Orecchiette with turnip tops, sgagliozze, rice, potatoes and mussels... A culinary tour of authentic Bari cuisine.
18 Nov 2020
Going on holiday is not just about discovering new places, relaxing on a beach lulled by the sound of the waves, or trekking mountain paths in pristine nature, it’s also about letting your taste buds off the rein to discover new tastes, recipes and flavours from the local culinary tradition.
If you’re planning on hitting Puglia this summer, make sure you put Bari on your to-do list. Not only will you fall in love with its many attractions and places of interest, you’ll be enchanted by its inimitable local cuisine, with a host of baked, leavened, fried and vegan dishes, including the now-legendary orecchiette with turnip tops.
The best places to try out these recipes? Here’s your list.
Signora Maria for sgagliozze - Str. delle Crociate, 13.
Let’s start with Bari street food in its most popular guise: sgagliozze. Sgagliozze are small, crispy, golden-fried tiles of polenta, eaten on the street fresh-cooked, out of cone-shaped wrappers. They’re practically compulsory! Best of all, in the historic centre of Bari you buy them from housewives who make them at home and sell them cheaply on the street. Like Mrs. Maria... A veritable institution for over 73 years, her authentic, strictly homemade cuisine has won over tourists from all over the world. Tasting is believing!
Osteria al gambero - Corso Antonio De Tullio, 8.
Osteria al gambero is a surefire choice for great seafood dishes Bari-style, such as spaghetti with cuttlefish ink sauce, mollicati with clams, paccheri with redfish, fettuccine alla boscaiola, and the classic potato rice and mussels. Come to this traditional osteria to enjoy Bari history not just on a plate but in the old photographs of the city on the restaurant’s walls. Once dinner is over, don’t miss the chance to stroll along the harbour.
Blue Eyes - Via Muciaccia, 4.
“Get ready stomach, here it comes” is an appropriate proverb for Blue Eyes, a landmark Bari restaurant famous for its generous portions and very cheap prices, making it a great place to taste typical local dishes (and more) in a convivial, unpretentious atmosphere. Fried fish is a must here at Blue Eyes, but there’s something on the menu to satisfy everyone’s taste. Reservation recommended.
Terranima - Via Nicolò Putignani, 213.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner... An ancient and reassuring environment in an early-twentieth-century courtyard, Terranima serves typical Apulian dishes made using high-quality local ingredients, revisited in a modern key by chef Vito Balenzano. Terranima also hosts cultural events, book presentations, and study days dedicated to the history and traditions of Puglia, which inevitably end with “mouthfuls of Puglia”, delicious aperitifs made out of products ... exclusively from Puglia!
Focaccia at Panificio Santa Rita - Str. dei Dottula, 8.
We end our list with another historical street food address, this one known for its focaccia. To qualify as 100% Bari-style focaccia, this popular dish must adhere to specific culinary rules: it must be covered with cherry tomatoes and brined green olives from Bari, have crunchy edges, and contain a boiled potato in the dough. And, of course, it should also be dripping in authentic Apulian extra virgin olive oil. Bari has many bakeries where you can buy a slice of focaccia. We’ve chosen Santa Rita Bakery, in the heart of the old town, because it is considered one of the best in the city. The only sore point? The line that starts forming in the mornings! Believe us, it’s worth it...
Staying in Bari.
To discover and enjoy an authentic Apulian atmosphere, we suggest you overnight at UNAHOTELS Regina Bari. Architecturally-inspired by ancient Apulian villages, this property offers a wide range of amenities, including the famous Noha restaurant, serving traditional Mediterranean and Apulian dishes in a picturesque indoor/outdoor setting, as well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, wellness and fitness facilities, a large conference centre, and comfortable, luxurious rooms. What are you waiting for?