When it comes to Italian cuisine, there are a variety of different types of restaurants that offer a unique dining experience. From formal ristorantes to more informal trattorias, each type of restaurant has its own distinct atmosphere and menu. Michelin-starred restaurants are the most exclusive and formal, while trattorias are more homey and relaxed. Paninotecas are the perfect spot for a quick sandwich, while rosticcerias offer traditional regional meats.
Tavola Caldas and pizzerias are similar to fast food establishments, while degustation menus offer the most creative dishes in the kitchen. No matter what type of Italian restaurant you're looking for, there's something for everyone. Ristorantes are the most recognized type of Italian restaurant. These formal places offer table service and a menu of Italian cuisine. In Italy, a ristorante is the code for a full-service restaurant, with a sommelier or wine expert.
Traditionally, the restaurant was the most formal and exclusive dining experience. Trattorias are similar to restaurants, but they're more informal and homey. These establishments are usually run by families, with the mother or father cooking and their sons, daughters and husbands serving or doing other activities on site. A true tavern was a small bar-like establishment in the era of coal mining and Italian industrialism that had one or two common tables available to sit down and eat. Paninotecas are the perfect spot for a quick sandwich. Here you can buy panini, tramezzino, bread, cold cuts and cheese.
Rosticcerias are becoming less common, but they're worth looking for in isolated Italian cities; there you'll find traditional regional meats that aren't available anywhere else. Tavola Caldas and pizzerias are similar to fast food establishments. The specialty of this type of restaurant is that they don't sell pre-prepared and cut slices; instead you have to say the size of the portion that should be cut, then they weigh it and you pay for the weight of the pizza. Degustation menus include the most creative dishes in the kitchen or the best Italian dishes in traditional cuisine. Trattorias offer traditional, seasonal Italian dishes at a lower price than restaurants.