As a passionate food writer, I’m always enthusiastic to explore the culinary delights of the places I visit and call home. My fascination lies in discovering a diverse range of cuisines, from traditional to contemporary, while uncovering the hidden gems that each destination has to offer. During my extended stay in Lucca, a charming town located in the heart of Tuscany, I came to appreciate the city’s dedication to its local and Tuscan gastronomic traditions, a true delight for any visitor to discover the flavors of Lucca. However, I also embarked on a culinary adventure of my own, seeking out exceptional restaurants in the city. The result is a personal guide to casual dining in Lucca, curated with a mix of traditional trattorias and pizzerias, along with international and modern street food establishments that I highly recommend.
Guide to Casual Dining in Lucca
La Trattoria da Giulio: Best local cuisine in Lucca
When my cravings turn to authentic Lucca cuisine, Trattoria da Giulio invariably tops my list. It’s the perfect place to introduce friends and guests to the unique flavors of the region. The restaurant’s cozy ambiance during summer on a terrace behind the walls, delectable dishes, warm service, and reasonable prices make it irresistible. As you take a look at the menu, you’ll discover an array of mouth-watering homemade options, including Tordelli Lucchese, a delightful stuffed pasta adorned with Tuscan ragù sauce, the simple yet exquisite Spezatino di Vitella con Olive, Matuffi al Ragù, an ideal comfort dish for colder days consisting of polenta and ragù, and the flavorful stewed tripe known as Trippa. Every dish is crafted with meticulous care, ensuring a delightful and unforgettable dining experience.
Go Do Lucca: Best streetfood/contemporary cuisine
Go Do Lucca (GOurmet + DOmestico) is a captivating fusion restaurant that bridges the gap between haute cuisine and street food – a culinary blend they affectionately refer to as their ‘Godosofia’ (philosophy). Despite its small local, this gem exudes style and personality, complemented by a warm and friendly staff. But what truly sets it apart is the extraordinary creativity that Chef Massimiliano Vanni infuses into every dish. It’s remarkable how he elevates simple street food classics like buffalo wings, onion rings, and fries into gourmet masterpieces, showcasing a harmonious fusion of flavors. From burgers to sandwiches, each item on the menu is adorned with inventive touches that will undoubtedly tantalize your taste buds.
Mixi Gastrò Pub: Best burger experience in the city
Every city needs a great hamburger spot, and in Lucca, Mixi Gastropub is my go-to for classic and mouthwatering burger creations. The ambiance is modern and cozy, making it the perfect place for a pleasant meal. Mixi Gastropub serves up some of the best burgers in town, including my personal favorite, the Juicy Lucy. This tantalizing burger is stuffed with cacio e pepe, caramelized onions, guanciale, truffled butter, and homemade mayonnaise, living up to its juicy name. In addition to burgers, the menu offers classic American hamburger accompaniments like chicken croquettes, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and other delectable treats.
Funiculì Pizzeria: Best Pizzeria in Lucca
Pizzeria Funiculì (Viale S. Concordio, 483, 55100 Lucca LU) is a true Neapolitan pizzeria in Lucca, offering an exceptional casual dining experience. When exploring any Italian destination, seeking out the best pizzeria is a must, and in my opinion, Pizzeria Funiculì embodies the essence of Neapolitan pizzas in Lucca. From the moment you step into the restaurant, you’re greeted with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The extensive menu presents a delightful challenge, with a range of traditional and unique pizza combinations that all sound tempting. Among them, my personal favorite is the Calabrisella, a Margherita-based pizza topped with spicy salami, olives, nduja (a Calabrese spicy spreadable pork sausage), and peperoncino, which perfectly satisfies my love for spicy flavors. What truly sets Pizzeria Funiculì apart is the remarkable taste of their pizzas, crafted with quality ingredients and prepared in the traditional Neapolitan way.
L’Anciüa – Pesce Povero: Best inter-regional restaurant
L’Anciüa (Via Antonio Mordini, 74/78, 55100 Lucca LU) brings a piece of Liguria to Lucca. Having the opportunity to savor fresh Ligurian seafood dishes in Lucca is a true delight, as it is one of my favorites cuisine among the various Italian regions, known for its intense and delicious flavors. The restaurant’s ambiance transports you to a seaside setting, and the service is so warm and inviting that it feels like dining at your aunt’s house. L’Anciüa’s menu offers two fixed options that change every week, allowing us to explore a wide range of Ligurian dishes. The first menu includes four small appetizers, a first course, a quarter-liter of white wine, dessert, water, and a digestif. The second option includes all of the above, along with a second course featuring fried anchovies.