A restaurant in Whalley has been named as the best in the north west at an awards ceremony.

Amico Mio, in King Street, came out on top at The Italian Awards 2023 winning best restaurant in the north west.

It was also ‘highly recommended’ as one of the best pizzerias in the UK.

Vetrano Restaurant in Padiham was also highly recommended as the best restaurant in the north west, while Bellissimo Italian in Burnley was highly recommended in the best restaurant dessert category.

Emanuele Passerini, managing director of Amico Mio, was thrilled for his team after picking up the prize.

He said: “This is such a massive achievement for us.

"Not only did we win best restaurant in the north west but we were also commended for best pizzeria in the UK.

“We are just a small little restaurant in Whalley and it has really put the town on the map again.

“We are a small, family-run business and the win was all down to the public vote, so thank you for voting for us.

“I also want to thank customers for supporting us in what has been a quiet period for many restaurants in the industry, as we have remained quite busy.

“Thanks again and here’s to the next one.”

Emanuele opened the business in July 2021 and has since seen the eatery go from strength to strength, winning several awards.

Last year it was named best new business at the England Business Awards.

Emanuele has spent his whole working life in the hospitality industry, including at Northcote restaurant in Langho, and say owning his own business was always a dream of his.

He said: “I want to thank my dad. Without him there would be no restaurant.

“He has helped me financially and also works weekend alongside his job as a barber in Blackburn.

“I told him it was a dream of mine to have a restaurant of my own after working in many all over Lancashire.

“I always wanted to do something in hospitality, whether that be in the kitchen or outside it.

“Getting my own restaurant is without a doubt one of the best decisions I have ever made.”