Saturday, 6 October 2012

What does it cost to eat out in Tuscany?

After researching accommodation costs in Tuscany, voyagers preparing for their visit often next ask "What does it cost to eat out in Tuscany?" The short answer is that, even at current exchange rates, restaurant prices are good and you can probably enjoy an equivalent meal for less in Tuscany than back home. Furthermore, excellent, light and healthy, takeaway foods are available throughout Tuscany. I was prompted to write this post because several tourists have told me recently that they were surprised at how cheap it is to eat here, suggesting that there might be a few misconceptions out there.

What does it cost to eat out in Tuscany
Eating out in a Tuscan restaurant - an important part of your visit to Tuscany
My colleague Elena Spolaor has provided detailed information, including sample prices, on the subject of restaurant prices in Tuscany here, but let me summarise.

Breakfast in Tuscany is usually a cappuccino and a pastry. Nevertheless, there are hotels and B&B's that provide a cooked breakfast or more often a buffet. My recommendation is to stick with a coffee and pastry.

Lunch can be a huge meal but would not be followed by another huge meal at dinner time. As a tourist, your daylight hours are valuable. I therefore recommend that you again follow local custom and have a sandwich, a panino, assembled under your guidance at one of the many paninoteche dotted around every city and town in Tuscany.

Dinner is the main meal of the day in Italy and starts at 8 pm or later. A full dinner consists of antipasti, primo piato, often pasta, main course (secondo) and dessert (dolce). However, you are under no compulsion at all to eat your way through a full meal. For many, a pasta dish and a dessert, for example, is more than enough.

If economy is important, you can avoid restaurants altogether by renting a self-catering apartment. Outside the big cities and sometimes also within them, you can rent a vacation apartment for less than it costs to stay in a hotel. You can then either cook your own meals or, for not much more expenditure, buy ready to eat hot and cold food in supermarkets and the many other food outlets for enjoyment in the relaxed environment of your own accommodation. Restaurants make their profit on the wines, so you can save significantly by buying your wine from supermarkets for consumption at your apartment.

More about restaurant prices in Tuscany.

More about coffee and coffee prices in Tuscany.

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