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Italian Dining Etiquette, Manners, Rules & Tips; What Dishes to Order & Eat When in Italy

It is summer break and with the kids out of school, many families are planning long overdue vacations. For those who want to expose themselves as well as their family to other cultures, they will sometimes plan far away vacations. For those wise vacationers who planned a trip to Italy, they will enrich their lives! Tableside Italian Cook Shoppe would like to share a few tips when dining out in Italy.


Real Italian Food VS American Italian Food

When dining out in Italy, you may want to avoid asking for spaghetti with meatballs or even fettuccine alfredo. Neither dish truly exists in Italy. If you want a pasta dish with that thick creamy sauce ask for Panna and Pollo dishes. They are very similar to the chicken Alfredo dish. Traditional spaghetti is not served with meatballs. However there are some parts of Italy that have adapted to using them in their spaghetti dishes. More often than not, though they don’t serve it. When the meatballs are served, it is typically served as a secondary course and not with the pasta.

Italy Food & Drink Facts

When dining in Italy you will find especially when it comes to dinner, they will serve either water or wine with your meal. Cocktails are served before and after dinner. However there are no refills because it spoils the food. Italians take their dining seriously and overdrinking can be a sign that you don’t fully appreciate the food. Avoid asking for refills. No worries, more is coming after the meal. Coke and beer are served with pizza but again it’s a single glass.

Pepperoni Italian Translation

When you’re in Italy know what an actual pepperoni and cheese pizza is. Pizza is served far more differently in Italy then it is in America. When you ask for pepperoni, don’t be surprised to find bell pepper on your pizza instead. Pepperoni in Italian is actually bell pepper, so no; they didn’t get your order wrong. If you’re looking for those thin slices of spicy meat, ask for pizza Calabrese or pizza al salamino or pizza diavola. However Italian pepperoni is far spicier then how it is served here in America.

Italian Salads Have Oil or Vinegar Rather Than Dressing

Italian salad typically does not come with salad dressing, and for good reasons. Most Italian salads are enriched with flavorful oils and vinegar that give the salad a burst of flavor. Additionally Italians take great pride in using the right oils and vinegar that blend well with the combination of vegetables. It may come across as insulting to ask to change up the flavor. Knowing that your salad will be prepared with great taste will help prepare you for your dining experiences.

Italian Eating Customs

When dining in Italy remember one rule–take your time. It is not uncommon for an Italian restaurant to take up to an hour preparing your meal. Additionally, the Italian culture appreciates when the customer takes their time and truly enjoys the food prepared for them. Here in America, it is typically hurry up and eat so we can get more customers in. This is not so in Italy.

Authentic Italian Dining in East Village, New York, NY

Enjoy your Italian dining experiences. If you want a taste of authentic Italian dining now without leaving East Village, come and partake in Tableside Italian Cook Shoppe. We have brought traditional Italian dishes here to New York for you to enjoy. At our restaurant, you can experience genuine Italian cuisine. Come make your reservations today.