In the 1950s, pizza was something most Australians had only seen in foreign magazines. Lucia's Pizza & Spaghetti Bar changed that when it opened in 1957, introducing locals to the Italian staple.

The Adelaide Central Market was the obvious location because of the Italian nostalgia – it feels like a meeting place, almost piazza-like with the warmth, hustle and bustle that makes many call the market the soul of the city.

While other restaurants chop and change to keep up, the menu here has remained the same for years (with a few specials thrown in seasonally). Fittingly for a spaghetti bar, the most popular dish is the spaghetti bolognese, with the beef ravioli coming in a close second. And if you need to refuel mid-market shop, Friday’s beef lasagne is another signature dish that will keep you going.

They don’t forget about vegetarians, either – pesto and Napolitano sauces with ricotta and basil mean everyone can enjoy a meal at this market favourite. Every pasta dish comes with freshly made sauce that’s also available for takeaway. Next door at Lucia’s Fine Foods you can pick up bread, olive oil, pasta and much more.

Don’t let the crowds intimidate you. Squeezing past other diners just adds to the feel of being at Nonna’s house for big family events, with everyone eventually getting a seat.

A recipe from Lucia's is featured in The Broadsheet Italian Cookbook. Buy your copy at

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Updated: December 29th, 2022

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