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Favorite inexpensive restaurants in Rome, Florence, Venice and anywhere near Montalcino?

Favorite inexpensive restaurants in Rome, Florence, Venice and anywhere near Montalcino?

Old Aug 16th, 2005, 05:12 PM
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Favorite inexpensive restaurants in Rome, Florence, Venice and anywhere near Montalcino?

Yet another question as I'm on a trip planning marathon tonight...does anyone have recommendations for inexpensive (dinners for maybe $15 or so each or a little more if people think this is ridiculously cheap) restaurants in these locations? It doesn't have to be anything really fancy, but good food and probably not fast food/cafeteria style feeling. We don't mind straying away from the tourist areas to find good food. I know there are some older posts on this topic and have read them but would like some fresh input - thanks!

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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 06:09 PM
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Well, you will certainly have to be careful when ordering. Is this 15$ US, or CA, or AU? But anyway, you'll still have to be careful. Stay away from bottles of wine, soda drinks, and probably desserts, too. Have cookies, candy or gelato on your own after dinner.

In Florence, I know you can eat well for these prices at Trattoria Alfredo and Pallatino. You can probably choose two courses at either place.

In Montalcino, with no wine, you might be able to eat at Taverna Grappolo Blu. Definetly for lunch if not for dinner. In Rome, consider pizza.
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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 06:36 PM
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In Rome there is a wonderful little restaurant near Piazza Novona called Ristorante Fiametta. It is inexpensive and VERY good-my favorite. The pizza, prosciutto, and veal saltimboca were the best I had in Rome. Ate there 4 times! Also Orso 80 (same area) has an amazing antipasto platter-endless. Antica Taverna (same area) had a buffalo mozzarella lasagna that was like silk-delicious! Also inexpensive is Osteria de Nerone near the colliseum-a bit hard to find but worth it!
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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 06:37 PM
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In FLorence go to Za Za and get the truffle pasta-beyond delicious!
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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 06:38 PM
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Thanks for the tips, Tuscan. I should have been more specific - I meant $15 for the main course (secondi? I'm doing my Italian tapes but haven't gotten to the menu section yet ), not for the wine, dessert, etc. (although we're not huge wine drinkers, usually just one glass with dinner, and will probably get gelato instead of ordering dessert at a restaurant).
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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 06:40 PM
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Thanks CMS, I must have been posting at just the same time you were b/c I didn't see your post until now!
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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audreyleigh99,
In Montalcino try Osteria di Porta al Cassero via Ricasoli 32 (I like the wild boar and white beans) or il Morro via Mazzini.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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We found a good way to keep costs low in Italy was to order one primi and one secundi between us. It's not a lot of food, but enough to keep us going and have room for gelato. And if we really liked something, we'd order another plate.

That said, in Rome I would not miss Enoteca 313 (on Via Cavour near the Colosseum). If you like wine at all this is a great place to taste fine prosciutto and cheese with your drinks.

In Florence, we enjoyed the Osteria Caterina di Medici on Piazza Centrale. It's more relaxed than the other restaurants on the piazza and pretty reasonably priced.

And if you don't mind taking your food to go, make sure you stop by the Mercate Centrale in Florence. There is a rustic sandwich place called La Nerbonne that is simply delicious. Also, just around the corner from them is a tavola calda (like a deli) that sells unbelievable prepared foods. We had an amazing quiche and some great handmade ravioli. They also have top-notch prosciutto and cheeses.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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There is a restaurant in Florence - near Santa Croce called Leo's that is excellent and cheap. The owner Leo will greet you with hugs and kisses, the food is true Italian and the experience is wonderful. The pastas are excellent as are the salads and antipastos.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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Thanks for all the tips. I am writing them all down and wishing I was already in Italy so I could start eating.

One more question - what is the best resource to look up where these restaurants are or locate them once I'm in that city? These places all sound great but some you haven't included their locations/addresses (I know about mappy so I can find them - hopefully! - if I have the addresses). Thanks again!
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 03:27 PM
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One good way of finding addresses is by going to

www.paginebianche.it

and entering the name of the restaurant in "Cognome o Nome azienda" and the name of the city (in Italian: Roma, Firenze, Venezia) in "Dove."

I've found it works better than going to the Italian Yellow Pages at www.paginegialle.it.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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Great tips all! I love ZaZa in Florence. Be on the lookout for buffets as well-Da Pennello on Via Dante Alighieri has a killer seafood buffet.

In Rome, my favorite spot is Asinocotto in Trastevere. No, it doesn't served cooked donkey, but it's great food. I haven't been in 2 years, so I'm not sure if the prices are the same, but it's great!

For me, the best way to find great places is to ask people-natives of course-where they'd go. I usually not only ask about where, but which thing to order. So find that on your tapes!

I nearly inadvertantly started a friendly fight when I asked folks in a caffe' their favorite gelateria in Vicenza!
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 04:09 PM
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Our favorite two restaurants in Rome were both very inexpensive and very plain in decor but had fabulous pasta. We each ordered a different pasta and a mixed salad and a carafe of house wine and it was probably under $30 for both of us.

In Trastevere: Alle Fratte di Trastevere, address is 49/50 Via Delle Fratte di Trastevere. Phone 06 583 5775. Order the salmon in vodka cream sauce - fantastic!

In the Ghetto: Da Sergio, address is Vicolo delle Grotte 27. Phone 06 686 4293. I had the best pasta carbonara (sp?), the one with cheese, bacon and egg, of our trip there.

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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 06:33 PM
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Wow, I can't believe how many great responses I'm getting to this post! Thanks, Eloise, that is a perfect resource to look up the restaurants.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 04:59 AM
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Hi A,

I think that in Florence these are in your price range:

Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco, 43 Borgo San Jacapo
Very pleasant atmosphere. Good, but not outstanding, food. Interesting local wines.

Osteria Dell Agnolo, Borgo San Lorenzo 24r
Stopped in for a pizza and a bottle of wine. Looks like a nice place for lunch or dinner. 25 kinds of pasta. Pizza made in house in a wood-fired oven.

Gusto Winebar and Pizza, 2 Via del Proconsolo
Pleasant wines, generous salads, low prices.

Salaam Bombay, Via F. Rosselli 45r
Where the locals go if they want something exotic. A good, inexpensive Indian restaurant. Excellent nan.

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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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In Venice -

La Zucca, Santa Croce 1762 (near Campo Giacomo dell Orio)
041-524-1570
They have fantasic pastas and vegetable side dishes. You must make a reservation.

Il Cavatappi Wine Bar, San Marco 525 (Campo della Guerra)
A daily special plate for 10 Euro, good cheeses and sandwiches

Osteria da Alberto, Cannaregio 5401 (on Calle Giacinto Gallina) 041-523-8153
good daily specials, great cichetti, you must reserve...

Taverna San Trovaso, Dorsoduro 1016 on the Fondamenta Priuli 041-520-3703
Big portions of good food at a great price. You can get in without a reservation, but it always helps to have one.

There are plenty of good pizzerias in Venice too. You can eat for $15 at the Pizzeria Accademia and have a view of the Grand Canal, too. It's at the foot of the Accademia Bridge on the Dorsodurso side.

Note that with the suggestions above you'll have one plate of pasta or one secondi - not both.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Near Montalcino there is a special little place to get a light meal, in Lucignano d'Asso. As you come down from Montalcino, get on the SS2, the Via Cassia (old Roman road, now paved!) toward Siena Very soon, take the turnoff for Torrenieri and follow signs to Giovanni d'Asso. If you watch, on the right before Giovanni d'Asso, you will see the small sign for Lucignano. Go down the dirt road to the village and go to the alimentari (small grocery store). They serve cheese, bread, salumi, and wine. If you're lucky, Giraldo will pull out his accordian!
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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Montepulciano is near Montalcino, and has a beautiful church called Madonna di San Biagio just below the town of Montepulciano. Across the street from the church is a fabulous, reasonably priced restaurant called "La Grotta." And if you like wine and want to splurge a little on an incredible bottle, be sure to ask the waiter for a recommendation of a wonderful Vino Nobile di Montepulicano.

We took a wine tour at Fattoria dei Barbi near Montalcino, which was very interesting (we made arrangement ahead of time). After the tour, we ate an extremely good and reasonably priced meal at the restaurant there. All the food is from the Fattoria -- the cheeses are made on site, the pork is raised on site, etc. After tasting their wine and drinking it at lunch, we were compelled to buy a bunch of bottles! Here's the Fattoria's website: http://www.fattoriadeibarbi.it/Html_Eng/Restaurant.htm
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