Even in chic Verona, you’ll spend less on a meal than in Venice. The most authentic budget Verona restaurant is Osteria Sottoriva, Via Sottoriva 9 (tel. 045/8014323; Thurs–Tues 11am–11pm), one of the most popular places in town for lunch or dinner; try the trippa alla Parmigiana (braised tripe) or the hopelessly rich gorgonzola melted over polenta (main courses 8€–15€). The Caffè Monte Baldo, Via Rosa 12 (tel. 045/8030579; noon–11pm daily), is an old-fashioned cafe transformed into a trendy osteria, serving classic pastas, and scrumptious crostini with wine in the evenings (try a bottle from a nearby vineyard).
Cafes & Pastries -- Verona's grande dame of the local cafe society is the Antico Caffè Dante, in the beautiful Piazza dei Signori (no phone). Verona's oldest cafe, it is rather formal indoors (read: expensive) where meals are served. But it's most recommended for those who want to soak up the million-dollar view of one of Verona's loveliest ancient squares from the outdoor tables smack in the middle of it all. The oldest of the cafe/bars lining Verona's market square is Caffè Filippini, at Piazza delle Erbe 26 (tel. 045-800-4549). Renovations have left little of yesteryear's character, but it's still a lovely spot to take in the cacophony and colorful chaos of the market.
An old-world temple of caffeine, Caffè Tubino (Corso Porta Borsari 15/D, 1 block west of the Piazza delle Erbe; tel. 045-803-2296) is stocked with packaged blends of Tubino-brand teas and coffees displayed on racks lining parallel walls in a small space made even smaller by the imposing crystal chandelier. On the same street is Pasticceria Bar Flego (Corso Porta Borsari 9; tel. 045-803-2471), a beloved institution with eight tiny tables. Accompany a frothy cappuccino with their deservedly famous bite-size pastries, zaletti, traditional cookies made with corn flour, raisins, and pine nuts -- much better tried than described!
One of Verona's oldest and most patronized pasticcerie is Cordioli, a stroll from Juliet's House on Via Cappello 39 (tel. 045-800-3055). There are no tables and it's often crowded at the bar, but with coffee this good and pastries this fresh, it's obvious why the crowds come. Verona's perfect souvenir? How about homemade baci di Giulietta (Juliet's kisses, vanilla meringues) and sospiri di Romeo (Romeo's sighs, chocolate hazelnut cookies)?
Wine Bars -- Verona is the epicenter of the region's important viticulture, but the old-time wine bars are decreasing in number and atmosphere. Recapture the spirit of yesteryear at Carro Armato, in a 14th-century palazzo at Vicolo Gatto 2A/Vicolo San Piero Martire (1 block south of Piazza Sant'Anastasia; tel. 045-803-0175), a great choice when you want to sit and sample some of 30 or so regional wines by the glass and make an informal meal out of fresh, inexpensive bar food. The wonderful old wine bar Enoteca dal Zovo, on Vicolo San Marco in Foro 7/5 (off Corso Porta Borsari near Caffè Tubino; tel. 045-803-4369), is run by Oreste, who knows everyone in town, and they all stop by for his excellent selection of Veneto wines. Salami, olives, and finger foods will help keep you vertical, since the few stools are always occupied by senior gentlemen who are as much a part of the fixtures as the hundreds of dusty bottles of wines and grappa that line the walls.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.