Where should we eat in Puglia? It is because we have asked ourselves this question several times that we thought that we would shared a selection of good or very good restaurants. In addition to our various articles about our trip to Puglia (for now only available in French but you can still check it out for the itinerary and pictures), we have put together a summary of the places we liked, city by city.
The best possible piece of advice we can give you is to book long in advance. This will save you some disappointments.
By way of introduction, here is a quick overview of what awaits you in Puglia in terms of food and wine.
Gastronomy and wine in Puglia
What to eat in Puglia
Lots of things and tons of it! You will have the choice between Altamura bread, Andria burrata, orrechiete (ear-shaped pasta cooked with a type of broccoli)… Obviously there is also olive oil (exceptional), cold meats (taste the capocollo) and cheeses (caciocavallo).
Finally, a culinary stay in Puglia would not be complete without succumbing to the bombette.
If you have a sweet tooth, indulge yourself with a pasticiotto, an almond shaved ice or sweet taralli.
Are you drooling yet?
What to drink in Puglia
A primitivo from Puglia: a very robust red wine full of sun
An aglianico from Basilicata (red)
A dry and mineral white from Salento
A caffè leccese (cold) in Lecce
A special (hot) coffee in Polignano a Mare
Our selection of restaurants
By order of preference in each town
Il Buco dei Golosi (Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II) –Unpretentious but yummy burrata which was delivered by the producer 5 minutes before arriving on the plate. We liked the zero km approach and the freshness of the products. Service was a little long the day we went.
Not far from Andria, we were told to try Antichi Sapori in Montegrosso. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a reservation so weren’t able to try it.
Cisternino / Casalini
Braceria Macelleria Soleti – This is THE good address that all the locals know and talk about. It is basically a local butcher shop. You take a ticket, choose your meat at the counter and they cook it all right next to you in a huge grill. The place was packed so there was a lot of waiting. But once the meat arrived, we told ourselves that it was worth the wait! The atmosphere itself is something to experience once: large tables under a few lanterns, plastic chairs and tablecloths … In short, unpretentious but everything is on the plate. We loved the bombette! Literally, it means small bombs. Those meatballs are prepared with meat of course, pancetta and caciocavallo (local cheese). It’s simply excellent !
Baguetteria Da Pace (Via Sant’Angelo) – a good option for a quick lunch.
Pour le goûter / les petits creux
Caffè Alvino (Piazza Sant’Oronzo) – Go there to drink a caffè leccese and eat a pasticiotto. The so-called leccese coffee is a coffee shaken with ice and sweetened with almond milk. Surprising and super good! As for the pasticiotto, it is a pastry you shouldn’t miss. It’s a Lecce specialty that you have to try at least once.
Pasticceria Natale (Via Salvatore Trinchese, 7) – For an ice cream or a granita (my favorite: almond).
Mamma Elvira Enoteca, (Via Umberto I) – I would have gone back every night to that place. Great selection of local wines (obviously!), as well as local charcuterie and cheeses. Personally, I don’t anything more than that. The atmosphere of Umberto I Street at aperitivo time makes it, in our opinion, the best spot in the city.
La Torre di Merlino, (Via Giambattista del Tufo) – On a charming square, a restaurant which may seem like a tourist trap (menu of several pages is hardly ever a good sign). But actually, it was a real good surprise. The pasta was excellent, the wine too. The interior is full of character and the service was relatively quick.
La Cucina di Mamma Elvira, (Via Ludovico Maremonti) – For a dinner outside. Very pleasant and the food was good.
Ciro Pizzeria, (Via Principe di Savoia, 18) – Go there early because the place is tiny and crowded. They are known for their 4 quarters pizza which allows you to have four pizze in one. A good option.
U’Curdunn – Nested in a tiny street of the adorable town of Locorontodo, this restaurant serves a local cuisine that is both simple and excellent. Try your dish with a glass of the local dry wine. A very pleasant lunch.
Polignano a mare
Il Super Mago del Gelato – The place looks like an American diner and has been a Polignano a Mare institution sicne 1935. We recommend going there to try their caffè speciale. A base of espresso, lemon zests, some amaretto and whipped cream. It’s served warn and it’s delicious. Il super mago del gelato is also known for its gelatos and granitas.
Osteria del Tempo Perso – By far, our favorite meal in Puglia! We loved everything about it: the freshness of the products, the out-of-this-world tastes, the wine selection, the intimacy of the restaurant itself. Amazing!
Osteria Monacelle – In a little street by a church. We had something very simple there one night but it was more than satisfactory. As always, you can’t go wrong when the products are that fresh and that yummy.
Yup, we know that Matera is in Basilicata, not in Puglia. However, since we combined those two regions, we thought that you may have the same idea and therefore be glad to have one or two addresses in Matera.
Our full experience in Matera is available here.
Dimora Ulmo (Via Pennino, 28) – Local classics revisited by a talented chef for a full gastronomic immersion into the best of Basilicata cuisine. We really enjoyed it. Ask for a table on the terrace! It’s the perfect setting for a beautiful evening in Matera. With a view…
Enoteca dai Tosi (Via Bruno Buozzi) – Wine bar. Perfect for a quick dinner.
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All these restaurants/cafés were visited in August 2018