Italian Made's Glossary

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Caffè or Caffetteria (English: Café or Cafeteria)

An Italian Café in Australia generally has a casual and/or chic atmosphere serving different types of coffees, beverages and light or quick meals. A traditional Caffetteria or Caffè and Espresso Bar in Italy do not (generally) serve meals.


An Enoteca was genuinely intended to be a library of wine giving a hands-on educational experience through various wine tastings often accompanied with small appetizers. Nowadays, especially outside Italy and Europe, an Enoteca may prepare a variety of meals and is used similarly to an Osteria, but with a major emphasis on their range of wine (preferably local).


Trattoria’s (Italian plural: Trattorie) are less formal than a restaurant, but more formal than an Osteria and are famous for their quantity of food. They provide traditional and authentic recipes usually from a particular region of Italy. Visitors can sometimes be served on common family style tables. Traditional Trattoria characteristics often include no printed menus, linen tablecloths, wine that is sold in a carafe (not a bottle), rural/country furnishings and casual hospitality.


An osteria was traditionally a place serving wine and simple food, generally for men. Nowadays, an osteria offers a short menu with an emphasis on local specialties such as pasta and grilled meat or fish, which is often served on common shared tables, generally for both men and women.


A Pizzeria is a type of restaurant specialising in pizza, as well as calzone (Dough that is turned over and stuffed with ingredients similar to a Pizza), fried varieties of food (eg. Arancine, croquet, etc.) or occasionally other simple dishes and antipasti.

Similar to a restaurant, customers are served at the table by waiters and choose orders from the menu. A traditional Pizza Napoletana is usually round and plate sized and it is not usually possible to choose any other size, however some pizzerias may allow you to choose between small, medium and large or by ½ or full meter lengths. An authentic pizzeria has a Pizzaiuolo (English: Pizza Chef). Pizzeria’s "should be" loud and vibrant.

Ristorante (English: Restaurant)

Everyone knows what a restaurant is, but there are a few key differences that make Italian restaurants unique. Hospitality in an Italian restaurant is warm and welcoming with formal seating and table service. Italian restaurants use clean and undamaged tablecloths (preferably linen) that are changed after each customer, porcelain plates, glass cups and metal cutlery. Believe it or not, some "Italian restaurants" do not use these.