The Lygon restaurant strip has long been a destination for weary sightseers and out-of-towners looking for something Italian to eat. Answering the call of these bemused travellers and foodies alike is Carlton Espresso, a veritable oasis in an otherwise culinary desert.
From its more humble beginnings serving coffee, Italian hot chocolate and bomboloni (bombe), Carlton Espresso has recently transformed into a pasta and focaccia bar of venerable mention. Open seven days a week, they offer a fresh section of breakfast focaccias and piadinas filled with such scrumptious fillings as Prosciutto San Daniele and Pugliese Buffalo Mozzarella.
From lunch onwards look out for the daily house-made pasta special. Also, take a look at their Spunito (snack) selection of cured meats and cheeses, which is perfectly accompanied by a Peroni on tap or a glass of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.
Whilst the menu and coffee machine have been supersized and the bombe is now a Saturday special, many of the traits that made this local haunt so popular continue to set it above the rest.