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What (and Where) to Eat in Puglia, Italy

Food is one of Puglia’s biggest draws – just look to Instagram. Travellers from all over the world flock here to experience the enduring regional cuisine, which centres fresh seafood, homemade pasta and a stunning variety of fresh ingredients.

Whether you sample that cuisine across the tablecloth in a fine diner or in-hand at one of many regional farmers markets, you’ll find a refreshing, no-frills attitude to local food culture. But that humble sense of tradition still leaves room for today’s Pugliese chefs, bakers and farmers to innovate.

Trattoria le Zie, Lecce
An absolute must-stop for old-school home cooking (known as cucina casareccia), this intimate trattoria doesn’t need the slightest online presence to remain a firm favourite in historic Lecce. With down-to-earth hosts and an interior that feels like someone’s actual home, this spot offers a full experience before you even lift a fork to your mouth. Once you do, you’ll be treated to authentic regional takes on everything from pasta and focaccia to beans, meat and vegetables. Come hungry.

Osteria del Tempo Perso, Ostuni
Like the trattoria in Lecce, this Ostuni institution is all about classic food with an undiluted homely vibe. With welcoming bottles of spirits lining one of its most-photographed corners, the restaurant is carved into a limestone cliff, its rough-hewn interiors echoing the distinctive lime exterior of most local buildings. But the food is the thing: start with an authentic eggplant…

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