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Lunch » Tags » Restaurants » Reviews » Buca di Beppo » User review

Family Platter Linguine Frutti di Mare

Chain Italian Restaurant

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Everyone is Family at Buca!

  • Apr 14, 2008
  • by
Pros: good food, lots of fun, great atmosphere

Cons: long wait if you don't have reservations

The Bottom Line: An awesome restaurant for your large group.

Italian food. Whether a quick pizza or a six course Italian meal at your best friend’s Italian grandmother’s house, we all love it. More than the food is the camaraderie that goes along with Italian families. They are loud and boisterous, and nearly every time they get together, food is involved. Let’s fact it: We all know at least one Italian that talks about their Sunday dinners. Or, we can just see these legendary meals portrayed in television shows, such as The Sopranos.

We Italians know how to eat. Why do you think there are so many Italian restaurants around? But, more than eating, Italians know how to have a great time. We practically invented family-style serving, which is where a big platter of each dish is brought to the table and everyone serves themselves from it. After all, that is exactly how our Sunday dinners go.

Buca di Beppo, a chain Italian restaurant, serves all of their courses family-style. From the appetizers to the desserts, everyone chooses what they want to share, and select what they want to eat from the large dishes on the table.

The first thing you will notice about
Buca di Beppo is that it is very loud. This is not because of loud music, but because of all of the guests having a good time. Since food is served family-style, there are more large groups than small ones. Because of this, it is a really good idea to make reservations - especially on the weekends -ahead of time to ensure that you get your group a table.

The service at Buca di Beppo is out of this world. They must hold auditions or something in order to get the incredible wait staff they they have. As you are being seated, the host or hostess will bring you on a quick tour through their open kitchen. This is where you can see the chefs preparing the food, and inhale the mouth-watering aromas for the first time. The friendly chefs may even wave to you, if they aren’t too busy.

Once seated at your table, your server will introduce him or herself, and briefly explain about ordering from the menu. Your server is more than happy to explain any of the menu items in Italian that you can’t understand. The servers are fast and friendly, and more than willing to join in your group’s conversation during dinner.

The food at Buca di Beppo is absolutely fantastic. For an appetizer, do try the Cheesy Garlic Bread - It’s to die for! But, make sure not to load up. You’ve still got your salad, main course and desserts to tackle. The best main course item at Buca di Beppo is the Chicken Marsala, no question. All of the pasta dishes are fantastic, too. And, make sure you save room for dessert. The tiramisu will send your tastebuds straight to Heaven.

The way that the menu is set up is simple. All of the items are broken up into categories, including Antipasti (appetizers), Insalate (salads), Pastas, Pizza, Entrees, Desserts and more. You decide what items your group wants, then choose the size. Keep in mind that there aren’t any individual servings here. You can choose between small and large servings. Small servings will feed about two to four people, while large portions will feed four to eight.

Compromise is a good thing at Buca di Beppo. If you want a pizza with extra anchovies and no one else does, it’s a good idea to pass on that this time and get it when you can purchase a slice just for yourself. There is so much food that you will never be able to finish even a small portion without help from someone else.

The atmosphere at Buca di Beppo is quite unique. Some rooms are dedicated to really large, single groups while other rooms have a bunch of smaller tables to cater to smaller groups and even couples. All of the rooms have a theme, such as the Wine room where you can find grapes, bottles and barrels, as though you are having dinner on the property of some Italian vineyard.

Speaking of the decor at Buca di Beppo, the walls are decorated with pictures of “The Old Country”, namely framed photographs of Italian immigrants, Italian-Americans, popes, soccer players, and virtually anything else Italian that you can think of. You can also find some stereotypical Italian items decorating the restaurant, such as multi-colored Christmas lights, plastic grapes, empty wine bottles, gold statues and a whole lot more. The only thing you need is a dinner show of a family argument, and you are all set in the Italian mood! (Just joking, of course...)

If you celebrate your birthday at Buca di Beppo, don’t expect a bunch of servers to come out and serenade you with a birthday chant. Instead, your server will appear with a candle, and lead your group in singing the traditional “Happy Birthday” song. Don’t be surprised if other patrons join the singing, too.

Surprisingly, a meal from appetizer to dessert won’t set you back very much. For about $25 per person (depending on your group, of course), you can spend about three hours eating and having a great time with your friends. The food is fantastic, the atmosphere is terrific, and the price is right. There is no way that you could go to Buca di Beppo for a meal and not have a good time.


Kid Friendliness: Yes
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations cheesy garlic bread, chicken marsala, tiramisu
Best Suited For: Large Group

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More Buca di Beppo reviews
review by . December 20, 2010
posted in Dining Out
Cuisine: Italian (family style)   Restaurant Features: Bar Locations: **St Paul (site of this review), Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove and Minneapolis   Addresses: St Paul 2728 Gannon Road  St. Paul, MN 55116  651.772.4388   Burnsville 14300 Burnhaven Drive  Burnsville, MN 55306 952.892.7272   Eden Prairie 7711 Mitchell Road  Eden Prairie, MN 55344  952.934.9463   Maple Grove 12650 Elm Creek Boulevard Maple Grove, …
review by . June 23, 2010
posted in The Bluff
Great style, tasty food, fair prices
I have been to the location on 2nd street in Santa Monica several times now and it does not disappoint.  The atmosphere is always festive, making a reservation ahead of time takes care of any waiting issues, and the food is always very good in my humble opinion.  As a side note,  I love the interesting, eclectic, and sometimes shocking photos on the wall and I appreciate the extent the restaurant goes to make the establishment more pleasing to the customer.    …
review by . January 18, 2010
Pros: Food is decent.     Cons: Over priced, over rated, poor service, nasty attitude from majority of wait staff     The Bottom Line: I'm looking for the button next to recommend that reads--not only no but---"HELL NO!"     SERVICE----1 Star     Sorry guys, but in all honesty--lying to the customer is no way to placate them. Admittedly we showed up at a busy time, and telling the customers that 40 minutes is the expected …
About the reviewer
Candice Cain ()
Ranked #406
I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
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About this restaurant


Buca di Beppo an American chain restaurant serving Southern Italian food often just called "Buca." The first Buca restaurant was opened in 1993 inMinneapolis, Minnesota in the basement of an apartment building. Currently there are 88 Buca di Beppo locations across the country.

All Buca di Beppos are decked out with vintage pictures hanging throughout the restaurant. Buca menus are geared towards families as most of their dishes are platters which serve 4-6 people.  However, due to a loss in business, in 2005 they began to serve an a la carte option which is a smaller portion for 2.
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