Top 10 Restaurants In Polignano a Mare, Italy

Food at Pescaria
Food at Pescaria | Courtesy of Pescaria
Helen Armitage

Southern Italy’s picture-perfect Polignano a Mare boasts not only some of the most gorgeous scenery in the Apulia region, but a whole host of restaurants showcasing the very best in local cuisine. From authentic Apulian and Mediterranean fare to traditional Japanese eats and ‘fast seafood’, we bring you Polignano a Mare’s best local restaurants.

1. Ristorante Antiche Mura

Restaurant, Italian

A charming venue set in the heart of Polignano a Mare’s historic town center, Ristorante Antiche Mura specializes in simple but elegant local Apulian cuisine. Built into ancient stone, the restaurant’s dining room features high vaulted ceilings hung with glittering chandeliers, which makes it a cozy, romantic spot to try authentic regional eats like the beef carpaccio starter with arugula and grana cheese, strozzapreti with shrimp and zucchini flowers, and hearty second courses like scaloppini of veal available with white wine, lemon or mushroom sauce.

2. Puro

Restaurant, Italian

Puro Restaurant
Courtesy Of Management
Southern Italy might not seem the likeliest locale for traditional Japanese cuisine. But given Polignano a Mare’s seaside setting there’s certainly enough raw seafood produce to satisfy any diner visiting the town’s only resident ‘Giapponese’ restaurant, Puro. Small plates like tuna tataki or edamame are followed by a wide selection of sushi (such as nigiri, uramaki, hosomaki and futomaki rolled with fresh fish including spicy shrimp, salmon and tuna), and hot dishes including cod tempura and pork tonkatsu, which are all perfectly washed down with Puro’s range of sake, wines and imported Japanese beers.

3. Specchia Sant’Oronzo

Restaurant, Italian

Pasta stuffed with cheese
© jeffreyw/Flickr
With some of the most breathtaking views in all of Polignano a Mare, Specchia Sant’Oronzo offers diners more than just mouthwatering Mediterranean fare. Nestled under dramatic arches, the restaurant’s coveted garden patio looks out over the pretty town, giving guests an unabashedly romantic spot in which to try the delicious dishes. Try the codfish involtini with bacon and caramelized red onion, pasta stuffed with cheese, truffle cream and prague ham or taralli-crusted sea bream with prawns and a red pepper sorbet.

4. Leo’s Braceria

Brasserie, Canteen, Italian

The brainchild of owner and namesake Leo Borracci, Leo’s Braceria opened its doors in early 2012 with the aim of bringing locally sourced ingredients back to local dining. The focus is on simple, quality cuisine typical of the Apulia region with a particular emphasis on meat dishes like Barese sausage with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper or tagliata of Podolica veal served with arugula, grated grana cheese, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and oil. The local focus extends to Leo’s wine list too, with plenty of choices from regional producers including neighboring Cantine Due Palme.

5. Donna Gina

Restaurant, Italian

Donna Gina promises guests a ‘romantic, unique and unforgettable’ dining experience, and judging by its particularly scenic locale overlooking Polignano a Mare’s Lama Monachile beach, that isn’t just a lofty claim. Grab a table on the restaurant’s outdoor patio and take in those beachside views while sampling Albanian-born chef Keler Dhima’s simple yet exciting locally inspired cuisine. The orecchiette pasta in squid ink with clams, cuttlefish and arugula and the tagliatelle with scampi, mullet roe and mint in Primitivo wine sauce are just two must-try menu items.

6. Pescaria

Restaurant, Seafood

Food at Pescaria
Courtesy of Pescaria
Pescaria, described as a ‘fast food fish restaurant’ by founders Domingo Ludice and Bartolo L’Abbate, is one of Polignano a Mare’s newest culinary additions but is fast finding its feet with its delicious array of raw and cooked seafood fare. Chef Lucio Mele heads the restaurant’s kitchen, cooking up creative eats like fried cod with crunchy greens and salmon tartare with red onion, capers, pepper, ginger, olive oil and lemon. But if there’s one must-try dish at Pescaria it’s the popular fried octopus panini with sautéed chicory, ricotta, pepper and anchovies.

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