Italian Food Places – Osteria, Trattoria or Else?

italian food tour trattoria pizzeria

Useful tips about Italian Food Places

Planning a trip to Italy? When you check the recommendation sites or a travel guidebook, you may be confused about the variety of different terms that are used for Italian food places. One good solution is always to come with us on a Food Hopping Food Tour Italy – our guides love to explain the terms with amusing details, and you’ll taste the best local choice!

As a little upfront preparation, here’s a short introduction to Italian food places.

Types of Italian Food Places

Best known from Italian Food places abroad is the term Pizzeria. When you visit a Pizzeria in Italy, it is usually a modest place where they offer a large selection of pizzas, but usually other dishes, too, often for take-away as well. You can also have a drink and a dessert there – but don’t expect fancy decorations or linen tablecloths.

The same is with the Spaghetteria, they specialize in pasta dishes of all kinds, but also have other dishes on the menu.

A Caffè or Bar is basically the living room of the Italians. Here they eat their (usually frugal) breakfast, read the newspaper, have a chat, watch football, in between always a “caffè” and in the evening the “Aperitivo” drink before dinner. And all this usually standing at the counter, not sitting. They serve several beverages and often also small sweet or salty snacks, even some pasta dishes.

A Vineria or Enoteca is a wine bar, with a wide selection of national and international wines and various snacks. You can expect more knowledge and recommendations about wines here, often they sell the wines to taste there, or also the bottles to take home with you.

The Birreria is like a beer pub, serving drinks, simple dishes and also pizza. It is a popular meeting point, often with loud music, to start a night out.

The Osteria was originally a tavern where you could bring your own food, and buy the drinks from the bartender. Today it is “the inn around the corner”, where there are simple food and abundant drinks at fair prices.

A Rosticceria is rather a kind of snack bar than a restaurant. During regular store opening hours, you get hot and cold – mostly fried or grilled – food for takeaway or eat at instance.

The Trattoria is a simple restaurant, serving regional dishes at affordable prices. As well, there is usually a daily menu with choices of four complete courses. It is quite popular to have a business lunch option there, so this places are filled with office workers during lunch time.

A Ristorante is a proper dining place with full menu choice, from antipasti -starters, primo – often pasta – and secondo – the main dish – to dessert, coffee and digestive. This is the place to go for a family celebration or to spoil your partner on a date night…

Salumerias are originally a shop to buy cold cuts, salami, ham and cheese. Today, they often serve tasting platters to eat at the spot, together with some pairing wines – like a delicatessen shop.

A Paninoteca offers a wide selection of so-called “panini caldi”. The hot buns are covered with salami, cheese or ham and garnished with vegetables or salad. In addition, there are also toast -focacce – or “Pizza al taglio” Slices of Pizza with different toppings that they heat up when you order it. A good place for a quick snack on the go.

On the Sweet Side – more Italian Food Places

Following up to the sweet side, a Pasticceria is a pastry shop, where you can usually enjoy a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate and taste the delicious pastries and cakes.

And last but not least there is the Gelateria, the famous ice cream parlor, offering a multitude of different ice creams. The Italian ice cream is considered the best in the world, its production almost as an art and the recipes closely guarded secrets. Usually you order first the desired size of ice-cream by price at the cashier, and go then with the receipt to the counter to order the tastes you like. In addition, in most gelaterias there is the “granita” – a slushy, wonderfully refreshing sorbet ice drink, flavoured with mint, fresh lemon or fruit sirup.

Did you enjoy this overview of Italian food places?
Come and join one of our Food Hopping Italy Food Tours  – See you soon with Food Hopping!

Germany’s sweet side – bakery goods and desserts

GermaFood Hopping Food Tour sweet bakery Germanyny’s sweet bakery products, as well as delicious desserts, are famous worldwide. And that for good reasons: the German bakery and confectionery craftsmanship is organised since the 12th century, and the guilds set the level high ever since in serious artisan craft work. Also there is still much pride in home-made cakes and desserts, as well as a vibrant community of passionate leisure time pastry chefs, reinventing traditional recipes and sharing on social media.

Sweet bakery goods from Germany

There is an endless variety of cakes, pies, sweet breads and small pastries, often with fruits like apple, plums or berries, with or without different cream toppings. Cheese cake, baked with unique german dairy products like ‘Quark‘ or ‘Schichtkäse‘, is also a favourite. The doughs vary from yeast dough, shortcrust, sponge cake to puff pastry, with creative fillings and forms. During the christmas season, home-made cookies are a must in many families. As it comes to desserts, other than pastries, fresh seasonal fruits, fruit compotes, custard or groats puddings are the most popular traditional options. German chocolate, bonbons and jelly gums are a further huge area of highly elaborated pleasures.

Every region in Germany has their own favourite sweet treats – so we can only state a very small fraction of food favourites, from northern to southern Germany. On our Food Hopping food tours Germany, we can guarantee to satisfy your sweet tooth with authentic local tastes…

Sweet treats in the north of Germany

A popular dessert is the ‘Rote Grütze‘, made of red berries cooked with wine and thickened with starch, often served with ice-cream or custard. The town of Lübeck is famous for their marzipan. As the northern cities were big in sea trade from medieval times on, precious goods like almonds, cane sugar, cocoa and exotic spices were always fresh and available for confectioners.

Western region sweets of Germany

‘Pfannkuchen’ sweet egg pancakes, often filled with jelly, fresh fruits or chocolate cream, are a shared speciality with the French, Belgian and Dutch neighbours. One of the most famous German cakes, however, is the ‘Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte‘ the black-forrest cake, named from the south-western mountain area of Schwarzwald. It is an impressive cacao-sponge cake, soaked with cherry spirit, filled and topped with cooked red sour cherries, sweetened whipped cream and chocolate flakes.

Sweet bakery in Eastern Germany

This area is particularly renown for baked pastries. To pick some in particular, the ‘Dresdner Stollen‘ is a durable sweet bread, made with yeast, dry fruits, a marzipan filling and spread with butter and confectioners sugar after baking. It is a typical Christmas cake, that should rest for 2-3 weeks after baking, to be tender to eat at the holidays. The deep-fried ‘Krapfen‘ or ‘Berliner‘ are similar to doughnuts, but instead of having a hole in the middle, they are ball-like and filled with sweet fruit paste or cream. Throughout Germany, they are a favourite carnival pastry.

Orchard sweets in the centre of Germany

Fruit-bearing trees provide a rich harvest for diverse fruit desserts. From apple-cheesecake, plum griddle cake with crumbles, bread pudding with cherries, to more peculiar ingredients like rhubarb, rose hip or goose berries, all make delicious cakes and desserts. Unique German dairy products, like ‘Dickmilch‘ or ‘Schmand‘, add fresh tangy flavours to balance the sweetness. A full meal itself are ‘Kartoffelpuffer‘, potato fritters with apple sauce.

Cooked sweet pastry of the south of Germany

Southern Germans share a preference for cooked pastry with the Austrian neighbours. ‘Dampfnudeln‘ and ‘Germknödel‘ are sweet white dumplings, made with yeast dough, sometimes filled with fruit puree and steamed, not baked. They are served with butter, sugar and crushed poppy seeds, or with fruit sauces or custard. Typical is also the famous ‘Bayerischcreme‘ or Bavarian cream, a white cream made with eggs, milk, gelatin and heavy cream, flavoured with vanilla bean and topped with fruit sauce.

To conclude our little insight into Germany’s sweet side, the afternoon coffee or tea, together with a piece of cake or pastry, is a beloved tradition, especially at the weekends. No wonder – with such a variety of mouthwatering sweet foods at sight!
Hungry for more? Join now our

Food Hopping Germany Food Tours!

Italy’s sweet side – ice-cream and dolce

Food Hopping Food Tour Italy sweet ice-creamDolce vita, Italy’s sweet life, that´s one of the most known italian frases… looking at the dessert culture of Italy, it sounds quite reasonable. Italys long and agitated cultural history brought out a indefinite number of delicious dessert recipes, varying from region to region.
Using prime ingredients like fresh cream, sugar, fruits and/or spirits as well as flaky bakery goods, Italian desserts are elegant and light in taste – it´s almost impossible to resist, even after a good multi-course meal…we asked our Food Hopping guides about their favourite dessert, and here is their shortlist:

Italian frozen sweet desserts

Gelato: the all-italian soul food. Already the roman emperors enjoyed glacier ice mixed with fruit syrup, brought by runners from the alps. From the 17th century on, recipes of ice-cream with milk or cream exist. The secret of smooth ice-cream lies in continuous whisking while the ice crystallises.
From the most classic tastes like vanilla, chocolate or strawberry to modern innovations like green tea, bacon-honey, or even salty variations – ice-cream is a must in Italy, for instance at our Food Hopping tour in Rome!

Granita: When it´s hot in summer, we all love a refreshing drink, cooled down with ice. The italian answer is the other way around: granita, crushed ice with fruit juice. Small booth open in summer on every spot where thirsty people gather – at town squares, parks, playgrounds and at the beach. Most pintoresque are the Granita bycicles – ambulant vendors with all the ingredients on their bike. They stop where a good granita is needed. for example, right during our Food Tour in Sorrento!

Creamy sweets in Italy

Panna Cotta: a typical dessert of northern Italy, made of sweetened cream thickened with gelatine. The cream may be aromatized with coffee, vanilla, or other flavorings. It is often served with a fruit sauce, caramel or chocolate, or covered with fruits or liqueurs.

Tiramisu: this italian dessert has a legendary status. The italian “Tirami sù“ means “pick me up” in english. This might be because of it`s rich ingredients – eggs, sugar, coffee and mascarpone cream cheese – that may lift spirits and are very nutritive.
A legend tells, that a version of this dessert existed already in the Renaissance times, when venetian ladies served them to their lovers as a aphrodisiakum, to help them gain energy for the night.
Several regions in Italy fight over the written proof who had the first Tiramisu on the menu. We stay with the legends and have a delicious Tiramisu at our Food Tour in Venice.

Cannolo: Up for a sweet treat of creamy ricotta in a crispy dough shell? Cannoli, “little tubes”, are the best known Sicilian pastries. It is uncertain if the Greeks or the Arabs brought the original recipe – without any doubt they are worth to taste here at our Food Tour Taormina, hand-crafted at a traditional Sicilian bakery!

Sweet Italian cake desserts

Baba cake: The volcano is omnipresent in Napoli, even in the shape of the traditional „Babà“ cake. A delicious sweet dough, baked and soaked with Rum. We try this original sweet treat during our Food Tour Naples.

Cassata: a traditional sweet from Sicily, especially Palermo. Cassata consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese and candied fruits. It is covered with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel colored icing, and decorative designs. The cassata is topped with candied fruit depicting cherries and slices of citrus fruit characteristic of Sicily. You won´t miss that delicacy during our Food Hopping in Palermo!

Delicious sweet Italian wine dessert

Zabaione: ending our short list with a Z, the Zabaione o Zabaglione is a popular northern italian dessert, made with egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine. It is whisked up in bain-marie to an airy foam, and often served with hard biscuits to dip in.

Hungry for more?

Join now our Food Hopping Italy Food Tours!

Foodie proverbs to spice up any conversation

Food Hopping Food Tour foodie proverbs lemonsWhen it comes to food, there are countless foodie proverbs and sayings, often with a literal and a implicit meaning. Our Food Hopping guides love to tell the little tales from the origin of those food-related proverbs.

Foodie proverbs – our favourites

Here are our 10 personal favourites – did you know them all already before?

Foodie proverbs – the tenth

“In wine, there is truth” – Latin – “In vino veritas” – this ancient proverb term is translated and used in almost every European language, meaning that alcohol reduces personal and social boundaries and brings up true beliefs and reactions. It is often used to emphasize on the beneficial side of drinking wine – and with every Food Hopping tour, we taste true regional wines…

Foodie proverbs – the ninth

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” – English – an often cited and widely known proverb, to encourage a positive and active view to lifes up and downs. So life can be sweet with good lemon recipes – like at our Food Hopping tour Sorrento!

Foodie proverbs – the eighth

“Nothing is eaten as hot as it was cooked” – German – “Nichts wird so heiss gegessen wie es gekocht wurde” The German suggestion to calm down and let the things sit a little bit before reacting – often things aren’t that severe at a second look. Served at the right temperature, our German tastings are directly ready to eat.

Foodie proverbs – the seventh

“A lot of smoke and little roast” – Italian – “Tutto fumo senz’arrosto” – when there is a lot of hot air but little (tangible) outcome, the Italians see it essentially as much ado about nothing…for our Italian tours, we promise a lot of delicious tastings without any smoke!

Foodie proverbs – the sixth

“Spill the beans” – English – To reveal the truth, often in a slightly negative meaning as not everyone like to have it brought to light. Literally, who would prefer to have a pot of beans spilled when they are delicious to eat?

Foodie proverbs – the fifth

“For a big hunger there is no hard bread” – Spanish – “A buen hambre no hay pan duro.” …also in Spain, beggars can´t be choosers. Taking chances and making the best of an opportunity – as taking the opportunity to get to know the culinary secrets at our Spanish Food Hopping tours, where we serve savoury specialities instead of hard bread…

Foodie proverbs – the fourth

“Food is the intermediary of friendship” – French – “Le repas est l’entremetteuse de l’amitié” Well spoken, a good shared meal can build a connection, and the french cooking is famous for activating all senses.

Foodie proverbs – the third

“In an old pot you can also make good soup” – Portuguese – “No velho pote também faz boa sopa” This saying is on the one hand about the benefits of experience, but also about that it doesn’t always require the latest knickknack to archive a satisfactory output. Our Food Hopping guide in Portugal counts with a lot of experience – and also knows the latest hot-spots of Lisbon!

Foodie proverbs – the second

02. “Rice is born in water and should die in wine” – Italian – “Il riso nasce nell’acqua e deve morire nel vino” Especially in the Veneto region, rice is grown in water patches, and the most common preparation is the risotto, with wine in the stew and wine to drink with it. It also emphasizes the hopes that a humble beginning can lead to a glamorous ending. Join our Food Hopping tour in Venice to experience it for yourself…

Foodie proverbs – the first

“Everything has an end, only the sausage has two” – German proverb – “Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei”  This means that all good things come to an end, as our list of proverbs. With Food Hopping, we serve a wide sample of local food and drinks to satisfy your appetite, so you’ll get much more between two ends…

Did you like our little collection of proverbs? Hungry for more? Join now our

Food Hopping Food Tours!

Sorrent – Where the lemons grow on the rocks

Food Hopping Food Tour Sorrent lemon vendorSorrent – the city of azure sea and sky, golden sun and lemons, cradled by the gulf of Naples. Within sight of the Vesuvius volcano, the beautiful islands of Capri and Ischia, this small town is favoured by nature. Since centuries ago, it incorporates the romantic dream of Italy for painters and poets as well as for vacationers.

Sorrent – a name from ancient times

The name of Sorrent lies in mystical times. The legend says that ere the sirens waited for sailors to distract them, unless Odysseus and his crew managed to defeat them. Historically assured is the founding of the city by the Phoenicians in the 7th century a.d.. After a Greek period, it became a roman municipal, since then summer residence of the wealthy and powerful.

Sorrent – famous for the lemons

The gulf of Naples and the Amalfi coastline are famous for their romantic sunsets and their juicy lemons. The citrus fruits are everywhere here: growing in gardens, piled up at market stalls, deliciously prepared in a variety of delicate sweet-sour treats like Lemon Cake, Limoncello, Granita…during our tour, we explore some of the best preparations.

The small cozy alleyways and coveted backyards are full of small shops, fruit vendors, old craft shops and surprising beautiful sights. It is a delight to explore, and your Food Tour guide knows the best places and amusing anecdotes.

Sorrent – rocky cliffs and green country

In the lush greens of the back country is the key to another local gem: abundant pasture for cows and buffaloes. So be a referee at our little private taste competition: what tastes better, the cow’s milk mozzarella („Fior di Latte“) or the buffalo mozzarella („Mozzarella bufala“)?
In small family dairy shops, those tasty milky white orbs are fresh made by hand every day.
For the hearty hunger, Sorrent has more to offer: the regions most famous food, the Pizza, also rolls deep here. Made by the meter, with a thin crispy crust and best fresh toppings, it is a must-try at any time.

Sorrent – Pizza, Pasta, Limoncello

Of course, in Sorrent we are also in Pasta heaven: every cook is proud of his or her handmade fresh pasta dough. The fresh pasta has a very short cooking time, and is mixed at the moment with chopped garden vegetables and a dash of native olive oil for consciously sinful pleasures.
Any meal should end with a sweet delicacy – here, of course with the emblematic citrus fruits involved, as a half-frozen dessert or as the sun-coloured Limoncello liqueur.

So what are you waiting for?
Come to Sorrent and explore its delights with a

Food Hopping Sorrento Food Tour!

Frankfurt am Main in Trade and Taste

Food Hopping Food Tour Frankfurt trade and tasteThe city of Frankfurt am Main in Germany is often compared to Manhattan, New York. First, because of its economic relevance: the city headquarters the European Central Bank, the German Bundesbank as well as the Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse with the German stock exchange, countless important banks and finance cooperations, internationally important fairs and exhibitions like the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, the Frankfurter Buchmesse and  the Musikmesse, and it also counts with one of the worlds largest airport, the Flughafen Frankfurt (FRA).

Frankfurt am Main – famous skyline

The skyline with some of the highest buildings in Europe adds to the comparison. Historic landmarks are the idyllic Römerberg, the Kaiserdom or the Eiserner Steg. Frankfurt is also a green city with almost 40% of protected green areas. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born here, and the cultural live of Frankfurt today is on a high level with the Frankfurt Opera house, the Schauspielhaus, countless museums, the Frankfurter Zoo and the Palmengarten botanical park.  In addition, Frankfurt am Main is a multicultural melting pot with people coming from all over the world to live and work.

Food specialities of Frankfurt am Main

When it comes to the Gastronomic landscape, the city also counts with superlatives –  from traditional local food to modern world kitchen – in Frankfurt you´ll find almost everything for every gusto!

One of the oldest local delicacies, already known from medieval times,  is the Frankfurter Würstchen sausage, a pure-pork smoked and cooked sausage, originally always served in pairs.  Another pork dish is the rustic Rippchen mit Kraut, a hearty portion of cured pork cooked in sauerkraut.  Rustic stews and potato dishes are also popular. An extraordinary speciality is the Frankfurter Grüne Sosse, a cold sauce made of 7 chopped fresh herbs and sour cream – delicious with hard boiled eggs and cooked potatoes!
For the adventurous visitor, there is also a speciality called Handkäs mit Musik. It is a fresh sour-milk cheese in a dressing with oil, vingar, caraway and chopped raw onions. With fresh bread, it is a common tasty snack in traditional taverns.

Famous sweet bakery goods from Frankfurt are the Frankfurter Kranz, a rich buttercream-filled cake with roasted nut-topping, the Bethmännchen shaped from marzipan and almonds or various apple-filled pastries.

Frankfurt am Main – cult drinks

The apple plays an important role in Frankfurt – as a popular ingredient for savoury and sweet dishes, but most important for the Frankfurter Apfelwein, a dry cider. There are countless cosy taverns where Apfelwein and pairing dishes are served. Very dry and refreshing, often mixed with sparkling water, the locals love to drink their Apfelwein in summer, or also mulled with some cinnamon, lemon zest and sugar in the wintertime.

Of course, here you can also taste very good local beers or the wines of the close-by Rhine region, especially the famous Riesling, as white wine or sparkling Rieslingsekt.

Young chefs and restaurant owners are proud to find a modern twist to the traditional local kitchen, and a varied scene awaits to be explored in different areas of the city.

So come and follow your Food Hopping guide to the best traditional taverns and insiders’ places of Frankfurt on a

Food Hopping Frankfurt Food Tour!

European Table Wine Culture

Food Hopping Food Tour European table wineWhat makes a tasty meal even better? Pairing it with a good wine! The fermented grape juice is almost as ancient as the human civilization, and plays his role in unnumbered myths, various cultural traditions, as well as a vast medical and important religous use. It has inspired Artists of all kind and its abuse has led to tragedies.

European wine – variations

In general, wine is cultivated in white, rosé and red variations. Depending on the grape, the soil, the weather, the fermentation process and the secrets of the cellar master, wines vary from very dry to sweet. There are famous wine regions in the world who are reknown for their signature wines. Although wines from the Americas, Southern Africa and Australia hold a potent share of the market, we’d like to concentrate on the casual wines of some european major producing areas – wines that pair with the typical local food we discover during our Food Hopping tours.

Famous wines of Europe

Austria: ‘Grüner Veltliner’ and ‘Blauer Zweigelt’ are the most comon local wine grapes, and are mostly cultivated as crisp, dry wines. In popular wine-garden taverns called “Heurige” it is common to order a “Spritzer”, mixing the young wine with sparkling water.

Germany: internationally famous are the wines from the Rhine Valley, as well as from the Mosel. Traditionally, Germany is a land of white wines, from very dry, mineral Rieslings to sweet Eiswein. In the last decades and with modern cultivation methods, red wines gain ground and there is a growing community of german wine fans.

Italy: as one of the most important european wine producers, Italy counts with big names in white and red wines , like Barolo, Chianti, Frascati – only to name a few – sparkling Asti and sweet Vin Santo or Marsala.

Portugal: a land of contrastes, also in wines. From full-bodied red wines in the center, aged Port- and Madeira specialties to light Vinho Verde growing in the cool atlantic climate of the northern regions.

Spain: counting with the biggest wine cultivation area worldwide, spread into numerous denominaciones de origen, with the Rioja as the most famous. Every spanish region has regional cultivation areas and favourite grapes. Sparkling Cava is produced in Cataluña, spirited wines like Sherry and Malaga come from Andalucía.

With every Food Hopping tour, you´ll get to taste some of the regional wines and learn more about how they pair with authentic local food. So see you soon on a

Food Hopping Food Tour!

10 good reasons for a Food Hopping tour

Food Hopping Food Tour good reasons groupThere are several good reasons to explore a new place by its food: Who else likes to discover new taste sensations when travelling?
How about doing a Food Hopping Tour on your next vacation?
Every city and region has its own food specialities and traditions.

Good reasons to travel and explore

As a traveller, it isn’t always easy to find the best places in a new town to try and discover the best food like the locals do.
With Food Hopping, it is easy to jump into the local culinaric scene and to enjoy new experiences on your palate without worries.

Do you ask yourself, what are the advantages of a guided Food Hopping Walking Food Tour during your vacation?

Here’s our top 10 of good reasons

10 – Discover hidden places like cozy restaurants, rustic taverns , insider-tips and family-run shops apart of the beaten tracks.

09 – Savour food like a multi-course meal, ranging from from appetizer to dessert.

08 – Taste authentic cuisine, famous dishes and surprising flavours the locals adore.

07 – Explore a new location with every tasting, discovering the regional culinaric landscape.

06 – Meet the locals, learn from food and drink specialists about their regional traditions and interact with the people of the neighbourhood.

05 – Get to know the city without getting lost, as every tour is designed as a convenient round-trip.

04 – Enjoy amusing anecdotes around the food you try, the city and their people.

03 – Let yourself be treated with surprising extras and local ‘secrets’.

02 – Follow the confident lead of your enthusiastic local Food Hopping guide, who knows the city inside out.

01 – Have a great time during an entertaining walk with pleasant memories and interesting stories to tell your friends at home!

Hungry for more? See you soon ao a Food Tour in Germany, Italy, Spain or selected European cities:

Food Hopping Food Tours!