When in Rome – or Dublin: Italian food etiquette

Every country and culture has different rules when it comes to eating, and many of them are made to broken. However, Italy has incredibly strict rules when it comes to eating.

When in Rome - or Dublin

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As stated by the etiquette scholar, Italy is considered to have some of the finest food. Whether you are in Italy or eating at a Dublin Italian restaurant, it is important to be respectful and follow the strict etiquette required.


An Italian breakfast is a very simple affair. There is no greasy fry-up or an overwhelming choice of juices. Brits who love a cup of tea in the morning will have to swap the tea bag for coffee beans, accompanied by a tasty brioche.

Lunch and Dinner

This is where you see the most rules and the strictest etiquette. For example, you are allowed to eat bread, but this is not to be served as an appetizer and butter is a huge “no”!

It would appear that most celebrities take a leaf out of the Italians’ book when it comes to eating carbohydrates, as one of their major taboos is eating bread with pasta. You may get away with having a small amount if it’s used to mop up leftover sauce.

Italian meals are made of numerous courses, and many Dublin Italian restaurant establishments follow in this tradition when selecting their menus. Portion sizes are relatively small, so even though there are many courses, you still end up eating roughly the same amount as usual. The healthy mix usually means you are likely to consume fewer calories, however.

The order of their dishes and the quality of food also make the meal generally quite healthy. The usual sequence consists of pasta or rice, then meat or fish served with vegetables, followed by fruit.


You can forget about the cold glass of beer or fizzing ice-cold soda you were dreaming of supping with your lunch. In Italy, it is only acceptable to drink mineral water or wine. Even though it’s acceptable with breakfast, it is even against the rules to drink coffee with your main meal. At best, you may get away with it when the fruit dish arrives, but it must be an espresso as milk-based coffees are only acceptable with breakfast.