My 5 best cheap eats in Bologna

Budget restaurant in Bologna - Lasagne bolognese at Osteria dell
Travel on a budget and eat well in Bologna? Science-fiction?
No, but you need to know where to go. Street food and aperitifs can be an option for a fast lunch. Here are 5 restaurants not far from Piazza Maggiore where you can sit, eat and be happy with less than 25€.

1. Zenzero Bistrot

Budget restaurant in Bologna - Zenzero Bistrot
I'm sure you have a special place. One that you follow since it opened. Where you spent moments of your life that you'll never forget. Zenzero Bistrot in Bologna is this place for me.
Nadia opened it in 2006 to offer great organic food when organic wasn't yet a trend. The place is small and cozy and keeps one if the best quality/price ratio in town.
Start with vegetable tempura or carasau bread with seasonal vegetables.
Go on with their handmade pasta but don't forget the desserts. Options for meat-lovers as well.

Price: lunch menu 15€, dinner 25€
Address: Via Fratelli Rosselli, 18, 40121 Bologna
Tel: +39 051 587 7026

2. Eataly Ambasciatori

Budget restaurant in Bologna - Eataly Ambasciatori
Eataly in Bologna is not only FICO or Mercato di Mezzo.
Half a library, half a food store, Eataly Ambasciatori is my only food mall in Bologna where I can spend hours.
Get a photography book or browse a travel magazine while eating a good dish of Afeltra pasta with fresh tomato sauce.
A young local chef, Gianluca Esposito, is in the kitchen to combine tradition and innovation with Slow Food ingredients.
Price: Menu 22€
Address: Via degli Orefici 19
Tel: +39 051 0952820

3. Osteria dell'Orsa

Budget restaurant in Bologna - Osteria dell
Inside the university area, L'Orsa (the bear) is one of the most famous osteria of Bologna. It's the place to eat tagliatelle and tortellini surrounded by university students.
The menu changes daily but you can always find crostini, salads or panini for a light lunch.
​Reservation is not allowed. If you have to wait in line, check the wonderful cinema bookshop next door.
Price: 20€
Address: Via Mentana, 1, 40126 Bologna
Tel: +39 051 231576

4. To Steki

Budget restaurant in Bologna - To Steki
A greek restaurant in Bologna? Cut the wine Andrea!
Eating greek in Bologna is different than other ethnic cheap food you can find. A pita gyros is not only tasty but also traditional. Bologna hosts one of the most important greek communities in Italy and greek food is almost as popular as pizza amongst students and locals.
To Steki is the oldest greek restaurant in Bologna, in the middle of the University area.
Start with a tasting of meatballs, feta cheese and pita. Then grilled meat or fish without forgetting to ask about the daily dishes.
Skip the home wine and choose a bottle, or go straight to ouzo or tentura.
Price: 25€ with wine and dessert.
Address: Largo Respighi, 4/E 40126 Bologna
Tel: +39 051 268012

5. Sfoglia Rina

Budget restaurant in Bologna - Sfoglia Rina
In the age of Tripadvisor and food blogs, there's still an analog, flawless sign of a quality restaurant. The queue.
You need to stay in line to enter Sfoglia Rina, no matter when you arrive.
Under the 2 towers, near Quadrilatero food market, close to offices, Sfoglia Rina hasn't only a strategic position.
Lunch formula is as perfect:
- A few handmade fresh egg pasta
- Side dish with vegetables and bread
- Free water and service
Choose between the classics or explore original combinations like passatelli pasta with mortadella and zucchini in summer.

Price: 12€ for pasta, vegetable side dish, bread and water
Address: Via Castiglione, 5/b, 40124 Bologna BO
Tel. +39 051 991 1710

[photos: steinertree, Alice L, Houston Foodie, Delphi72]

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