When we (me and my 2 friends) booked a trip to Puglia, we were so looking forward to catching some sun and discovering cute cities. However, something that I find very very important when on holiday is good food and cosy bars. Well, we expected to be completely fine in Italy where we could enjoy amazing Italian food, try stracciatella, enjoy some ice cream and drink loads of Primitivo wine. Our first destination of the trip was Lecce where we stayed 3 nights. We used Lecce to discover the south of Puglia, but came back here every night for dinner and drinks. Therefore, we have been able to discover quite some places. I’ve wrote them down to create an overview of the best bars and restaurants in Lecce, Italy! Curious what else there is to do in Lecce? Check out this guide on where to go and what to see in Lecce.
One of the most famous restaurants in town and often fully booked. La Cucina Di Mamma Elvira is the restaurant and could not be mistaken with the wine bar with the same name, as they are based in different locations. Try to make a reservation beforehand by giving them a call or passing by. In general, the place is slightly more expensive than other restaurants in Lecce, but rewarded very well.
Doppiozero is one of the most popular places in Lecce and perfectly suitable for your morning coffee, lunch, aperitivo and dinner.
They have. a lovely terrace, located in the sun and the place is larger than you would expect from the outside. You’ll sit at larger tables for the ‘eating together’ atmosphere. We enjoyed a huge cheese and meat platter and their melanzane was amazing!
Pizza & co is perfect for a ‘small’ bite during lunch or for dinner (after you had a couple of cocktails and you don’t really feel like having a full sit-down meal anymore). The concept of Pizza & Co is that they offer several pizzas and you can just order a slice. The slices are rather large so we were already satisfied after two slices. This concept of course also allows you to try out the different types of pizza. Definitely try one with stracciatella – a local cheese specialty which compares to burrata but is even softer).
And.. maybe you wouldn’t expect it from such a place, but this slice might have been the best pizza we’ve tried in Puglia. A must try restaurant!
La Magiada was recommended by our host as one of the best restaurants in town. We actually visited this pizza place on our first night in Italy and were craving to try some Italian food.
At first we were a little bit sceptical as the restaurant was not very busy and cosy – but the food however was great!
Definitely don’t miss out on this amazing place! Crianza is a place for food lovers, as they describe them selves. Next to that, they offer an extensive wine card, so they also classify as a wine bar.
Crianza is not your average italian restaurant, even though they do serve some Italian food. They mainly focus on great bruchettas and offer some delicious burgers and salads. Perfect in case you need a break from pasta and pizza.
The atmosphere is also great and Crianza is located in the same street as some other wine- and cocktail bars, which makes the environment very lively in the evening. Check out more details here.
I’m a morning person, even when on holiday. This meant, that sometimes we were out and about slightly after 8a.m. to walk around the city and catch the first rays of sunlight (also great for making pictures1). However, what surprised us, is that not many cafes were already open for some coffee and a ‘light’ breakfast.
However, Caffe Cittadino was our to go spot in the end! Their terrace was perfectly located in the sun, open early and served good cappuccinos. How to make a girl happy?!
When in Italy, you can’t miss out ice cream. There are loads of different flavours you can taste. I would say, that is good enough of a reason to have one on a daily basis, right? In Lecce, you definitely have to pass by Baldo Gelato.
You won’t regret it.
Quanto Basto is a famous cocktail bar in Lecce, that offers amazing cocktails. The personnel is very friendly and helpful in finding you the right cocktail on their extensive menu. Next to all the standard cocktails and long drinks, they have a very original cocktail menu.
Almost next to Quanto Basta, you’ll find your next cocktail bar called Prohibition. Lecce offers quite some cocktail bars, so some bar hopping is definitely possible here. They also do offer some original cocktails, but of course also serve beer and wine.
We actually stumbled upon Liberrima by accident. You’ll notice that in the afternoon, quite some places – for shops to bars – in Italy are closed. We felt like having a glass of wine on a terrace and saw this empty terrace, located under one of the cathedrals of Lecce. Quite a view I would say. The place is not solely a wine bar, but actually focuses more on selling bottles of wine as a wine shop. However, also this isn’t the main function of the place as primary this is a library.
Outside, there was a sign that it was possible to do a wine tasting of 3 wines for €10 per person. As the glasses were full glasses, quite good value for money and a nice place to support!
We actually missed out on this cocktail bar, also as the outside space was rather limited at the time we were there and inside seating was due to COVID-19 even harder. However, this bar / cafe is rated highest on Tripadvisor and should therefore be part of this list.
As I already said, we were quite looking forward discovering different Italian and Puglian wines. The region is famous for its primitivos and more. I personally always like a wine bar after dinner and Mamma Elvira is definitely a good choice. We had a lovely bottle of wine for just €18.
Shui Wine is located next to Mamma Elvira and when you don’t pay attention you even might end up on each others terrace. Just pick the one that has some space and enjoy your glass of Italian wine.