Lucca Delicatessen

Growing up we always had ravioli alongside the turkey at Thanksgiving. Meat filled and spinach and ricotta varieties. Not negotiable. This was all thanks to our Uncle Denis, a San Francisco native who grew up working in the city’s storied Italian deli scene. 

The son of German immigrants, Uncle Denis told us tales of lunchboxes packed with sausages that the other kids couldn’t pronounce. Stories of making salami from scratch at Molinaris. Recountings of packing box after box of ravioli at a magical place called Luca Delicatessen. 

OLD School

Today the ravioli maestro at Luca Deli is Paul Bosco, who used to work in the deli with Uncle Denis. Paul’s family has been hand making ravioli in the same tiny Marina District kitchen—using the same custom-made-in-Italy wooden roller—for three generations. A true San Francisco treat.

Paul arrives at the shop at 5am to begin work. Combining only the best ingredients using time-honored family recipes, he crafts dough-filled morsels that will eventually make their way into refrigerators across the city. All packed in Luca’s signature white and red boxes. 

Feel the Dough

Local Institution

Back when Luca opened, it was part of a vibrant collection of Italian delicatessens across the city. They provided handmade pasta, ravioli, and salami to blue collar construction workers and ritzy Fairmont Hotel guests alike. Today, Luca is one of the last delis in operation.

San Francisco has always been a city of change. The identity
of neighborhoods shifts as wave after wave of immigration changes the tastes and needs of its residents. Throughout changes, one thing has remained constant: small local institutions like Luca that craft amazing traditional products by hand. As the city becomes more and more expensive we need to remember, protect, and most of all, shop at these legacy businesses that give the city by the bay it’s true character.