When people think of Italian food, they automatically think of pizza and pasta served in Italian-style family-run restaurants.
Often these restaurants use Italian words like trattoria, ristorante, or osteria in their titles to sound authentic.
But what exactly is a trattoria?
What is An Italian Trattoria Restaurant?
Trattoria is an Italian term that means pretty casual, unpretentious yet elegant and sophisticated, mid-priced restaurant.
Less formal than a ristorante which is a more upmarket and traditional restaurant. The trattoria is traditionally a family-run eatery and makes the best of local favorites.
Trattoria features an ever-changing seasonal menu in a simple and relaxed atmosphere. Often there are no printed menus, and the service is mostly casual.
Although the trattoria offers a pleasant and luxurious dining experience, it operates more like a fast-food venue.
What is the Difference between a Trattoria and Other Types of Restaurants?
Compared to ristorantes, which offer a wide range of antipastas and several courses of foods, trattorias choose to offer a few but well-executed entrees.
Additionally, trattoria will serve wine in a decanter instead of by the bottle, which is often less expensive.
What is The Atmosphere and Decor of a Trattoria?
For a trattoria, the atmosphere is family-friendly, relaxed, and fairly informal.
These restaurants feature easy, elegant decor, making them a great option for take-out or picnic fare.
What is The Typical Menu at a Trattoria?
When it comes to cuisine, a trattoria will frequently offer local, regional, and family specialties on the menu.
They mainly focus on the best local Italian food rather than adopting a global cuisine.
These restaurants may also have wines and drinks from local producers or family vineyards.
The family-owned versions of these restaurants may have centuries-old recipes, which is a tribute to the long history of great Italian food.
When travelers eat in this type of restaurant while in Italy, they get a real insight into the neighborhood and region.
In coastal areas, you will find copious amounts of seafood on the menu of these restaurants, usually grilled or fried.
When you are in the inland areas, expect a wide variety of fresh vegetables and produce meals like vegetable soup, homemade tomato sauce, and poultry or red meat dishes. You will also find wines, locally produced cheeses, and herbs prominent on the menu.
Moreover, most trattorias feature extensive takeaway menus for restless travelers to take along great food on the road.
How To Find the Best Italian Trattoria Restaurants in Your Area
Today, many chain restaurants are masquerading under an Italian name. You may find costly and upscale restaurants called trattoria or osteria, and vice-versa.
Despite the pretentious staff and Italian names, you can find poor-quality cuisine.
The best way to find a good Italian trattoria is to check the reviews before assuming these establishments are true to their name.
Visit your nearest Trattoria to experience wine straight from a decanter, enjoy local Italian fare, and eat with interesting and eccentric locals. Buon appetito!