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?
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Food Traditions of the Easter holidays

Food Hopping Food Tour Easter traditionsIn the northern hemisphere, the Easter holidays, apart from the important religious meaning, mark the arrival of spring and the beginning of the warm and fertile season. Therefore, ancient heritage, christian rites and cultural traditions play still a strong role in today’s  celebrations. The holiday is connected to several food customs, preparing special food and sharing with family and friends.

Festive Easter food in Italy

Buona pascua! In Italy, in particular in the southern parts, impressive church parades mark the holy week. As Good Friday isn’t a bank holiday, celebrations in the family start Friday evening and go till Monday. On Good Friday’s dinner, fish and light dishes are preferred. In Sicily, colourful candied almonds are a typical easter snack during the processions. At our Food Tour Palermo, your Food Hopping guide is happy to show you some of the places where the parades take place.
Children in Italy love their chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday – usually a big, egg shaped chocolate, brightly wrapped in foil and filled with small toys. The big Easter Sunday lunch is often a veritable family feast, for hours and with multiple food courses. Lamb is a favourite, and as the dessert, there is a typical Easter cake called Colomba – Dove. On Easter Monday, called Pasquetta – little Easter – a must-try is the Torta di Pasquetta, a hearty pastry filled with ricotta, spinach and eggs.

Colourfull Easter parades in Spain

Felices pascuas! Spain has a rich tradition of celebrating the Easter week with colourfull religious parades. Especially in Madrid and in Andalucia, traditional Penitence brotherhoods pursue the century-old traditions. At our Food Tour Malaga, we actually visit a special place related to the celebrations all year long!
On Good Friday, according to the catholic rite, no meat is served – so chickpea stew or dishes made of salt cod are very common food. A famous Easter dish are the torrijas, made of white bread, soaked in milk and sugar, than fried. It is similar to French toast. La Mona de Pascua is a sweet bread-like pastry with an egg put in the middle – in the past it was a plain hard-boiled egg, today the Easter bread is often adorned with chocolate eggs and fondant or marzipan. Also in Spain, family and friends love to gather to watch the processions – live or at the television – and feast afterwards to end the lent period and welcome spring.

Easter-egg search in Germany

“Frohe Ostern!” Church processions are still existing in mainly catholic regions of Germany, and are no part of the protestant rite.  All Germans, however, love to decorate their homes for spring and eat colourfull chocolates in Easter-related forms. It is very common to gift chocolate bunnys, creme-filled eggs or chocolate ladybugs to your family, friends and even working collegues. Hard boiled eggs, coloured by the children, are typical festive food. Our Food Tour Frankfurt samples a particular dish from the Hesse region, typical to eat on Gründonnerstag – green thursday – as the beginning of the long Easter weekend, with bank holiday on Friday and Monday: Grüne Soße, a deliciously fresh, cold herb-dairy-cream. It is quite common to eat fish and no sweets on Good Friday, then to have on Easter Sunday an extensive lunch, or a combined breakfast/lunch in the family called “brunch“. German children love to search for sweets and hard boiled coloured eggs, hidden for them by the Osterhase – Easter rabbit. Easter cakes are typically either of yeast dough shaped as rabbits or in form of a knot with a hole in the middle to fit a hard boiled egg, or a sweet sponge cake, baked in a special lamb-shaped form.

Our Food Hopping Frankfurt, Malaga or Palermo, as well as our other Food Tours, invite you to learn more about the local food-related traditions on a leisurely walk through the heart of the city – during the festive season, or for your holidays. Hungry for more?

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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!

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!

Italian Food – la Dolce Vita!

Food Hopping Italy Food Tour Italian foodItalian Food – Famous and unforgettable

When you think about Italy, what are the first things that come into your mind – other than Italian food?

Let’s start for instance with an immense quality of living, fantastic weather, beautiful nature with wide beaches, mellow hillsides and impressive mountains. Also Italy counts with tons of history, art and culture. Great artists of all times expressed their passion for Italy in paintings, music and literature.

Of course, there is a century-old traditions in wine- and cheese making as well as an unique famous Italian food culture. Italian food is popular all over the world, brought by Italian chefs from major cities to the most remote places. Every region in Italy has its ow very special food traditions, adding to Italian food classics that are renown everywhere.

The traditional Italian food menu order

Did you know that a traditional Italian menu has at least 3-4 courses, often devided in more variations during one course?

Starting with Italian antipasti, the famous starters, often a variety of cured meat, sausages, cheeses, olives, lightly roasted vegetables, olive oil and bread.

Then the pasta, Italian first course, an endless choice of noodle dishes, topped with creamy pesto, tasty vegetarian sauces or delicious meat stew and often accompanied with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Also wellknown is the risotto, slow-cooked rice with broth and wine in several variations.

The second, or main dish, often is meat or fish depending on the region, accompanied by light sauces and a small side dish or a salad.

Italian desserts vary from a simple espresso to delicacies like venetian tiramisu, casatta frozen cake to sicilan cannoli, not to forget ‘il gelato’, the italian ice-cream.

And no meal should end without a “Caffè”, a small very strong black coffee, usually served together with a glass of water.

Getting hungry for more? See you soon with

Food Hopping Italy Food Tours!