Cost of food in Rome

Can anyone give me an idea on how much money (in Euros). That I can expect to spend in Italy for meals per day for 2 adults and 2 teenage boys. Appreciate any help I can get...the teenagers eat alot! Tks

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

It depends. Do you intend to eat at sit down restaurants? Or quick bites to go at lunch? Generally a full meal at a restaurant will cost you at least 25-30 euro p.p. But a sandwich at a deli might be only 5-6 euro. Then there are breakfasts (cappuccino + brioche can be as cheap as 3-4 euro standing up). You do the math, but I would budget at least 150 euro a day for 4 people if you go to a restaurant only once a day. But min 200 is more likely if you go to restaurants at lunch and dinner.

Posted by Paula
Everett, PA, USA
6 posts

@Roberto...grazie.....I forgot to mention we will be at a B&B. so breakfast will be there...I don't imagine we will be sitting down to a fancy meal but maybe once...the rest of the time, I imagine we will be eating on the fly. Tks again

Posted by Julie
Salt Lake City, UT, United States
151 posts

Go for a restaurant at least once it doesn't have to be fancy. The only regret I have from trip last October is that we didn't eat in sit down places more. In 3 weeks we only went to 4 sit down places. Next trip I plan to try more restaurants.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2529 posts

You can find places to eat in all price ranges in Rome. Don't count out "rosticceria" places that sell hot food and only have a few tables (or you can buy food to go). Pizzeria and pizza-by-the-slice (al taglio) are also good for teen appetites.

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
471 posts

Agree with trying restaurants, but for lunches, I was able to feed myself and my 20 and 25 y.o. nephews on 11E for lunch from a grocery store deli. They both usually had huge sandwiches and beer, I had a prepared salads that were actually pretty good. The restaurant experience was also important as it really opened up food choices for them and was part of the cultural experience. I was shocked when they ordered lamb and rabbit along with crimini and asparagus soup as they usually are not adventurous eaters. (We are from Idaho. This is adventure for us, lol!) They also enjoyed figuring out the menu and trying to communicate with the waiters who were almost always extremely helpful with pronunciation pointers. One day in Florence, we had started to order in Italian, the waiter answered in English, then when he got to the younger nephew he said...You have to order in Italian! We cracked up. Very fun and part of the whole experience. BTW, the meals were big enough to fill them up! If they were really hungry, they usually got pasta or pizza. A couple of times they got soup and an entree which was more expensive. All the restaurants have menus out front so you can not only see if there is something everyone wants but check prices as well.

Posted by Nicole P
Truro, NS, Canada
713 posts

Just want to mention if you are used to having soda pop when you eat out - do not do this in Italy! After the first few places we ate and had soda, we realized pretty quick how pricey it was and switched to water. It was upwards of 4 euro a glass (so for 2 people, we were spending almost $10-11 for Cokes!). We could get a litre+ of water split between the two of us for 2-3 euro. So just watch with the teenage boys and pop - that will add up really fast.

Posted by maggie
St Louis
403 posts

You can keep costs down and still eat well in Rome with a few simple tips. Avoid the main squaresa salad on Piazza Navonna for 12 euros will be 5 euros if you walk a few blocks over. Grocery stores and Alimenari are a good choice for a sandwich and cold drink and some wonderful fresh producethe Coop store near the Pantheon even has tables and a sort of "food court" where they have fresh sandwiches salads and cold drinks and tables where you can sit and have a quick meal. Pizza taglia pizza that is cut to order then weighed is a great option as well. Do budget for a few sit down meals. Avoid places with slick plastic menus with pictures and text in multiple languages. Do be aware that the price you see in the case for a sandwich or pastry might be the take away price and sitting down might trigger a service charge. Be aware also that some restaurants have an added in "copperto" and or servitzio that can up your bill quickly. As a previous poster mentioned in some places American sodas are very pricey. The water in Rome is drinkable so carry a water bottle with you and refill it from one of the many drinking fountains around the city.

Posted by marge
anchorage, ak, usa
66 posts

If you're in Trastevere around lunch or dinner time, try Dar Poeta-just google map the location. It's got incredibly good pizza for extremely reasonable prices. As others have mentioned, you can also get really good food at supermarketssandwiches, salads, fruits-or pizza slices to go from places you will easily find as you walk. This is our family's third consecutive summer in Italy and we are finally trying some sit-down restaurants which has been a great experience as well and not too hard on the budget. Near Piazza Navona, off of Governo Vecchio there is a very reasonable restaurantL'Antica Taverna that offers a wide variety of good dishes. If you're in that area, it's worth a try. We've never had to make a reservation for lunch or dinner as there's lots of seating both indoors and outdoors. Cul de Sac also on Governo Vecchio near Piazza Navona is good, but a little more pricey. I need to give credit to Laurel, a frequent poster on this site as she recommended those restaurants and we tried them based on her recommendations. Have fun!

Posted by David
Walnut Creek
69 posts

A few money tips to consider: 1. Fish in Rome is very expensive and is priced by the 100 gm portions. So, if you see fish on the menu, remember that you will probably be paying a very large amount, particularly if you order an entire fish. There is only 0.22 pounds per 100 grams. Pizza is also in places sold by the 100 gm. Ask for the price and make sure that they are not using a heavy thumb when weighing it. 2. Pane e coperto- This is a charge for bread and service that some restaurants in Rome try to sneak into bill. Several years ago, the Rome government banned it as an automatic charge. The menu should state specifically if servizio (service) is or is not included in the price. If the menu does not specifically state that service is not included, assume that it is indeed is included. Roman law specifically states that all charges must be stated in the menu. If you are interested, here is the specific law: The relevant section of the law is here (scroll down to article 16 and use Google translate): http://www.tuttocamere.it/files/regione/LAZIO_2006_21.pdf – it essentially says that all charges at a restaurant should be clearly presented to the customer before the customer orders. As far as the pane (bread) is concerned, if you take the bread, you have to pay for it. That can amount to as much as 1-3 euro per person in your party, regardless of how many actually eat the bread. So, up to you to decide if getting a basket of bread is worth that price. However, if you decide to forgo the bread, clearly state to the waiter that you do not want the bread and wave it away before it even touches the table. 3. Gelato- don't assume all gelato in Rome is good. Most is mass produced. Here is guide to finding good gelato: http://www.parlafood.com/judge-a-gelateria-in-7-easy-steps/
4. Check out couple local websites: http://www.parlafood.com/ and http://www.parlafood.com/. Great food recommendations.