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Nearby points of interest

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About Cantinetta Luca

Cantinetta Luca offers an authentic menu inspired by the traditional recipes of various regions of Italy featuring hand-crafted dishes using the finest Italian goods and locally sourced ingredients in a lively atmosphere. Salumeria Deli, the retail arm of Cantinetta Luca, highlights popular house made items, made fresh daily, including breads, pizza, pasta, sauces, pastries and gelato. The deli features made-to-order sandwiches and grilled paninis along with a wide selection of imported salumis and cheeses. In addition to house made items visitors can peruse the selection of imported dry pastas, extra virgin olive oils, barrel-aged Balsamic vinegars, wines, flours and condiments. Salumeria Luca offers a little something for everyone from a picnic lunch to a take-home dinner or the perfect ingredient for home chefs.

Dolores St. between Ocean and 7th
Carmel, CA 93921
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian, Steak, Pizzeria

Hours of Operation:
Dinner
Sunday - Thursday, 5 - 9 pm
Friday - Saturday, 5 - 10 pm

Lunch
Friday - Sunday, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(831) 625-6500

Website:
http://www.cantinettaluca.com/

Catering:
Please e-mail us with your inquiries to events@cantinettaluca.com

Parking Details:
In the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea, all parking is street access.

Executive Chef:
Aaron Rayor

Private Party Facilities:
Wine Room: Beautiful Brick Ceiling Dining Room that can accommodate up to 45 guests.

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Please e-mail us with your inquiries to events@cantinettaluca.com

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Cantinetta Luca Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.3

ambience

4.2

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

86% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (13)
Fit for Foodies (12)
Romantic (11)
See All
Cozy (11)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Good for a Date (10)
Bar Seating (9)
Casual (9)
Local Ingredients (9)
Authentic (9)
Worth the Drive (8)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Creative Cuisine (7)
Good for Birthdays (6)
Fun (6)
Notable Wine List (6)
Business Meals (4)
People Watching (4)
Good for Groups (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Seasonal (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Healthy (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Tapas (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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1429 reviews
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vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

Fresh tasting food, great meatballs, salad are large for the value, but pasta dishes slightly overpriced. Wine is way overpriced, and this is really a shame. Cheapest California red wine on the list is $60. This is way overpriced seeing how it is bottle down the street. Overall great experience, but they should consider adding some more affordable CA wines to the list...especially because Carmel is primarily tourists, and we (Californians) should allow our guests to experience great CA wines without paying Times Square style prices.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

Have been to this restaurant many times. It has changed since my last visit.....menu is much smaller. Choices are limited. Food is good. Service was slow and clumsy....but over all we all had a good time. It is a good value and we will return.

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined 5 days ago

Server was slammed, but did a great job taking care of his tables and communicating effectively the delay. Unfortunately I found a plate chard in my dinner. Birthday celebration went unnoticed. Probably would not go back, nor recommend this place.

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food2
ambience2
service4
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

Lacks a gluten feee option for pasta and/or pizza.. Filet mignon was dry. Short ribs had very little flavor. Olives, usually served warm/hot were ice cold. The charge for bread “service” at an upscale Italian restaurant was ridiculous. Our waiter, Dominic, and the Sommelier were very knowledgeable and made our dining experience tolerable.

We are long standing customers and have dined here many times as locals to the Peninsula. However, with the current changes in the kitchen and menu, I’m not certain we will return. This is unfortunate as we have always loved CL and have recommended this restaurant to both locals and visitors many times. I will no longer be doing so. Very sad to say goodbye.

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food2
ambience5
service5
value1

 
 (Dallas)·Dined 5 days ago

Honestly, my husband and I have dined at this restaurant multiple times- making it our go to place when we visit Carmel! So why not choose to spend a romantic Valentine’s dinner date at this place? But honestly, it was one of the worst experiences ever at any restaurant. Our waiter took too long to even send over bread when we placed our order (which they charge for bread) the pasta I ordered was way to dry and too al dente. My husband’s ribeye (which was part of the valentine special) was flavorless and dry. When I ordered a coffee before finishing my dinner so that I could enjoy it with dessert- it never arrived and I had to request to cancel the coffee order since we were ready to get out of there.
I am very disappointed that we did not have a better experience there. It could have just been the hustle of Valentine’s Day, hopefully this was just a one time thing for them.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 12, 2018

One of the best dinners I've eaten in years!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 10, 2018

This was our third dinner at Luca in the past two months. Every year we go with a party of 6 on the Saturday of A T & T - one of the busiest nights of the year and it is always fantastic. The service was spot on - warm, friendly and professional. Everyone enjoyed their dinner - the favorites included: Grilled Prawns with butter beans, Tagliatelle Bolognese, charred brussels sprouts, and for those who love an amazing steak do not miss the Bistecca Fiorentina!! Also everyone raved about the wood grilled "pizza" bread we ordered with our starters/salads.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Luca is always very good, dependable and the service is always top notch. I take out-of-town guests and family there frequently.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Nice place, the pizzas were great. The beet salad quite bland. Nice atmosphere and friendly waitress as well.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on February 5, 2018

Excellent dinner, great waiter and nice quiet table by front window. Will always go back when in town

Tags: Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 27, 2018

I have dined at Cantinetta Luca in the past. This may not be accurate, but my memory is that the tables weren't as crowed together at that time. We were seated between 2 tables, each with 2 very polite and quiet diners, but none-the-less we could hear every word of their 2 conversations. It made it hard to have our own conversation, and it was uncomfortably like we were eavesdropping. This definitely interfered with the enjoyment of our meal.

Tags: Cozy
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Food delicious but entree only protein no accompaniments so drives up price. Also portions not abundant for Italian restaurant. Wine selection great but pricey. Dessert outstanding.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Great place in Carmel with superb food and interesting menue. Terrific wine list. Can be noisy and ask for table in back as front is the bar and tables side by side. Highly recommend.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 14, 2018

Unfortunately, almost half of the menu was unavailable - including pizzas which ran out after I ordered - due to the restaurant temporarily closing the following week. That is somewhat understandable but wasn’t communicated to us until after my pizza order (my 3rd personal choice - both entree items I wanted to try were unavailable which left me with limited options) could not be fulfilled. Food we did receive was good. Staff was nice and apologized but didn’t do much more to make me want to return and try again.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

vip
 (Dallas)·Dined on January 8, 2018

I went for dinner and was excellent. Nice staff. GREAT pasta and salad and wine. Go here for sure when in Carmel.

Tags: Authentic, Local Ingredients, Quick Bite, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 3, 2018

Fantastic experience. Service was top notch and food was extraordinary.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2017

This place packs people in like sardines, to the point that I was very intrusive to the table next to me just from trying to make my way into the booth to sit down. The waiter was fine, but the server helping him out could not seem to bring the correct dishes to the correct tables. He brought the people next to us something they didn’t order three times, and did it to us once. The food was mediocre. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t creative and wasn’t very elevated. I could have made the same food at home. In addition, they were out of the lamb, which was the one thing I was looking forward to ordering. This place has potential, but doesn’t live up to it at all.

Tags: Bar Seating, Late-night Find, Casual
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food3
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 31, 2017

New Year’s Eve dinner

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Wonderful evening at Cantinetta Luca! We dined on both Christmas Eve and NYE this year. Really enjoyed the updated menu by the new chef. All the ingredients were super fresh/local. On Christmas Eve we dined at the bar facing the kitchen and the new exec chef was making the pizzas and they were outstanding. On NYE our dinner included the delicious little gem/grilled endive salad and the grilled prawn and white bean starter - both new favorites! Service was engaging and wonderful. Even on such busy nights.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, People Watching, Fun, Seasonal, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 31, 2017

New Year’s Eve

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 31, 2017

After several problems with food order, the maitre d' made things right which was very important and good, but all in all we were somewhat disappointed with our experience especially when there are so many good restaurants in Carmel from which to choose.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 27, 2017

Enjoyed the food. A very fun venue. Noise level was unacceptable. Probably won’t go again. Couldn’t hear my friends across the table.

Tags: Fun
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2017

The best Italian food we have had in a long while and we are San Francisco food snobs; v authentic rustic food. We will definitely go back again next time in Carmel

Tags: People Watching, Bar Seating, Good Vegetarian Options, Worth the Drive, Kid-friendly, Romantic, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Everything was just how I remembered it with the exception of the burrata presentation. The cheese and beets looked nice but soft cheese tossed on a plate. I expected more. Art was awesome with wine selection. Will be returning one more time before trip is complete.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Great food

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 9, 2017

The food was great! We had the steak special that just melted in our mouths. It was 35 oz. and feed the 4 of us. We ordered sides to go with it and did family style at our table. It worked perfectly. We had two folks (waiter and head host) trying to serve us and they stepped over each other as one did not know what they other did or didn't do. One took half the drink order and did not return and the other did not so we had to then get him involved to bring the original order to us and take the other half of the order. I think they may have been too busy hence a bit off their game but friendly as can be. That was the only issue. Again food was fabulous and recommended wine by the waiter was superb.

Tags: Comfort Food, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 5, 2017

Great service and excellent food!!
Convenient location in Carmel village.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Casual
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Birmingham)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Cacio E Pepe was the best we have ever had!
We could have eaten two more orders!!!

Tags: Tapas, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 2017

Our first time at this restaurant to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. We were a bit put off by reviews on Yelp, but decided to try it anyway. We were seated next to a large group. After seating, a group of 8 were seated next to us. We are wine lovers as well, but the patrons at both tables quickly became drunk and very loud. We were a family of four - with two daughters. Waitress was very nice - but service was SLOW. Received our meal almost 2 hours after being seated. The waitress clearly favored the large groups as their orders were consistently serviced and the table of 8 seated after us received their appetizers and meals before us. If we had not asked for our food - we would probably still be sitting their. The Flatbread appetizer was nothing more than a circle of baked pizza dough. White wine was room temp (warm). Entrees were good but could not make up for the overall bad experience.

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food3
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 17, 2017

There simply were no bad choices on the menu. The only quirk on the menu was their carppaccio. It's supposed to be a dish of raw beef but we got cured antipasto cured meat instead. It was tasty nonetheless.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Excellent food and wine. Noise level high - probably because we were a table of 2 in between a table of 6 and a table of about 8.👎🏼

Tags: Casual, Fun, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Everything was good, service was good, and food was good. It was a busy place.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 8, 2017

What a gem! The grilled meatball appetizer had amazing flavor. Cacio e Pepe was cooked to perfection. Loved the homemade pepperoni on the pizza. Even the homemade pistachio gelato was some of the best we ever had. Service was great. We will definitely be back!

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 7, 2017

We started with a grilled shrimp appetizer with Fava type beans. It was good. For entrees we had the Short Ribs and thick spaghetti pasta in a white, peppery sauce (can't remember the name of it). The short ribs were good but the pasta was too peppery, but ate it anyway. For dessert we had the Pistachio Gelato - nothing special. Overall, the food was just ok - not something too unique or different. We both had a glass of Pinot Noir - ok, but quite pricey. The menu item descriptions on some of the dishes were hard to understand - had to have our server explain a lot of items on the menu. However, despite the mediocre food, we had very good service from the hostess (she moved us to a quiet, cozy window booth) and our servers and bussers were very attentive to our needs.

Tags: Cozy, Bar Seating
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food2
ambience5
service5
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 29, 2017

Great food, their famous Chicken was amazing and the side dishes not to be missed. In fact they were so good we ordered them all.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Vancouver)·Dined on October 27, 2017

After receiving a call to confirm my reservation, I proactively stopped by the restaurant to confirm in person. I had asked for a window table and was assured I would get one.

When I arrived a few minutes early for my reservation, I was told the table wasn’t available and if I wanted a window then it would be 30-40 minutes or longer. Clearly the table had been given away just before I arrived for my reservation time as the guests were just starting on their wine.

I asked the server for a menu recommendation
and was told I should order the fish entree. I wish I’d asked more questions because it arrived with both head and tail still attached. It was tasty once you scraped away the charred skin, but was not in the least appealing to look at.

Service was slow..,very slow....and when my server disappeared, right after my initial
order, I had to flag down another sever when I wanted a second glass of wine. Solo diners apparently aren’t worth attending to.
It would have been a totally disappointing experience but was somewhat redeemed by the coffee and dessert.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Very, very good chicken. California Italian restaurant. Unusual stuff.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 24, 2017

I've eaten here 4 times in the last year and have not been disappointed.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Excellent wines. Good vibes. Food uneven especially the pasta (inexcusable given the Italian menu). Fish excellent. Salami excellent. Cheeses good but poorly presented. Relatively expensive for what one got. Go for the wine and salami.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Luca's food is consistently good. Never flashy or exceptional, just a decent meal at a decent price. Service tends to be slow but not a major issue. We go there often so it must be better than "okay" as there are a lot of dining options in Carmel.

Tags: Disabled Access, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Casual, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value4

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