248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst

Northern Italian cuisine with a focus on the freshest of seasonal produce available.

Lucio De Falco has been bringing the taste of true Neapolitan pizza to Sydney for over ten years with his debut business, Lucio Pizzeria, and with rave reviews, it’s clear that he’s hitting the mark.

Born and bred in Italy, Lucio has been working with pizza since he was fourteen years old. Starting from the bottom at his aunt and uncle’s pizzeria in central Naples and working his way up over the years, he has cooked in locations all over Europe including Rome, Corsica and Isola de Elba. It was in Isola de Elba that he met a Sydney-based Neapolitan chef scouting for someone to work in a restaurant on Sydney’s North Shore. Lucio arrived in Sydney at just 21 years old, intending to stay for only a year – now, the successful owner of his own pizzeria in Darlinghurst, he has been here for over 13 years.

After four years spent making a name for himself as one of Sydney’s finest pizzaiolos, Lucio decided the time was ripe. Opening his own pizzeria had been a dream of his since he was 14. “I knew it would be tough,” he said, “but I had the drive, passion and determination to do it. I wanted to showcase the traditional and authentic Neapolitan style pizza, like back home, here in Australia.”

Lucio uses fresh produce sourced both locally and from around Australia, though the much-acclaimed buffalo mozzarella featured throughout the Lucio Pizzeria menu he imports from Italy. “We like to use fresh, simple ingredients without overcomplicating our authentic recipes,” he said.

Signature dishes to try include the iconic Lucio Half Margherita with tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil leaves, and Half Calzone, filled with fluffy ricotta and strips of ham, it is his answer to the ‘half n’ half’ pizza normally scorned by pizza chefs. To accompany the meal, the wine list, collated by Lucio himself, features a concise collection of only Italian wine. For dessert, try the signature Tortino al Cioccolato, a delectable chocolate tart.

As an accredited member of the Italy-based Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (True Neapolitan Pizza Association), Lucio Pizzeria has the stamp of approval for true artisan pizza, and Lucio says he enjoys being able to educate his Australian customers on what real Neapolitan pizza is all about. Open six nights a week, Lucio Pizzeria serves hungry customers as they arrive without bookings, so be sure to hurry to your place amidst the swirling aromas of true pizza heaven.

Lucio has made himself well and truly at home in Sydney. He said, “Sydney is a multicultural city and has a great acceptance of different cuisines. The city made my dreams a reality. If you love Sydney – Sydney will love you back.”

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