Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Luca

Gold Award

It’s a universal truth: carbs are crowd-pleasers, so hiding behind pizza and pasta is easy if you’re an Italian restaurant looking to quickly win favour. But what of the restaurants proudly championing less obvious dishes? Enter, Luca. Little sister to two Michelin starred The Clove Club and a strikingly stylish Clerkenwell haunt that gives the touchstones of 1950s design a contemporary facelift via bare tables, iconic lighting styles and buttery leather upholstery.

Its reputation proceeds it, so it’ll be nothing new to anyone with a sense of London’s food scene that Luca is destination dining at its best. From start to finish it’s a seamless, sublime experience that starts with the chipper staff and ends – if you’re doing it right – with perfectly frothed, subtly sweetened, espresso martinis.

We’d suggest the chef’s menu which hands over all decision-making to the experts. Plates dip and dive through the seasons’ brightest produce. There are impossibly light Parmesan fries with crisp cases and airy interiors; roasted scallops seasoned with nduja, sitting in a puddle of sweet artichoke puree; and the most exquisitely prepared steak tartare peppered with capers, celery, pickled onions, and the crunch of homemade crisps. The star of the show though was a perfectly cooked, soft cannon of Hebridean lamb dressed with the anchovy hum of bagna cauda and savoury green olives.

Before you grieve the loss of pasta altogether, let us swiftly reassure you with the in-house pasta room where various shapes are expertly crafted each day. A wonderful potato filled cappelletti that doubled down on the carbs was exactly the type of cosy, cosseting sort of dish that you crave when you need a little lift.

A far cry from the heavy and hearty Italian fare you might expect, Luca has a lightness of touch running through every course. The nuanced, clever dishes mark it out as a real contender in the top echelons of the capital’s occasion dining scene, yet the reassuringly down-to-earth staff and easy atmosphere make it feel like somewhere you’d happily eat every day given half the chance.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cool, Fine dining, Glamorous, Lively, Luxury, Romantic
One Michelin star, SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Counter dining, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Luca is an Italian restaurant located in Farringdon serving high-quality ingredients from around the British Isles and Italy. With a restaurant, bar and outdoor terrace, it’s a multi-faceted dining destination where you can stay, eat and relax for a sit-down dinner, pop in for some drinks and snacks at the bar or enjoy a plate of pasta bathed in sunshine in the stunning courtyard.  

The main dining area offers bright and spacious interiors that marries Italian-meets-art deco design, with red leather banquette seating, wooden floors, exposed brick walls and large light fixtures to illuminate the space. It is here where guests can indulge in Luca’s modern Italian plates all year long. Kick off with a plate of Italian salumi with pickled giardiniera vegetables to nibble on while you decide what to order. Starters include tempting combinations such as burrata with winter panzanella, pickled walnuts and radicchio tardivo, while the ‘primi’ course includes many impressive pasta dishes including tagliatelle of rabbit and pumpkin and amaretti tortelli with sage and pickled chilli. For ‘secondi’, opt for the likes of Hereford beef fillet ribeye with borettane onions and confit garlic.  

When the sun is shining, guests can also reserve a table alfresco in the secluded, foliage-adorned terrace surrounded by olive trees and jasmine. There is even an open fire for when it gets chilly in the evenings. Or, plump for a meal at the bar for an occasion that’s a little more relaxed, where you can order classic Italian cocktails or a glass of wine from one of its many wine-making regions. A range of aperitifs and digestifs are also available, and food can be ordered from the bar's ‘express menu’ for lunch if you want to taste the food but can't stick around for long. 


Are there gluten-free options on the menu?

Yes, there are gluten-free options on the menu.

Helpful? 0

Do you need to book a table?

Yes, we advise you to book a table before you visit.

Helpful? 0
Meet the team

Robert Chambers

Luca’s head chef is Robert Chambers, a professional who comes to the pass with a wealth of experience. His time at many of the country’s leading restaurants has given him an encyclopaedic knowledge of classical techniques as well as the utmost respect for beautiful produce. Having been at the helm of Luca since its opening, Chambers has shaped the ever-changing modern Italian menu that has secured the restaurant’s reputation as one of the most popular dining spots in London. Previous roles include stints in the kitchens of two Michelin starred The Square, one Michelin starred Locanda Locatelli and the two Michelin starred The Ledbury.

This venue also offers

Luca Restaurant
Private Group Dining

Luca Restaurant


88 St John Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 4EH

020 3859 3000 020 3859 3000


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-14:00
Tue 12:00-14:00
Wed 12:00-14:00
Thu 12:00-14:00
Fri 12:00-14:00
Sat 12:00-14:00
Sun Closed
Mon 18:00-22:00
Tue 18:00-22:00
Wed 18:00-22:00
Thu 18:00-22:00
Fri 18:00-22:00
Sat 18:00-22:00
Sun Closed


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Write a review

9 Reviews 


27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Perfectly executed Italian food in a delightful setting. 


23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Lynette H

06 August 2019  
Lovely good and atmosphere and very easy booking system for their private dining.


28 June 2019  
Original food beautifully cooked.

David H

20 January 2019  
Food & Drink 4
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 3
Good cooking here .
Our first visit on a Saturday lunchtime; I mentioned on the phone that we may try the set lunch, for which we were banished to the bar rather than the restaurant proper. A bit strange in that we ended up with 4 courses, and they were on the phone initially keen that we sit on bar stools rather than at a table or booth- which we've decided isn't the way we like to eat a restaurant meal, but sensibly they relented and we got a perfectly comfortable booth. Still don't really understand why we couldn't get in a half empty restaurant though? Anyway the meal we had today was delightful- tasty spicy lamb arancini snack; followed by a small course of Gnocchi with cacio e pepe. This was to both of us the highlight , the sauce emulsified perfectly and strongly flavoured as it should be, the gnocchi bearing no relation at all to anything you might buy at a supermarket. They were light, almost floaty , with a supremely delicate flavour. Frankly just give me 3-4 courses of that and forget the rest! Not that the rest was in any way poor. We both picked the duck confit from the 4 mains on offer, and whilst this is something I'd tend to associate with a gastropub rather than an Italian restaurant, it was cooked and presented very nicely with green lentils and a side of wonderful roast potatoes with fennel seeds . Dessert was an intensely flavoured lemon tart with a little fennel ice cream. We enjoyed our bottle of a Puglian Primitivo too. Service was pleasant and decently paced throughout. The 3 course set meal is £23 and we thought this was extremely fair for food of this quality, albeit that portions tend to be small. With service and a bottle of wine , we left with a bill for £92. Go again- I'm sure we will, just so long as they don't refuse to give us comfortable to sit!

Chris H

12 September 2018  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Garden Room
We had another great celebration lunch in the Garden Room last week. The staff were very efficient. The food as good as ever. Their wine list is exceptional. Well worth a visit.


01 August 2018  
Staff very attentive and can't do enough to help, food sublime, atrium and outdoor space make the best dining areas. Private rooms (esp the Pasta Room) are great spaces.

Chris H

29 June 2018  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Private Dining
As a result of seeing a recommendation by Square Meal last year regarding private dining rooms, we booked the Pasta Room at Luca for our 2017 Christmas celebration for 10 people and then booked the Garden Room in June 2018 for 8 people to celebrate a 60th birthday. We selected the £55 per head set menu and the restaurant accommodated all the various dietary requirements we have. They have an excellent wine and drink list. We plan on returning to Garden Room in September 2018 for another celebration.

Sue Y

15 June 2017  
Inventive menu, good quality ingredients, friendly service. Been a couple of times and enjoyed the ambience at the bar.
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Call Luca to make a booking on:

020 3859 3000 020 3859 3000

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