arrival at the restaurant, you receive a bank-like chip card which is used to order your meal at your own pace - equally convenient for those in a hurry or for diners who like to relax without interruption! Vapiano has no hidden cost or service charge and you can watch your food being cooked right in front of you.

Ranked #89 of 5241 restaurants in London

Is this venue information incorrect? Help us get it right!

improve this listing

Do you work at Vapiano?

Claim your free listing to take control. Add offers, images, event info and more for free!

claim here
Check-in
Check-in
Check-out
Check-out
Opening Hours
Opening Hours
Mon-Fri 11:00-00:00
Sat 12:00-00:00
Sun 12:00-23:00

show more

What did you think of Vapiano?

your rating

Vapiano reviews



By D K.

Excellent concept! My husband daughter and I went to the Wardour Street branch in Soho on a Sunday evening at around 6pm. Food was tasty, we had no problems with queues or finding a place to sit. They have a downstairs section as well, although we found 3 seats upstairs. We were more than happy to get the food ourselves rather than be served as it just saved on so much time. Great place to go if you're looking to eat and go rather than a full service dining experience. Would definitely go again.


By Siobhan F.

I'm living in London for over a year, and they do my favourite pasta. It's very very cheap, with no service charge, the quality is absolutely great. There could be a long queue, but it's always quick. The place is tidy and clean. Go there for a mid week dinner , or Saturday afternoon.


By Siobhan F.

I'm living in London for over a year, and they do my favourite pasta. It's very very cheap, with no service charge, the quality is absolutely great. There could be a long queue, but it's always quick. The place is tidy and clean. Go there for a mid week dinner , or Saturday afternoon.


By Giovanni S.

I have tried it but I will not come back. To be fair the food is ok, freshly prepared and cheap. The environment is modern and cool. However, the food is NOT that great to justify three different queues (one for pasta/pizza, one for starters/salads and one for your beer) plus forget to find seats together if you are more than 4! The process of ordering is chaotic and messy (just a posh version of a fast-food at peak time) and definitely not a place were to have a relaxing dinner with your mates after a busy day at work. Again it’s cheap and the food is ok but personally just not for me. For real Italians: State alla larga, non ne vale davvero la pena!


By Dan S.

Food is as good as any very average Italian restaurant, the concept sucks though. It takes quicker to eat (and digest) your meal than it does to order it and watch the assembly line style preparation. Waiting time to place your order is consistently over 20 minutes, I know I've been there 3 times - I'll never get those valuable life minutes back. If you intend on going for there for lunch make sure you set up an 'out of office' email reply before you head out as you won't be back for a while! If the conceptual idea is to excite customers by giving them the uninteresting opportunity to witness the preparation of their meal then 'woo-Hooo!', making a pasta dish is not that impressive.


By Zoe G.

Amazing! If you are a food fan you'll love Vapiano, someone once described it to me as 'italian food organized by germans'. The chefs are lovely and offer helpful suggestions to enhance your food, and the decor also very inviting, definately worth a visit and its not too pricey if your headed for Ask/pizza express type thing try here instead for a change


By Kat W.

Appalling experience! I read all the consistently negative reviews of this restaurant online and made my way to the Great Portland Street branch with a rather sketchy feeling about it all. However unwilling to write first time experience off I arrived optimistic give reviews about the food were generous. Upon arrival I am greeted by a disgruntled waitress and thrust a card into my hand with no explanation of why this has taken place or my expectations of a warm welcome shattered. Bemused, my peers and I assume it must be a self service/buffet type of establishment and therefore go searching for seats (I knew this was the case having read reviews but kept it secret from them to revel in their confusion). The restaurant was overcrowded beyond capacity and hideously hot. I was elected to be on scout duty for a table that had 4 seats available. I had to engage in polite yet awkward conversation with a number of people who were not happy I interrupted their meals. But what is one to do when there is no seat allocation and you are left to fend for yourself like it was KFC or something?] We ordered our food in ones and twos given that one of us had to save our seats...another opportunity to away people looking for seats in a 3 on 1 situation and having them accuse you of lying when you say you are waiting for people to return. Note: The food was very poor. Very disappointing given the zoo like experience we had received up till now. My pasta was undercooked as was my peers. The Que to receive the food made the experience equally nauseating. Having to order your own drinks at the bar added insult to injury. Dont ever come here I beg you!!


By Karen L.

Appallingly rude door staff tonight. Had my experience ruined before I could even make through the door. I was on the phone to my friends waiting inside and tried to explain to the door staff that I was meeting people with the obvious distraction of my phone. If people are not familiar with the pay by card concept they don't need to have their arm grabbed and yelled at to take the card by some burly wannabe security guard.I don't expect to be treated like that as a customer anywhere and sincerely hope that management have words with this doorman about how he treats paying customers. Absolutely no concept of manners at all. Shall DEFINATELY not be back


By Laura C.

I went there for the first time last week and really enjoyed it. If you like a normal place to eat with table service then it might not be for you, however if you are open to try different concepts this is a great place. The food is lovely and fresh and the pasta guys are great, asking you as they are making your food what you want in it. I personally loved the idea that you go up to order and can watch them making your food. I went straight after work so it wasn't overly busy however it did get quite busy as I was leaving so you might have to be patient with queues. I'm not a massive pasta fan however this was definitely good, fresh food and would highly recommend it.


By John T.

Dear nleane,Thanks for your review, I am shocked to read that you had such a bad experience.Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Alex Fisher and I am the General Manager of Vapiano Great Portland St.At Vapiano we always aim for the highest standards in all elements of our service.However it is clear that we failed on this occasion.You are correct in believing that we only serve Pizza's after 11pm. We do ensure that all guests are told this 15 minutes before we stop serving, nevertheless it appears you were missed out, for this I am truly sorry.In regards to your comments about the manager on duty, I have spoken at length with my team and the person responsible will be held fully accountable. Their comments were completely unprofessional.With all of your comments taken into account I can only ask that you give us another chance to show you that we are very capable of performing at the highest level. Please feel free to contact myself on London1@vapiano.co.uk so that we may arrange another visit completely on us.Kindest RegardsALEX FISHERGENERAL MANAGER


By Niall L.

If your the General Manager ("Dear AdeybabesThank you for your review, I am the General Manager of Vapiano on Great Portland St") posted above, then why are you reviewing your own store? clown


By Niall L.

TRULLY APPALING EXPERIENCE! went here late last Saturday night for a friends birthday, Seated at 10:30, let us buy and open two £30 bottle's of wine, only to be told when we went up to order that they "Weren't doing anymore Pasta", what kind of restraunt allows you to sit down and buy drinks when there not serving food. Aparently the Pasta station closes at 11pm, we tried to order at 11;03 exactly but there was no le way, they refused to serve us. We were not informed of the Pasta bar closing time when we entered, had we been the we obviously wouldnt have just sat there, taking time to enjoy our night. If it was 20 minutes late then i might have understood, but 3 minutes! Seriously!i found the Manager at 11:05 and explained the situation, to which he abruptly replied "What would you like me to do?", as if it was our problem. He said we could order Pizza if we were quick enough but why would we go half way accross London to order pizza? This place is famed for its Pasta apparently and thats why we went there. The Manager was rude and just brushed us off when i expained that it was not right to allow us to buy Alcohol when they wont allow us to buy food, it is a restraunt NOT A BAR!!Eventually after a long drawn out discussion where by he kept walking off and saying there was nothing he could do to help us we reluctantly ordered a pizza. It came pritty quickly and looked amazing, but as it reached our table we were told by the security that they were closing and we had to leave, but they cant give us a take out box! He said "Carry it with your hands!", like were animals!Needless to say we sat and eat our pizza we were paying for, in the same place they allowed us to spend £90 on wine and cocktails, i was not leaving until then. The manager was rude and severely unhelpfull, and joked on our way out that we could have a "FREE desert!", what an utter idiot! i cant advise you not to go there because we never tried the pasta and it did look good, just b


By John T.

Dear AdeybabesThank you for your review, I am the General Manager of Vapiano on Great Portland St. I was very saddened to hear of you experience at our restaurant and wanted to explain a little more. At Vapiano we operate a unique dining experience, that as you found is not everyone's "cup of tea". We do not try to be a regular sit down restaurant as with the card system it just would not work. I am glad that you enjoyed our food and would really like you to give us another try so that we could show you what we can offer.If you would be so kind as to contact myself on London1@vapiano.co.uk i would be more than happy to offer you some vouchers for you to use at your leisureKind RegardsALEX FISHERGENERAL MANAGER


By Adrian B.

I have eaten out in many restaurants, in many cities around the world, but I have to say, quite honestly, this was the worst, most stressful experience eating out experience I have ever had in my life. I went to Vapiano for my birthday. 10 people. They wouldn't accept a booking, they said just turn up. When we got there, the restaurant was busy and the staff would not find us a table or even tell us when a table was free. We were left to grab stools around the restaurant and stick them wherever we could find a space. Having done this, there was no waiter. We had to take turns to guard our precious table while others braved the queues downstairs and queued up with trays for our food! I've quite literally had better service in Mcdonald's, and to be honest, I wish we'd gone there. It would've been less stressful. I saw little of my friends while we were in the "restaurant". While some of us were queuing, others were guarding the table, or waiting with little "buzzing" devices for their pizzas. I've honestly had better dining out experiences in the departure lounge at Heathrow. Honestly, don't bother. The food was ok, but by the time I ate it, I was too stressed to care!


By Salene K.

Great as an experience is you are looking for casual dining. The place has a warm ambiance and the food is excellent for the price. Desserts are amazing! Definitely recommend it.


By Andrea R.

I LOVE Vapiano! I'm really surprised to see all of the bad comments about this place. Granted, I've never been during the busy lunch rush, as I usually go in the evenings when it's not as busy. Whevever I've gone in I've always been greated warmly, given my card and asked if I'd been there before, and if I knew how to use the card system. I've also always been warned that if I loose my card I'll be charged £50 - just make sure you keep it in your pocket & not on your dining tray, as you risk it been taken away when your table is cleared. I think the food is really good quality - all made in front of you. It's not very expensive either. I usually get a pizza or a pasta both made fresh before your eyes. The pizzas are some of my favourite in London, and the pastas are delicious as well. I honestly don't know what everyone is complaining about. I'm quite a foodie person and get turned off by poor service, bad food & unclean places but this place doesn't have any of those problems. I'd go back again and again - I love it!


By Hanna B.

I don't see what the fuss is about. Yes it looks 'nice' (but 'nice' is boring and London is full of places that look like that, with no personality) and the food is alright-ish but nothing to write home about. The ordering system is complicated and as first-timers we were treated rather rudely by the pizza guy when we thought we would have ordered our starter from him. Excuse us for not knowing how to order when we haven't been before. The starter arrived quickly but when we wanted to order the main, the queue to the pasta place was massive and we queued up over 30mins to get our pasta dishes. Meanwhile we had to keep an eye on our table because the over-eager waiter (or whatever he is called because Vapiano is not meant to have table service?) tried to clear our table and take away our half-full wine glasses even though our coats and bags were at the table. We finished our meal, got our stuff and paid. We will not return. I much prefer normal restaurants where you are shown to your table, make your orders at the table, get served at the table and in the end leave a tip for good service. Surely that is the whole point of going out to eat?


By Abby R.

For lunch I went there today and it was amazing, I was so full I couldn't eat dinner afterwards, the chef was very friendly and helpful, it was so quick in front of my eyes, a delicious meal, amazing quality for the price also and the concept was explained to me when I entered. Absolutely amazing pasta and I cannot wait to go back, everyone in there seemed so so happy with their meal and they had a great number of staff on so queues weren't large at all. Thoroughly recommended and I will be going back.


By Lisa J.

I have been in Vapiano's few times and I kind of liked it until yesterday evening. First, I didn't enjoy the food that much, it is ok but I don't think it is as fresh as they say. But my main problem was when my friend decided to go for a cigarette. She was asked to give her credit card or her mobile phone! I don't think it is very professional and if I want to go for a cigarette I don't want to feel as if I am in jail so I have to prove I will come back! What kind of policy is that? That tells a lot about the place!


By Binda J.

Ok so i ended up at this place that i have heard about so much. After reading all the reviews on here i was abit vary to go but did anyway because my date insisted.

like most users commented it was true that they just hand you a charge card as soon as you walk in without greeting you or telling you what it is and how you use it.

But luckily my date has been there many times before and is familiar with it. So i ordered a chicken pasta, cant remember what it was called now, but it was perhaps the best pasta i have ever eaten.

The good thing is that they cook the pasta infront of you, so you are able to tell them if you want a bit more or less of something in your pasta.

I would say the prices are reasonable aswell. We paid something like just over £20 for the two of us and were both stuffed by the end.

Good experience i liked it, would recomment it.


By Rachel S.

If it had been possible to award this terrible restaurant no stars at all, I would have!!

I went there to get a take away pizza for lunch and on entering the place was greeted by a blonde female member of staff who seemed physically unable to smile, who instead gave me a lovely scowl, her colleague looked at me in much the same way and asked if I had been to Vapiano's before, when I said no, she thrust a card in my hand and turned her back on me!!

Charming. I had to stand there like a lemon and ask her what I was supposed to do to order, she begrudgingly explained the rather complicated process and pointed me in the direction of the pizza bar.

On arriving at the pizza area I was greeted by another incredibly rude staff member, who was sulking into the pizza dough, I felt like I was an inconvenience rather that a customer...

...basically to cut a long story short, I eventually got my mediocre pizza, practically thrown at me because I dared to ask for it to be put in a take away box.

I then had to do a walk of shame back to the front desk to pay for my food, and received another dose of humiliation from the front of house staff. Truly, service with a sneer!!

I have to say that I have never encountered such blatant hostility directed at me in a restaurant, and the whole experience left me with a very unpleasant taste in my mouth.

Needless to say that if that is the way customers are treated when taking food away, I can't imagine what it's like to stay there for any length of time. The only blessing might be that contact with staff is minimal due to the 'self service' concept.

There is no way I would go there again, and I certainly wouldn't advise anyone else to either!!


By Andy F.

Where do I start? First of all let me say that a rating of 1 star is extremely generous for this particular eatery.

And I do mean extremely. The food is actually quite good, but unfortunately for Vapiano, no-where near good enough to compensate for the outrageously, jaw droppingly rude staff.

Never before have I experienced such hostility towards paying customers. Not to mention the fact that payment in itself is one of the most ridiculously, over-complicated, and time wasting affairs.

A cool concept, granted. In reality, pointless. The whole debacle might be bearable if it weren't for the aforementioned 'wardens' on 'patrol' who made us feel very uncomfortable as soon as we walked through the doors.

I would love to point out exactly how rude the staff were, and how the service would be more befitting in a prison, but I have wasted enough of my life on Vapiano's already today.

My advice. Do NOT go here. EVER. Truly, truly, awful service.


By Dan T.

I went to a friends leaving drinks here, on arrival the front of house waitress insisted I take a charge card. I get there system but two things really annoyed me.

Firstly the waitress took great pleasure in telling me that if I lost it, there would be a £50 charge.

I didn't want the card in the first place and I would have loved to see them try and enforce this charge if I did lose it.

Secondly, when I nipped out to meet my girlfriend, the same waitress had a go at me for trying to leave without paying. She was seriously irate. I mean red in the face.

According to my friends the food was pretty good there, but for me that's only one element of a good dining experience. Staff should be friendly and polite too, it's really not difficult.

I'm not naive enough to think that every friendly waitress i've ever encountered has been genuinely happy about serving me food. But because they're wages are reliant on tips there's more reason for them to put a smile on their face and just be nice.

I'd put money on Vapiano's staff receiving a flat hourly rate, so what does it matter how polite or rude they are???Good luck during the recession.......


By Harj S.

Food was ok not great. We were given a card when we walked in, not really told what it was for.

One card which hadn't been charged got misplaced and then we were told by the idiot manager as well as the cashier who were very rude said that we would have to pay 50 pounds for this...

how ridiculous why should we be responsible for a restaurant card when we don't even know what it's for.

Also on arrival we were not told that there would be a charge for losing this card otherwise we would've not accepted one each.

Luckily we found our card and walked out never to go back again!


By Poppie G.

I have been there this restaurant since last year and i like how they manage it seem very nice and staff very friendly but i went there again on Monday afternoon with friend

sat up stair beside the bar very nice area but last food a bit salty :) but its OK nice manager and staff . i will be there again .


By Rene T.

What an excellent idea! Just been to the UK, visited this outlet twice, had to go back!South Africans would love this! Everything was excellent! I took a few photographs of our 3 dishes and they were all mouth watering and the best! My daughter stays in London, and is a regular visitor............................Carry on with the amazing dishes!


By Anna S.

I really like this place! We always find a table and the staff a friendly. The salads are great and good value too - usually pop in with work mates for lunch as it saves with the hassle of us splitting the bill or leaving at different times keep it up!


By Nat -.

Very very good restaurant- great food and buzzing atmosphere, would definately recommend it!


By Tom M.

A confusing and disappointing night at Vapiano: We visited the restaurant on a Friday night and initially were impressed, if not a little confused about the system of ordering. The food itself is very good and the concept of payment innovative. However. One of our group wanted to have a cigarette while she waited for her meal to be prepared and was approached by no less than three members of staff accusing her of dodging payment after the management had granted her permission to leave the building. After this embarrassing and humiliating confrontation, during which she was asked what she had already consumed in the restaurant, to describe who else she was with, and where they were sitting, the staff looked on, hawk-eyed as if a criminal were in their midst. Unfortunate, as surely the inventors of this new concept would have factored in that with a smoking ban in effect, that some people might want to leave the building to enjoy a smoke during or after their meal. When this was brought up with the manager on duty, insult was added to injury by his exceptional lack of professionalism and flagrant disregard for her grievances. I doubt any of our group will be returning to Vapiano’s anytime soon, and we won’t be recommending it to anyone in our office on the adjacent Great Titchfield Street.


By Seun F.

Terrible service. The design was drab and the food bland, wont be going back to this place any time soon. P.S. the manger was rude


By A D.

I visited with a colleague last Thursday, and clearly something must have changed since the last review! The restaurant was buzzing, we ordered pasta (bolognese and carbonara) and my carbonara was one of the best I have tasted. The chef was very friendly asking how we wanted the dish prepared. We went to find a place to sit and it was cleared very quickly from the previous occupants. All in all a great place to go for a quick informal lunch that doesnt break the bank - I will definitely return!!


By Sebastian F.

Went here on a Friday night, and it was one of my most awful experiences. The chefs are very rude nad dont seem passionate about the food. To be honest with you the best way to the describe the food is slop.I happened to meet the manager of the place and he gave me some insights on the restaurant, but afterwards he just became grumpy and began ordering people about like a big baby whilst conversing with a blonde hair woman. The place was filthy and my table still had the remains from previous occupants lying around. I would not reccomend this place to anyone. It can only be described as a posh mcdonalds. If it was possible to rate it minus a star I would


By Serena L.

I went to this restaurant yeasterday and I absolutely loved the concept! It is cool and relaxed and friendly. The pasta was delicious (we had spaghetti and pizza) My only complaint would be that the pizza was too salty and the water glasses are too small. I loved the glass house for the herbs upstairs, totally original. I will be going back!


By Adrian C.

I thought this place was great. Yes it is a new concept and you do have to go up to the kitchen/bar area to order your own food. But the food is seriously excellent and good value, and how many central london restaurants can say that nowadays?! The menu is wide ranging and the place has a real energy about it. Plus when you order you get to interact directly with the chef who will make your meal - so you can ask for extras or personalised touches etc. And these guys are passionate about what they do and how they do it. The pizza dough for instance is made and tossed and then baked right in front of your eyes!


By David K.

Having been to a Vapiano in Stockholm, I was familiar with the concept (i.e. self-service), but my colleagues who hadn't found it confusing, as did a lot of other customers by the looks on their faces. On my visit to the new London branch, my initial view that this is a flawed concept was reinforced. The main flaw is that it is virtually impossible for all members of a dining party to get served at the same time without losing your table when you go up to order! Even if you do all order at the same time, the dishes are started at the same time and some will inevitably be ready before others! Depending on how busy each station is on the day, the queuing process can be frustrating and slow. Instead of relaxing and chatting over a drink while waiting for your food, you spend your time running around and queueing to get what turns out to be pretty unremarkable food in the end. £8.50 for a small bowl of very average beef ravioli that I have had to queue for myself for me is not good value. Strada, ASK or Pizza Express knock the socks of this place, and they will even bring the food to your table for you! This place is a gimmick and I won't be back.


By Shezzie S.

Great place for all people at all times of the day. It's fantastic how everything is cooked right from the basic ingredients - you can even see the pasta being made and the pizzas - and the salads are just goosome with amazing dressings.

Loved the solid, scrubbed looking tables downstairs and cosy red tables and chairs upstairs.

You could definitely choose - business lunches, tourists, anytime snacks, evening venue - the works!

Five stars from me!


By Natasha C.

Went here on Friday night for dinner with some friends - we all thought it was brilliant. It's just opened in what was Mash, lovely interior, great food, nice atmosphere.
It's self service - which seems a bit random at first - but the bonus is you get the see your food being cooked and you are left to your own devices. No hassle from staff trying to get you to order more wine, dessert, coffees etc. It's a really chillled out do it at your own pace type of experience.
Had a delicious pizza ( much nicer than pizza express) and a glass of wine for under a tenner too. great value. Would be a good place to meet for lunch. I'll be returning for sure!


By Michelle C.

One of Germany’s biggest restaurant chains has finally landed in London, promising fresh food, fast.

The Venue
Spread over two levels, Vapiano’s London location is right off the Oxford Circus end of Oxford Street (formerly the site of Mash), making it ideal for shoppers and office workers. Already a huge success in Germany and the United States, with other franchises across the world, Vapiano’s concept is simple. Pick up a menu, pick up a card, pick up a tray and order your food. At each food and drink station there’s a little machine you hold your card up to and it records the price. Get as much - or as little - as you want, and when you’re done bring the card up to the cash registers and pay. Easy, right?

The general decor is a mix of pale colours and bright red, relaxing and eye-catching at the same time. At the front of the restaurant are the cash registers, to the left is a surprisingly well-sized (and very real) olive tree. In the glass enclosed space a bit further down you can watch staff making pasta during the day, and towards the back are the stations where you order and pick up your food, flanked by a large chalkboard with quirky sayings and pictures. Seating is either high stools and benches at thick wooden tables or low, red, lounge-y seats with bright red circular tables. Upstairs are more of the same types of seats, plus long sofa banquettes. On each of the wooden tables are little potted rosemary and basil plants, and upstairs there’s a greenhouse-like area (called the herb garden) where they store the extras.

The Atmosphere
The best (or worst, depending on your opinion) thing about Vapiano’s concept is that there’s no service. Ready to order? Head to the pasta, pizza or antipasti stations. Want a glass of wine? Make your way to the bar and pick one up. However, that’s not to say that there’s no staff: there are plenty of people around to clear your plates and give you a hand, should you need one, and each food station is manned with loads of cooks so that if it gets busy the queues shouldn’t be very long. On one hand, you can spend as much time eating as you want – quick lunches, leisurely dinners – but on the other hand, if you want something you’ve got to get up and get it yourself.

Whilst the whole serve-yourself premises isn’t exactly ideal for an intimate first date, it’s perfect for large groups and skint students for whom the inevitable splitting of the bill inspires dread. And as there are no servers on hand to either disappear for long stretches or not-so-politely hint that there are people waiting for a table, you can pop in for a fast lunch or linger over a drink without worrying about how much time you’re spending. The only thing to watch out for though is not to pile too much on your tray – and if you’re sitting on the first floor be careful on the stairs!

The Food
Although the concept may seem a bit fast food, the actual food is anything but, with pasta made on the premises fresh every day and key ingredients (like mozzarella) imported from Italy. Whilst there are a couple of salad options, mains are basically pizzas and pastas, so if you’re not a fan of flour there aren’t too many choices. Prices are decent, especially with the tourist trap that’s Oxford Street right down the road, with main courses ranging from price brackets of £5.50 to £8.50. Pasta is made right in front of you (it only takes a couple of minutes) so you have the chance to specify what ingredients you want: a bit more chilli, a bit less salt. When you order a pizza they give you a buzzer, which goes off right as it’s coming out of the oven.

Antipasti includes bruschetta, with sweet, plump diced tomatoes on thick slices of bread, and a piatto antipasti, ideal for sharing at £8.50. There’s a huge variety of food on the plate: pesto-covered bread; crisp, thin and long breadsticks, a salad of diced tomatoes and olives; thinly sliced salted proscuitto; pink, succulent crayfish; fresh fig wedges; creamy smoked salmon; roasted peppers and courgettes; Parmesan flakes and soft mozzarella. The Caesar salad is a decent portion at £5.50, with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, peppery dressing and large, ciabatta-like croutons. For £2.50 extra you can add tender diced chicken with crispy skin.

Pasta choices include everything from the basic tomato sauce to granchi di fiumi, a dish made with juicy little crayfish, creamy lobster sauce and crunchy, snappy mange tout. For most of the dishes you can choose your own pasta, and there are pictures of the different types, so don’t worry if you can’t tell your tagliatelle from your linguine. Ravioli con carne is light and fluffy, the meat blended so it’s smooth and the sauce thick and savoury. You can get about eight small slices from a pizza, and the tonno (tuna and red onions) is a good choice, with a nicely crispy base, although it’s a bit too heavy on the tuna.

There are about five choices of desserts, which you can order either downstairs or upstairs at the bar. The tiramisu is a classic Italian pudding, and this one doesn’t disappoint, with light and creamy layers and more than a hint of alcohol. The rice pudding is great, too; served in a cute little lidded jar, the pudding is thick and luscious with a good texture and ripe, sweet stewed strawberries on top.

The Drink
There’s a wine list of about twenty choices that’s really well priced, starting at £11.50 per bottle and £3.15 per glass – mainly Italian with some new world bottles as well. The Araldica Piemonte Cortese from Italy is nicely full-bodied for a white wine, with slight hints of peach. Juices, iced teas, soft drinks and leaf teas (served in a big glass cup) are available as well, along with espresso, coffee and cappuccino and Italian and German beer.

The Last Word
Some people will not like Vapiano. No matter the quality of the food, for some, self service is beneath them – that’s what McDonalds is for, right? However, if you’re willing to pick up a tray and get into the spirit of things a bit, it’s a refreshing – and delicious – change from the norm.

Find a restaurant