Sep 27

A Trip to an Italian Deli

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One of the things I love about living in San Francisco is that we live close to the most amazing italian deli. Lucca Ravioli opened in 1925 (almost 15 years after the big earthquake and fires) and it has stayed largely the same. The exterior and interior feels like you’ve stepped back in time. And everything is so charming but it feels authentic like they aren’t trying to be cute. They famously make fresh raviolis everyday and the packaging is still the same from back in the 50’s, it is beautiful. They have a deli with sandwiches but don’t have a sandwich menu. It’s only meat and cheese. They tie up your food with red and white bakers twine (they’ve been doing it way before it was cool.) And they always give kids a breadstick and a Lucca paper hat. It is near my kids school so I love stopping by to pick up fresh raviolis for dinner or we stop in and pick up some charcuterie and cheese for a little italian picnic at Dolores park.  Do you have an authentic Italian deli where you live?


  • Shelly says:

    Beautiful photos! So inspiring!

  • the italian store and vace’s in DC are a lot like this – you can usually get a slice of really good pizza as well and all the goodies from italy like tomatoes, olive oil, all the staples. vace’s is on a street that’s prone to traffic up on cleveland park and they don’t deliver on principle, you have to come to them – during the clinton white house, secret service vehicles were notorious for blocking traffic while certain DC notables would pop out for their pizza and italian good and head back to the white house.

  • Mmhhh… That sounds and looks amazing. I should definitely travel to San Fransisco!

  • Claudia says:

    Can you believe it? I’m Italian and I’m living in Milan, but the block where I stay it’s full of Chinese, African, Turkish etc restaurants and it’s quite impossible to find an Italian spot: isn’it amazing? The power of globalization :)
    Have a “tasty” time :D

  • caroline says:

    there is the best place in the world on mott street in nyc. i dont even know the name, but i go all the time!!

  • The New Diplomat’s Wife already mentioned a great deli in Northern VA named simply, “The Italian Store.” There’s usually a little Vespa delivery truck parked out front. The Italian Store reminds me of how you describe your place — not at all pretentious, just delicious. White pizza especially.

    I’ve been learning Italian and I was just telling my husband this morning that short of going to Italy, we should visit Little Italy in San Francisco or New York. So, funny you should mention. Is there a Little Italy in San Francisco?

  • how2home says:

    Such beautiful photos! You’re a great photographer Jordan!

  • Tara says:

    Venda in Providence is amazing! It’s been around for about 40 years and like Lucca, makes their own ravioli. My favorite filling is the pumpkin with sage and brown butter!

  • Sarah says:

    No, I sure wish I did though. I’d love for this to by my local deli. Maybe when we make a day trip to San Francisco we’ll stop by here and picnic in Doloris park too =)

    – Sarah

  • Molly says:

    The guys at Lucca are so nice! We’d just moved to the area and were exploring and they gave us a little tour and told us all their specialties. A neighborhood gem for sure.

  • Lauren says:

    I’m a native San Franciscan and this is the ONLY place my family and I have ever gotten ravioli. Freaking delicious.

  • Jenn says:

    Lucca is also a great spot to get stocks if you don’t have the time to make your own. And follow them on Facebook and you can see when they get new Parmesan cheese shipments in!

  • I’m a native Californian (now living in New York) and used to shop at Lucca’s years ago. I’m so happy to see that it’s still going strong. One of the best places for Italian groceries in the city.

  • elicia says:

    This is the greatest! I love how you describe it: “…it has stayed largely the same. The exterior and interior feels like you’ve stepped back in time. And everything is so charming but it feels authentic like they aren’t trying to be cute…” I would love to visit :)

  • Malori says:

    That looks so sweet. I love those hidden gems!

  • I’ve no italian deli around here in Barcelona but I’ve only got to visit one of our many “mercados” (markets) in the city and buy fresh fruit, grocery, ready to have meals, fish, meat,…!!! I recommend Boquería’s Market, wonderful!

  • Yelle says:

    Super cute pics; the day was captured so well! Back home, we have an Italian market too and I’m really craving some panini now!

  • Being an Italian abroad, I love little Italian delis. They cram so much of Italy into such a small place, and they’re almost always mom n’ pop operations. I think you could probably go anywhere in the world and the Italian delis would all look the same :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

  • Sharon says:

    You made my mouth water! I lived in S.F. for 9.5 years (now in Seattle after 7 years in Moraga). We used to stop by Cafe Roma on a weekend morning for an Illy espresso in the a.m. and then stop by Lucca for a sandwich for lunch later. So glad you’re enjoying the ‘fruits’ of the city! Miss it terribly, although Seattle isn’t a bad place to live either.

  • Ana says:

    I love food. I love italian food :) I live next to Italy, Im from SLOVENIA and we really have many good authentic intalian restaurants. I cant think of specialized store, we have in Ljubljana one specialized with french food, which I love too :)

  • Amy Rene says:

    our one Italian deli in town closed after over 20 years. your foodie finds remind me how important it is to support tiny, different, and local- or lose it.

  • I always dreamt of having an “Italian” getaway and somewhere to take the children and husband and cook cook cook! I only have 2 out of 3 of those and that’s the husband. The rest I’m working on. But Italy sounds nice!

  • kriste says:

    oh my! i used to live in the Mission about 15 years ago and we went here frequently. such an amazing place. thank you for the memories!

  • Kelsi says:

    Aww, I walk by this deli all the time. I love when little pieces of home show up in my internet wanderings. :)

  • Will says:

    This is my kind of shop. I’m fed up of the near identical shops and replications you find on the high street these days. I wish all shops could be like this, inspiring, unique and then I would probably spend more money in them too!

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