When we (me and my two friends) booked a 10-day trip to Puglia, we were looking forward to catching some sun and discovering cute cities. Good food and cozy bars are important factors to me when on vacation. We expected to be completely fine in Italy, where we could enjoy great Italian food, try stracciatella, enjoy some ice cream, and drink loads of Primitivo wine. As Lecce was our fallout base during our trip, we discovered quite some places. Based on my experiences, I created an blog about the best bars and restaurants in Lecce, Italy!
Curious about 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 is often fully booked. La Cucina Di Mamma Elvira is the restaurant and could not be mistaken for 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. La Cucina di Mamma Elvira is slightly more expensive than other restaurants but offers quality food.
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, sunny, terrace and the place is bigger 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 as well as their melanzane. Both were great.
Pizza & co is perfect for a ‘small’ bite during lunch or for dinner (after you had a couple of cocktails and you don’t 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. Try one with stracciatella – a local cheese specialty that 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 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 skeptical as the restaurant was not very busy and cozy – but the food, however, was great!
Don’t miss out on this amazing place! Crianza is a place for food lovers, as they describe themselves. 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 bruschettas 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 on 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 8 a.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 go-to 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 on ice cream. There are loads of different flavors you can taste. I would say, that is good enough of a reason to have one daily, right? In Lecce, you 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 possible here. They also do offer some original cocktails, but of course, also serve beer and wine.
Looking for more inspiration and tips about Lecce and curious about what you can all do and see in this wonderful city? Check out the full guide on where to go and what to see.
We stumbled upon Liberrima by accident. You’ll notice that in the afternoon, quite some places – from 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 focuses more on selling bottles of wine as a wine shop. However, also this isn’t the main function of the place as primarily 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 and good value for money and a nice place to support!
As I already said, we were quite looking forward to 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 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 other’s terrace. Just pick the one that has some space and enjoy your glass of Italian wine.
For this blog post on the best bars and restaurants in Lecce to stay up to date in 2023, I’ve performed some research on the best bars and restaurant openings. Unfortunately, one of my recommendations in this article (Colonial Cafe) closed, however, many new places opened. This also means that I haven’t visited the bars and restaurants mentioned below.
New hotspots in Lecce:
– AlVentuno, an avant-garde cafe transforming in a cocktail bar. Looks amazing if you ask me and happy to hear if the place is as great as it seems online.
– Ueme Taste Experience, a pizza place combined with a cocktail bar packed with a great experience.
– Porcaria, a unique sandwich shop in Lecce, referred to as gourmet fast food