Puglia’s pizza evolution continues. For the third year running, Puglia’s has one of Italy’s top 25 pizzerias and another of Italy’s top 50 (and it’s our secret favorite)!
Pizza and pasta may define Italian cuisine. Their versatility – both tolerate the most diverse ingredients – and adaptability account for their popularity beyond Italy.
Here in Italy every region claims to have the best food. As food writer and chef Antonio Carluccio once said, it is the campanilismo. As everyone knows the sound of the bell of their village, every Italian recognises a dish as their own.
But it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Napoli, the birthplace of pizza, and the region of Campania should dominate Italy’s 50 Top Pizza 2022 rankings, the definitive list.
Nevertheless, consistent with its status as one of Italy’s top three foodie destinations, Puglia doesn’t disappoint. Our region is home to two of Italy’s top 50 pizzerias.
Let them eat pizza | Lecce
Puglia’s official top pizzeria, for the third year running, is Pizzeria 400 Gradi ranked 23rd in the list of Italy’s top pizzeria (and 47 in their world’s best).
According to the official rankings:
It is a well-known fact that Andrea Godi’s singular aim was to bring [the] baroque city into the limelight of excellence in pizza making. However, his successful project has not rested on its laurels and instead forges ahead boldly. This Leccese format is breath of fresh air and is in continual evolution.
The pizza has its own clear identity and the fact that it is recognizable is entirely due to Godi’s vision and his idea of fermentation. Therefore, close your eyes and taste the mastery of the local ingredients in stupefying combinations.
The fried foods are excellent and the service is perfect. An additional spacious dining area was recently opened downstairs decorated with neon lights and an eye to modernity which confers a cosmopolitan atmosphere to the place.
Their must eat pizza recommendation: Attilio. Tomato base star shape pizza, crusts stuffed with ricotta cheese, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.
You are what you eat | Latiano
Were this true, we’d be flattened, well topped and piping hot.
At 45 in the list is one of our regular haunts. Luppolo & Farina:
This is an example of when the pizza becomes the main attraction. You certainly will not find yourself in Latiano by accident. You come here on purpose for the experience offered. The most important factor here? The research. The [space] is done with wooden fiber panels and preserved moss, shared tables and unique pieces from local artists.
Everything, beginning with the raw materials, is carefully selected with an eye to environmental sustainability, organic suppliers and top-quality small-scale producers. An example is the relaunching of the Manduria cherry tomato used as the base for all of the red pizzas. The fried foods are excellent.
The menu is amazing and would put even those who are quick to choose at a disadvantage when selecting a pizza, wine, beer or even gin! Hats off to the very young staff for their cordiality and efficiency.
Their must eat pizza? Primo Sole (first sun). Fior di latte mozzarella – preserved yellow Piennolo cherry tomatoes – guanciale of Santoro charcuterie factory – crispy onion.
Pizza ahoy! Puglia has another three of Italy’s top 100 best pizzeria
At number 81 we have Ristorante Canneto Beach2 in Marghertia di Savoia (where the pink flamingos are).
In Margherita di Savoia, a city known for its salt flats and white onions, the pizza made by Giuseppe Riontino is famous. After having learned the craft of the white art in his family restaurant, he opened his own place not to far away where he makes great leavened goods: pizzas, focaccias and desserts like babà. Riontino always likes to experiment with the workmanship of the flours made with ancient grains. The pizza Margherita di Savoia is made with ancient grains from Solina and Senatore Cappelli semola toasted wheat. The doughs are leavened for 72 hours. The ingredients are seasonal and high quality. The traditional and more contemporary pizzas satisfy any palate and are affordable for everyone.
Must eat pizza: Margherita di Savoia: made with dough from ancient Solina wheat flour and burnt wheat Senatore Cappelli semolina, with Margherita IGP onion, Campania DOP buffalo mozzarella, red datterino tomatoes and brown caciocavallo beef.
At 82, Lievito72 in Trani:
This modern pizzeria has an industrial décor that welcomes locals and tourists not far from the main shopping street in Trani. Here mother yeast and stone-ground flours are used – the result of Andrea Giordano’s research and experience. He was born in Lucera to a seventh-generation family of bread makers. You can see and taste this right from the starters. We recommend the “Provocazione,” a soft focaccia with cherry tomatoes served hot. The pizza has a unique shape; it is square with a slightly pronounced crust. Quality ingredients from the Puglia area (but non exclusively so) are used such as the dried sausage from Andria on the Diavola pizza. The service during the rush could be improved.
Their must eat pizza: Diavola with organic peeled tomato, naturally fermented fior di latte, Andria dry sausage, Puglia extra virgin olive oil.
And at 89, Molfetta’s Il Vecchio Gazzebo:
Doughs characterized by the use of top-quality products. Methodology may change here but tradition is respected. The influence is primarily from Puglia, especially in the use of re-ground bran flour and toasted wheat. The dough is quite thin with a medium-sized crust that is crunchy and fragrant. There are traditional proposals such as the Margherita with buffalo-milk mozzarella, pric o prac molfettese (tartare of bell pepper conserved in olive oil alla Molfettese) and basil is an absolute must. There are some interesting new focaccias with mussels and burrata cheese or a carpaccio of codfish and caramelized onion. The wine, beer and olive oil lists are all interesting.
Their must eat pizza: Pizza margherita with buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce and “pric o pràc molfettese” (pepper tartare in oil molfettese style) with prik prak (pepper tartare molfettese style).
A pizza lover’s guide to pizza
Here’s what we look for in a great pizza.
A round, regular crust. Ideally with a charred, bubbled crust, risen to (at least) 2cm high. The base should not be burned, but speckled with brown. Like the back of an old person’s hand, aged with liver spots.
The centre should be soft, not crispy, and even. Beware a yellow base. This betrays too much flour and will result in a bitter taste.
On top let the colors of Italy be your guide. Look for a vivid red tomato sauce, pure white mozzarella and unapologeticallygreen basil leaves.
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