Lucca Comics, Where to eat
Since 1966, the Tuscan town houses, in various forms and denominations, the Lucca Comics & Games, the international festival of comics, animated films, illustrations, and games. Located in the north of part of Tuscany, with its beautiful landscapes, gastronomy and art, Lucca offers to tourists a peaceful atmosphere, perfectly matched with a good glass of Chianti. In these four days of events, racing from one stand to the other, you’ll certainly get hungry, and since you’ll be fed up of stands selling instant noodles, you'll soon be experiencing the urge to eat comfortably seated something healthy, tasty and substantial. Let's see together where!
It’s important to start with a good breakfast, to face in the best way the days full of presentations, exhibitions and purchases. Buccellato of Lucca, sweet bread with raisins and anise, can be traditionally bought at Taddeucci (piazza San Michele, 34); here you can also opt for the gingerbread, for almond biscuits (cantuccini) and other cakes to be enjoyed with a coffee or a cappuccino. At Pastry Pinelli (via Beccheria, 28), you could order instead a “macchiatone” (macchiato coffee in a large cup) accompanying it with a slice of cake with chocolate beaks, amaretto or vegetables: it’s a short crust from the characteristic incisions, with a fragrant and sweet filling (also for the variant with chard and spinach).
After the sugars of the morning, it’s a good thing to think about a quick lunch that allows you to not lose too much time. Move with advance, if you want taste a sandwich stuffed with one of the 60 different combinations offered by Pan di strada (corso Garibaldi, 32): mozzarella and red onions, anchovies and cream of artichokes, pecorino cheese and porchetta. While at Pizzicheria La Grotta (via dell’Anfiteatro, 2), in business since 1865, are used only local specialties: wild boar sausage and ham, Garfagnana’s Mondiola and Biroldo to enclose in a soft focaccia of the house. For a bit more complexed fillings, like those with chicken livers or raw sausage, contact Polleria Volpi (via San Paolino 42).
To avoid eating all day or, even worse, for the entire duration of your stay at the fair, the usual home-made sandwiches, the alternative of choosing the typical Tuscan trattoria, with its delicious traditional dishes, is the best solution. The important thing is to remember to make a reservation, because the numerous restaurants in the city during the event are packed with people. However, the choice is wide: if you want to enjoy traditional specialties, you shouldn’t miss visiting the ancient and elegant Buca di Sant’Antonio (via della Cervia, 1/5), but also at the latest Locanda Buatino (via Borgo Giannotti, 508) you can find, for example, the excellent spelt soup, the typical meat tordelli, cured meats and local cheeses. Osteria La Tosca, (piazza Cittadella, 8) which owes its name to the famous work of Giacomo Puccini, one of Luccas’s most-known figures, offers traditional dishes such as garmugia, soup with beans, artichokes and sausages, presented with care in a cozy and colored environment.
If you are looking for something more refined, move to the eastern part of the old town: Port Ellen Clan (via del Fosso, 120) has become known in a few years not only for its wide selection of whiskeys, but also for the creative dishes and for an unusual and appealing decor. The ingredients are invariably those of the area: poached egg rested on turnip cream and local sausage, and free-range chicken is cooked at low temperature with the mashed potatoes and chanterelle mushrooms.