Trattoria, Ristorante, and Osteria??

Italian restaurants

Whether on a holiday in Italy or visiting your favorite Italian in your home country, Recognizing the difference between Trattoria, Ristorante and Osteria are not always easy. Especially as the borders are often fluid. The difference between Trattoria and Osteria is especially not so easy to make out. That’s we have dared to break down the different locations, so when you visit an Italian joint next time, you understand why the local Osteria offers only a few dishes and the romantic Ristorante ever beat with a crisp bill to book.

The difference between Trattoria, Ristorante, and Osteria

One may ask: is there really a difference between Trattoria, Ristorante, and Osteria? Yes, it does exist. Recognizable especially on the food offered. In the following, you will get tips on where to visit, if you want to eat traditional Italian or regional and where, if you would like to taste the pleasure of cuisine.

The Trattoria and Osteria, along with the pizzeria, are probably the most frequented places, apart from the bar, by Italians. The Ristorante, however, is more likely to go on special occasions, such as a wedding anniversary, birthday parties and other family celebrations. So if you want to enjoy typical Italian cuisine for mostly small money in a tasteful ambiance, you should dine where the locals eat. Incidentally, the best restaurants can usually be found off the main roads and in the central piazza. The difference between Trattoria, Ristorante, and Osteria is, therefore, to make out in terms of amenities, offer, price and type of cuisine. And also where you can find more Italians on weekdays than tourists.


bar in italy

In Italy, you can enter the bar early in the morning. Namely for breakfast. In the bar, you get every kind of coffee and often a large selection of sweets. Because the Italians like to have breakfast sweet, fast and little. The bar in Italy is not necessarily associated with cocktails but rather with coffee.



The Italians clearly have taken the term Pub from English. Unlike a trattoria, the pub usually has nothing to eat beyond the aperitif. The determining element in the pub is clearly alcohol.

The pub is sometimes not noticed during the day but at night it is hard to miss.



A Trattoria is a place where mainly local cuisine is served. Wines from the region, typical, often simple dishes and a traditional ambiance, make the Trattoria. This is reflected in the price. You usually get in a trattoria good, typical food of each area at a great price. The trattoria serves dishes that the average Italian likes to eat.



Osteria can best be translated in the most literal sense as the tavern. In most Osteria, there are guest rooms. The landlord not only provides food but on request also often lodges available. Traditionally, an osteria offers local home cooking and only a very limited selection of not-so-fancy foods. Style, cuisine, and value for money are similar to the trattoria. The focus is on liquid entertainment.



Ristorante is a restaurant with the higher gastronomy. In Ristorante, often sophisticated dishes land on the plate, the ambiance is modern and the prices are set a little higher. In addition, the Ristorante is not tied to local dishes and often reinterprets traditional Italian cuisine. Of course, there are more traditional restaurants, where classic cuisine is retained. But the choice of food is much larger than in the smaller, more rustic sidewalks and oysters.



As the name says, the pizzeria specializes in the poor people’s food of Italy, the Pizza. Did you know that there is no difference between a wood stove and a stone oven? One name simply refers to firing the stove with wood. The other is that the pizza is baked directly on the stone above the fire. Although the pizza is the specialty of a pizzeria, as long as it comes out of the oven, it fits into the range.

The next time you visit Italy or an Italian eating joint, you would know the difference and also have the right expectations from the joint about the kind of food and pricing.

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