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Strada is one of the biggest chains of Italian restaurants in the UK, serving up their popular signature menu in locations in the South East of England, with several restaurants based in Wales, Scotland and the North. The chain is the brainchild of famous businessman and notoriously food savvy entrepreneur Luke Johnson, who is involved with various other chains that have enjoyed similar success, like Pizza Express and Giraffe, as well as being former owner of elite club The Ivy.
Johnson first put his idea into action in the year 2000, and it took no longer than five years for him to build the Strada empire. By 2005 the chain already had a massive 30 restaurants successfully running throughout the country and was valued at £60 million, which Johnson quickly sold it for, making an astronomical profit. The company has changed hands on a few occasions in the time since, and in 2007 it was acquired by the Tragus Group Ltd - who bought it for a whopping £140 million. The Tragus Group still manage it today alongside a whole host of other chains, including one of Strada's main competitors, Bella Italia.
Following the acquisition, the chain has seen significant growth and now has 70 restaurants in locations across the UK, thriving in cities such as York, Exeter, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Brighton. It is its success in London that has been most impressive, though, and it has opened over 20 restaurants in the capital due to popular demand, with the main districts and areas, like Camden, Wimbledon, Baker Street and Covent Garden covered.
Strava provide typical Italian dishes, as well as some of their own unique twists on the classics, in a laid back yet stylish dining environment, providing a great alternative to more high end, formal Italian restaurants. Its welcoming, relaxed atmosphere makes it ideal for casual dining and perfect for families with young children who may feel uncomfortable elsewhere.
The Strada menu is extensive, containing olives and bread, starters and sharing dishes, pizzas, pizzettas, second and risotti, puccia burgers, sides and extras, and, of course, pasta. They also have a dessert menu, a lengthy drinks menu containing some beautiful Italian wines, and a special menu made especially for kids.
They have a specials menu that changes according to the season, and also open for breakfast, meaning diners can start their day the Italian way with ciabatta toast, sweet pastries, eggs benedict and a range of more elaborate avocado, egg, Italian ham, pancetta and tomato based dishes. They serve gourmet Musetti Italian coffee along with their breakfasts and throughout the day and night, further enhancing the experience.
Examples of popular dishes on its main menu include their hand-stretched, stone-baked classic Italian pizzas with toppings like olives, fresh basil, capers, anchovies, paprika and pesto, along with their Italian burgers, made using outstanding bread from the region of Puglia, which is also the hometown of one of their lead chefs, Nico Tortorelli. Ravioli, penne and spaghetti bolognese make appearances in the pasta section, with seafood risotto, sea bass, salmon and chicken breasts elsewhere.
No menu at an Italian restaurant would be complete without a range of sweet and delicious Italian desserts, and with affogato, chocolate fondente, cherry and ricotta cheesecake, gelato and tiramisu being just a handful of options on offer, Strada certainly don't disappoint. As well as a number of red wines, white wines, rose wines, champagne and prosecco from several different regions of Italy, they also make cocktails to order.
Perhaps unusual for a chain, Strada's menus are also overflowing with more niche Italian cuisine that you don't often see on menus outside of Italy and especially not on the menus of branded restaurants, like Strozzapreti Luganega and Cavatappi Pollo Crema. These authentic dishes are hard to find and contain genuine Italian ingredients that is often not readily available in the UK, showing the Strada team's unrelenting dedication and hard work in the kitchen, and their passion for creating quality dishes that achieve the perfect Italian flavour.
Strada terms and conditions
At Strada they like to cater for everyones dietary needs and ensure that they have the best meals possible. There is a vegetarian section on the menu (V), aswell as gluten free. Any other requests you have, can be asked when ordering. Just let Strada know if you have any allergies i.e nuts and therefore don't want them in the pudding, or requirements when cooking e.g steaks, or for religious reasons. They also suggest to beware of any stones or bones in fish and chicken.
Opening Hours and Contact Information
Opening hours vary from restaurant to restaurant, though they are all more or less the same. Specific hours for each restaurants can be found by using the search function on their website. Example opening hours for London branches are Mon - Sat: 8.00am - 11pm, Sun: 8.00am - 10.30pm, with the likes of Exeter opening Mon - Sat: 9.00am - 11.00pm and Sun:
9.00am - 10.30pm.
The best way to get in touch with Strada is to submit enquiries or raise any concerns with their customer service team by filling in their online contact form here.
They are also contactable by phone by calling 0207 121 3200. Each individual restaurant also has their own contact number and address to send questions or complaints to.
Company Registration Information
Strada Head Office
163 Eversholt Street
Latest News and Commentary
In June 2014, it was reported that Tragus, the owner of the chain, are currently trying to sell the brand and its 56 remaining restaurants to another investor, offering it for £40 million, exactly £100 million less than they paid for it themselves when they initially purchased it from billionaire Richard Caring in 2007. The announcement is part of the group's attempt to lower their rising debts and their wish to focus more on their key brands, Bella Italia and the French chain Cafe Rogue. In 2013, Strada became heavily involved with charity, namely Comic Relief, becoming an official partner.