Good to know....
You’ll never starve in Rome !
“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, 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 every trattoria is 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:
- Antica Hostaria Romanesca: just on Campo dei Fiori, where you would only expect tourist traps and you find a traditional osteria with some pleasant outdoor tables and the confusion of the market in front of you.
- Angelino a Tor Margana: in an intimate and silent piazza next to the chaotic Piazza Venezia, enjoy a traditional Roman menu and a good glass of wine
- 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: 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 San Clemente church (do not miss it!) and few steps away from the Colosseum, a cozy hostaria serving traditional food with great attention to the 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 Pompey (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: traditional roman trattoria near the Italian Parliament (Piazza Colonna)
- Il Fico: local specialties in a relaxing setting, just in the middle of the Roma’s movida (Piazza Navona side alleys)
- Osteria Fratelli Mori: awarded family run restaurant in Ostiense with great respect for tradition and quality. Spacious cozy room for a relaxing dinner, which is not always easy to get in the historical centre.
- 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.
- 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.
- Passaguai: a meeting place, near the Vatican, open for lunch, dinner and in between!
- Piatto Romano: traditional trattoria in Testaccio, serving old fashioned recipes at a reasonable price.
- 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’ll never die”! It’s a traditional Roman trattoria, still genuine, with the embers to cook meat, cheese and vegetables of the season, good pasta and simple desserts of the house. It’s located along the ancient Appian Way, which adds to its charm.
- Risotteria Melotti: a corner of northern Italy (Verona, to be exact, where the Melotti family produces her rice) near Piazza Navona. Risotto is not usually great in Roman restaurants, but here they specialise in this recipe and offer perfect combinations with wine. Moreover, rice is gluten free, so good address for those affected by celiac disease.
- 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.
- St.Ana Osteria: near Piazza del Popolo, this is a family run restaurant with an intimate atmosphere and good quality food. From 23.30 piano bar is available in a connecting room, if you wish to extend your night out
- 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!
- Vecchia Roma: since 1916, a traditional trattoria near Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica
To go back to the general “menu” for eating experiences, click here