We've been to our fair share of restaurants in our 3+ years in Vicenza, and thank goodness I'm 8 months pregnant at the moment, because it hides the part of my stomach that is just pasta. If there's one thing Italians know how to do, it's cook. And Italians knowing their food and wine is absolutely going to be a thing we miss for years to come after leaving Vicenza.
Here's what we look for when we look for a good restaurant — other Italians dining there, a grandma running around in the kitchen and minimal English menus. We love a menu with super regional dishes (for Vicenza, that's bacala and bigoli) and something a little different to try. And we'll always take good ambience — and this round-up has got it in spades! This is actually my second Vicenza restaurant round-up — but this one has some updates since a lot of the businesses from the first time around are closed, and this one is more comprehensive and longer!
If you're unfamiliar with Italian restaurants, here's a quick rundown. Our favorite type of Italian restaurant is the trattoria – this is typically a restaurant that is more "down home." Often, the menu is more traditional and they are typically family-run places. They're usually not too fancy, and will have a reasonable price point. Aguriturismo are some of our favorites, too — these are farm stays, and often they will also feature a sort of B&B. Many of the ingredients will be grown there on the property and they will often have a more unique and local menu. An osteria is a little more informal — think pub. Ristorante can be fancy, or it can be a typical joint – they vary greatly. But it's a place that will serve both lunch and dinner. For a place with mostly drinks and a limited menu, look for bar or cafe — but know that a bar isn't like an American bar, but more like a coffee shop with a few sandwiches and probably a few drinks, too. There are also places that have specific menus, but it won't necessarily be the only thing they sell, like pasticceria (pastry shop), pizzeria (pizza joint) or gelateria (gelato shop). If you haven't eaten at at least one of each of these types of places before you leave Italy, you're doing it wrong!