When choosing where to eat in Rome, where do you even start!? The city is simply bursting with excellent eateries. There are certainly a fair few tourist traps and duds to avoid, but the overall quality of restaurants is extremely high. It saddens me when people travel to Rome and experience disappointing dinners, so I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
While living in Rome, I compiled lists of recommendations to share with friends, family and food fanatics. I know navigating a busy, bustling city can be overwhelming and many people will only visit a new city once so I want to help make your next Rome trip incredible. I have personally been to all of these places and highly recommend them. If I’ve not included one of your favourite spots, please add it to the comments below.
Ai tre scalini, Via Panisperna 251 (Monti) – Very popular for dinner and drinks, with locals staying well into the early hours.
Colline Emiliane, Via degli Avignonesi, 22 (Near Barberini metro station). Specialises in fresh handmade pasta, along with local specialities from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. I especially recommend the antipasti (assorted starters) and tortellini in brodo.
Cul de Sac, Piazza di Pasquino, 73. (Near Piazza Navona). A classic Italian restaurant serving traditional dishes, along with an interesting assortment of homemade pâté.
Ditirambo, Piazza della Cancelleria, 74-75 (Campo di Fiori). My boyfriend and I had one of our most luxurious meals here. Everything was excellent – the food, the wine, the service, the ambience. If you’re in Rome for a special occasion, celebrate at Ditirambo.
De Cesare al Casaletto, Via del Casaletto, 45 (Gianicolense). Since the 1950s, Cesare has been offering an authentic, local dining experience. This trattoria serves traditional Roman fare, including amazingly crispy and light fritti di mare. Another tasty fried dish is the deep fried gnocchi in a cacio e pepe sauce.
Emma, Via Monte della Farina, 28/29 (Campo di Fiori) – Excellent pizzas with high-quality ingredients. Pricier than your average Roman pizza.
Gusto, Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 28 (near Spagna metro station) – Gusto is popular from brunchtime throughout the day and evening, with a wide selection of cocktails. It also offers a really good aperitivo.
Hopside, via Francesco Negri 39 (Testaccio) – Consistently great burgers, that you can fully customise. Their cacio pepe dipping sauce is really moreish. Also offers aperiti
Hostaria da Enzo, via Ostiense 36 (Ostiense) – Rustic and family-run, with classic Roman dishes.
Hosteria La Vacca M’Briaca, Via Urbana 29-30 (Monti). Generous portions of tasty pasta, and a stone’s throw away from some great bars for after-dinner drinks.
La Carbonara, Via Panisperna 214 (Monti). Very popular so best make a reservation. The signature dish is, of course, the carbonara, but they also do a lot of other pasta and meat dishes.
La Gatta Mangiona, Via Federico Ozanam, 30-32 (Monte Verde) – One of my all-time favourite pizzerias in Rome. Neopolitan style with fluffy, doughy bases and interesting toppings. Make sure to order one of their delicious suppli (fried rice balls) as a starter.
La Tavernaccia Da Bruno, Via Giovanni da Castel Bolognese, 63 (Trastevere). Probably my favourite restaurant in the whole of Rome. All the dishes I’ve tried there have been excellent and the suckling pig is exceptional. Great wine, service, prices and ambience…it has the full package.
La Valle del Sacco, Via Bartolomeo Bossi, 4 (By Piramide metro station). Really big portions of excellent pasta dishes. The carbonara and seafood pasta are my favourites. They also do pizza, meat and fish dishes.
Meeting Place, Piazza Bologna, 1 (By Bologna metro station) – Great food and drink selection for aperitivo. There’s a sushi counter with fresh sushi included in the aperitivo – bargain! No reservations so arrive early.
Novecento, Via dei Conciatori, 10 (Ostiense). Try the baked ricotta with pear, honey and nuts, ravioli con baccalà, asparagus and lemon and the homemade tiramisu. Very nice ambience and decor.
Piatto Romano, via Giovanni Battista Bodoni 62. (Testaccio) – A total hidden gem! Friendly waiters, popular with locals but not crowded with tourists (yet). My favourite thing on the menu is rigatoni con la pajata. Pajata is the term for the intestines of a calf, only fed on its mother’s milk. The intestines are cleaned & tied, with the milk left inside. Cooking them turns the milk into a thick, creamy sauce. Served in a tomato-based sauce with rigatoni pasta, it sounds gross but is utterly delicious!
Pizzeria Da Remo, Piazza Santa Maria Liberatice 44 (Testaccio). The ‘sister’ restaurant of Pizzeria Ostiense. Consistently good, Roman-style pizza, served in a laidback, friendly atmosphere.
Pizzeria Ostiense, Via Ostiense, 56 (Ostiense) – My favourite pizzeria in Rome! Roman style with thin, crispy bases. A range of tomato-based pizzas and ‘white’ ones (without tomato sauce). Traditional Roman starters like suppli and Jewish-style artichokes (when in season).
Retrobottega, Via della Stelletta, 4 (near the Pantheon). A very creative, innovative restaurant within Rome’s historic centre. Retrobottega is a ‘food labatory’, which puts a modern twist on Italian cuisine and regularly changes its menu to take advantage of seasonal ingredients.
Sbanco, Via Siria, 1 (San Giovanni). A modern pizzeria offering thick, chewy, and crunchy pizza. Classics are available, but also some slightly more unusual toppings, such as stilton and a port reduction. The restaurant also has an excellent selection of craft beers on tap and is a great place to hang out with friends.
SantoPalato, Piazza Tarquinia, 4 a/b (San Giovanni). A relative newcomer, opening in 2017, this casual trattoria serves up classic Roman and Abruzzese dishes including cacio e pepe, carbonara and particularly good pajata. From the quality of the food, it’s unsurprising that SantoPalato’s head chef has worked in some of Rome’s best restaurants.
Ciao for now
The Curious Sparrow