Casa Mia, Stainbeck Lane, Leeds (0113-266 1269). Daily 9am-10.30pm. The first of the two Chapel Allerton Casa Mias, this is the 10-year-old, all-day café; the other, Casa Mia Grande is the smarter fish specialist. Here there are pizzas, lasagne and cannelloni, seafood salads, stuffed mushrooms, and hosts of locals meeting to drink coffee and eat indoors at cool marble-topped tables or – Leeds goes continental – outside. Main courses mostly £4-£5, with fish kebab at £8.95.
Francesca's, Manor House Road, Newcastle (0191-281 6586). Mon-Sat 12-2.30pm, 5-9pm. For nearly 20 years the Sardone family has been baking pizza, cooking pasta and keeping the tricolore flying. In the evenings pizzas are around £4, there are chicken dishes for around £7, and daily specials such as mussels, sardines, fritto misto, or veal involtini. Sweets include cheesecake, crème caramel and tiramisu, and, worth a special mention, sliced oranges with caramelised zest – almost an endangered dessert.
Nonna's, 539-541 Eccleshall Road, Sheffield (0114-268 6166). Mon-Sat 8.30am-11.30pm, Sun 10am-11pm. Named after the 84-year-old grandmother who still comes over from Modena every year to check everything's being cooked her way, Nonna's bustles day and night. It runs the gamut from coffee bar, deli, through an "enoteca" (wine and antipasti bar), to a full-blown albeit informal restaurant. The food is some of the best in Sheffield, unfussy and well made – pasta with sage and butter sauce, butternut squash risotto with dolcelatte, monkfish in Parma ham with mussel and tomato broth. Around £15-£20 in the restaurant during the day, £25-£30 for dinner, or as little as the price of the best cup of coffee.
The Patio, 87 Hanover Street, Edinburgh (0131-226 3653). Mon-Sat lunch and dinner. The Stornaiuolo family have been here 33 years, producing southern Italian home-cooking, and a wonderful succession of fresh fish such as anchovy fillets, king scallops, halibut and Dover sole, alongside chicken stalwarts, veal cordon bleu, and the chef's own recipe for chicken stuffed with ham and cheese, breadcrumbed, fried, with sweet-and-sour sauce. Seafood risotto is recommended, at £8.95, there are pasta and pizzas for less; lunch is a steal at £5.75, dinner's £12-£30.
Trattoria Trevi, 526 Great Western Road, Glasgow (0141-334 3262). Mon-Fri lunch and dinner, Sat, Sun dinner. An old-school trattoria, run by a Scottish-Italian family, one of whom is a Juventus supporter – evidenced by the team trophies on the walls. The menu's long, the choice familiar. There are pizzas, pasta and risottos; gnocchi and cannelloni, steaks, and veal saltimbocca or Milanese. Desserts beckon from a fridge. Either side of £30 a head, depending on whether you go for pizza or a trad three-course meal.Reuse content