10 Best Typical Dishes and Foods to Eat in Bari and Where to Find Them

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Joel Fulleda

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What are the best dishes and typical foods to eat in Bari?

Puglia is undoubtedly a region rich in historical, naturalistic and scenic beauties, but do we want to forget about the gastronomy? In this article we want to talk mainly about its capital, Bari, a city equally historical and with a rich and varied cuisine that offers many delicacies with a long tradition.

Bari has many typical Apulian dishes, in fact, they have their roots in Bari and we tell you about them below. Discover with us the10 best things to eat in Bari and where!


  1. Orecchiette with turnip greens
  2. Focaccia
  3. sgagliozze
  4. Raw seafood
  5. Rice, Mussels and Potatoes
  6. Horse cutlets
  7. Octopus in its water
  8. panzerotti
  9. Naltimeridde
  10. Sporcamuss
  11. Where to eat in Bari: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. Questions and comments from users

1 - Orecchiette with turnip greens

The orecchiette are the undisputed queens of Apulian cuisine and we want to start with them because few know that this popular dish was born in Bari! Needless to say, its name derives from the unmistakable shape of the little ears.

The most traditional and widespread recipe is the one with turnips. It is easy to prepare by simply frying the turnip greens with garlic and oil and, preferably, adding chilli. If you are not a turnip lover, no problem! In its birthplace there is certainly no lack of variants, for example, among the most common, those with sausage, broccoli, fish-based or ragù.

  • Recommended for: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 6,00
  • Main ingredients: orecchiette, turnip greens

2 - Focaccia

Another widespread preparation of Bari cuisine is the focaccia, a delicious and creative street food idea perfect at all times, both as a snack and as an accompaniment to meals.

The recipe was born as an anti-waste from the initial heat of the oven before the temperature stabilizes to cook traditional bread, and involves a mixture of semolina flour, boiled potatoes, water, yeast and salt. The classic version is served topped with cherry tomatoes and olives but, like all foods of this type, every bakery has many versions.

  • Recommended for: always
  • Average cost: 1,50 € per piece
  • Main ingredients: water, flour, yeast, boiled potatoes

3 - Sgagliozze

If we said polenta, no one would believe it since it was Bari, yet sgagliozze are actually fried polenta slices! They have a square shape and are served fried and well coated with salt.

A'another idea of street food to enjoy while walking, also ideal as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to an aperitif, in fact they go well with pieces of cheese, olives and various sauces.

  • Recommended for: always
  • Average cost: 2,00 € per portion
  • Main ingredients: Corn flour

4 - Raw seafood

This is not a recipe, but a tradition found in all the fish restaurants in Bari. In fact, raw seafood was served in Bari even before sushi began to be depopulated and is composed of the most varied species (cuttlefish, canollicchi, octopus, oysters, clams, mussels, crayfish, tuna and salmon carpaccio).

It has always been enjoyed both as an appetizer and as a snack, but there are also those who stock up at the fishmonger's to eat it on the go while walking. And here the question arises: but shouldn't a squeeze of lemon be added? For purists, absolutely not! Raw seafood can be eaten raw!

  • Recommended for: always
  • Average cost: € 15,00
  • Main ingredients: mixed raw fish

5 - Rice, Mussels and Potatoes

Among its first courses Bari's cuisine offers an unusual combination of sea and land: mussels and potatoes. They sound strange together, don't they? But not if you're in Bari, where it's one of the locals' favorite combinations.

Rice with mussels and potatoes is a simple and light recipe proposed in two versions. The first is risotto, so it is cooked all together on the fire with the broth obtained from the mussels and creamed at the end, while the second version is prepared in the oven cooking first everything separately or together on the fire and then transferring the result to the oven where it will form. a crispy golden brown.

  • Recommended for: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 12,00
  • Main ingredients: rice, mussels and potatoes.

6 - Horse cutlets

A fixed date for Sunday lunch in Bari and on vacation! Cutlets are rolls that, in the case of Bari cuisine, are prepared with horse meat. The recipe seems simple, but actually requires a lot of work. but the result will be really delicious and tasty!

First of all the cutlets must be stuffed, in this case with caciocavallo and butter, then cooked in the meat sauce until tender. Therefore, the dish contains a substantial preparation with tasty meat, a soft and fibrous heart and an exquisite dressing.

  • Recommended for: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 12,00
  • Main ingredients: slices of horse, caciocavallo, pork lard, ragù

7 - Octopus in its water

An unmissable fish in the tradition of Bari is the octopus, which is so sustained that throughout the territory there are dedicated festivals! In fact, in Bari the dish is very popular in restaurants offering home cooking and you will find it on the menu under the title "L pulp in da acqua lor", or octopus in its water because it is cooked directly with the other ingredients to release the water contained in it enriching the sauce.

The ingredients of the recipe are simply tomato puree, cherry tomatoes, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, to which, in some variations, white wine or beer can be added to mix the fish. A tasty recipe but one that needs a lot of attention to finish cooking when the octopus is cooked to the right point before it becomes too chewy and then served as a soup or sautéed with spaghetti or linguini and becomes an excellent first course.

  • Recommended for: lunch and dinner
  • Average cost: € 15,00
  • Main ingredients: octopus, tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes

8 - Panzerotti

If we talk about Bari we cannot forget the panzerotti! Known in other regions also as calzone and fried pizza, the panzerotti are there Bari variant prepared in a smaller version but always in crescent shape and frying the pizza dough closed on itself with a delicious filling inside.

The traditional recipe that includes a filling of mozzarella and tomato sauce but being now a must of street food, appetizer and appetizers of Bari, the variants offered are many such as those filled with ragù, ham and mozzarella, vegetables, etc.. In short, in every occasion and in every version, with panzerotti you will not go hungry!

  • Recommended for: always
  • Average cost: 1,50 € per piece
  • Main ingredients: water, flour, yeast, tomato, mozzarella cheese

9 - Nnailmeridde

According to the name, it doesn't even sound like an Italian dish, but is another must of Bari cuisine. Served as a main course but also available as street food during a stroll through the streets of Bari, naltimeridde are lamb or kid offal rolls wrapped in their own tripe.

Street stalls prepare them grilled while restaurants serve them as a main course and fry them with garlic, onion and cream with parsley, cherry tomatoes and spicy pecorino. In any case, even if reading it like this sounds like a strange recipe, we guarantee it's an absolute goodness to try!

  • Recommended for: snack, lunch, dinner
  • Average cost: 10,00 € per portion
  • Main ingredients: lamb entrails and intestines

10 - Sporcamuss

Let's finish the typical dishes of Bari with a delicious dessert: sporcamuss! The translation is quite intuitive, in fact it means dirty face and immediately understand why. It is two squares of puff pastry between which is placed a layer of cream covering completely with powdered sugar.

Only the first bite will be enough to make sense of the name of this exquisite and appealing dessert as inevitably the lips and the tip of the nose will be full of sugar, but we are sure that this will not stop you from tasting it, in fact you will probably eat more and more!

  • Recommended for: breakfast, snack, dessert for lunch and dinner.
  • Average cost: 1.00 per piece / 4.00 per serving
  • Main ingredients: puff pastry, cream, powdered sugar

Best places to eat in Bari: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

The life of the city of Bari takes place mainly between the network of alleys of the historic center divided between Bari Vecchia and the Murat district, the modern part of the center. Here tourists and locals choose every day to take their meals from a simple breakfast in one of the many pastry shops, to an aperitif in the bars and snacks in the street food stalls, to lunches and dinners in the wide variety of places present.

In fact, in Bari the taste of each person can be satisfied with typical places like taverns and trattorias, and medium and high level restaurants with revisited cuisine.
These are the best places to eat in Bari:

1 - Osteria Villari

  • Description: tavern of modern atmosphere with home cooking in the tradition of Bari.
  • Specialty: orecchiette with turnip greens
  • Average price: from 20,00 € per person
  • Address: via Pasquale Villari, 54 - Get directions / tel: 3284132630

2 - Terranima Restaurant

  • Description: historic restaurant with vintage atmosphere and Apulian cuisine based on 0 km ingredients.
  • specialty: local cured meats and cheeses with focaccia from Bari
  • Average price: from 25,00 € per person
  • Address: via Nicolò Putignani, 213 - How to find us / tel: 0805219725

3 - The octopus lair

  • Description: family atmosphere with wooden furniture, Bari cuisine and fish dishes
  • specialty: raw seafood with the catch of the day
  • Average price: from 30,00 € per person
  • Address: Strada Vallisa, 50 - How to find us / tel: 0809753338

4 - The Bul

  • Description: starred vintage bistro with inner courtyard and renovated and creative Apulian cuisine.
  • Specialty: octopus in two cookings, mousse and first salt on the grill.
  • Average price: from 50,00 € per person
  • Address: via Pasquale Villari, 52 - Get directions / tel: 0805230576

5 - Wines and Cuisine Osteria

  • Description: historic and informal restaurant with homemade Bari cuisine and a wide selection of local wines
  • Specialty: octopus in its own water
  • Average price: from 12,00 € per person
  • Address: Strada Vallisa, 23 - How to find us / tel: 330433018

6 - Sgagliozze by Donna Carmela

  • Description: family-run street food and other typical Bari dishes in an informal setting
  • specialty: sgagliozze
  • Average price: from 5,00 € per person
  • Address: Largo Apricocca - Directions.

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