Located in the beautiful Italian region of Tuscany, Lucca is a city famous for its Renaissance era walls, charming cobbled streets, and aromatic Tuscan pizzas. Walk through the city to find quaint cafés and historic villas scattered through the promenades and nearby hills. Here are the top ten places in Lucca to find traditional dishes to enjoy with a glass of Lucchesi wine.
Located about 3 miles from the city walls of Lucca, Villa Bongi is a lovely getaway from the city crowd. The old mansion’s pink walls pop out in contrast to the green hills and olive groves it is nestled in. Guests can dine al fresco in the terrace’s shade or eat inside the grand villa by the fire. Try Villa Bongi’s homemade pasta with unique, seasonal toppings like chestnut pappardelle with wild boar ragout and cream of potatoes or squid ink spaghetti made with squid, orange, and wild fennel. Reservations are recommended.
This cozy restaurant is located near Porta Elisa. The space inside is elegantly decorated with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant walks the line between casual and upscale, the menu is affordable but the ambiance inside is perfect for a romantic candle lit dinner or a special occasion. The food is presented artfully, and it tastes as good as it looks. There are always some unique options on the menu that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.
Dine on the veranda that faces the quiet square for a good view and a peaceful meal. Inside you’ll be treated to white tablecloths, complimentary prosecco, and traditional Tuscan cuisine with a twist of modern ingenuity. The chefs at Ristorante Giglio use seasonal, local products selected with thought and care. Try one of the meat or fish entrees, like the Florentine steak, guinea fowl, or grilled sea bass. Finish your meal with one of the fine house made desserts like chestnut cake with ricotta cheese or vanilla ice cream served with caramelized fruits.
Da Giulio is a spacious and bright family owned restaurant that serves excellent affordable cuisine. Try any of the delicious homemade pastas, from the simple pasta with pesto to ravioli with ricotta, spinach, and meat sauce, or decadent homemade soups with a glass of Lucchesi wine. Every dish is made with the freshest, most seasonal ingredients. Finish your meal with a serving of tiramisu and a cup of fresh coffee. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and helps you to enjoy your experience of a quintessential Italian restaurant.
Located in the historic center of Lucca, Da Felice has been serving their wood fired pizzas for more than 100 years. Family owned and operated, Da Felice is the place to go for the most authentic Italian pizza experience. Don’t miss the cecina (a salted chickpea pizza), the necci (chestnut crepes made with ricotta cheese), and the castagnaccio (chestnut cake) specialties. The pizza and other treats are made with local ingredients according to traditional recipes.
At Antica Locanda di Sesto, traditional recipes create authentic, delicious cuisine. This family-owned restaurant produces their own olive oil, wine, and other fresh ingredients, and they aim to show off the food of real Tuscan farmers with their dishes. Start with a simple appetizer of toasted bread and cold cut Tuscan meats, followed by the papa al pomodoro, a thick Tuscan tomato soup. For your entrée, try the black pepper and rosemary steak, Cinta Senese pork, or the rabbit in spicy tomato sauce. Finish with an Italian pie, almond biscuit, or daily made chocolates for dessert.
Pan di Strada is the perfect place to go for a quick lunch when your schedule is packed with sights to see. The sandwich shop has more than 80 different varieties of panini sandwiches. Not only are the sandwiches a quick and filling lunch, but the tasty concoctions are extremely affordable. Tucked away in one of Lucca’s oldest neighborhoods, you can enjoy your lunch on picnic benches at the nearby city walls. Try a simple panini made with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato, and oregano, or a fun combination of gorgonzola, almonds, cottage cheese, and slices of fresh pear.
With an exposed wood-beam ceiling, an impressive collection of copper pots, and crisp, white tablecloths on every table, Buca di Sant Antonio gives off a rustic but elegant atmosphere. The restaurant opened in 1782 and is still a favorite. The formal restaurant is warm and inviting, and guests will start their meal with a glass of prosecco on the house as their appetizer. Enjoy the traditional Lucchese dishes made with fresh local ingredients.
This cozy bar and restaurant is a great place to go for drinks and sandwiches. Although La Tana del Boia is very small, it more than makes up for its lack of space in atmosphere. Whether for a late night drink with a meat and cheese platter, or a casual lunch, you’ll feel welcome by the friendly service of the rustic restaurant. Grab a beer or a glass of wine with a hot panini while you people watch on the piazza.
Inside the city walls of Lucca, Trattoria da Leo is just a short walk from Piazza San Michele, the main city square. The quaint trattoria serves their traditional cuisine outside on the small, shaded terrace or inside the bustling restaurant. Open 7 days a week all year long. The house specialties of the family friendly restaurant include, ribollita (Tuscan minestrone soup served over toasted bread), zuppa di faro (white bean and barley soup), ravioli porcini (spinach ravioli in porcini mushroom sauce), and much more. The restaurant also has a good selection of local and regional wines.