The word trattoria is equivalent with the French traiteur—meaning a catering business with the purpose of providing take-out food. Although many trattorie have adopted restaurant-style practices (such as upscale quality and atmosphere,) traditionally the trattoria is the closest Italy gets to a fast-food venue.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.