The Different Types of Italian Restaurants

If you’ve visited our website before, there’s a very good chance that you know that Trattoria Il Panino is Boston’s first original trattoria. What you might not know is what exactly a trattoria is. To explain what a trattoria really is, you need to know that the word isn’t the only one used to describe Italian restaurants. In fact, there are four different Italian terms for restaurants, and each one is used to describe a different setting! So, what exactly differentiates the terms, and what are they? We break it down in depth below!


Ristorante is perhaps the most commonly used term on this list, and for good reason. It essentially acts as a base definition for which the other three terms branch. Ristorante is used to describe Italian restaurants that are more formal. There will usually be courses and a more sophisticated selection of food and drink. However, this comes at the cost of a hefty final bill!


Technically, the term enoteca isn’t used to describe an Italian restaurant at all! Instead, this term is used to describe those restaurants that are more of a bar setting. You would typically go to these to drink wine or beer, not eat food! This is definitely not a place that you should go to in the morning.


This term is used to describe the polar opposite of a ristorante! In case you haven’t already guessed, Osteria is used to describe Italian restaurants that are much less formal. These restaurants have cheap food and drink and aren’t necessarily worried about diversity on the menu. Expect a short menu with cheap food and drink; a pretty convenient place to go!


A trattoria is sort of like the middle ground between an osteria and a ristorante. The menu is much more varied and luxurious than an osteria, but the environment isn’t as formal as a typical ristorante. It’s also cheaper than a ristorante but more expensive than an osteria. If you’re looking for the authentic Italian experience but don’t want to be too fancy, a trattoria will be up your alley!

Italian Cuisine At Trattoria Il Panino

You knew that Trattoria Il Panino is Boston’s first original trattoria, but did you know that it brings the authentic Italian experience right to the North End? When you dine with us, you’ll have an extensive selection of cuisines, wine and cocktails to choose from that bring the heart of Italy right to you. To experience this for yourself, make a reservation with us today!