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La Buca Ristorante - 19 Reviews - 711 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA - Italian Restaurants Reviews - Phone (215) 928-0556

La Buca Ristorante

711 Locust St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 928-0556
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Food & Dining , European Restaurants


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For sure, my favorite northern Italian restaurant in the city. The fresh seafood cart holds delicious gems from the sea - steamers, branzino done PERFECTLY, there's a pasta mist...


small portions. entrees are very weak. decent salads.

Excellent food. 10/12/2012

Excellent food. more

Don't Go There!!!! 1/1/2011

I made reservations a week before. When I arrived, they would not let me in the restaurant -- said it was reserved for a private party. They never called to cancel my reservation. The one person on staff there when I arrived was quite rude and told me to go some place else to eat. She refused to make a phone call to inquire as to what had happened to our reservation. I called the next day and talked to the manager. He said he would get back to me. He never called back. Are these people so independent that they don't care about their reputation? more

worst dinner ever 11/12/2010

anyone that has eaten this food and thinks its good are crazy! i am italian from italy and have eaten at many italian restuarants but this is by far the worst! I, unfortunatly invited a group of 8 of us, and we all where disgusted with the food ! more

Exsquisite Northern Italian for less than you think! 10/6/2010

For sure, my favorite northern Italian restaurant in the city. The fresh seafood cart holds delicious gems from the sea - steamers, branzino done PERFECTLY, there's a pasta mista course that is not on the menu, but ask for it by name and you'll taste spinach gnocchi that rivals vetri. veal is also a specialty of the house. they keep beautiful bottles of italian red win in their cellar. and the price is so sweet for the quality of food. AND, you can actually hear the conversation going on at your table without yelling. This place can be romantic, can be the site for your parents' visit, can be the place to have exsquisite gourmet food with a group of 10. Leave room for cheescake or tiramisu or chocolate mousse or italian rum cake or just some beautiful fresh strawberries and cream. ENJOY! more

la buca bad food 5/9/2010

the smell when you go into this basement should tell you to hike back up the steps! the waiters remind me of clowns that are there to just get under your skin. the food is worse then the olive garden or old tv dinners.and to top it off, you have to pay too much for such a horrible experince. Pros: nothing good Cons: the waiter,food and basement feel more

Not Worth the Trip 5/9/2010

Decided to give 'La Buca' a try since so many locals rave about it. First off, the decor IS really depressing. It smelled like and old basement from the moment we entered and walked down the stairs. Next the prices were different than on the Internet (higher of course) and the waiter had a dopey look on his face when he said that ""No one was really computer literate and the La Buca web site has not been updated in years"". Now, does that make any sense? That is just downright looney to say to customers to their faces. After the long, drawn out, presentation just to order our meal(s) the food finally arrived. The seafood was rubbery, and the Bolognese I had was soooo salty I could not eat it. The soup I had tasted like Campbell's (no, I've had better canned soup now that I think of it) and the fact that everything is a-la-cart is just down right looney considering what you pay. The bread tasted like bread you could pick up at your local supermarket and to top it off our server was rude. They had an answer for everything (but not the answer you want to hear as a patron paying top dollar) and with 18% already being added no matter what the service or quality that explains everything. No drinks, dessert, or coffee for us! We could not wait to get out of there and get some air. Only locals can love this place because anyone who knows good Italian food and great service would/should avoid this place. Take your business elsewhere because 'La Buca' is past it's culinary prime.... Cons: Rude staff, lousy food and high prices more

The best friendly Italian Restaurant in Center City Philadelphia. 10/20/2008

The food is excellent and has an appropriate choice of wines to complement your food. The environment is warm and comfortable for a lunch or a dinner. I love the place for the accommodation it can give for parties as well. Pros: Ambience, Food, Wine more

At least the wine was good. 9/13/2008

From the moment you walk in it's clear that there would have to be something exceptional about the food because the ambiance leaves much to be desired. The first thing to notice is the rather impressive wine list hasn't been updated in 10 years and isn't well stocked. The dates online and in the menu are incorrect (though it would be unbelievable if they were still holding '96 vintage Cabs at these prices - On the plus side, they haven't raised prices in 10 years either, so even more recent vintages are offered at a surprising discount) That was the highlight of the evening. The staff are dressed in tuxedos and they make an effort to give the appearance of a fine dining establishment (the prices are equivalent to many of the top tier places in town) but before ordering we already knew it might be wise to go elsewhere, but no review we read discussed the quality of the food and we hoped it might be a pleasant surprise. Then the appetizers arrived, a warm mushroom salad so overpowered by balsamic vinegar it masked any mushroom in it & beef carpaccio which I know as thin, tender raw beef with a subtle vinaigrette, not the cured lunch meat drizzled with balsamic that we were served. Next the entrees, crab & shrimp crusted tilapia and sea scallops with swiss chard. The seafood was all over-cooked, and on the dried chewy side, we weren't even able to attempt finishing the tilapia as hungry as we were. And, not to my surprise, the swiss chard was unavailable and substituted with spinach. As they wheeled out the dessert cart we quickly asked for the check and after blowing $170 on diner food we ran down the street to Morimoto and rectified a terrible night out with incredible cocktails and desserts you wouldn't believe (that wasn't cheap either, but worth it! Save yourself from a restaurant that cares little for providing quality to a regular crowd supporting them who've never eaten at a descent place, though there are plenty within a quick walk of this place. Pros: Wine Cons: Ambience, food, price more

Editorial review from GrubHub 4/17/2008

by Alex at GrubHub Provided by GrubHub
small portions. entrees are very weak. decent salads. more

Just moved to Philly burbs 2/15/2008

My boyfriend and I just visited for our Valentine's dinner last week. It was small and quaint but made a BIG impression on us. There weren't many tables in the place, which pretty guaranteed good service. There were at least three gentlemen that served us throughout the night. You can tell that they truly want you to have the best experience possible. Now, about the food.... simply excellent. I ordered a Lamb dish, even though I've never eaten lamb, because the woman next to me recommended it as she was eating it! It was spectacular. The meat fell right off the bones and it was served over marinara with gnochi. Amazing! My boyfriend ordered a seafood spaghetti dish which he enjoyed thoroughly as well. Overall a great experience. Very close quarters in the restaurant, but they definitely make it work. Be sure to have reservations ahead of time. We made reservations and our table was waiting for us when we arrived. My boyfriend and I got an appetizer and 2 of the more expensive dishes they offer and our bill was still only $50! Great value! Pros: food Cons: small more

Love this place! 11/19/2007

I went after a friend kept raving about it and it turned out she was right. Great ambience, delicious food and very friendly staff. The portions are huge and very well priced. I felt like I was dining with friends. Also, Jason makes the best martinis in town! I didn't save room for dessert this time but my next visit, I will be sure to check out the dessert cart. Go to La Buca, you won't be dissapointed! Pros: Everything! more

An Old Favorite 11/8/2007

I have been a long time customer of Ristorante La Buca and the food has always been consistantly great. I sometime's eat here once a week and I am never disappointed. This is a great place to dine alone or entertain guests.No, the menu hasn't changed much but if there is somehting that you would like to request it will be accomodated. I think the prices are very resonable for the size portions that you get and do save room for desert. With all these new, over priced, trendy restaurants trying to make a go of it, La Buca shouldn't be forgotten in your dining out experiences. Bon Appetit!! Pros: Great food, Easy parking. more

A relaxing Dinner,The way you want. 7/24/2007

I just love this place,""And the menu has changed"",But nothing else has, staff is great,Prices are reasonable,great for a first date,and depending on the night you usally you don't need a resv.The list is very informational If your a semi newby like myself. Pros: ""Service is great"" Cons: Damp,Dark more

Incredible Italian food! 10/29/2006

First there's the fresh seafood of the evening cart that is brought around. Then there's the tuxedoed waiters, great service and then, last but not least, the outstanding food. I had a piece of Ahi tuna that was seared to perfection and the best piece of tuna I have ever had. It wasn't overly seasoned and done just right. The desserts are something to leave room for as well! A great restaurant for a special occasion. Pros: Romantic ambiance, service, and great dessert too! more

Tried and True~ 2/14/2006

Ristorante La Buca is not about the Restaurant Revolution that is going on in Philadelphia~ So what does it have~ it has amazing Italian food served the way it should be~ fresh! The daily specials on the fish cart are changed DAILY~ how much change does a diner want? If you are the type of diner that needs to be seen and craves the flash of the moment~ go elsewhere. If you are the type of diner that is looking for a vast wine list~ served with the freshest fish and authentic Italian dishes by an impeccable staff~ topped off with a dessert cart that is often hard to choose one~ If you appreciate quality and authenticity~ La Buca is for you! Any restaurant that can fill their tables with an older clientele that is willing to part with their money must be worth the trip! Pros: Close to Theater!, Fresh Food/ Authentic, Romantic Ambiance more

why do people still go here??? 1/24/2006

OK, I'm sick of people writing that this place is great. So much so that I signed up just to review it. It may have been fresh 10-20 years ago, before the restaurant revolution in Philadelphia. The food is OK, but not for the price. The decor is awful. You do feel like you're in a cave, with wall 'art' on par with Olive Garden. It's dank and musty, with waiters dressed like morticians. If you want to fill your belly, there are much cheaper Italian places. If you feel more comfortable dining with old people, go for it. But it is not 'old fashioned' in a good way. If you want an experience that combines great food, ambiance and service, there are hundreds of better places. BTW, I DO dine there a lot, but only because my employer holds dinners there (it's close). Otherwise I would never go back. Pros: quiet Cons: bad decor, expensive, average food more

One of the Best 8/2/2005

I love this restaurant and have for years. yes, the menu is the same - but it's very good and I don't eat here more than once every couple of months so - who cares! The reviewer who said the NY's eve was a disaster was right - they overbooked and hired some waiters who normally don't work there. Lesson - don't go on NY's Eve. The other 364 days are just great. Seafood, warm salad, claims and seafood appitizer - just stick to the seafood. I've seen people eat the chicken and the veal and praise it too. graet wine list. And the waitstaff is one of the best in town. Pros: seafood, wine list, waiters Cons: expensive, same menu, that's it! more

Horrible service 12/31/2004

This was the worst restaurant experience of my entire life. I arrived at 8:15 for a 9:00 reservation on New Year's Eve but weren't seated until 9:30 because Maitre d' was too concerned seating walk-ins with no reservations. We were seated at a horrible table with no candles. The Maitre d' corrected me when I chose which seat to sit in. The menus were placed on the table instead of being handed to us. When the waiter arrived, my date was rudely cut short as she said she didn't know what she wanted to drink. Instead of having time to ask what the waiter recommended, the waiter quickly turned to a table next to us while saying, ""It's ok, we have some specials."" We were so incredibly upset with the service that we got up and left. We will never go back to La Buca. Cons: , Extremely rude staff, Atmosphere more

Authentic Italian 10/14/2004

La Buca is a place where ""regulars"" dine. But newcomers are welcome as well. The food & service are outstanding. Their wine list (AND prices) are phenomal. We are defintely going back often! Pros: Excellent wine list, REASONABLE prices more

Good Classic, but needs a new menu 9/19/2002

La Buca is one of my favorite restaurants in the city, but the menu needs a revamp. It hasn't been changed in over 12+ years. The people make this place. Very good wine list as well. Fabulous fresh fish cart - my recommendation is the lagonstine - excellent! Stay away from the steak and just stick to pasta or seafood here. Pros: Validate parking, great fish cart Cons: stale menu, expensive side more
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Menu for La Buca Ristorante

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  • The Scene
    Chef/proprietor Giuseppi Giulini hails from the beautiful Italian province of Tuscany, where any restaurant called ""buca"" (which means cave in Italian) is underground. This La...

  • 5/26/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Sunday Closed ,Monday 10:00AM - 10:00PM ,Tuesday 10:00AM - 10:00PM ,Wednesday 10:00AM - 10:00PM ,Thursday 10:00AM - 10:00PM ,Friday 10:00AM - 10:00PM ,Saturday 11:00AM - 10:00PM
  • Payments:

    American Express, Visa, Discover, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    Center City, Washington Square West