Restaurants in Lucca
Lucca is such a beautiful small city encased by walls. Most of the restaurants in Lucca sit within the walls but there are a fair few outside too. Set out below are some of the gems that we visited, some for a full meal, and others for apertivio and a spritz.
Ristorante di Pizza Gourmet
This is the only restaurant that we visited outside the walls, around a 10 minute walk from our hotel. Chef Anna Grazzini is the daughter of the famous ‘Felice’ who opened a take away and by the slice pizza place back in 1960. She learnt from her father and has now opened the first gourmet pizzeria in Lucca with innovative and ambitious flavours and new tastes.
From the gourmet menu, we tried the Emiliana with Fiordilatte Cheese, Dry Tomatoes, Mortadella, Balsamic Vinegar and Parmesan (€13). This was one of the best pizzas we have had – so fresh and tasty.
From the classic menu (pizza with tomatoes) we tucked into the Piccante with tomato, cheese, spicy salami, nduja and porcini mushrooms (€9). I absolutely love nduja and they certainly did not scrimp here with the toppings. Accompanying the pizzas we had a half bottle of Greco di Tufo Italian wine (€8). The pizza’s were delicious, affordable and the staff were friendly.
We were first attracted to this restaurant from the back entrance where the delicatessen is (opposite Gelateria Veneta Lucca). It was only when we walked through that we realised that it backed on to the main square and there was plenty of seating outside.
We were served with bread in a bag (love it) whilst waiting for our food (cover charge and bread is €2). Of course, we had to have a glass of house red and a prosecco (€4). The restaurant offered a number of antipasti dishes including bruschetta, bresaola, prosciutto and mozzerella but we fancied something lighter.
They had a separate bruschetta section and we had the diavola with a spicy paste. The bread was HUGE and filling. We also had the Raviolo burro e salvia (butter and sage) which was so fresh and delicious. The food was great and with each dish priced at €8, it was great value.
Situated right by Piazza Anfiteatro, Osteria Baralla has welcomed guests since 1860! It still flourishes today with the restaurant both inside and outside heaving. The osteria offers traditional dishes using the finest local produce with good service.
The antipasti features classic dishes including mixed Tuscan meats and cheeses, burrata and boiled octopus. We had the homemade ravioli with yellow pumpkin and Garfagnana pecorino cheese fondue. This was some dish with the delicious creamy sauce and pumpkin flavour hitting those tastebuds (€12).
The risotto with red chicory, montecarlo red wine and sausage also caught our eye (€12). The portion size was so generous and the red wine and sausage really complimented each other. Make Osteria Baralla a must visit on your list of restaurants in Lucca!
This is another popular restaurant in Lucca which we were lucky to get into. There are less spaces outside for seating than other restaurants but actually it is all about the inside at this trattoria. It is so randomly decorated with quirky paintings, toys and paraphernalia – we loved it!
There are only two wines here – red and white, both house which are served in Trattoria Da Ubaldo bottles! Priced at only €10, it was such good value. As we were hungry, we shared the Antipasti of Sliced Tuscany cold cuts, pecorino cheese, pasta fritta and bruschetta (€22). This was pricier than we had seen at other trattoria’s but the portion was hefty with plenty of food to share between two.
Given how much pasta we had eaten, we opted for the secondi section and Cotoletta (veal) milanese with fries (€11). The veal cutlet was a large portion (so very good value) but was a little dry in places. The pasta dishes looked great and only started from €7 and beef steak on the grill which could be shared also looked great. It was a cool restaurant to visit and the staff were pretty friendly!
Aperitivo / Snack
I visited the following places in Lucca for an aperitif and smaller lunch dish although the majority also offered larger plates.
This is a lovely wine bar in Lucca which offers free apertivio with your drink. The buffet included breads, pizza, salads and rice, which is a great way to warm up your stomach before dinner.
There are cosy booths to enjoy your drinks and, for us, play cards. The local wine started from only €3 which is madness when you get a buffet of food for free too! We asked for recommendations of local wine (both red and white) and the staff were more than happy to make suggestions. Definitely visit here for a relaxed atmosphere, nice staff and good, affordable wine.
Dal Bardo was one of our favourite bars for aperitivo. Based on the north side of town near our hotel it attracts a lot of locals and has indoor and outdoor seating. Aperol Spritz is always my favourite and at only €4, they were a bargain!
The bar also offers complimentary aperitivo. This started off with crisps, nuts, crackers and bread and then out came delicious meat and cheeses! Usually bars will alternate the products through the evening and you can help yourselves. It is polite to always have a drink though!
Caffe Santa Zita has a lovely outdoor area where we sipped on Spritzes (€7)! We were served with a whole array of snacks with our drinks including crisps, peanuts, olives, pickles and sundried tomatoes. Service was pretty slow but a nice place for a drink although you can find cheaper places (see above).
Situated in the north side is Baricentro bar / cafe with a few tables outside. They offer panini, foccacia, piadine and crepes with a variety of fillings all priced between €4-7.
We had a Caprese salad (tomato and mozzarella €6) and a San Frediano piadini (salami and fontina cheese €7). You must try a piadina in Italy which is a light flatbread and is just so tasty.
Bollicine D’Autore is a wine bar in Lucca that offers a wide selection of fine wines and champagne in Lucca . The interiors are sparkly and gorgeous and it definitely has a more upmarket feel.
We had a Spritz and a glass of red wine (together €16) which were served with a selection cold cuts, cheese and croutons which were delicious. I prefer the traditional wine bars but it was pretty snazzy here!
I had read about this pizzeria on a few blogs before we arrived so had to check it out. Situated near the Church St Michele, this family run pizzeria has been around for 100 years! There are photos dotted around the small interior showing the family making the pizzas in their firewood oven which is always a nice touch.
They serve pizza by the 100g (€1.40) so just say if you want a large or small slice. You can choose from Pizza with proscuitto, wurstel, margarita, mushroom, spicy salami and four cheeses. They also have a selection of foccacia and you should also try the Cecina which is prepared with chickpea flour. They also offer beer, wine and soft drinks in a relaxed no frills environment. The pizza was absolutely delicious so we ended up ordering more – definitely worth a visit!
This was our favourite gelateria in Lucca and Matilda started recognising us which was super cute. There was always service with a smile and the gelato was amazing!
The prices varied from small (€2.30) all the way up to Maxi (€4.20). There were so many great flavours to choose from – we loved the fruitier flavours as well as the dark chocolate (wow!). Don’t miss a trip here.
Click Here for our hotel in Lucca and Here for things to do