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PatriciaV2 May 12th, 2004 04:43 PM

cheap eats in Italy?
What are some of your favorite "to go" foods that are cheap and that you might take with you for a picnic?

Also, I read about the tavola calda and buying paninis in Italian bars. What is this service like? Is it as easy as getting fast food in America? I am looking for the cheapest ways of obtaining food, and I read it is cheaper to eat standing up or to take to go. Is this true? And do many Italians eat on the go?

Thanks much!
curious about cheap eats in Italy
p.s sorry such loaded questions...feel free to answer some, any, all and/or none of the above... :)

PatriciaV2 May 12th, 2004 06:36 PM

Any favorite ideas for "to go" food? What's your favorite panini?

Thanks much!

kybourbon May 12th, 2004 06:57 PM

It is cheaper some places to eat standing up or at inside tables than outside tables. I didn't do much carryout but you walk up to the counter and order. I think porta via is the term (for the road). They will have many things in glass cases to choose from and you can just point at what you want. Gelato to go several times a day!

PatriciaV2 May 12th, 2004 09:22 PM

Thanks Ky! What was your favorite food from a tavola calda (besides gelato, of course ;) )?

Anyone else have any favs?


robkoval May 12th, 2004 10:46 PM

Well, mainly I would say to avoid tourist trap type of restaurants in Italy, most rip you off and the food is not even decent.

Now I was travelling as a student so we were being really cheap, but one place we found and loved was called "Ristorante Brek". It is basically an Italian fast food restaurant, but with pasta and salads, etc. instead of fried foods. The pasta is great, and you get a good portion for about 3 euro, and you can get bread and drinks and salads, even meats, for good prices as well. It is sit-down too.

We went in Venice but I heard from others that it was a franchise and they have locations in other cities as well.

kybourbon May 13th, 2004 05:42 AM

Prices seem to be higher in the main tourist areas. If you are willing to wander off the main piazzas into neighborhoods you will find better prices. Which cities are visiting?

There are many small grocery stores that will have boxes of fruit/vegetables outside. You can go in and purchase some fruit, cheese, bread, etc. and picnic. Many small businesses still close from 12:30 or 1 until 3 or 3:30. We saw some great looking fruit and thought we would go back later and get some for lunch only to find them closed for lunch break.

nanb May 13th, 2004 07:53 AM

For a fast, cheap sitdown meal,
We have eaten at Filetti di Baccala` which is near Campo di Fiori twice (for dinner)
It serves mostly baccala (duh) but has great anitpasti selection and vegetables I had great stuffed fried zucchini flowers there.
It is very busy, tableclothes are paper and is very casual.
In 2001 it was not easy to find it open, but this year it seemed to open more.

If you want to find it, stand with your back to the back of the statue in the Campo with Piazza Farnese on your right side .
Take the street that leads off the corner of the piazza in the front of you , on that right side
I have no no map here with me at work,(yes, I do post from work, sshhh)
It maybe V.d. Gubbonari? )
It is a main shopping street.
Walk a bit up it, and on your left there will be a small vicolo (it is a deadend) and the restuarant is in there to your right.

It is well worth it

and a great salumineria for yummy picnic foods is also in Campo de Fiori.
stand with back to statue, P.Farnese on right, and at the right corner there is place that has fabulous ffods, when we stayed in that area in an apt. we bought alot there.
I think it is called Ruggerie?
They do close though at lunch and do not reopen til 4 pm.
Have fun!!!!

PatriciaV2 May 13th, 2004 10:33 AM

Wow! These are some great responses.

Rob, I will definitely look for Ristorante Brek!

I am going to Rome, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, other Tuscan towns, Naples, possibly Capri...Sicily(?)
Any favorite markets, bars, or grocers in these locations? Thanks!!

Thanks! I hope you don't mind if I print off these suggestions (the whole thread too)..cause these are great. And I love the directions! Do you have any favorite bars/or tavola calda?

Anyone else have any great suggestions?
p.s please feel free to describe the mouth is already savoring the idea of these wonderful foods.:)

PatriciaV2 May 14th, 2004 09:28 AM

topping...hoping someone else has some suggestions!

Thanks everyone!

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