Venice, Florence & Rome in our price range, please help!
My bf & I will be in Venice (San Marco), Florence (by Ponte V but across the Arno) & Rome (Trastevere) in Sept. We our in our 30s, first time in Italy. Can you kindly suggest great lunch & dinner places around our area and, of course, other surrounding areas as well?
Would prefer non-touristy places that range $-$$$ ($30-$80 for 2 including a bottle of wine ($25). We would also like to splurge 1 night for a fabulous meal in each city that's around $200 including $25 wine for 2 people. Ironically, I'm trying to be specific with the price range to give a general idea of our budget. We're open-minded eaters and appreciate both comfort food & innovative dishes. Romantic places a plus! We're exploring sites & places to eat by neighborhoods so if it's not too much trouble, please include the neighborhood of your recommendation as I'm still trying to learn the areas. Thank you in advance for your replies! I'm new to this forum.
Here is a recent thread on Florence that should be of interest:
Two spots in Florence recommended often here are Sostanza (for dinner of bistecca & butter chicken) and Nerbone, in the Mercato Centrale (for the boiled beef sandwich at lunch).
If you go to the upper right-hand corner of this page, you can do searches for all three cities you are planning to visit. You will find many, many helpful past threads with hundreds of helpful suggestions.
Venice is an expensive city to eat out. Your upper budget of $80 for 2 people will translate to about 60 euros. With a chunk of that budget ($25 as you want) going to a bottle of wine, it leaves about 40 euro for food for two people. That will be not enough for many of the recommendations on this board. A three course meal without wine in very good (not highend) places such as Al Covo, Vini da Gigio or Antiche Carampane is about 50 euro person. A more modest osteria such as Anice Stellato, Alla Frasca or da Alberto is about 35 e. One can eat at simpler places such as ai Promessi Sposi, alle Vedova on for less. Wine tends to be less expensive tend to what one is accustom to in the US. Drink simple/ house wine by the glass and one may not have to pay more than 3 to 4 euros each in a trattoria; that will leave a larger budget for food. Another way to eat less expensively is to take only one main meal a day and eat cicchetti in a bacaro or front bar of restaurants. Depending on ones appetite, that might be 15 euro for two including couple glasses of wine. And there is decent pizza in Venice. As for ‘romantic splurge’, just sit outside at any trattoria/osteria and it will be romantic. Splurge for $200, nothing really to recommend. Below are a few earlier threads on this board on eating in Venice that will help you get started on your search. Choose a few that interest you and if there are specific questions of them, posters on this board are always willing to help.