10 Unique Restaurants in Lucca, Italy | Lucca Cycling Club

10 Unique Restaurants in Lucca

alison-t

Ciao! I'm Alison.

If you're planning or dreaming about cycling in Italy, my job is to make it happen for you.

alison-t

Ciao! I'm Alison.

If you're planning or dreaming about cycling in Italy, my job is to make it happen for you.

Ride to eat or eat to ride? Either or, any Lucca-based cyclist knows how to pin down the best restaurants in Lucca, and here’s how you can too.

Not all restaurants in Italy are created equal if you consider the ultimate objective: a.) carb-loading or b.) a spiritual experience similar to climbing Pizzorne with golden legs.

€ restaurants are for curbing your hunger acceptably and delightfully. €€ restaurants are for Friday and Saturday nights, or in your case, any night. And €€€ restaurants are for celebrating victories.

Here’s what you need to know beforehand.

Don’t show up without a reservation, especially at €€ and €€€ restaurants. Either call over lunch hours from 11 am-ish to 3 pm or over dinner hours from 6:30 pm-ish till midnight.

Some say the best restaurants in Lucca are outside the wall, but I graciously disagree, because one of my favorites is, yep, in the historical center. So have your pick from restaurants inside and outside Lucca’s wall.

Oh, and as the restaurant scene evolves and management changes, consider this list the latest iteration. Now let's dig in!

Restaurants inside Lucca's wall

1. Chiasso13

Formerly at Michelin-starred Giglio, this husband and wife duo named their bistro for the quaint pedestrian-only alley in which it’s found. Their simple dishes made with fresh, high-quality ingredients push the boundaries of traditional Italian food. Chiasso13 is one of the few restaurants in Italy that makes real salads, plus they play music, too! It’s a small restaurant with limited outdoor seating so be sure to reserve in advance.

€€ | Chiasso Barletti, 13, Lucca | +39 0583 569689

2. Osteria Dal Manzo

Built from the ground up, this quintessential Italian osteria elevates simple, local ingredients to creative, non-pretentious dishes. If you don’t normally eat octopus, Osteria Dal Manzo makes it approachable. The menu consists of veal, steak, and seafood at fair prices.

€€ | Via Cesare Battisti, 28 Lucca | (+39) 0583 490649

3. Gigliola

Gigliola is Ristorante Giglio's latest extension — where Giglio is sleek, Gigliola is cool and casual. Come here for aperitivo, casual dinners, take out, and good times. Expect the same high standards as Giglio but with music and local crowds that use nearby Vespas as props. If you're planning on riding Cipollaio the next day, this option might be a little light — but there is homemade bread, too.

€€ | Corso Garibaldi, 17, Lucca | (+39) 0583 392818

Osteria Dal Manzo from the outside
Osteria Dal Manzo. Photograph: Simone Orsucci

4. Osteria da Pasqualino Gubitosa

If you appreciate wine, you'll want to schedule Da Pasquale. Don't turn up to this restaurant without a reservation. A sign blocking the doorway will read: siamo al completo. Translation: we're full—bye-bye. Sommelier and host extraordinaire, Pasquale Gubitosa serves traditional Italian food. Think lean cuts of meat, truffle tartar and pasta.

€€ | Via del Moro, 8, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy | +39 0583 496506

5. Buca di Sant’Antonio

Opened in 1782, Buca di Sant’Antonio is one of Lucca’s oldest restaurants and keeps to its origins with traditional Lucchesi dishes. It’s a classic cozy restaurant with pots hanging from the ceiling and easily one of Lucca’s most famous restaurants.

€€ | Via della Cervia, 3, Lucca | (+39) 0583 55881

Restaurants outside Lucca's wall

6. Cucina Dello Scompiglio

Occupying a modernly-renovated farmhouse on this 200-hectare estate in the Vorno hills, ingredients are gathered from the estate’s surrounding vineyards, orchards, olive groves and vegetable gardens, all grown using organic methods.

The real charm, though, derives from dining under the wooden veranda’s brightly-colored umbrellas with impressive views of the mountains toward the north.

€ | Via di Vorno 67/B, Vorno | (+39) 0583 971473

Restaurants_Lucca_Cucina-dello-Scompiglio
Overlooking the mountains from the wooden veranda of Cucina Dello Scompiglio. Photograph: Cucina Dello Scompiglio

7. Antica Locanda di Sesto

Antique is for fourteenth century, locanda is for inn and Sesto is for Sesto di Moriano, a suburb north of Lucca. Located along the Serchio river, this place has an old soul. Once used by Lucchesi tradesmen and celebrities like Puccini as a place to stay en route into Garfagnana, Antica Locanda di Sesto is now owned and operated by Aurelio Barattini. If celebrities didn’t exist back then, they do now as Aurelio is the charismatic figure behind this go-to place for Tuscan steaks.

€€ | Via Ludovica, 1660, Lucca | (+39) 0583 578181

8. Osteria Candalla

This ancient water mill makes for a particularly romantic place to spend an evening, if not from the vantage point of a balcony suspended over the river, then lounging under banana leaves on the river bank beneath.

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.

€€ | Via di Candalla, 264, Camaiore | (+39) 0584 984381

9. Serendepico

Tucked away in a peaceful setting out in the hills toward Montecarlo, the dishes here feature a Japanese-Italian fusion because, you guessed it, Japanese chef Masaki Kuroda oversees the kitchen. Thursday nights are dedicated purely to Japanese sushi.

€€€ | Via della Chiesa di Gragnano, 36, Capannori | (+39) 0583 975026

Why stop at the best restaurants in Lucca...

... when you can also get the best gelaterias?

Get my list of curated ice-cream shops in Lucca.

I hope this list serves you during your travels. Please report back with your successes, whether listed or not. Buon appetito!

2 thoughts on “10 Unique Restaurants in Lucca”

    1. Alison Testroete

      Hi Arik—happy you landed in my corner of the web. We do see hand bikers every now and then, but I wouldn’t know where to start. I have a sneaking suspicion you would know better than me. Best of luck in your search!

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