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We didn’t have high expectations for the bars in Lecce, Italy. It is a small, historic town that markets its architecture more than its nightlife. Being in the middle of a lesser-known, but excellent Italian wine region, we’d certainly see wine bars. However, we were unsure what we would find in the way of craft beer and cocktails. Much to our surprise, we discovered a multitude of imbibing establishments – and had no problem creating our list of the top Lecce bars!
As it turns out, the Lecce nightlife is a lot more happening than we anticipated. Whether we wanted a glass of regional wine, a local beer or a craft cocktail, we were able to find whatever suited our mood at one of the bars in Lecce, Italy.
For us, simply observing as the town came to life late in the evening was mesmerizing. Lecce bars that had been completely hidden during the day, appear like magic at night. Discovering these gems added an intriguing element to our stay in Lecce, Italy.
The Best Lecce, Italy Bars
Our list of bars in Lecce features the places that we most enjoyed frequenting during our month-long stay in the city. We divided our list into categories to feature our favorite spots for Beer (Birra), Wine (Vino) and Cocktails. However, many of our favorite beer bars also feature extensive wine lists and tasty cocktails. And, even though we made a separate list of our top recommended Lecce Restaurants, a few of the Lecce bars on our list also serve excellent fare.
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Beer Bars in Lecce, Italy
We have a knack for finding beer meccas, but don’t let that get you excited, Lecce isn’t one of them. Italy isn’t exactly known for its amazing beer production, but craft brew is certainly on the rise. We found more than a few bars in Lecce, Italy serving up pints of beer along with fun times.
#1 JOYCE IRISH PUB
So cliché, we know, but Irish bars are always a good bet for a beer loving crowd. Apparently Joyce Irish Lecce Pub is so good that we stayed until closing time…twice. There is a dining area, but we never made it past the small wooden bar crammed with Irish themed paraphernalia. Pints of Guinness were flowing, but I preferred the local Taranta, by Birra Salento. The friendly staff and jovial atmosphere made it all too easy to fall for this place. MAP.
#2 BOTTIGLIERIA IL BANCO
Just across the way from Joyce is this modern and stylish lounge. We were most intrigued by their signature brew, labeled 3/4, and we were not disappointed. (The sled-sized platter of local meats and cheeses was also a big hit!). Although a chic and trendy spot in Lecce, there was a low-key vibe that made it comfortable to linger over a few beers. MAP.
#3 ORIENT EXPRESS
Located on the main street in the heart of the Lecce old town, we zeroed in on this place on our day of arrival. We could see the many taps at the bar through the glass door that was covered in craft brew stickers. Four picnic tables fill the main room (which is decorated with an old rail car) and there is a pool table in the back. With local beers on tap and more popular craft beer by the bottle, it has one of the best craft brew selections in Lecce. MAP.
Featuring a traditional ambiance – and touted a Lecce wine bar – we were drawn into Messapia by the astonishing large beer selection. Bottled beers from all over the world are listed on their menu, including our favorite beer from Belgium, Brugse Zot. MAP.
#5 ROAD 66
Inspired by US Route 66, this buzzing place has been a focal point of Lecce nightlife since 1996! Dripping in Americana décor, they pour beers from around the world. Regularly featuring live music, Road 66 is certainly a top stop on any night out in Lecce! MAP.
Lecce, Italy Wine Bars
Excellent, local (and affordable) wine is available just about everywhere in Lecce. While we sampled wine at many locations around town, we couldn’t resist returning to the charming “Wine Row” – a series of wine bars in Lecce, Italy just down the way from the famous Santa Croce church. For us, it was the ideal spot to try something besides the vino rosso della casa.
#6 MAMMA ELVIRA
We felt slightly overwhelmed when we were presented with a list of more than 200 wines. Instead of trying to navigate our way through it, we explained our preferences to our waiter and asked him to choose for us. He picked a different wine for each of us and his choices were spot on. We sipped while sitting at the high tables outside and enjoyed the sunny Lecce weather and quiet afternoon. MAP.
#7 SANTA CRUZ VINERIA
With bottles stacked to the vaulted ceiling, a ladder was used to fetch the ones from high up (like in an old-fashioned library). Cozy and comfortable, with a dark and moody atmosphere (enhanced by a solo musician and his guitar), we chose the house wine and complimented it with the upmarket aperitivi. Delicious! MAP.
Good tunes lured us into the classic Lecce wine bar with splashes of modern art. All we had to do was mention red wine and the waiter brought five bottles to our table for us to try. He poured us a taste of bold (and expensive) wine first and also let us try a sweet (and much less expensive) wine. We chose a bottle in the mid-range that wasn’t quite as delicious as our first taste, but also not nearly as expensive. MAP.
Cocktail Bars in Lecce, Italy
We were surprised to find a few dedicated craft cocktail bars in Lecce, Italy that were mixing up fantastic concoctions at affordable prices – but only one makes our list. Naturally, Campari Soda and Aperol Spritz are all the rage in Lecce, but we must admit, we’re not big fans of either. Fortunately, the bartenders in Lecce are happy to take the liberty to create custom craft cocktails that are aimed to please only the person drinking it!
#9 QUANTO BASTA
This shabby chic corner spot always has a crowd. As I was perusing the drink menu tacked to the wall, the bartender approached me, told us to forget the menu and just tell him what we liked. After a bit of conversation, we could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he ducked back behind the bar and thoughtfully started creating his masterpiece: a Prosecco cocktail embellished with just a touch of this and a spritz of that. It was light and refreshing – and a good break from full-bodied vino rosso. MAP.
#10 BAR MORO
Fun, hip and wildly popular, Bar Moro is always humming with friendly local patrons. The lively bar is best late at night, when the crowds spill into the street. Fantastic cocktails, good craft beer, a large wine selection and right in the heart of Lecce, what more could you want?! MAP.
Map of Bars in Lecce, Italy
Use this link to Google Maps to find all of our recommended bars in Lecce!
Find all of our tips for the best Things To Do in Lecce, Italy!
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We want to know: Are there any bars in Lecce, Italy you would add to the list? Which is your favorite? Let us know int the comments!
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