Where to Eat in Lecce, Puglia

This restaurant guide will give you the best places to eat in Lecce, the most beautiful city in Puglia!

Lecce restaurant guide

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Lecce is one of my favorite cities in Italy, for good reason. It’s gorgeous, perfect for a few days of relaxed exploring, and has great restaurants! I’ve already shared all my favorite sights in the city, so these are some of the best restaurants in Lecce!

No trip to Puglia is complete without sampling some of its amazing local dishes. Food in Puglia is pretty different from what many think of as classic Italian food, so let’s talk about what to look for on a menu when you’re going out to eat in Lecce!

All you need is love and food, Lecce, Puglia

Typical Dishes to Eat in Lecce

Covering all the amazing dishes to try in Puglia could be its own article! There are so many great ones.

Much of Puglia’s traditional recipes are often called cucina povera – literally, poor kitchen. Historically this region hasn’t been affluent, and therefore many of their heritage foods are hyperfocused on using what’s local, seasonal, and easily available. The biggest example: in much of southern Italy, pasta is made without eggs, only using flour and water.

So to help you eat the best of Puglia, here are a few foods to make sure you try:

Pasticciotto is Puglia’s iconic breakfast/dessert, and it was originally created in Lecce! They’re crumbly pastries filled with custard and often a sour cherry, and they’re delicious! You’ll see them everywhere, and you should eat as many as you possibly can.

The best pasta in Lecce

Savory pastries include focaccia, rustico, and panzerotti. Pugliese focaccia is thicker than the northern version, cripsy on the outside and soft on the inside. Rustico are baked pastries filled with bechamel and mozzarella, and panzerotti are fried bread pockets – they all make great snacks or quick lunch options!

Caffe Leccese is another Pugliese breakfast tradition that originates here. It’s a cold espresso with almond syrup added for sweetness. It’s a great way to get a cold coffee drink!

Orecchiette is a particularly Pugliese pasta. The name translates to ‘little ear’ for its concave shape. You’ll find it on almost any menu, but the most common preparation is orecchiette con cime di rape, with greens similar to broccoli rabe. It’s so good!

best burrata in Lecce

Another great pasta dish is ciceri e tria’, where some of the pasta is fried for texture, some is fresh, and it’s served with chickpeas. Or try sagne ncannulate, a pasta dish with tomato and ricotta that’s popular for Sunday lunches.

Like many regions in Italy, Puglia’s cheeses are amazing. The iconic caciocavallo is a particularly unique option, but it’s also home to some of the best burrata and mozzarella you’ll taste.

Finding the best restaurants in Lecce

Where to Eat in Lecce

Trattoria Nonna Tetti

If you only eat at one restaurant in Lecce, go to Trattoria Nonna Tetti. They serve homestyle food and it’s one of the best places to try local recipes! Trust me, just ask the waitress what’s good and she’ll set you up perfectly.  

Osteria Da Angiulino

Another classic Pugliese meal is Osteria Da Angiulino. Named after the owner, it’s the kind of place that’s full of locals – if you want to go here, it may be best to swing by the night before to make a reservation. The mixed antipasti is massive and delicious – a great way to try a bunch of local bites. Also, the prices are super affordable for the amount of food.  

Great Pugliese food in Lecce

La Cucina di Mamma Elvira

For a modern take on Pugliese classics, head to La Cucina di Mamma Elvira! This might have been my favorite meal in Lecce! It’s an upscale wine bar that serves full meals. Some of the dishes sound a bit unusual, like ravioli with pistachio and shrimp, but everything was amazing. They also have a small gift shop with local wines, oils, and other regional goodies.  

Ristorante Blu Notte

If you want a seafood restaurant, Blu Notte is a great place to go. They have a cute outdoor patio as well, just around the corner from the Porta di San Biagio. The specials are based on the catch of the day, so always ask!  

The best pizza in Lecce

400 Gradi

The best pizza in Lecce is at 400 Gradi. The name refers to the temperature of the pizza oven, 400°C (about 750°F); it’s how they get that perfect crust in 90 seconds! It’s not in the historic district but easy walking distance from it. 

Lecce Bars & Cafes

In Italy, the word “bar” covers both a coffee bar for a quick Italian breakfast and a bar in the evening for wine, aperitivo, or cocktails. So I grouped them together in this guide! I’ll mention in each spot what it’s best for. 

The best cocktails in Lecce, Puglia


Go to Crianza for a big plate of antipasto and drinks! It’s the kind of spot that’s great for an aperitivo, or you can extend it into a light dinner, or apericena!

Caffe Alvino

Caffe Alvino is a locally famous coffee bar, spritz spot, and pastry shop! Equally good for breakfast, a break, or an aperitivo. It’s a bit pricey – you’re paying for the prime location on the piazza – but it’s a Lecce institution.  

antipasto in Lecce, Puglia

Quanto Basta

If you’re in the mood for a craft cocktail, go to Quanto Basta! The staff are really friendly with great recommendations. They offer all the classics, but their specialty drinks are all delicious, so start there.

Pasticceria Natale

Pasticceria Natale has a huge variety of options, so you can’t go wrong! Of course they have traditional pasticciotto, but also a huge range of delicate pastries and cakes. It’s a good Italian breakfast.

seafood in Lecce

Baldo Gelato

You can’t explore an Italian city and not get gelato! My gelateria recommendation for Lecce is Baldo Gelato. They make the best versions, so you can’t go wrong on flavors!

Want more Lecce restaurant suggestions? I have all of these and more in an interactive platform. Get it for yourself and enjoy the best of Lecce, Puglia!

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