Today, Italian food is considered one of the most important food hubs in the world, so that many tourists travel to this country every year. Climate and natural landscape have played a major role in the formation of regional cuisine. Creamy risotto and other mildly flavored dishes dominate the northern regions, while olive oil and light tomato recipes rule the sunny south. Beef is best enjoyed as a Florentine steak in Tuscany, from select cows raised in the Chianina Valley. The city of Alba and the surrounding areas of the Piedmont region are the main source of expensive truffle mushrooms, especially the spicy white truffle. Access to the Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea makes fresh seafood prevalent throughout the peninsula, albeit varied.
In fact, for centuries, Italy has dictated food trends and practices, inspired the world’s culinary landscape, and has been admired around the world for its premium cuisine. Although pizza and pasta define the country’s gastronomic heritage, Italy’s unique features are its rich cuisine. It may take you a lifetime to taste all the traditional dishes of Italy, but for now you can start with the best dishes of this country.
Reasons why Italian food is expensive
- on-premise production
To begin with, Italian food will be more expensive at the restaurants that prepare pasta themselves. In simpler words, they knead the dough and shape the pasta on their own to make sure the flavors are on-point. Generally, high-end restaurants make pasta in their kitchen, which is one reason why Italian food will be expensive.
- Time & Labor
Italian food is no joke and making one plate of good pasta takes time and effort. When it comes down to high-end restaurants, they work on every order mindfully, which is why the price will always be expensive. The best thing about such restaurants is that Italian food will have authentic flavors and will be worth the price (you might consider making pasta on your own, but it won’t have the authentic taste).
- Associated Costs
When it comes down to restaurants, they have multiple costs which are taken out from the customers’ orders. For instance, these costs include ingredient costs, overhead costs (marketing, utilities, and fixed monthly expenses), labor costs, taxes, rent, and profit. When restaurants have to complete these costs through orders, the prices will increase. However, keep in mind that these costs increase with the reputation of the restaurant and the quality of ingredients that they are using.
This is another reason behind the expensive price of Italian food. For instance, if you are eating from a place where even waiters wear tuxedos and have a warm ambiance, the price is ought to increase. On the other hand, if you are eating from a mediocre place that’s filled with hipsters, the price won’t be too much. So, it’s evident that which restaurant you choose also has an impact on the price. In simpler words, if you are visiting a five-star restaurant, they won’t price pasta at $4, of course.
As we are talking about Italian food, it’s needless to say that it uses specific and specialized ingredients. To illustrate, achieving the right flavor and aroma in Italian food is pretty challenging and can be impacted by the ingredients. In simpler words, the ingredients used in Italian recipes tend to be expensive, which leads to a higher price. In addition, those ingredients aren’t even readily available outside Italy, hence the higher price.
Practical tips for finding cheap food in Italy
- Be careful of drinking water in Italian restaurants!
In Italy, like anywhere else, eating in a restaurant is more expensive than eating street food in a deli. But the reason is not only that the price of food in Italian restaurants is relatively higher, but the reason is that most Italian restaurants charge their customers a high price for drinking water!
- Be careful where you sit in Italian restaurants!
Remember that it is customary in Italian restaurants that depending on the table you choose to sit at, a cost called “cost of bread and tableware” will be included in your bill. An important point is that even if you do not use the bread or the silver service of your table, in any case, depending on the table you choose, this cost will be recorded for you and you have no way to avoid paying it.
- Take a better look at Italian sandwiches!
If we want to name ten of the best Italian dishes, the name of sandwich will definitely be included in this list of ten. Remember that Italian sandwiches are usually made with very high-quality and fresh ingredients, and on the other hand, they have a very low price.
- Be aware of the price of Italian ice creams!
What is undeniable is that one of the most delicious foods in Italy is Italian ice cream! But the point is that the price of Italian ice creams in each Italian ice cream shop is different from another! That’s why we recommend you to take a look at the menu before ordering your delicious ice cream on a tour of Italy or ask for the price by saying “quanto costa”!