Ristorante La Buca

Ristorante La Buca

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.ristlabuca.com/
  • Phone: 2159280556
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Italian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room
  • Private Party Facilities: Please call for details
  • Private Party Contact: Guiseppi or Anthony Giulanni (215) 928-0556

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between 7th & 8th
  • Parking: No
A word from Ristorante La Buca
The name translates as 'the cave' with rooms decidedly 'dark,. La Buca offers excellent, fresh fare (especially the outstanding grilled fish & other traditional Italian seafood!) & experienced old-world service. La Buca is located below street level on Washington Square.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Ristorante La Buca reviews from OpenTable diners
29 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.5
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (17)special occasion (15)good for groups (13)fit for foodies (13)romantic (11)notable wine list (6)great for lunch (5)kid-friendly (2)late-night find (1)vibrant bar scene (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Dependably Very Good Food
    BarbVIP
    Dined on 12/12/2013
    We can always depend on a very good meal at La Buca before theater. The wait staff always makes sure we are served and out of the restaurant in plenty of time prior to the performance. Food is always enjoyable and hot.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Interesting feel
    anh209
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    The restaurant definitely had an old school Italian feel. My boyfriend and I were the youngest people there by a few decades and it seemed to gear itself to the pre theatre show dinner crowd. The food was good and legitimate, but for all the great spots in philly this place didn't seem to be as much fun.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food at La Buca is always
    mikeVIP
    Dined on 12/3/2013
    The food at La Buca is always excellent served in an old world atmosphere and manner. The fact that the restaurant has maintained a thriving business for so many years speaks for itself. I like the place!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    Ddubs
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    After a great deal of searching for someplace close to the Walnut St. and a change from tavern-style dining, we decided to book our reservation. We were given a table in the back of the room in the corner, and I feel that we were forgotten at times. Our waitress was freindly, but not impressed with her service...forgot rolls, didn't check in with us much, long wait for dessert...just disappointing. The dessert tray was presented to us as an afterthought and so quickly I could hardly understand the waiter. Really poor. I was also very surprised that chicken parmesan was not served with spaghetti. To have to ask for that and pay an extra $3.00 was ridiculous. Never heard of chicken parm served with scalloped potatoes, absurd!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never disappointing!
    rgharris45
    Dined on 11/5/2013
    We have been going to La Buca before the theatre and for special family events for more than fifteen years. We have never been disappointed! Great food and wonderful preparation; incomparable waitstaff; enjoyable ambience; usually quiet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food. Older decor. Authentic
    visitor
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    Good food. Older decor. Authentic italian service. I like the idea of bringing the fresh fish to your table to view and select.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good place
    foxy
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    Food is consistently good although the menu could use some updating - it never changes - which is good and bad. We had a great server who was very attentive, and the service was efficient enough that we were out in plenty of time for the theater. The host even remembered us, and we had not been there over the summer as we were out of town. The place is quiet enough for conversation which is rare in restaurants these days.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent Food & Great Service
    TheBigCheeseVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    The food was always good but lately has improved to excellent. Out waiter was personable and described things with just the right amount of detail.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another wonderful Dinner
    Sandi
    Dined on 10/9/2013
    My Husband & I enjoyed our dinner once again. We have been to La Buca several times. We have tickets to the Walnut Street Theater and it is very convenient for going to the show. We have never been disappointed. This visit, we arrived late for our reservation because of traffic, but was graciously greeted by Von & seated promptly. Our servers, Amy & Von were cordial & professional, they were able to get us done in plenty of time for the show, but we didn't feel rushed at all. We enjoyed dinner in a leisurely manner & even had dessert. Looking forward to the next time.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • comfort and contentment in a meal
    LakewayTexas
    Dined on 10/8/2013
    Just a quiet and relaxed meal in the course of a hectic day. It was the perfect place before a show at the Walnut Theater.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Retro
    Iluvfood2VIP
    Dined on 9/27/2013
    The service was great! Reminded us of the classic Italian restaurants that you don't find much any more. Love that about it! We went for restaurant week. Choices were very limited and didn't really impress us. If I were going for the regular menu, it may be different. I would give it another shot, but my husband wouldn't. To me, Restaurant Week should be a time to impress new customers. I had always wanted to try it. Left feeling a little disappointed. I would definitely recommend trying it, but not for the restaurant week menu!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant Week Lunch
    cellobeaux
    Dined on 9/24/2013
    Expectations were influenced by my Aunt. We were seated immediately. There was 1 waitress assigned to the room. You rec a choice of 2 Apps, 3 Entrees and 1 Dessert. Apps- we both chose Cippolata Soup strangely served on a shallow salad plate My Aunt ordered the Veal (3 pieces) w/Turnip Puree which was dinner sized & succulent. My dinner sized entrée was the Baked Cod w/Swiss Chard & Tomatoes also served w/Turnip Puree. For Dessert we each ordered the Assorted Gelati w/Mint Sprigs. The excruciating wait in-between courses was AT LEAST 30 minutes. Prepare to be there at least 2 hrs.+ for Lunch. Since Rest Week was my first experience with Ristorante La Buca, my criticism is that the slow wait time detracts from their 5-star food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never Again
    LOUY
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    When we arrived for our 7 PM reservation, there was no host or hostess. After a bit, what turned out to be the bartender came out to the dining room. I said we had a 7 o'clock reservation, to which he barked, no tables for a half an hour. I reiterated I had made the reservation about a week ago. He said again, that there was no table and kept walking away. He didn't even ask for the reservation name. Then they wouldn't honor the "Restaurant Week" menu even though their entry on the list indicated they would offer the prix fixe menu on Saturday. Only drinks and bread by 8:05 I've never been treated so poorly. The evening was ruined from the start.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ignored and Rude
    UnhappyVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2013
    Made restaurant week reservations. Party was stuck in traffic and it was like pulling teeth to get them to sit us, even tho half the dining room was empty and it was obvious they had a table for us marked off. They finally say us, then proceeded to ignore us for over an hour, not even asking if we wanted drinks, menus - nothing. When we asked for the menus, it felt like we were inconveniencing them. Waiter was very short with us and just handle us a stack of menus to pass out ourselves. Other workers walked by our table without making eye contact. We were finally given water, but by the time that the rest of our party showed up, we decided that the restaurant was not worth our time or money, so we left and found a more welcoming place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • DonM
    DonM
    Dined on 9/19/2013
    This was a real find A small, very traditional Italian restaurant near Independence Sq. Great service. Fresh fish was fantastic. Cooked whole, deboned at the table. And REAL Tiramisu!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • la buca always good
    latinprofVIP
    Dined on 9/18/2013
    wonderful sauteed scallops and delicious broccoli!!! yes! broccoli...Cooked to perfection. The desserts are always wonderful; this time a creme brulee. The straccitella soup is always a treat. Service w/Amy was delightful. As it is with all the servers...Always out in time for theater and other happenings.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hope your experience is better than
    TK03
    Dined on 9/14/2013
    Was hoping for a unique, Philly Italian experience. Instead, my coworker and I never made it pass the bar. Hoping to have a drink and catch the end of a football game before sitting down, we ordered 2 glasses of wine. After 5 minutes, bartender shows up with some nuts/snack. He disappears and after waiting another 6-7 minutes (while listening to some kid scream), we decided that wasn't our place. So we left. Too bad, as the food reviews seemed to be good, but I'll never know.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We went to La Buca early on
    Joan35
    Dined on 8/23/2013
    We went to La Buca early on a Friday evening and were shocked to find that it was nearly empty. I suppose the crowd comes later, because there is absolutely nothing to keep them away. The food and drink were terrific and the ambiance and service were top rate. We have already planned to make it our pre-theater stop in the future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Timeless Neighborhood Gem
    LocaldocVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2013
    I have been going to this "Cave" for years. Food is always great. Dover sole the best in Philadelphia. Raw oysters perfectly presented. Great for a quiet dinner, or to meet for drinks after work. I love the bar! Pasta dishes the best in town! Rumor has it that Happy Hour will include 1/2 price drinks starting September 2013!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Classic Italian, with tradition
    Voltaire1778
    Dined on 8/10/2013
    Great variety; Northern Italian done right; classic service; special ambience; superb Italian wine list.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Long-standing and much-appreciated
    GaryVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2013
    Long-standing and much-appreciated classic Italian restaurant. Not to be missed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently top quality
    LocaldocVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2013
    I always love going to La Buca. There is a great informal bar with the always friendly bar tender. Old style tuxedoed waiters with great presentation. The fish is great, my friend loved the dover sole. I always stick to the pasta, usually linguini with clams, but this time had pasta arabiata which was spicey and outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Dinner Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    This dining experience was a relaxed, enjoyable event. Wait staff was very attentive to our requests. They knew the menu very well and the preparation of the meals. Food was delicious and done to everyone's liking. Fantastic Wine list. I recommend parking at Wills Eye Hospital garage as the parking was validated by the La Buca staff for free parking to attend Walnut Street Theater for a show. The reservation was for 5:30 PM, completed dinner at 7:30 PM (party of 4), walked to Walnut Street Theater in time for show.
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We have season tickets to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 7/17/2013
    We have season tickets to the Walnut Street Theater and typically eat at this wonderful restaurant. We have been going for years, and the service and food are always perfect. Great place to eat
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We always enjoy La Buca for
    nonnycarolann
    Dined on 6/12/2013
    We always enjoy La Buca for a pre theater dining experience. The quality of the food is great: fresh and authentic Italian. Good wines by the glass choices, delicious evo, too! The waiters are very knowledgeable with service prompt to get us to the theater in time if we are close on time.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for lunch
    helzVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2013
    What an excellent choice for pre-theatre lunch. Food is delicious, service is terrific, and the prices are really good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but could be great
    SherzVIP
    Dined on 6/5/2013
    Downstairs is divided into little, cozy rooms. The clams casino were covered in a sort of tomato paste; we sent them back and the waiter very graciously substituted another appetizer. The salad was good. The cart, where they display the fresh fish and meats before you order, is a lovely touch; however, the Bronzino preparation wasn't outstanding from a creative or culinary point of view. I would go back to give them a second chance, because I think they can do better, and it might have been an off-night. Just don't order the clams casino and expect that they'll be anything like actual clams casino.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best softshell crabs and service
    MickeyVIP
    Dined on 5/29/2013
    The portions are generous and the two large soft shell crabs are the best I have eaten. Old world European service and dependably high quality food. This restaurant has been around a long time and is more classic than trendy, but always has wonderful pasta and fish.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good as usual
    CarnivoreClan
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    We hadn't been there for quite some time, but it was as good as I remember. What a treat to have them filet a whole fish in front of us! When I wanted to share my dish with another, they brought a dish with the accompanying vegetables for the split. You cannot beat the fish for freshness. The service is friendly, courteous and efficient. It is the perfect place to eat before the Walnut Street Theatre shows.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Super food and wonderful attentive
    latinprofVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2013
    Super food and wonderful attentive service. Always consistent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • had not been here for years
    Antrimman
    Dined on 4/27/2013
    had not been here for years but was as good as I remembered
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The service was great and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/25/2013
    The service was great and the food is always excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This is just a great, underrated
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 4/24/2013
    This is just a great, underrated restaurant. The Dover Sole is the best in the city.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The space, and the menu, need
    AFK1
    Dined on 4/20/2013
    The space, and the menu, need updating. It feels like something out of the 80's that hasn't been touched since. Probably very popular with the early bird special crowd.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I've been to La Buca several
    betsymacpaVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2013
    I've been to La Buca several times due to its proximity to the Walnut Street Theater and the fact that they offer a discount to theater goers. I've never had a bad meal there, but can't say I've had an incredible one either. This time, I got a filet which was good but not great; should have stuck with traditional Italian. My mom got Branzino which she really liked. Our server was very attentive, but it seemed like our entree could have come out earlier than it did.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was amazing! Our
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/13/2013
    The food was amazing! Our service was very delayed, we didn't receive our entrees for an hour or more. We wouldn't have mind, except our server avoided us and didn't inform us our food was delayed due to the large party they had until he brought us our food. A little frustrating, but overall the food was worth the wait.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The perfect pre=theater place.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/4/2013
    Very pleased. Selections were varied and delicious. Decor was excellent and very Italian. I felt that I was in true gormet restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • From the moment you walk in
    frmjr
    Dined on 3/29/2013
    From the moment you walk in the door until you leave you are treated like a regular. Great food with a wide variety to fit the taste of all. Service is A+ all the servers work together.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice, Really Nice!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    The food was excellent. The ambiance just right, we loved the murals depicting scenes. The service was also very good. You felt "at home" and one can never pay enough money for that!!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not what it used to be....
    SarahL
    Dined on 3/16/2013
    I always thought of La Buca as a great classic Italian restaurant. I now think it is past its prime and I'd rather eat somewhere else.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet