Town Square

Buca diBeppo

Original post made by nat on Jun 15, 2008

Anyone try this? How did you like it? Is it fairly expensive?

I assume it's a chain.


Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2008 at 6:12 pm

This has to be one of the strangest places I have gone to eat with my family. They (the kids) loved it, not so sure about the adults.

The food is fine to good, but it is really difficult to know what to order. The food comes family style i.e. serving dishes in the center of the table and everyone digs in. Since all dishes come in two sizes it is difficult to know what size to get and we have either had way too much food (multiple doggy bags) or wished we had ordered more. The pizza is the strangest order, big cans of tomatoes are placed on the table and the tray of pizza is balanced on top, very odd if you don't expect it.

The other thing worth mentioning is that you must make reservations about a week in advance, don't try to get a same day reservation for a Friday or weekend. Also, the tables are not really big enough for family style dining as there is not enough space for all the dishes in the center. The tables are close together and you have the feeling of being a sardine.

One other thing to mention, if you are there with young children, the place is decorated with news pictures and photos from movies. Trouble is, many of them show partially clothed people or people in their underwear (my 6 year old's way of describing it) and you may need to explain some of these away, particularly in the bathrooms.

Posted by Mom, a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 15, 2008 at 9:54 pm

You want real Italian food, go to Osteria on the corner of Hamilton and Ramona, across the street from University Art store. The gnoccis are the best ever. Casual, but you might need a reservation if you are planning on going after 6:00.

Posted by andreas, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 16, 2008 at 12:02 am

Buca diBeppo is okay. The portions are huge. Great for sharing. It's very easy to over-order. It's a fun place. I go there maybe once every two years.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 16, 2008 at 4:41 pm

This is a chain and I don't care for it at all.

Posted by sam, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 16, 2008 at 4:52 pm

I remember a young waitress there, Sara Pezzimenti, who was killed by a drunk driver, beau robertson last October. He survived i believe

Does anyone know what happened with his case?
he was facing 2 counts of DUI murder, he was from Palo Alto

In terms of the food, it great for birthday etc

Posted by GMC, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 17, 2008 at 8:29 am

I think its enjoyable. I've always liked their tomato sauce - its very rich. It is loud and crowded however. Its definitely worth a try. After my first trip I said to myself that I wouldn't bother going back, but then one day I just got a hankering for that tomato sauce, so I did go back a few more times. Haven't been in a while though.

Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2008 at 9:20 am

I like the place, but it's a hard restaurant to be spontaneous about. I tried to get in there with my wife on Saturday. Hour wait, peninsula creamery, we got seated immediately. So reservations are definitely needed.

Posted by Sarah, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Very loud (have to yell to be heard) and only so-so food.

Posted by Kim, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2008 at 4:14 pm

I like the food at Buca diBeppo,they serve family style and the Pizza and Parmesan Pizza Bread is amazing,the prices very,depending on what you get,the staff is nice and the waiting time wasn't long,i haven't been back in a while,will go back soon.

Posted by Greg K, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 27, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Buca is a chain. They give you large quantities of mediocre food, served family style (for sharing). The restaurant is good for families with kids or for college kids on a budget. There are lots of better quality (and more expensive) Italian restaurants in Palo Alto.

Posted by James94025, a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 29, 2011 at 6:46 pm

James94025 is a registered user.

To be honest - TERRIBLE - I am from ITALY - Napoli is NOT at the top of the map - the place is LOUD and gets LOUDER as more peole come - it is cheap eats - large portion - pastas not even considered al dente.

BUT if you want a change and I know a lot of people who swear by it - (until I take them to an ITALIAN restaurant) by all means

Posted by Ahem, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 29, 2011 at 11:08 pm


I think you confused Bucca with with Olive Garden. I have been to Bucca many times and the pasta is always al dente. Maybe you hit a night with a bad cook.

Please let us know where a "real" Italian restaurant is so we can flock to it.

Or post a recipe or cookbook name.

Posted by Ahem, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 29, 2011 at 11:12 pm


How about Osteria? I find their pastas good and their gnoccis the BEST. But the other food is not so good.

Posted by EAT DOWNTOWN, a resident of El Carmelo School
on Jul 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I could think of soooooooooooo many place to NOT go, but Buca an't one... no $12 meatloaf there!!!!