Every region of Italy has its specific in terms of gastronomy that goes far beyond the classical pizza and pasta stuff. Puglia and Bari have a mixture of everything, plenty of vegetables (agriculture being one of the main activities here), plenty of sea food and plenty of meat.
Street Food – Walking on the streets of BariVecchio, you shouldn’t miss the Sgagliozze and the Popizze. Sgagliozze is fried polenta and Popizze are made from the pizza dough, they look like small doughnuts, they are fried and served with salt. You will find these small booths all over the place selling freshly fried sgagalizze and popizze.
Oriechette dishes – one of the traditional local pasta dish is served with horse meat ragu or with turnip tops, but also oriechette with sea food or aged ricotta are also quite famous.
Cheese – The most known is canestrato pugliese (after the canestri, or baskets, in which it is aged), which is often grated on pasta.
Seafood – as lots of people living in BariVecchio still go fishing early in the morning, the city has a lot to offer in terms of sea food. You will find lots of fresh fish and sea food in every restaurant you go. What’s really traditional in this area are the octopus dishes, the sea hedgehog dishes and a very Bari specific dish with potatoes, rice and mussels.
We only spent three nights in Bari and we didn’t get the chance to check out all the places I had put on the list, but here’s what we did check and enjoy:
La Cantina di Cianne Cianna – hidden away on a small street, with a very nice summer terrace, this place has a very traditional “barese” menu with all the classics – oriechiette, sea food, horse meat.
Pizzeria di Cosimo – this place is perfect for enjoying an authentic pizza experience. It’s where the locals go in the evening for having pizza. You order, you wait your turn, you eat outside on their terrace facing a lovely small piazzetta. Everything happens fast, as there are others waiting in line to get their share of pizza. The menu offers a large variety of pizzas, for every taste.