London can often feel awash with cafes and delis that look the same, smell the same, and sound the same.
Not south London’s Di Lieto, a genuine stronghold for returning to basics, where quality, simplicity, and community outstrip the need for trendy aesthetics. Nestled on the Brixton Road end of South Island Place in Oval, this unassuming gem is authentically family-owned with multiple generations pitching in.
From focaccia to pasta, coffee to cake, this one-stop shop for all things Neopolitan is as much a place to buy your brew and bread (the seeded brown loaf is unmatched) as it is to have a lunchtime bite of pasta. With street seating often scooping up the rays on those rare sunny days, Di Lieto is a labour of love that’s ever-evolving as different members of the family take it in turns to pick up the slack – with Nonna always keeping a watchful eye on the goings on from the open window of her flat above.
Oh, and the music? There isn’t any, just the sounds of a busy kitchen, plates being licked clean, and locals having a chat – in English or Italian – with the family that make Di Lieto such a special spot