TuscanHouse favorite restaurants in
Lucca and the area
This list is our personal recommendation for eating well. The restaurants where you should make a reservation are noted with *.
During the summer call at least one day in advance for dinner (cena) reservations (pre-notazione). Without a reservation, you may get a table for dinner if you arrive after 9:00 PM, restaurants only have one reserved seating. If you go by the restaurant before it opens for lunch (pranzo), you can reserve a table. The kitchen is typically open for lunch: 12:30 - 2:00 PM, for dinner: 7:30 - 9:30 PM, later on weekends.
Pizza is served at dinner only. House wine is always good. No smoking inside, but usually okay at outside tables. Many restaurants don't take credit cards so bring enough cash. Buon appetito!
$ = inexpensive, $$ = medium, $$$ = expensive
Lucca, inside the walled city:
Buca di Sant’Antonio,
the oldest restaurant in the city, with professional service, excellent food and wine, cozy interior with copper pots hanging from the ceiling, lots of old world charm. Extensive daily menu of seasonal local specialties, both surf and turf. We think this is by far the best restaurant in Lucca and a must for any lover of fine dining. Closed Sunday evenings and Mondays, closed for vacation in July. Last visited in Oct 2006. Via Della Cervia 1-5, near Piazza San Michele/ Via San Paolino. Tel: 0583-55-881, Fax 0583-312-199, e-mail: ($$$)*
Puccini, the other top restaurant in the city center. Started out as a seafood restaurant, now serving both fish and meat. Try the mixed seafood antipasto. Superb local and international cuisine, professional service, good vine list. Décor is modern, bright and colorful. Closed for lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, closed for vacation in Jan/Feb. Corte San Lorenzo 1, one block from Piazza San Michele/ Via San Paolino. 0583-316-116. www.ristorantepuccini.com ($$$)*
Gli Orti di Via Elisa, excellent casual restaurant with extensive menu, especially good pizza, pastas and meats, also vegetarian dishes, very popular with Luccans, reservation needed. Open for dinner only, no lunch. East end of town, Via Elisa, 17. Tel. 0583-491-241, Fax: 0583-491-241. ($$)*
Da Giulio, large trattoria with good food and big crowds, great family restaurant, inexpensive, fast service. Lots of choices on the menu with all the local specialties. Select several antipasto items to share. Open for dinner only, no lunch, closed on Sundays. North end of town, Via delle Conce 45, Piazza San Donato. Tel: 0583-55-948. ($) They made the NYT story in Oct!
Trattoria Buralli, traditional trattoria with very good Luccan food and it's the local favorite to enjoy home style cooking. Lots of choices on the menu, daily lunch specials, nicely decorated interior, friendly service. Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Center of town, Piazza S. Agostino 10, near the Amphitheatre. Piazza San Donato. Tel: 0583-950-611. ($)
Osteria Baralla, good Luccan food home-style, located just behind the Amphitheatre. This Osteria had been serving food since 1860. Large dining room is under beautiful brick vaults. Typical pasta and meat dishes, nothing "nouvelle" on the menu. Closed on Sundays. Center of town, Via Anfiteatro 5-7-9. Tel: 0583-440-240. ($)
South of Lucca:
Gazebo, restaurant at the deluxe small hotel Locanda l’Elisa. Perfect for special, intimate dinners with excellent food and vine. Closed on Sundays. Via Nuova per Pisa 1952, along the old Pisa road, about 6 km south from Lucca. Tel: 0583-379-737, fax: 0583-379-019, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ($$$)*
Ristorante La Cecca, some of the best food in Lucca area, large professional restaurant, popular with the locals for a business lunch, they can handle big groups. Tortelli with ragu and the lamb chops were wonderful. About 8 km south of Lucca along the old Pisa road, follow the signs left. Tel: 0583-94-284, www.lacecca.it ($$)*Osteria di Meati, authentic Luccan home-style cooking, family Osteria with a large outdoor area in the back. Nothing fancy, just delicious food from the region. Closed on Mondays. 2 km south of the Autostrada, near village of Meati, at a crossroads, Via della Chiesa. Tel: 0583-510-373. osteriadimeati.jimdo.com ($)
Antica Trattoria Stefani, excellent cooking, large restaurant, they can handle big groups. We had fresh fish for lunch recently, very good. About 10 km south of Lucca along the old Pisa road, signs on the left. Closed Tue. & Wed. Tel: 0583-379-031, ($$) find them here on facebook
North of Lucca:
La Mora, Michelin starred restaurant with excellent food and vine, professional service. Featured in NYTimes story in Oct 2006 on Lucca and its culinary delights. Modern and spacious interior, they can handle big groups. Closed on Wednesdays. Via Sesto di Moriano 1748, Ponte a Moriano, about 10 km north along the river from Lucca. Tel: 0583-406-402, fax: 0583-406-135. ($$$)*
Ristorante Erasmo, an old Locanda along the river since 1760, great trattoria food with all the Lucchese specials. Try the fried chicken and rabbit. Inside dining with fire-place, across the road is a large, park-like garden for dining out, a delightful place during the summer under the big trees. Parking behind the restaurant. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. About 7 km north of the city on the main road, Via del Brennero, 1782 at Ponte a Moriano. Tel: 0583-406-362, Fax: 0583-57-406. ($)
Osteria - Trattoria il Botteghino, this is the real thing, the typical working man's lunch place, and as down to earth as it gets around sophisticated Lucca. Excellent home style pasta, soup, vegetables, grilled meats. This Osteria is a road side stop with a deli counter up front, small caffe bar, dining room in the back and covered outdoor dining on the side. Only daily specials, whatever the cook decided that day, about 4 items to choose from for each course. Lunch menu only 12 Euros per person for 2 courses plus wine and water. Closed on Tuesdays. Via per Matraia 1505, about 8 km north of the city, near the famous villas. 0583-406-406 ($)
Locanda Buatino, this popular trattoria has changed owners, but it’s still got the same menu and cozy atmosphere, good service and jazz on Saturdays. Good food and wines, the usual Luccan variety. Closed on Sundays. Via Borgo Giannotti 508, just south of the main bridge crossing the Sergio River, close to the city. Tel: 0583-343-207. ($$)*
Ristorante a Palazzo, good country food served up on the mountain with great views towards Lucca. Large outside seating, nice and cool in the summer, big rustic interior dining room. The drive up has many tight curves and parking can be difficult along the road. Closed on Wednesdays. S. Giusto di Brancoli, up 10 km along the Sergio River from Lucca, then up the mountain road. Tel: 0583-965-341. ($$)*
West of Lucca:
Vigna Ilaria, excellent restaurant serving seafood and meat specials. Colorful modern interior, outside dining in the garden. Try the seafood antipasto and the daily fresh fish. Closed on Mondays. Via Pieve S. Stefano 967. From Lucca, turn left after the bridge and follow signs towards Pieve S. Stefano, about 3 km from the bridge. Tel: 0583-332-091, fax: 0583-331-908. ($$)*
Ristorante Vipore, excellent country restaurant serving large portions of everything Luccan. Pleasant atmosphere, friendly service, delicious food. Closed on Mondays. From Lucca, turn left after the bridge and follow signs to Pieve S. Stefano, about 6 km from the bridge up to the hill. Via Pieve S. Stefano 4469. Tel: 0583-59-245. ($)
Ristorante- Pizzeria Le Meraviglie, good country food at a nice restaurant. Closed on Wed. Located 18 km west of Lucca along the main road, Via Provinciale to Camaiore along the Freddana river, at the village of Montemagno. Tel: 0584-951-750. ($$)
Ristorante Da Franco, next door to Le Meraviglia, also very good. Try the big antipasto misto. Closed on Mondays. Located 18 km west of Lucca along the main road to Camaiore, at village of Montemagno. Tel: 0584-951-028. ($$)
Enoteca Marcucci, in the sculpture-town of Pietrasanta. The Enoteca is a fantastic restaurant on the main street across from the Albergo Pietrasanta. Address is Via Garibaldi 40. Tel: 0584 791 962. Closed Mondays. Excellent food, service and atmosphere, besides having the immense selection of quality wines. ($$$)*
Villa Bongi, newly re-opened restaurant we hear good things about, waiting to try, and please let us know if you have:
For lots of helpful information about food, ordering, menus, caffe-bars and restaurants, go to the food pages of Slow Travelers , an independent site about travel in Italy and other countries.