Restaurants & Bars 5

"Budget" Eating in Tuscany???

liveforfood | May 12, 200812:52 PM

We are going to Tuscany in early June--trip is all planned, have secured a villa apt.in Chianti, a rental car and all. I have been to Florence, once many years ago, but I have not traveled through Tuscany. Given the dollar excahnge rate, we wanted to postpone the trip, but we are unable to do this without heavy penalties. So, we are going. We want to do our best to keep food costs down while we are there, but the problem is that we love to eat great food. This is a conundrum with the dollar so worthless right now, though I am sure there are lower cost small cafes/trattorias/family-run eateries in the area that we may not know of or find in any of the books we have on eating in Italy. Even if $$ were no object, we are not so much interested in elegant, high-end dining on this trip--we just want real tuscan food, well-prepared by people who know what they are doing. We are traveling with our school-aged son, who also appreciates the art of eating. Any ideas for good "budget" dining in Tuscany, esp in the Chianti region? Of course, we will be exploring many towns and villages in the area by car, so feel free to offer suggestions in other places throughout Tuscany. Also, we will have a fully equipped kitchen at the villa and I hope to explore some markets to buy produce, cheeses, salamis, proscuitto, pastas, bread, etc. to eat in from time to time, so if anyone knows of good markets in the area, I'd appreciate the leads. Thanks in advance for your help.

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