Restaurants in Italy: Italian Menu Guide
Italian restaurants deserve special attention because they are justly considered one of the best in the Mediterranean. Italian cuisine is quite straightforward and its basis is made up of such simple ingredients as dough, cheese and vegetables. Meanwhile, opening the menu of an Italian restaurant, it is easy to get lost in a variety of unfamiliar names and dishes.
Therefore, Blogoitaliano decided to create a small guide to the menu of Italian restaurants, which will help you navigate your preferences and plan your gastronomic budget.
Features of the menu in Italy and prices in restaurants
A typical Italian menu is somewhat different from our usual one. A typical lunch or dinner begins with Antipasti – appetizers. These are, as a rule, meat, cheese or fish plates, bruschettas (fried slices of bread with garlic) with various filling, less often vegetables (for example, tomatoes with filling). A dish from this category costs 7-11 euros.
If you have been dreaming about pasta all day, the first thing you will be offered is First courses. Here you will find tortellini (small dumplings, often in broth), tagliatelle (wide flat spaghetti) with various sauces and ingredients, minestrone vegetable soup, a variety of spaghetti and risotto. Average prices for first courses – 12-16 euros.
Second courses include meat and fish. Here, prices in Italian restaurants range from 10 to 25 euros per dish, and fish, most likely, will cost you more than meat. However, some expensive meat dishes are designed for several people.
Minestrone vegetable soup has always been popular in Italy
The mornings are a kind of our side dishes, which are served in Italy after main courses. This includes grilled vegetables or fresh vegetable salads. So if you are used to starting dinner with a light salad, look for it in this section and do not forget to ask to be brought to the main course. The average price of the office is 5-7 euros.
Pizza in the menu, if available, is always highlighted separately. Remember that real pizza should be al forno, that is, from the oven, which will be baked right before serving. Inexpensive places in tourist places often “sin” by serving thawed pizza. In order not to spoil the dinner, check in advance the “origin” of the ordered pizza. The price of pizza in an Italian restaurant is 6-10 euros.
Tortellini only in appearance resemble our dumplings
Drinks and Dessert
On average, a soft drink in a restaurant in Italy costs 2.5 euros, wine – 7-12 euros per glass, beer – about 5 euros. If you want to order freshly squeezed juice, here it is called “spremuta” and it costs a little more than the usual bottle juice – 3-5 euros per glass.
Dessert. Almost any menu contains traditional tiramisu and panna cat (light airy creamy souffle), fresh fruit and ice cream. Macedonia, a fruit salad seasoned with unsweetened yogurt, and homemade sweets (it can be a piece of shortbread cake with marmalade or cookies) are also an integral part of it.
At the end of any lunch or dinner, you will be offered coffee. Italians always finish their meal.
Coffee in Italy
Coffee in Italy is a way of life. They start the morning and end the day.
Almost every Italian on the way to work runs into a cafe to have a cup of coffee with a croissant at the bar and runs on. A cup of coffee will cost from 1.10 to 2 euros in cafes and restaurants, but in popular tourist places get ready to pay 4 euros or more.
In the menu of almost every Italian restaurant you will find traditional tiramisu
In order not to get lost in the whole variety of coffee in Italy, you should understand the difference between a particular drink.
Espresso is a tiny cup of strong coffee. Italians prefer to drink espresso at any time of the day, they decided to finish lunch and dinner.
Cappuccino is the most popular breakfast coffee. Served in a large mug, contains a little coffee and a lot of milk with a gentle thick foam. Cappuccino is not accepted for drinking at lunch or after dinner.
Makkyato – coffee of medium strength with a small amount of milk.
Latte makkyato – almost an ordinary coffee with milk.
Marokkino – coffee of medium strength, usually served in a glass mug, w
Coperta is a service charge (for table and service), which is included in the bill in many Italian restaurants and ranges from 1.5 to 3 euros per person. As a rule, it is indicated at the end or at the beginning of the menu, although not always. Sometimes the lack of a copy is used by a restaurant to attract tourists. So often next to the menu exhibited on the street you can see large inscriptions: “Without a copy!”, “Without table fees!”.
Be also careful in cafes and bars, where, sometimes, 2 prices are indicated next to each other: one lower if you drink and eat at the bar, the other higher from a copy if you want to sit at a table.
In addition, sometimes in the restaurant menu you can find postscript that in the tourist season the cost of each dish increases (for example, by 50 cents).
Bread is often already included in the order or copy, but be prepared for the fact that it may appear in your account as a separate line.
Restaurants in Italy: where and how to eat cheaply
Food in Italy is not cheap, but you can save money if you know a few simple nuances.
Some Italian restaurants offer tourist menus – something akin to our business lunch. For 15-18 euros per person you will receive a full meal. And although the portions will be small, you won’t go hungry.
Small take-away pizzerias do not have to pay a copy
Small take-away pizzerias. They are usually not equipped with tables. Here you don’t have to pay a copter and, taking food, you can arrange a small picnic in the square at some fountain. Often a special, lower price is offered for a set of a piece of pizza and a drink.
All the above prices are for mid-priced establishments. In tourist areas, the cost of food will be slightly higher. But there is one factor that simplifies a lot: most restaurants in Italy display a menu in front of them, which allows you to evaluate your budget in advance and avoid unpleasant surprises.
ith the addition of chocolate or cocoa.
Corretto coffee is a cup of espresso with grappa or sambuca. Very strong and alcoholic, it is usually drunk after meals.
Coffeemen note. Since coffee in Italy is an integral part of lifestyle, in some Italian cafes you can buy a kind of “coffee subscription”. For example, you pay for 10 coffee, and you get 11. This is beneficial if during the holidays you run into the same bar every morning for a cup of cappuccino with a croissant.
With coffee in Italy, the morning begins and the day ends.