9 Best Restaurants in Lecce, Italy

Ciao, food lovers! I’ve just returned from a heavenly gastronomic journey through the heart of the sunny South, in Lecce, Italy. This charming city, often referred to as the “Florence of the South,” is a hidden gem when it comes to authentic, mouthwatering Italian cuisine. So buckle up your taste buds, because I’m about to take you on a culinary voyage through the best restaurants Lecce has to offer.

1. Osteria degli Spiriti

First up is the renowned Osteria degli Spiriti. Now, I’ve been to many osterias in my time, but this one holds a special place in my heart. Why? One word – tradition. Nestled in the heart of Lecce’s historic center, this restaurant serves up age-old recipes that have been passed down through generations.

  • Must-try: Their Orecchiette con le Cime di Rapa – that’s small ear-shaped pasta with turnip tops for you non-Italian speakers – is a classic Apulian dish that’s simply to die for.

2. Trattoria Le Zie

Next, we’re heading to Trattoria Le Zie. Its name translates to ‘The Aunts’ Trattoria,’ and let me tell you, this place really does feel like you’re dining in your Italian aunt’s home. The food is rustic, wholesome, and made with love.

  • Must-try: Don’t leave without trying the Fave e Cicorie, a traditional dish made with pureed fava beans and chicory. It’s a humble, comforting dish that will have you coming back for seconds, I promise!

3. L’Angolino di Via Matteotti

Let’s take a turn into the streets, where L’Angolino di Via Matteotti awaits us. This isn’t your typical sit-down restaurant. Instead, it’s one of Lecce’s most beloved street food spots. Here, they serve up some of the best paninis you’ll ever taste, filled with local ingredients like horse meat and burrata cheese.

  • Must-try: The Panino con Cavallo e Burrata is a revelation. Yes, it’s horse meat, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It’s tender, flavorful, and when paired with creamy burrata, it’s a match made in food heaven.

4. Nonna Tetti

Last but certainly not least, we have Nonna Tetti. This charming little spot is known for its homemade pasta and warm, inviting atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to round off your food journey in Lecce.

  • Must-try: You absolutely must try the Tiramisu. It’s light, creamy, and the perfect sweet note to end your meal.

So there you have it, fellow food enthusiasts. These are, in my humble (but well-fed) opinion, the best restaurants in Lecce, Italy. Each one offers a unique culinary experience that will leave you with a full belly and a heart full of joy. Remember, the secret to enjoying Italian cuisine is to savor every bite, appreciate the love and tradition that goes into each dish, and never, ever refuse a second helping of tiramisu!

5. Tabisca Elia

As we continue our gastronomic journey, let’s make a pit stop at Tabisca Elia. This place is a local favorite for a reason. Its casual, relaxed atmosphere is the perfect setting to enjoy some of the finest pizza Lecce has to offer.

  • Must-try: Their Pizza al Prosciutto Crudo is a standout. Thin, crispy crust topped with sweet tomato sauce, mozzarella, and thinly sliced Prosciutto Crudo – this is pizza done right.

6. Ristorante Corte dei Pandolfi

Next, we find ourselves at the elegant Ristorante Corte dei Pandolfi. This place is a testament to the sophistication and refinement of Italian cuisine. With an extensive wine list and beautifully presented dishes, this restaurant is perfect for a special occasion.

  • Must-try: The Risotto ai Funghi Porcini is a must. The creamy risotto is perfectly cooked and the earthy porcini mushrooms add a depth of flavor that’s simply sublime.

7. L’Aratro

Now, let’s head over to L’Aratro. This place is loved for its modern take on classic Italian dishes. Set in a rustic yet stylish setting, this restaurant is all about blending old with new.

  • Must-try: You can’t leave without trying the Tagliatelle al Nero di Seppia, a black squid ink pasta that’s as delicious as it is dramatic.

8. Enogastronomia Povero

On to Enogastronomia Povero, a quaint spot that’s big on flavor. The restaurant’s name translates to ‘Poor Gastronomy,’ but don’t let that fool you. The dishes here are rich, hearty, and utterly satisfying.

  • Must-try: Order the Involtini di Melanzane, delicious rolls of eggplant filled with cheese and baked to perfection.

9. Le Quattro Spezierie

Last on our extended list is the rooftop restaurant, Le Quattro Spezierie. With panoramic views of Lecce’s beautiful skyline, this place offers an unforgettable dining experience. The menu is inspired by the Mediterranean and features locally sourced seafood.

  • Must-try: Their Zuppa di Pesce, a hearty seafood soup, is a clear winner. It’s fresh, flavorful, and tastes like the sea in a bowl.

Buon appetito, amici!

Arrivederci until our next culinary adventure.

Culinary Explorer

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