5 Unique Restaurants in Lucca
nota bene: you'll want to reserve a table at these restaurants in advance
1. Trattoria da Giulio
+39 0583 55948 ~ Via delle Conce, 45, 55100 Lucca LU
Trattoria, derived from trattare or preparare is historically a family owned laboratory that "treats" or "prepares" local ingredients into simple dishes for any hungry body at affordable prices.
Sig. Giulio's trattoria inside the walls of Lucca has fed generations of Lucchese since 1945. When you take a seat in this old tavern, most likely there will be someone nearby who's been coming since childhood.
Your bowl of pappa al pomodoro or zuppa di pane is served from the same simmering pot as the nonna, her daughter and grandson a few tables away. Da Giulio is a community space where folks leave with full stomachs before going back out into the world to weave messy, intricate stories we call life.
2. Cucina Dello Scompiglio
+39 0583 971473 ~ Via di Vorno 67/B, 55012 Vorno, Capannori LU
Tenuta Dello Scompiglio is a modernly renovated farmhouse in the Vorno hills south of Lucca with the goal of creating a harmonious ecosystem between humans and nature. Ingredients are gathered from local markets and their very own vineyards, orchards, olive groves, and vegetable gardens using biodynamic methods.
La Cucina and its outdoor wooden veranda that faces the impressive northern mountains is just one element of their 200-hectare estate. They also host events from theatre to seminars to children's camps. If you can only make it for dinner, the permanent art installations and stages are interesting objects to a curious eye.
p.s. - don't skip out on the dolce!
3. Osteria Candalla
+39 0584 984381 ~ Via di Candalla, 264, 55041 Camaiore LU
Part way up the Casoli climb and near a top-secret swimming hole, this ancient water mill is a particularly romantic place to spend an evening. If not upon a balcony suspended over the river, then lounging on the river bank beneath banana leaves.
It's a one of a kind restaurant that merits a 35 km drive from Lucca. Their menu consists of reasonably priced typical Tuscan dishes like tordelli al ragu, testaroli, wild boar, and chianina.
4. Osteria Miranda
+39 0583 952731 ~ Via dei Carrozzieri, 27, 55100 Lucca LU
Osteria Miranda was introduced to me by cyclists and still a favourite amongst Lucca based pros. You're not just a customer to Gianluca and Luciano, but a measuring stick of how well they're performing their craft.
They're ambitious guys; replaced the cook with a chef who elaborated their offerings. Gianluca, with the handlebar mustache, is proud of his English but welcomes any playful attempts at practicing restaurant Italian.
Every square meter of this small cozy restaurant is carefully considered. Biodynamic wines line the walls in which they take pride in recommending. In the summer months reserve a spot on their beautiful terrace. The ambiance is unlikely to disappoint.
5. Butterfly Restaurant
+39 0583 307573 ~ Via Statale 12, 192, 55012 Marlia LU
If work is love made visible and love knows no boundaries, then this Michelin Star restaurant is TLC on a plate. Ingredients kilometro zero, grown locally are worked into as magical of an experience as climbing Pizzorne with golden legs.
The carte du jour is curated with regional olive oils, wines, grains, and vegetables kept secret in the mind of the chef who recites it like poetry. Unlike French Michelin-starred restaurants, the Italians love to eat. And they eat without limitation. It's priced for special occasions, but you may also get those golden legs the next day, too.
And what might one say to the chef on the way out?
È stata una sinfonia!