Italy has some of the most sought after food in the world however, it’s easy to end up in over-priced, underwhelming tourist traps. In order to eat like a local, you can’t just wander the cobblestone streets until finding a delicious place.
Don’t be afraid to search for top-rated restaurants on websites like TripAdvisor. You can find something delicious within budget and walking distance. The same goes for the gelato in Italy. In tourist areas, gelato can cost €5 for mediocre gelato, yet just a short walk away, much better gelato can be found for €2-3.
Also, be aware of cafes with a service charge just for sitting there. Coffee and gelato places in busy spots will often charge a few euros to be seated on their patios.
When in doubt, look for signs like these when choosing where to eat…
- The higher-end of Italian eateries, with increased table service and finer plates. There are different levels of ristorante, so it may not always be the most expensive option.
- A more casual, family-style dining experience. At these typical-Italian fare restaurants, you may even find Nonna in the kitchen. Often a little tucked away, hidden on side streets.
- Similar to trattorias, but with a focus on the regional specialties of Italy and more casual.
- A sit-down restaurant that serves mostly pizza, wine, salads, and a few pasta dishes.
Pizza a taglio
- Pizza by the slice, for when you want something on the go, or to eat while people-watching in a palazzo. They have individual Pizza Bianca or Rosa (pizza with olive oil, salt, and herbs, or just tomato sauce), or slices by weight.
**Pro Tip: If you find yourself in Florence, visit Gelateria dei Neri for the absolute best gelato! Now, that’s how you eat like a local!
Address: Gelateria dei Neri, Florence, Italy. Via De’ Neri 9/11R, 50122
Want to head to Europe to eat like a local? Check out Behere.
Written by Katie Tatham – @kltatham (Canadian wanderer & outdoor enthusiast)