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Apr 6, 2012 10:08 AM


looking for suggestions for places to eat outside on a trip this summer, for dinner and breakfast. We are 2 adults and a 9 y.o., so not looking for high end dining. We won't have a car, so will need to stay central, but I am assuming we should avoid anywhere in the main piazza (expensive and touristy)? Looking to spend about 15 euros pp for dinner, not including drinks. would love somewhere offering local wines. From prior research I did here(and from my experience trying to find a reasonable hotel)' Bolzano seems a bit expensive, so I am worried about sticking to our budget. Any help appreciated. Thank you.

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  1. With all due respect, it is going to be impossible to find good food at 15 euros per person for dinner in Bolzano, unless you eat only one course. The coperto alone, and almost every place in Bolzano has a coperto, will be 3 euros plus. Bolzano is expensive.

    1. My wife and I enjoyed our 10+ inch, wood-oven pizzas for dinner in Bolzano last month for around 15 euros. They were delicious and left us stuffed. Included in the price of the room was the breakfast buffet featuring meats, cheeses, fresh & canned fruits, breads, cereals, bread rolls, toast, croissants, strudel, juice, choice of coffee drink, boiled eggs, etc. Also, they offered fried eggs and prosciutto to us at no extra charge. A late-morning trip to the buffet, a beer at a hof on the hiking trail, a gelato and the pizza/salad bar dinner gave us one of the cheapest food days of our 3 week trip. The wine list was extensive and although I’ve enjoyed the local St. Magdalener wine with pizza before, the nice Barbera d’Alba I chose was simply outstanding with our pizza choices.

      5 Replies
      1. re: BN1

        Where did you enjoy your pizza? Just so I have some idea of where we can go within our budget. Unfortunately, breakfast is not included in our hotel rate, but none of us are big morning eaters, so a bakery would be fine. Thank you.

        1. re: Kat

          I did not name the restaurant on purpose because my casual search on the internet indicated that this was available at various locations around town. Our pizzas were from the dining room at our hotel, the Magdalenerhof.

          Our trip started in France where very inferior breakfasts were 15 euro per person. All our Italian hotels featured excellent breakfast buffets. If you subtract a 30 euro breakfast, our room in Bolzano cost 85 euros for two in comparison (a little higher in the summer). We love Bolzano and have returned year after year. Don’t miss Otzi at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.

          The Dolomites have us under their spell. We have driven almost all of the major routes in the area. They are like our Grand Tetons, only over and over and over. We also stayed in Merano where the hotel gave us the Merano Plus Card. This allowed us to ride trains, buses, funiculars, cable cars, etc. for free. We went up the cable car to Merano 2000 with incredible views and people from 2 to 70+ years old enjoying the sled hill, ski hill, bobsled run, “Alpine Bob”, x-country trails and hiking trials in the snow. The March temperature on the hiking trails above Merano was in the 70s, while there were snow sports in the mountains. Our Merano hotel, the Sittnerhof, has its own vineyards. We especially enjoy their Chardonnay.

          The first photo is one of the Dolomite peaks, the second is the Sittnerhof hillside Chardonnay vineyard.

          1. re: BN1

            BN!, thank you. This reinforces my choice and booking at Magdalenerhof for a week in September. Now, with your postings, allende's and emilie's, I am much better prepared than on our other visit, which was a week in Merano and Bolzano in 1988.

          2. re: Kat

            Hi Kat,

            Sorry I can't be of more help than this, and I know you'll need to sit down for dinners, but I do want to encourage you to load up on summer fruit and cheeses of the region Since you will probably be out and about walking and hiking, packing a picnic lunch might feel more in tune with your surroundings anyway, and free up your budget for evening meals.



        2. Thank you, BN1 and barberinabee, for the good links and the pix are gorgeous, can't wait to actually see it! I think we will definitely stick with pizza for dinner to stay on budget and then head to the markets to pack up a lunch to take on the train the next day. I'd like to to try speck and other local good stuff. Definitely plan to see Oetzi as it was originally the sole reason for our 1 night stay on our way to Florence, but now I am looking forward to taking a cable car ride too and try some local wines.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Kat

            In case you want something other than Pizza, Cavallino Bianco in my (2010) slowfood gulde mentions a full meal price of 25-28 E (other than wine) You might be able to stay close to your budget eating 2 courses pp there.

            There are also relatively inexpensive places to eat in the Renon/Ritten plateau, accessible by a funicular from Bolzano. Ive not been but its supposed to be very scenic, with even a little train which might charm your child. Slowfood recommends Patscheiderhof and Signaterhof there with meals in the28-30 E range. Again, if you stick with stuff like soup and dumplings and dont go on to a main course, it would not be a budget buster. Or you could pack a picnic to the plateau

            who knows, you might even be able to find less expensive lodging up there than in Bolzano proper

            1. re: jen kalb

              Cavallino Bianco is now up to 30 euros and the coperto will add to that.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Signaterhof was absolutely fantastic, though I think our lunch (with wine) was slightly over your budget (though Jen is right, if you stick to pastas and don't double up on the mains, you might do it). This one is worth the trip!!

                Cavallino Bianco was fine but not amazing - however I recommend it as something that must be seen at lunchtime. It was nuts! Those ladies work hard.

                Another place we had a pretty good dinner was Batzenhausel - we shared a giant plate of braised meats/sausages, and if you don't count all the beer we had, it might fall into your budget.

                Any of these places would be fine with kids I think. Definitely not high end. In fact when we tried to go higher end in Bolzano it was terrible.

            2. After reviewing my trip receipts, I need to correct my prices above. My tuna and onion pizza was 9 euros and my wife’s sausage, ham, mushroom pizza was 8 euros. One trip to the salad bar was 6 euros, which made my meal 15 euros. For dinner our first night, delicious lamb chops were €18, which were the most expensive thing on the menu I believe.

              We try to eat at Cavallino Bianco (usually lunch) at every visit for their wonderful potato salad. It came with my meal the first time I had it, but we noticed a woman next to us just had a plate of it for her whole lunch. My wife is a convert now, so we both have to have it.

              I was searching the lowest shelves in Enoteca Baccaro a few years ago almost on my hands and knees, when I came up with a bottle of 2004 Marchesi di Barolo Grignolino for €8.50 while our bruschetta was being prepared. Immediately, we retired to our room after stopping at the outdoor market as barberinabee suggests. With fresh, ripe tomatoes (in winter), bread, cheese, meats and our wine, we enjoyed a feast .

              3 Replies
              1. re: BN1

                Is Cavallino Bianco a gigantic place that looks kind of like a diner?

                1. re: ambra

                  I would call the look more tavern than diner, but the service and vibe is very diner. Its fairly large (not by US restaurant standards but by Italian trattorie/osterie standards), and made up of a few different rooms, each with its own look.

                  1. re: _emilie_

                    Yes, ok. I've been. I remember the heat (summer) being totally unbearable and the food being fine. I do remember the potato salad being good though.

                    I absolutely adore Bolzano.

              2. This is all good info, thank you very much.