Where to eat in Polignano a Mare: the 6 best places chosen by Gambero Rosso

Jul 7 2024, 13:37
Raw seafood done right, octopus sandwiches, panzerotti, and a good dose of experimentation. Here’s our guide to the city of Domenico Modugno

With marine caves, small coves, and a historic centre perched dramatically above the sea, Polignano a Mare is one of the most popular destinations in Puglia. The hospitality and friendliness of the locals, the beauty of the area, and still reasonable prices are great attractions, not to mention the excellent cuisine where fish, shellfish, and local vegetables, such as the Slow Food Presidia Polignano carrot, take centre stage. Here are our recommendations to help you navigate the culinary scene.

Where to eat in Polignano a Mare

Cru Fish Bar

Open for just over a year, this refined spot in the historic centre features stylish interiors, a counter, an open kitchen, and a panoramic terrace. It’s perfect for a quick aperitif, a light lunch, or a full dinner in a convivial and relaxed atmosphere. Starters include fresh oysters, various types of caviar, tartare, and scallops on a pepper coulis with burrata and lime cream, followed by troccoli with sea urchins and crispy umbrina with celery root puree and liquorice. The lemon tart with yuzu meringue is a standout dessert. The wine list, though not extensive, is well-curated, and there is also a cocktail menu.

Cru Fish Bar – piazza G. Garibaldi, 13 – 333 1352505 – www.crupolignanoamare.it

Jamanté Experience Restaurant

In just four years, this restaurant has carved out a respectable niche in Polignano’s dining scene. The key ingredients are the passion of the young owner, Gianluca Torres, and chef Roberto Pisciotta, and the main idea is to offer traditional dishes with innovative twists derived from advanced techniques and experimentation, without compromising the quality of the raw materials. The homemade breads are excellent. The extensive wine list features hundreds of Italian and French labels, with a good selection available by the glass. The modern setting includes an outdoor area with a view.

Jamanté Experience Restaurant – via San Vito, 97 – 351 6287773 – www.jamanteristorante.com

Mint Cucina Fresca

A bit unconventional, this spot in the heart of town focuses on fresh, seasonal, and organic products, ideal for health-conscious diners, with options for coeliacs, vegetarians, and those with other dietary intolerances. The menu isn’t divided into the usual categories of starters, mains, etc., but offers a fun experience of picking dishes from a constantly evolving list. Options include salads, vegetable spaghetti in various styles, seared tuna, and herb-roasted octopus with cherry tomatoes. Homemade desserts, wines, and cocktails are also available. Reservations are made via WhatsApp.

Mint Cucina Fresca – via San Benedetto, 32 – 080 4241373 – www.mintcucinafresca.com


Seafood street food in Puglia means Pescaria. Established here in 2015, it has grown into a powerhouse with locations across Italy. It’s ideal for those seeking an informal and tasty break, with the option to dine in, take out, or order delivery. Don’t miss the fried dishes, Pugliese-style raw seafood, and, of course, the signature seafood sandwiches. There’s even a fish and chips box for kids. The place is pop and 100% plastic-free. Beer and wine by the glass are available. Another plus is the opening hours, from 11 AM to midnight.

Pescaria – piazza A. Moro, 6 – 080 4247600 – www.pescaria.it

La Rotellina

A great and fun alternative for a meal or a snack, offering panzerotti and frittelle (a type of fried bread) filled in numerous ways. Options range from the classic mozzarella and tomato panzerotto to ones filled with tuma cheese, tuna, tomatoes, and Tropea onions, and a very local one with “brasciola” (typical meat rolls). The frittelle feature more elaborate fillings, often inspired by the sea: octopus, tomato, stracciatella, and vegetables, or ricotta with mint, prosciutto, and figs, for example. Definitely worth trying.

La Rotellina – via San Vito, 5 – 080 4039748 –   www.facebook.com/larotellina

Da Tuccino

Here, the sea is king: from the splendid terrace overlooking the blue waters to the devotion to the best catches that have attracted loyal and new customers since 1968. Today, Pasquale Centrone leads the kitchen with long-time chef Enzo Florio, always focusing on the excellence of the raw materials. Expect super fresh raw dishes like scampi, scorpion fish, sea urchins, and mantis shrimp, along with risottos and airy fried dishes. There’s a selection of oysters, prized Gallipoli purple prawns, tartare, and paccheri with scampi and raw sea urchins. Follow up with boiled lobster or spiny lobster if available. The wine cellar offers a wide range of national and international choices, with a strong emphasis on sparkling wines.

Da Tuccino – contrada Santa Caterina, 69/F – 080 4241560 – www.tuccino.it

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