Good to know....
“Unsurprisingly, she knows all the best places to eat in Rome, including a gelateria that serves a frozen rice pudding (and if they don’t serve this kind of thing in heaven, then I really don’t want to go there.) She took me out to lunch the other day, and what we ate included not only lamb and truffles and carpaccio rolled around hazelnut mousse but an exotic little serving of pickled lampascione, which is –as everyone knows—the bulb of the wild hyacinth.”
Just one quote from the novel “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. The first part of the book – which is “Eat”! – is all set in Rome and the main character goes to Italy to, one, learn the beautiful language and two, to eat to her heart’s desires.
Once you are here you’ll understand you can never (never!) starve in Rome, there is always a place around the corner serving food. Of course, not all restaurants are alike, not all the trattoria are unforgettable and prices aren’t always as reasonable as we’d hope for. However, there are lots of choices and sometimes picking one place from such an embarassement of options is hard. Lately there are plenty of updated websites, blogs and forums to help you out.
But if you do not have time to surf the web, we have here a little list of places we like, just for a last minute reference:
- Antico Arco: elegant atmosphere, international cuisine, prepared staff, far from the crowd (Gianicolo hill, perfect for a romantic stroll after dinner)
- Il Bocconcino: next to the Colosseum, a restaurant following the “zero mile” rules and the “slow food” philosophy…
- Ai Bozzi: in Trastevere, serving local cuisine with a pleasant “dehors”. Good choice of fish recipes, not so easy to find in Rome.
- La Cabana: cozy restaurant mid way between Trevi Fountain and Piazza Venezia. Fresh fish, grilled meat, homemade pasta and desserts, kind professional staff.
- Cavour 313: a refined wine bar near the Colosseum. You go there for the wine but food is damn good as well!
- Il Chianti: next to Trevi fountain, a cozy place where a buffet is served for lunch and Tuscan specialities are the hit of the dinner menu.
- I Clementini: next to Basilica di San Clemente church (do not miss it!) and few steps away from the Colosseum, a cozy Hostaria serving traditional food with great attention to quality of the ingredients.
- Colline Emiliane: a gourmet experience in a family run restaurant, not far from Trevi fountain and Piazza Barberini. Handmade pasta is the specialty of the house, but every dish is a pleasant surprise!
- Costanza: local cuisine served in an “archaeological attraction”, the ruins of the Theatre of Pampey (next to Campo dei Fiori)
- Ditirambo : traditional cuisine and cozy atmosphere. Near Campo dei Fiori.
- Taverna dei Fori Imperiali: mid way between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum, in the Rione Monti. A family run restaurant serving good quality food and a cozy atmosphere suitable to a quiet chat
- La Gensola: elegant restaurant in Trastevere, next to the Isola Tiberina.
- Trattoria Gino: if a restaurant can survive in the XXI century with no website, it means the food is really good! Here some Tripadvisor reviews where you find the contacts (it is located in Vicolo Rosini, 4, next to the Italian Parliament)
- Gigetto: try the Jewish-Roman cuisine in the former Jewish Ghetto. Do not miss the fried artichokes!
- Gusto: where you find a bit of everything, from pizza, to Sunday brunch, to fusion cuisine. Near the Corso.
- Il Fico: local specialties in a relaxing setting, just in the middle of the Roma’s movida (Piazza Navona side alleys)
- I Sanpietrini: not far from St. Peter’s square (where is harder to skip tourists traps!) a cozy restaurant with some tables outdoor for the summer, a bit of innovation combined with tradition.
- Interno 92 : not for veggies! You will find a meat counter at the entrance and a butcher recommending the best cuts to be prepared in four ways: raw, grilled, fried or pan-baked. Near the Vatican.
- Maccheroni: between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, a warm atmosphere welcomes you to relax and eat Italian specialties, above all pasta, of course.
- Madre: difficult to give a definition to this place…. Open all day, serving food in a relaxing lounge that looks like a garden…. the influence from Latin America is clear in the menu, so this is the place to go when you are tired of Italian traditional food. But pizza is still here, ehehehe!
- Il Margutta: not so easy to find a vegetarian restaurant in Rome! Located not far from the Spanish Steps, it also offers brunch and the bistrot formula to snack at any time.
- Merulana: one of the rare cases in Rome where you can eat at any time! Near San Giovanni basilica.
- Monti 79: a traditional “taverna romana”, few tables, quick service, better to reserve a table. Not far from the Colosseum, in the cozy district of Monti.
- Obicà: a mozzarella bar overlooking the lively piazza Campo dei Fiori. Perfect for people-watching and for a light meal.
- Osteria Margutta: lovely restaurant and seasonal recipes not far from the Spanish Steps.
- Passaguai: a meeting place, near the Vatican, open for lunch, dinner and in between!
- Porto Fluviale: trattoria, pizzeria, small tastings, aperitivo, brunch….everything! In the young setting of the “trendy” district of Ostiense.
- Qui nun se more mai: literally the name means “here you never die”! It’s a traditional Roman “trattoria”, not stylish but still genuine, with the embers to cook meat, cheese and vegetables of the season, good pasta and simple desserts of the house. and it is along the ancient Appian Way, which adds to its charm
- Romolo: traditional dishes in the garden where Raffaello used to meet his lover “la Fornarina”…soooo romantic!
- Spirito Divino: genuine products, homemade cuisine, “slow food” philosophy and an incredible cellar filled with wine AND history! Ask the owners about the archeological excavations….In the quiet side of Trastevere.
- Taverna degli Amici : in an intimate and silent piazza next to the chaotic Piazza Venezia, enjoy a traditional roman menu and a good glass of wine
- Da Teo: in Trastevere, but the quiet side! A seasonal menu, some tables outdoors and friendly ambient
- Al Tettarello: traditional restaurant and pizzeria in Monti, warm atmosphere
- Trattoria Monti: near S.Maria Maggiore basilica, not easy to see, not cheap, but it’s worth the effort!
- La Vecchia Lupiae: in Testaccio, if you wish to try a different cuisine, typical from the southern Italian region called Apulia.
- Vecchia Roma: since 1916, a traditional trattoria near Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica
And if you are not hungry yet… watch this video and you’ll be soon !
To go back to the general “menu” for eating experiences, click here