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LOCAL RESTAURANTS

There are many good low priced restaurants where you can get a good 3 course meal with wine for 20 euros per person. There are often no written menus (not even on a blackboard) and only in the really smart restaurants will you find anyone who speaks English - so a dictionary is vital, unless of course you speak the lingo. One thing to bear in mind is that Italian cuisine is incredibly regional and many dishes are the staple diet in one area and unheard of in the next e.g. spaghetti alla carbonara and many cream based pasta/meat dishes, which you may eat in other areas of Italy and in most Italian restaurants in the UK, are rarely found in this area.

Italians usually have an antipasto course, a pasta course (primo) and a main course (secondo) - we find this too much and usually have either an antipasto and pasta or a pasta and main course.

When booking bear in mind that Italians rarely eat dinner before 8.00 p.m. although pizzerias will often be open sooner.

We have included some well known restaurants (in Forti dei Marmi for example) which we have not personally tried, hence we have been unable to describe them in any detail.

Restaurant Prices

This is intended as a guide to prices for the restaurants shown, based on prices per person, including service and tax.

At weekends, particularly for Sunday lunch and during the season, it is advisable to book, otherwise you may find yourself disappointed or facing a long wait.

*** Expensive 50-80 euros

** Moderate 30-50 euros

* Under 30 euros

RESTAURANTS OUTSIDE THE LUCCA WALLS (not in order of preference)

RISTORANTE LA MEA (*)  0584 956047 Closed Thursdays(TEMPORARILY CLOSED)

This is one of our favourite restaurants, which we have been visiting regularly for 20 years.  It is family run (with most of the family eating and watching the television all evening in-between serving the customers!) but the atmosphere and decor are great, there are always lots of Italians eating there, the food is reasonably priced and the pasta is divine! Almost without exception La Mea becomes a favourite of our clients.

Recommended dishes are:

Antipasto If you're having antipasto, the prosciutto ham and melon are always good.  Also ask for Crostini Caldi, which are excellent here - a sort of hot chicken liver pate on fried bread, and squares of fried polenta.

Primi Piatti

Penne all'arrabbiata (hot chilli, garlic, tomato and cream sauce) - the best we have ever eaten!

Spaghetti all'aglio, olio and peperoncino (very hot and garlicky!)

Pappardelle alla cinghiale (tomato and wild boar sauce, no chilli - kids love it)

Risotto con funghi (typically Tuscan and very tasty mushroom risotto)

Ravioli con ricotta e spinaci (delicious pockets of pasta stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach and served with butter and sage)

Tortelli con ragu (home-made large pasta cushions containing meat and served with a meat sauce).

Location:

It is on the road to Camaiore from Lucca going west towards the coast at about 20 minutes from the walls.Coming from Lucca it is just past a little town on the road called Valpromaro and is in a wooded area, and even though the sign is on the roadside it may be missed if travelling swiftly.

L'ALPINO(*)  No Bookings  Closed Mondayhis is a simple pizza restaurant, but the pizzas are among the best we've ever tasted.  Go early i.e. 7pm or late as it is often crowded and you may have to wait.  If you're hungry, a good starter is the Pasta all'Alpino (spicy herb sauce). All the pizzas are excellent but our favourite is the Piazza all'Indiana.  The other specialties are all good.

Location:

It is on the road form Lucca that goes to Camaiore and the coast at about 17 min from Lucca in a town called San Martino In Freddana on the right coming from Lucca.

GINA'S (*/**)  0583 38215/38005  Closed Tuesday

Another good, reasonably priced restaurant.  The antipasto di terra is good. The pastas are all fine. Their speciality is their Tagliata, which is, literally translated, "cut" steak. It is served with chopped rucola, (rocket) its own juices. Even if you're not normally a red meat person, it's worth a try.

Directions

As for L'Alpino's, but Gina's is the first restaurant on the left.

DANTE (*/**)   0584 956046 Closed Wednesday(TEMPORARILY CLOSED)

This restaurant is not on a main road, It is a bit quiet but the food is always excellent, there is a good selection of wines and the owner Alessandro is a friend of ours who speaks Canadian English and French. This restaurant sometimes has fish dishes. The Spaghetti allo Scoglio is excellent. . Pizzas on Friday and Saturday nights. Takes credit cards.

Location:

It is in the San Macario hills on the road called "via per Fibbialla" which goes from San Macario to Fibbialla via the "via delle Gavine road", it is 20 minutes from Lucca and well sign posted on the road.

LOMBARDO (*/**) 0583 349091  Closed Monday

A very pleasant restaurant, with good cuisine a little less mundain. You can  sit on a terrace here with excellent views. A less expensive alternative to Le Vipore below. You should still book. Takes credit cards.

Location:

It is in the Pieve Santo Stefano hills, 15minutes from Lucca there are several roads that lead up to it but the quickest and easiest is via "via Piana" from Sant'Allessio, however, for more detailed information check with the house manager.

RISTORANTE LA MORA (**/***) 0583 57109  Closed Wednesday

This is one of the better restaurants in the area. It is expensive and a 30 minutes' drivefrom Lucca. It is unusual in several respects - beautiful china, cutlery etc, credit cards accepted, English spoken, superb service and an excellent wine list. It has a "Menu Gastronomico", which consists of many(about 12!) small dishes in succession e.g. 3 antipasto tasters followed by three tiny portions of different pastas, three tiny main dishes and several tiny desserts.  All this, together with a superb selection of wines, make it well worth a visit.  MUST BOOK.

Location:

It is on the main road out of Lucca to Castelnuovo Garfagnana and the northern Serchio valley in a location called "Sesto di Moriano" It is just after a town called Ponte a Moriano and is well sign posted, However, if you come from Lucca on the new "big" road you may miss it and therefore it is always best to look out for and get off at Ponte a Moriano then follow the signs.

L'antica Locanda di Sesto(**)    tel:0583 578181  Closed Saturdays and all of august

via Lodovica, Sesto di Moriano.

A La Mora style restaurant less refined with excellent charcoal cooked meats and local Lucchese dishes. Booking essential

Location:

A few doors along from La Mora

Il Guercio (*) 0583 385193 Closed Mon and Tues

One of the restaurants near Lucca where you will find good fish dishes. Book at weekends. There is an outside eating areain the summer. The menu varies but if available try;

Riso nero    rice with squid cooked in its own ink

Tagliatelle al Guercio flat noodles with a meat and vegetable sauce

Maccheroni alle arselle  pasta with baby clams

Location:

It is on the roas from Lucca to Camaiore at about 7 min. from Lucca. Coming from Lucca it is on the right hand side and bears a sign with a pirate as "Guercio" means one eyed.

Vipore (**)  0583 394065   Closed Mondays

Along with "Solferino" it used to be one of the best restaurants in the Lucca area with superb views from the outside terrace. it has recently changed owners and so still a little unknown. Worth a visit just for eating outside.

Location:

It is in the Pieve Santo Stefano hills and is in the same area as Lombardo on the road to the Pieve.

Il Ritrovo (*)     Closed Mondays

Cheep family pizzeria with some other foods, comfortable and local

Location:

It is on the main road from Lucca to the coast generally known as the "Sarzanese, in San Macario in Monte, 15 min. from Lucca on the right over a small bridge behind a bar "Sport".

Also to be recomended are restaurants in the small hilltop villages of Loppeglia, (La Corte), Fiano, (da Valentino) ,San Graziano (San Graziano), Gombitelli, (da Cerý), Lucese, (Lucese), Santa Maria Albiano(Ristorante Castello) where the atmosphere is always friendly, the food good, beautiful areas and the villages quaint and tipical.

Location:

Situated in the hills west of Lucca and only 20 to 30 min. from the city off the Camaiore road.Look for the ones closest to your house!

RESTAURANTS INSIDE THE LUCCA WALLS

BUCA DI SANT'ANTONIO (**/***)  0583 55881  Closed Mon and Sun.

This is a smart, expensive restaurant where they speak English and have an extensive printed menu. You should book. The food is excellent, English is spoken but we find it a bit too touristy.  It is situated just off the main square, Piazza San Michele, at 1/3 via delle Cervia. Takes credit cards.

Puccini. (**/***)  0583 316116  Closed Tues & Wed lunch

 elegant fish restaurant with terrace for outside eating. Accepts credit cards. Booking advised.

Located off small square near Piazza San Michele.

DA LEO (*) 0583 492236  Closed Sat and Sun

Always very popular da Leo is another of our favourites. It has a varied and unusual menu and even offers you a choice of cheeses and delicious desserts.  English is spoken a little! Should book.

It is situated at 1 via Tegrimi, close to the San Michele square off Piazza San Salvatore, or as locals call it "Della Pupporona" with fountain of woman dosing water.   See in the black folder for card with map.

CANULEIA (*) 0583 47470  Closed Saturday and Sunday

A small, restaurant situated just behind the Amphitheatre (which in turn is half way off via Fillungo, the smart shopping street) in the middle of Lucca.  Some unusual dishes, small portions but delicious all the same.Outside garden for summer dinning.

Address: via Canuleia 14

AL OLIVO (*/**)  0583 46264  Closed Wednesday

Another smart restaurant, situated off via Fillungo in Piazza S Quirico. Worth a visit after a morning's shopping.  Not cheap but very interesting cuisine.

L'ANTICA LOCANDA DELL'ANGELO(**/***)

L'Antica locanda dell'angelo, via Peschiera 21 Tel:0583 467711, closed Sunday night and Monday.

Located just between Piazza San Michele and Piazza Grande, it is a lovely smart and elegant restaurant, The Sicillian owners guive the quisine a special twist and have a varied and unusual menu, excellent food, good service always with a smile. Both fish and meat is served with good wines. Also has outside eating areas.

OSTERIA BARALLA(*)

Osteria Baralla,via dell'Anfiteatro 5  Tel:0583 440240

Located just off via Fillungo behind the amphitheatre it is the oldest restaurant structure in Lucca, lovely rooms and good local dishes, moderately priced. Always quite buisy, suggest booking but you can still just wander in for lunch.

L'ANTICO SIGILLO(*)

Antico Sigillo, via delgli Angeli 13 Tel:058391042,closed Wed.

Pizzeria-Trattoria, non expensive, no booking needed. Good squid with peas.

Located just off via Fillungo.

DA VASCO(*)

Da Vasco, Piazza Santa Maria,

This is a small family run local trattoria with lots of local color, inexpensive and good home cooking. In one of the few squares within the walls where you can still park (pay).Closed Sundays, there is no booking but can be full in summer. Some outside seating.

There are so many good restaurants in the city center that naming them all would be too long, but also of note are:

Da Sbragia(*), Good Pizza only pizzeria in via fillungo

Marameo(*), Pizzeria in Piazza San Francesco.

Fratelli Bandiera(*), Pizzeria in Piazza Grande.

Buralli(*), restaurant-trattoria in piazza Sant'Agostino

OUTSIDE LUCCA

Butterfly(***), via del Brennero

Buatino(*), via Borgo Giannotti, tel:0583343207, live music, small trattoria.

Damiani(**), viale Europa to autostrada,tel:0583 53070, fish

La Cantina di Carignano(*), via per Sant'Alessio, tel:0583 59030

Il Mecenate(*), via della Chiesa(*), Gattaiola, tel:0583 512167

Osteria Meati(*), via della Chiesa(*), Meati, tel:0583 510373

Pizzeria Penny(*), via Einaudi, Lucca, tel:0583419405, stays open very late.

Villa Volpi(**), via di Gugliano, Mastiano tel:0583 406055 nice villa in country.

FORTE DEI MARMI

Lorenzo. (***) .   0584 84030  Closed Mon & Lunch

A small restaurant with a Michelin star. Booking is essential. Accepts credit cards.

La Barca (**/***)  :0584 89323 Check opening times

Michelin starred restaurant with outside dining in summer. Accepts credit cards.

 

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