What to Eat in Puglia

Puglia is one of my favorite regions in Italy, especially when it comes to food. Each region of Italy has very different cuisines and the region of Puglia is a special one indeed. Check out this guide to learn about what to eat when visiting Puglia, Italy.
12 Saves • ago
Free

Orecchiette 

The most traditional dishes with Orecchiette pasta you will see, just about everywhere in Puglia is the infamous Orecchiette Con Le Cime Di Rapa (orecchiette with broccoli rabe), a bitter form of broccoli common in Apulia. You can also find it with tomato sauce, a meat sauce, or with vegetables. 

This fresh pasta's name comes from its shape: a concave little disk that resembles an ear. In Italian “Orecchiette” translates to "small ears”. 

In Bari especially you will see this pasta integrated deeply into the culture of the older generation, as they sit on the streets hand making this pasta to sell. 

Cavatelli

Cavatelli is another pasta shape, similar to the Orecchiette, but unopened. 

Panzarotti

Panzerotti is a type of dough that is fried and stuffed, slightly resembling a smaller calzone. The classic is stuffed with tomato and mozzarella but it can also be stuffed with ham and mozzarella. 

Focaccia Barese

Focaccia is the ultimate street food in Puglia that you have to try (maybe - every single day). Focaccia Barese is the second most famous Italian focaccia bread, and it comes from the town of Bari, following the fame of the Focaccia Genovese. Made with the most simple ingredients like semolina flour, cherry tomatoes and olives it's spectacular.

Friselle

Friselle resemble the shape of a thin bagel, but is FAR from that. The Apulian Friselle is a light and fresh, typically summer dish. It consists of crunchy Taralli prepared with durum wheat flour and cut horizontally in half and then baked until toasted. The traditional way to eat it is with tomato, garlic, oil and salt.

Sgagliozze 

Sgagliozze are essentially fried polenta. It's an age-old tradition that you will find in Bari, dating back to ancient times when semolina wheat and olive oil made this decadent cake-like texture. You will find many women hand making this dish and selling it on the corners of the street as street food.

Featured both the burrata and Sgagliozze

Burrata

A typical cheese of Puglia is Burrata, an Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer casing is solid cheese, while the inside contains stracciatella and cream, giving it the most decadent, soft texture. 

Seafood

You will find an abundance of fresh, locally caught seafood throughout the Pugliese cuisine, including local swordfish (pesce spada), sea bass (spigola and branzino), mullet (triglia), and bream (orata). 

However, it's the sea urchins, octopus (polpo), cuttlefish, anchovies, mussels, scallops, clams, oysters, and squid that are the most popular. You'll even find these all served raw, known as "il crudo Barese"

Riso, Patate e Cozze or Tiella Barese

This dish was once a celebratory meal for big commemorative feasts, but now you will find it commonly on many menus. The land and sea come together in this dish as it consists of rice, potatoes and mussels. 

Linguine /Spaghetti Al Ricci

Ricci, or sea urchins, are a specialty of Puglia. Linguine al Ricci is typically served with sea urchins, garlic, parsley and a nice Apulian olive oil.

Bombette

Probably one of the most famous meat dishes in Puglia are the Bombette. These are pork rolls filled with cheese.

Fave e Cicorie

This dish is a staple meal of Puglia and is very simple, with rustic roots. Fave e Cicorie are made up of dried broad beans (fava beans) that are cooked and pureed and wild chicory, a bitter leafy green.

Food from Salento

Ciceri E Tria

A popular dish that you will find in Lecce is the Ciceri e Tria, which translates loosely to chickpeas and pasta. The chickpeas are soaked overnight to soften them and then simmered until tender with aromatic seasonal vegetables. The noodles for this dish are made by hand by mixing water, salt and local durum wheat which is a staple crop of the northern part of Apulia. Part of the pasta is fried, while the rest are simmered with the chickpeas, resulting with a delicious mix of fried pasta, soft, simmered pasta, and chickpeas.

Sagne 'ncannulate

Salento is home to another pasta shape, Sagne 'ncannulate, which are long twirled pasta strands. Traditionally it is paired with sugo schiattariciati, a simple, fresh tomato based sauce with olive oil, basil, a touch of garlic, and topped with crumbled cacioricotta cheese.

Pasticciotto

These little pastries, filled with a cream and usually a sour cherry, originally come from Salento and you will mainly find them in Lecce.

Pizza Rustica

Another pizza-like favorite of Puglia, though this one is a filled pie similar to the panzerotti and is a favorite street food in Lecce. If you are in Salento, try the Rustico Leccese, a puff pastry filled with tomato, cheese, and bechamel sauce. 

Puccia

Puccia (singular) or Pucce (plural) are a type of bread used for street food sandwiches in the Salento region. You will find many with polpo or octopus!

Cafe Leccese

This coffee comes from Lecce and is essentially an iced coffee with almond milk. It's sweet and delicious to refresh you on a hot summer day.

Cheeses:

Burrata and Stracciatella

Puglia is one of Italy’s most famous cheese producing regions. They produce many different types including caciocavallo, burrata, stracciatella and cacioricotta (goat cheese) among others.

Where to Eat in Bari?

Bari was one of my favorite towns to eat in. If you're looking for where to eat in Bari check out this guide below!

Take A Food Tour! 

Learn all about the Pugliese cuisine from a local themselves! 

I highly recommend Giorgio's food tour + cooking class where you can learn from a Pasta Nonna the art of making pasta.

Thank you for your support!

I hope you have a great trip! If you appreciated this map at all, please consider leaving a tip and spreading the word to anyone you know about this service. Thank you so much for your support!

* * *
CURATED BY
Ciao! My name is Danielle and I'm a Californian from San Diego, who's been living full time in Florence, Italy since 2020. I studied in Florence in 2016 and absolutely fell in love with the food, culture, and history, and made it my mission to move back. I moved right before the pandemic, and staying here through all the lockdowns and pandemic life really helped me discover slow travel and find all of Italy's beauty, including lesser known gems, and off the beaten path travel spots. During my three years in Florence, I have wrote for publications like The Florentine, done freelance marketing with restaurants and a travel agency, giving me high insight into the best destinations, foodie spots, and more. I am here to help you make the most of your vacation in Italy with curated itineraries for every type of traveler and digital maps to help you enjoy THE BEST food each region has to offer. Let me do the work so you can just relax and enjoy, without any stress! I've had a very unique experience living in Italy the last 4 years, as I made my official move right before the pandemic, after visiting for years. Because of this I learned to travel locally and deeply throughout the numerous incredible destinations in Italy and for that I cater my travel services to finding the most local and mindful experiences, keeping true to discovering and appreciating Italy's culture.
Send A Tip
Support Danielle Cohen’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Danielle Cohen Privacy Terms

What to Eat in Puglia

Puglia is one of my favorite regions in Italy, especially when it comes to food. Each region of Italy has very different cuisines and the region of Puglia is a special one indeed. Check out this guide to learn about what to eat when visiting Puglia, Italy.
12 Saves • ago
Free

Orecchiette 

The most traditional dishes with Orecchiette pasta you will see, just about everywhere in Puglia is the infamous Orecchiette Con Le Cime Di Rapa (orecchiette with broccoli rabe), a bitter form of broccoli common in Apulia. You can also find it with tomato sauce, a meat sauce, or with vegetables. 

This fresh pasta's name comes from its shape: a concave little disk that resembles an ear. In Italian “Orecchiette” translates to "small ears”. 

In Bari especially you will see this pasta integrated deeply into the culture of the older generation, as they sit on the streets hand making this pasta to sell. 

Cavatelli

Cavatelli is another pasta shape, similar to the Orecchiette, but unopened. 

Panzarotti

Panzerotti is a type of dough that is fried and stuffed, slightly resembling a smaller calzone. The classic is stuffed with tomato and mozzarella but it can also be stuffed with ham and mozzarella. 

Focaccia Barese

Focaccia is the ultimate street food in Puglia that you have to try (maybe - every single day). Focaccia Barese is the second most famous Italian focaccia bread, and it comes from the town of Bari, following the fame of the Focaccia Genovese. Made with the most simple ingredients like semolina flour, cherry tomatoes and olives it's spectacular.

Friselle

Friselle resemble the shape of a thin bagel, but is FAR from that. The Apulian Friselle is a light and fresh, typically summer dish. It consists of crunchy Taralli prepared with durum wheat flour and cut horizontally in half and then baked until toasted. The traditional way to eat it is with tomato, garlic, oil and salt.

Sgagliozze 

Sgagliozze are essentially fried polenta. It's an age-old tradition that you will find in Bari, dating back to ancient times when semolina wheat and olive oil made this decadent cake-like texture. You will find many women hand making this dish and selling it on the corners of the street as street food.

Featured both the burrata and Sgagliozze

Burrata

A typical cheese of Puglia is Burrata, an Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer casing is solid cheese, while the inside contains stracciatella and cream, giving it the most decadent, soft texture. 

Seafood

You will find an abundance of fresh, locally caught seafood throughout the Pugliese cuisine, including local swordfish (pesce spada), sea bass (spigola and branzino), mullet (triglia), and bream (orata). 

However, it's the sea urchins, octopus (polpo), cuttlefish, anchovies, mussels, scallops, clams, oysters, and squid that are the most popular. You'll even find these all served raw, known as "il crudo Barese"

Riso, Patate e Cozze or Tiella Barese

This dish was once a celebratory meal for big commemorative feasts, but now you will find it commonly on many menus. The land and sea come together in this dish as it consists of rice, potatoes and mussels. 

Linguine /Spaghetti Al Ricci

Ricci, or sea urchins, are a specialty of Puglia. Linguine al Ricci is typically served with sea urchins, garlic, parsley and a nice Apulian olive oil.

Bombette

Probably one of the most famous meat dishes in Puglia are the Bombette. These are pork rolls filled with cheese.

Fave e Cicorie

This dish is a staple meal of Puglia and is very simple, with rustic roots. Fave e Cicorie are made up of dried broad beans (fava beans) that are cooked and pureed and wild chicory, a bitter leafy green.

Food from Salento

Ciceri E Tria

A popular dish that you will find in Lecce is the Ciceri e Tria, which translates loosely to chickpeas and pasta. The chickpeas are soaked overnight to soften them and then simmered until tender with aromatic seasonal vegetables. The noodles for this dish are made by hand by mixing water, salt and local durum wheat which is a staple crop of the northern part of Apulia. Part of the pasta is fried, while the rest are simmered with the chickpeas, resulting with a delicious mix of fried pasta, soft, simmered pasta, and chickpeas.

Sagne 'ncannulate

Salento is home to another pasta shape, Sagne 'ncannulate, which are long twirled pasta strands. Traditionally it is paired with sugo schiattariciati, a simple, fresh tomato based sauce with olive oil, basil, a touch of garlic, and topped with crumbled cacioricotta cheese.

Pasticciotto

These little pastries, filled with a cream and usually a sour cherry, originally come from Salento and you will mainly find them in Lecce.

Pizza Rustica

Another pizza-like favorite of Puglia, though this one is a filled pie similar to the panzerotti and is a favorite street food in Lecce. If you are in Salento, try the Rustico Leccese, a puff pastry filled with tomato, cheese, and bechamel sauce. 

Puccia

Puccia (singular) or Pucce (plural) are a type of bread used for street food sandwiches in the Salento region. You will find many with polpo or octopus!

Cafe Leccese

This coffee comes from Lecce and is essentially an iced coffee with almond milk. It's sweet and delicious to refresh you on a hot summer day.

Cheeses:

Burrata and Stracciatella

Puglia is one of Italy’s most famous cheese producing regions. They produce many different types including caciocavallo, burrata, stracciatella and cacioricotta (goat cheese) among others.

Where to Eat in Bari?

Bari was one of my favorite towns to eat in. If you're looking for where to eat in Bari check out this guide below!

Take A Food Tour! 

Learn all about the Pugliese cuisine from a local themselves! 

I highly recommend Giorgio's food tour + cooking class where you can learn from a Pasta Nonna the art of making pasta.

Thank you for your support!

I hope you have a great trip! If you appreciated this map at all, please consider leaving a tip and spreading the word to anyone you know about this service. Thank you so much for your support!

* * *
CURATED BY
Ciao! My name is Danielle and I'm a Californian from San Diego, who's been living full time in Florence, Italy since 2020. I studied in Florence in 2016 and absolutely fell in love with the food, culture, and history, and made it my mission to move back. I moved right before the pandemic, and staying here through all the lockdowns and pandemic life really helped me discover slow travel and find all of Italy's beauty, including lesser known gems, and off the beaten path travel spots. During my three years in Florence, I have wrote for publications like The Florentine, done freelance marketing with restaurants and a travel agency, giving me high insight into the best destinations, foodie spots, and more. I am here to help you make the most of your vacation in Italy with curated itineraries for every type of traveler and digital maps to help you enjoy THE BEST food each region has to offer. Let me do the work so you can just relax and enjoy, without any stress! I've had a very unique experience living in Italy the last 4 years, as I made my official move right before the pandemic, after visiting for years. Because of this I learned to travel locally and deeply throughout the numerous incredible destinations in Italy and for that I cater my travel services to finding the most local and mindful experiences, keeping true to discovering and appreciating Italy's culture.
Send A Tip
Support Danielle Cohen’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Danielle Cohen Privacy Terms