London & South East


Vivo, Upper Street in Islington, North London

Vivo is a vibrant Italian bakery, situated in the heart of bustling Upper Street in Islington, North London.

Inspired by the traditional gastronomia and pasticceria of Italy, Vivo is an all day casual dining affair serving authentic and regional cuisine.

Vivo is the first venture from brothers Will and Ben Thompson and provides an informal venue for both locals and tourists alike. In creating Vivo, the Thompson brothers have drawn upon their travel experiences and passion for Italian food and culture to create the ideal hotspot for their dining debut.

Vivo, Upper Street in Islington, North London

Co-Owner Will Thompson, said:

“Having worked for the family’s property development business for the past eight years, Vivo marks the first restaurant project that I have been involved with.

“Vivo is a concept that we have developed following regular visits to Italy and focuses on all-day, all-evening dining in a nice environment. The idea is that guests can get a bite to eat or a drink anytime of the day, something which is quite unusual in the UK, even in a cosmopolitan city such as London.”

Vivo, Upper Street in Islington, North London

Vivo opened in early October 2013 and has so far received fantastic feedback. Commenting on the site’s success, Will said:

“It has been brilliant; we are very pleased with how things have gone so far. We are in an area of London with lots of restaurants which is known locally as an eating destination. As our place is very different to the other restaurants within the vicinity the reaction has been of real interest, specifically when it comes to our desserts and our fresh salads.”

The focal point of Vivo is a striking, 14 metre granite counter with a separate drinks bar, from which orders are taken and the food and drink is served. Vivo’s interior balances modern, monolithic features with rustic earthy tones, whilst design features include the use of split face timber panels, dark granite surfaces, Portland stone walls and a combination of oak and York stone flooring.

Vivo, Upper Street in Islington, North London

Will commented:

“The Portland stone walls stand out the most for me. It is a lovely, white chalky stone, finished with a dry stone walling effect, which means you don’t see any mortar. We have had so many customers go up to the wall to touch the stone because they are so intrigued by it and it really contrasts well with the timber and granite.”

Will added:

“A lot of customers also make remarks about the table tops. The table tops are granite and offer up a really great warm effect. Upon entry into Vivo the first thing that strikes you is the warm, yet trendy ambience.”

The ground floor caters for up to 50 covers with a mix of communal and individual tables, whilst the open air roof terrace seats 35 and offers the perfect setting for al fresco dining in the warmer months. Tables on the ground floor are arranged to mirror the food counter, so customers always feel as though they are part of the action and never far from the food.

Vivo, Upper Street in Islington, North London

An interesting feature of Vivo is the toilet facilities, which are hidden behind oak panelling. The toilet area has a minimalistic approach, with hidden taps and hand dryers.

Will said:

“We always wanted to make a statement with the toilets as there are certain places where you can go and the washroom facilities really let the place down. Our toilets are a real show piece, with people Tweeting that they are the chicest loos in London!”

Dishes at Vivo include freshly baked ciabattas and focaccias; torte rustica (Italian savoury pies), authentic Roman pizza ‘al taglio’ (rectangular slices); and speciality cheese and meat boards. Guests looking for heartier dishes can opt for hot signature favourites such as beef or vegetarian lasagne and pork cannelloni.

Vivo, Upper Street in Islington, North London

A selection of Italian desserts, pastries and sweets are also available such as Gianduja, hazelnut and raspberry tart and Strawberries and prosecco tiramisu. The varied menu makes Vivo the perfect destination for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

In keeping with continental cafe culture, coffee supplied by renowned Neapolitan roaster Kimbo is a key staple at Vivo. Guests can also choose from a selection of wines from various Italian regions as well as Prosecco on tap and a range of Italian beers, spirits and cocktails! Customers visiting during the early evening can also enjoy aperitivo hour – complimentary snacks served to accompany drinks.

Will said:

“The most important aspect of Vivo is our attention to detail. Both Ben and I are always on site, getting involved in everything that is going on, so the service standards are really high, the right atmosphere is extremely important and the product offering is crucial.”

Vivo, Upper Street in Islington, North London

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