Casual/informal eating establishments

We are looking for places to eat in Italy (Venice, Dolomites, Florence, Rome, Orvieto, Sicily) that are not fancy but more of the mom and pop type places. Years ago in Rome we ate at several places where there was a roll up garage door that revealed a kitchen, some table and chairs and some casks of wine. There was no menu. They just started cooking for us and it was delicious and inexpensive. We usually can find places like that on our own but if anybody has any suggestions for areas that might have that kind of food, it would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1489 posts

In the Santa Croce neighborhood in Florence, Via Ghibellina 27 is Salumeria Vini & Trattoria I Fratellini.
It is open ONLY 11AM - 2PM. It's a lunch place. They get in early and start roasting meats, something different
every day, but several choices, maybe rabbit, chicken and pork -- in addition to numerous roasted vegetables,
a soup, and also all kinds of Panini made to order. You sit at picnic tables with the other customers. There are
attorneys, tile workers, and construction workers.

Seriously, the Very Best Meals we had our entire time in Florence were here. I was in a rented apartment, and the
apartment across the courtyard was under construction. One day we decided to follow the construction guys to see
where they ate, and this is where we ended up. We ate there three lunches in 7 days. Not much English spoken, so
if you don't want rabbit, look it up in the dictionary so you don't order it.

In Rome, my favorite place is Piacere Molise on Via Candida near the Vatican Museum (behind the Alimandi hotels).
It's not the very least expensive, but Mama cooks all the meals, and Thursday is Gnocci night. Again, not much English.

Sicily is a big Island with lots of towns. Taormina is the only place I'm really familiar with. If it's where you're wanting to go, PM me.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
4763 posts

I've written reviews of restaurants in various places in Sicily (Palermo, Siracusa, Taormina, Ragusa Ibla). They're in the Italy Reviews Forum, and by now most are on the second or third page: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy-reviews

Or, if you scroll down about halfway, they're also in this trip report on Sicily (under the hotels and the car stories): https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/sicily-palermo-caltanisetta-siracusa-taormina

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1489 posts

Harold, I'm very excited to read your trip report! I've been to Sicily twice, but haven't done the West Side!. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Laura B
San Francisco
866 posts

In Florence we ate at Rick's recommended Self Service Ristorante Leonardo near the Duomo -- several times. (2012) Good tasty food, very reasonable prices, charming owner. Not a romantic splurge but comfortable and close to our lodgings at Hotel Dali.

Posted by Robert
Tampa, FL, USA
646 posts

Try - I Due Fratellini - in Florence. Google it for images