When it comes to eating out there are many different types of places to eat in Italy. The place you choose can have a big impact on your budget and type of food on offer.
Here is my quick reference guide to the types of places to eat in Italy:-
This is often an Italian version of fine dining. Waiters will have uniforms, there will be table cloths, elaborate menus, fancy décor and a great selection of fine wines. This type of place to eat will be pricey. However, look out for “menu turistico” (tourist’s menu) or a menu of the day (“menu del giorno). This will usually offer a 3 course meal with wine and the price should be reasonable.
If you have travelled much you’ll know the name Trattoria as a type of place to eat in Italy. Typically a family run restaurant you will find them offering regional home-cooked food. As a result of this the menu choices maybe a little bit limited. The price will not be as high as a ristorante however it could well be more pricey than other places. The ambience of a Trattoria is usually very casual.
If you are looking for a small, casual type of cheap place to eat in Italy then an Osterie could well be what you are looking for. Meals are generally basic but filling and the prices are very reasonable.
Pronounced as TAH-voh-lah KAHL-dah this literally means “hot table”. Now you may think of pizza and pasta when you consider this as one of the types of places to eat in Italy but this is the closest you will come to fast food. On entering you will see a counter of pre-made dishes and on ordering these will be re-heated for you.
No doubt of all the types of places to eat in Italy this is the most famous of all. You can sometimes also see this named as Pizzeria Ristorante which is a combination of the two. Primarily serving pizzas you are also likely to find a range of non-pizza food such as pasta and meat dishes. It may also have the word Spaghetteria in the title, emphasising that if you like spaghetti then this is the type of place to eat in Italy for you.
Pronounced as roh-stee-cheh-Ree-ah this is a place to find a good roast dinner. With a selection of roast chicken and other meats your choices are increased with a range of other pre-made meals.
When you think of the different types of eating places in Italy I suspect that bars do not come high up your list. However, as well as serving alcohol these places often also operate as cafés. Serving a variety of sandwiches and rolls to go with an expresso. Also look out for “tramezzino” which are triangular sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
It is worth noting that it is cheaper to eat standing up at the bar as they often apply an extra service charge if you sit at a table. Italian bars can be one of the most practical types of places to eat in Italy since they open early and do not close until late at night.
Whilst not really to be considered a type of place to eat these are wine bars. However you can snack on finger foods whilst sampling regional wines.
The “agri” in the name may give you a clue as to the type of eatery this is. It is a farmer restaurant which offers a limited menu of home-cooked dishes. In true Italian fashion the menu will include appetiser, pasta, meat and dessert. You will also find fresh vegetables and fruit. Drink choices tend to be between house wine and water. Please phone in advance to eat here.
If you are looking for the type of place to eat in Italy that serves sea food then this is the place to be. Fresh fish abound and it is also wise to phone in advance before your arrival.
This is the Italian equivalent of a baker and serves a range of fresh pastries. You’ll be able to have a quick snack on the go from here.
Here you’ll find a selection of cheeses and dairy products.
This is probably the most desired of all the types of place to eat in Italy as it is an ice cream parlour. Italians are famous for their high quality and delicious range of ice creams so this is must visit place on your trip.
With the quick guide above you should be able to eat well and manage within your budget. It is always best to know before you go of the different types of places to eat in Italy.