Being a university town, Bologna has a lot of great (affordable) cafes. It's also the gastronomic capital of Italy, so the odds are in your favor that you'll eat well. At Caffe Zamboni, you can indulge in a rich European-style hot chocolate or partake in the aperitivi hour. This is a great way to save money and enjoy an Italian evening tradition of drinks and unlimited tapas-style dishes. Without breaking the bank, you'll come away more than satisfied.
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A beautiful Bologna buffet
Walking around Bologna can make you tired and also hungry. The problem is that the Italian eating times aren't exactly the same as back in the USA. You cannot pop into an Italian diner like you can a New Jersey one at any time of the day or night and get a decent meal.
This is why I was really happy to stumble across Cafe Zamboni where I spied a lot of good food in the window and a sign that said, "All you can eat Buffet" (well it said it in Italian but still...)
When I'm hungry I don't want to stare at a menu for 15 minutes and wait another 15-20 minutes for the food to come after it has been ordered. In Cafe Zamboni, I told them what I wanted, was shown a table and then headed to the buffet table.