Lucca is home to a thriving bar and restaurant scene. You’ll find traditional Tuscan fare like Tordelli, a delicious meat-filled ravioli-style pasta, on the menu, as well as wild boar, cinghiale, salted cod or baccala – often served fried, alongside more relaxed, trattoria-style food.
Gluten-free visitors can rejoice, as the ancient spelt grain forms the basis of many soups and salads in Lucca and other parts of Tuscany too. The use of chestnut flour, for example in pancakes, chickpea flour in cecina and beans in soups and salads is the norm. Vegetarians are well catered for too in this part of the world. Much of the traditional Tuscan cooking has simple origins, with a focus on fresh vegetables and grains.
With its humble origins, street food is big in Tuscany, especially the further you head towards the coast, and this influence touches Lucca too. The famous Cecina, (chickpea flatbread) and pizza by the slice are easy to find in the city centre. Foccacia sliced and filled with fresh or dried prosciutto is also a wonderful and readily available snack to tide you over to the next meal. Da Felice pizzeria is the most famous in Lucca, and a stroll down via Buia with a slice of Cecina or Margherita is a must-do! While we’re talking casual or street dining, it’s worth mentioning that the historic walls are a great place for a picnic: there are plenty of tables in shady locations with views both over the city centre and out to the Lucca hills. A big Esselunga supermarket just outside the walls on Viale Carlo Del Prete will provide any picnic hardware, while you can pick up a panini or delicious deli food at one of the many gourmet food stores scattered throughout Lucca.
Many restaurants are only open for dinner, so it’s worth doing a little bit of research and making a few bookings! La Buca di Sant’Antonio, Ristorante Giglio and Cantine Bernadini Lucca offer traditional Italian cuisine, and if you’re in search of a great lunch spot, Trattoria Gigi will hit the spot, with Lucchese classics, cutlery served in old tomato tins and great desserts. For a real treat, book well in advance at Da Pasquale and you won’t be disappointed – this is one of the most popular restaurants with the locals and the wine list is extensive (the owner is a sommelier!)
If gelato is your thing, you’re in luck: there are more than a dozen shops serving up the traditional treat. Our tip? Stick to classic flavours like pistachio, hazelnut (nocciola), or chocolate (cioccolata). For the more adventurous, head to our favourite Gelateria De’Coltelli for a selection of artisanal and authentic flavours. We love the ginger!
A relatively new spot, Da Ciacco overlooking Piazza Napoleone is fast developing a reputation for having the best panini in town, as well as excellent aperitivo. Other great local places for a relaxed aperitivo are Guzman, Franklin 33 and Puntino. If you prefer people watching, grab a table outdoors at Bistrot e Winebar Des Arts. And if you tire of the wonderful Italian fare on offer, restaurants like L’imbuto, with its degustation menu that changes every night, showcase the best of contemporary, world-class dining. Osteria Miranda also offers a contemporary menu and the ambience is divine! There are endless options for all dietary requirements and tastes, so please get in touch with us to discuss your needs, or we can do this as part of booking your tour.