We believe that the best critics of Italian food are those people who actually ate it in their grandmother’s kitchen.
That is not to say that others cannot become so passionate about la cucina italiana that they also become experts.
But we all know how hard it is to find truly good and authentic Italian food outside of Italy.
In this section, we provide a short list of restaurants you can trust, so that no matter where you are,
you can find the very best Ristorante, Trattoria, Pizzeria, Paninoteca, Pasticceria and Caffe.
There are many names for dining establishments in Italy.
Click Here to know the most popular names.
- Agriturismo: Farmhouse in the countryside, for lodging and meals.
- Bar: For coffee, cornetti, panini, drinks, often taken al balcone (at the counter).
- Caffè: A place to drink coffee, a fancier term as compared to Bar.
- Cantina: Part of a vineyard, potentially with wine bar.
- Enoteca: Wine bar.
- Friggitoria: A place where fried foods are prepared and sold (fish, vegetables, etc.).
- Gelateria: Gelato shop.
- Locanda: Technically an inn, but generally simply a trattoria.
- Mensa: Office, hospital, etc., canteen or cafeteria.
- Osteria: Like a trattoria, but originally intended to also serve wine.
- Paninoteca: Focus on panini, toasts, snacks, and drinks.
- Pasticceria: Pastry shop, sometimes serving coffee.
- Pizzeria: Casual dining, specialized in pizza, and often with other simple dishes.
- Ristorante: Formal restaurant, with tablecloths, assigned seats, and table service.
- Ristorante di pesce: Similar to above, but with a focus on fish and seafood.
- Risortante di carne: Similar to above, but with a focus on meats.
- Rosticceria: A place to buy prepared foods, generally roasted meats, to eat at the counter or take home.
- Taverna: Tavern, with food, sometimes lodging.
- Tavola calda: Casual, with hot food served at the counter.
- Trattoria: Casual dining, with focus on typical foods of the area.
- Sala: Banquet hall or space for receptions.
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The ultimate guide to Italian food, wine, and culture!