Where to eat in Rome
Region Latium, that includes Rome and the surrounding areas, features a culinary tradition like no others. Wine, olive oil, sausages, and cheese are the genuine treasures of this land. From Roman artichokes and porchetta to figs and chestnuts, you will be spoiled of choice to give a tasteful twist to your holiday. Roman cuisine is loved for being extremely flavorful, simple and satisfying. Dishes are prepared using few ingredients in creative ways, constituting a cuisine that is full of character.
From baccala (salt cod) to fiori di zucca (zucchini flowers), to seafood to suppli’ (fried rice balls) in Rome, fried foods reign supreme. You hear fried and you’re thinking of your heart immediately, but a little every now and then it won’t kill you. They taste oh so good, so just give in…..remember, you’re on holiday!
Want to know what to order while in the capital city? We made a list with some of its most beloved dishes — and, just as importantly, where to find them.
What food you need to try when in Rome
Rome has some truly special delicacies that you can’t miss eating while in the Eternal City.
Make sure you’ve packed a healthy appetite for your trip – there’s so much fantastic eating to be done in Rome! Discover our list with foods you have to eat when you’re in Rome. Buon appetito!
A perfect carbonara is the cherry on top of a perfect experience in the city. The most debated dish in Rome is not to be missed. Romans argue over its origins (some say it is the dish coal miners—the carbonari —would eat, and others attribute it to postwar occupation, when American soldiers would mix bacon and eggs with pasta), but you do not have to leave Rome without trying a serving.
Best eaten in February throughout May, you should try to eat artichokes fried, baked, roasted—you name it. One of the most popular dishes from the Roman-Jewish repertoire is carciofi alla Giudea (Jewish-style artichokes). They are double fried, crispy and salty, and look like flowers.
If you are looking for a street food snack, try Suppli. Romans are very proud of this crumbed and fried ball of risotto, usually with tomato ragù and a mozzarella center.
Cacio de Pepe
If you are a pasta lover, you need to try Roman classic pasta, cacio e pepe. Pepe is pepper and cacio is Roman dialect for cheese, and yes, two-ingredient pasta might not sound all that exciting, but this is not to be missed! Creamy and rich, it’s usually served with tonarrelli, a long, spaghetti-type egg pasta.
Trippa alla Romana
True Roman cuisine has its origins in offal. Workers at the abattoir in the now gentrified neighborhood of Testaccio were historically paid in leftover animal parts (often referred to as the fifth quarter), and so generations of Roman women would make do with what was brought home, from the cow’s stomach (tripe) to lungs, heart and the rest. Trippa alla Romana (cooked Roman style) is made in a rich, tomato-based sauce; one of the best places to try is at this Roman hangout, where no doubt you’ll feel like a local.
If you tasted pizza in Napoli, you should know that, in Rome, the pizza is different, with a crust paper-thin, almost burnt look. Go just a couple of miles from the center in Testaccio – you will find there some of the best Roman food!
Take a look at our guide to the top 50 best pizza restaurants in Rome.
Not all gelato in Rome is equal. Many places about town claim to stock real deal, gelato artigianale (homemade gelato), but what you’re often eating is made from powdered mix. Make sure you try the authentic one and enjoy!
Amatriciana is the only tomato-based pasta dish of the Roman classic set. Made with crispy guanciale (pork cheek), tomatoes, and Pecorino Romano cheese, this dish is rich and mouthwatering. Usually it’s served either with rigatoni, or with bucatini pasta.
Porchetta is a rolled spiced pork with a crispy and salty crackling skin. It can be found in sandwiches or simply, on its own.
Drinks in Rome
After visiting all the historic sites of Rome, what better way to spend your evening than sipping a glass of wine to quench that thirst?
If you are in Rome, try a glass of Bellone, Frascati Superiore and Nero Buona, paired with regional cheeses and dried meats. In addition to knowing more about the taste and colors of the wines of Lazio, you’ll walk away with a sense of the history of the countryside they come from. When in Rome, why not drink and eat what’s from the region?
So if you’re planning a trip to Rome, make sure to leave time in your schedule to enjoy aperitivo time before dinner. It’s a great way to wind down after a long day sightseeing and to experience a little bit of Italian culture without spoiling your appetite. Plus, there are plenty of drinks to choose from, just don’t go overboard! Cin Cin!
Where to eat and drink in Rome
To get the best out of your Italian eating extravaganza, it pays to know the regional specialties, the foods to enjoy and the best places you can go to eat and drink like a local. If you’re heading to Rome, then lucky you – here’s a list with the best places to eat traditional roman food! Visitors to the Italian capital will be endlessly satisfied, whether they are after traditional foods or fresh flavors–but only if they know exactly where to look! So, where to eat in Rome? Make sure you read our list of recommendations with the best restaurants in Rome. Also, you need to know that Romans rarely turn up for dinner before 8 pm.
Da Enzo is a family-run trattoria in Trastevere, serves one of the best authentic Roman foods. Absolute must visit when in Rome! You need to try their pasta carbonara with a super crispy pieces of guanciale. Make sure you have a reservation before showing up!
Is located in Rome’s ghetto area, is a longtime local favorite. Here they serve kosher versions of many of the Roman classics you’ll find in trattorias, but their artichokes (and all fried treats) are delicious here. You can sit outside, experiencing the sights and atmosphere of the area.
I Supplì makes some of Rome’s best supli. For just a few euros, you might just stumble upon the tastiest and cheapest lunch of your life. Also, you need to try their pizza and risotto.
Flavio al Velavevodetto
Cacio e pepe in on menus all over Rome, but at The at Flavio al Velavevodetto it’s outstanding. You need to pair the pasta with a bottle of their house wine. Also, don’t leave without try the tiramisù! It’s so light, yet so heavenly delicious.
Pizzeria Da Remo
Da Remo is a local favorite—like most classic Roman pizzerias, it isn’t flashy and the service is hit or miss, but the pizza is very good! Start off like the Romans do, with fried treats like supplì, mozzarella balls and stuffed and fried zucchini flowers. The Margherita is always a sure bet here.
This has to be the best I’ve ever had when it comes to gelato. You’ll find all your classic flavors here, but with quite a few adventurous mixes like gorgonzola and pear, chocolate with tobacco, basil with walnuts and honey, and even carrot cake.
La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali
La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali is right in the heart of the Monti neighborhood, between the Colosseum and the Roman and Imperial forums, offering good, fresh dishes. At this family-run trattoria, amatriciana is served with bucatini and it’s sure to be a crowd favorite. You also need to try their pastas.
If you want to do what Romans do, you need to try to eat like a local. The Eternal City has no shortage of eating options. Italian culture is well known for its family traditions, that almost always focus on food. Your experience in Rome should be no different. But, in case you’re overwhelmed by the choices available to you, or simply want to avoid the tourist traps, you need to relax and try our recommendation. If you only have a few days in the Italian capital and want to eat well, a bit of planning, a bus pass, and a sense of adventure can go a long way to ensuring a delicious trip. But whatever you do be sure you will eat well in Rome!