Roman Cuisine is rich and tasty – but like everywhere, in Rome as well tourist traps are manly located on the path of tourists, so falling into one of them is not so difficult. That’s why I tried to list up for you some places that I know personally, hoping it will help you to enjoy your meals when you’re eating out while visiting downtown. You’ll be able to locate each place on the MAP looking for the listed numbers.
Please note that of course I couldn’t try all of these places in the last month, so some of them may have changed their chef/owner/quality/price list in the last months. I’ll be happy to update my list based on your feedback, which I’ll consider precious to me and to next guests of SPQR.
Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org… thank you!
• IF YOU WANT TO TASTE AN EXCELLENT ITALIAN ICE CREAM:
1. Across the bridge near Piazza del Popolo: La Romana – Via Cola di Rienzo 2
2. Near St. Peter: Hedera – Borgo Pio 179
3. Near Piazza Navona: GROM – Via Agonale 3
4. Near Montecitorio Palace (House of Representatives): GROM – Via della Maddalena 30/a
5. Near Piazza Farnese/Campo de’ Fiori: GROM – Via dei Giubbonari 52
6. Near Pantheon: Frigidarium – Via del Governo Vecchio 112
7. Near Trastevere: Fiordiluna – Via della Lungaretta 96
• IF YOU PREFER EATING A SIMPLE SLICE OF TAKE-AWAY PIZZA:
8. Near Piazza Farnese/Campo de’ Fiori: Forno Campo de’ Fiori – Piazza Campo de’ fiori 22
9. Near Piazza Farnese/Campo de’ Fiori: Antico Forno Roscioli – Via dei Chiavari 34
10. Near Trastevere: La Renella – Via del Moro 15. This is a traditional, ancient wood-burning oven, where you can find take-away pizza but also sandwiches, tarts and pies. Really super.
A really excellent option is Alice Pizza, a franchising chain spread all around, the full list is HERE, just type “Roma” in the search field and check their map. However, the shops I guess you may cross are the following:
11. Near Vatican Museums: Via delle Grazie 7
12. Near Largo Argentina/Pantheon: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 35
13. Near Piazza Farnese/Campo de’ Fiori: Largo dei Librari 82
14. Near Via Veneto: Via di San Basilio 56
15. Near Testaccio/Aventino/Piramide: Via Marmorata 111
16. Near Piramide: Via Ostiense 48
• FOR A GOOD SANDWICH OR OTHER SMALL MEALS:
17. Near Piazza Farnese/Campo de’ Fiori: Roscioli – Via dei Giubbonari 21. Here you can sit and drink good wine as well. Fantastic bread made by their own oven.
18. Near Piazza Farnese/Campo de’ Fiori: Dar Filettaro a Santa Barbara – Largo dei Librari 88. Open only in afternoon/night. Famous for fried cod fillets, and special green salad (puntarelle during springtime, different varieties in other seasons) seasoned with anchovy/garlic sauce, both very typical of Rome. Service is a bit rude, but food is super!
19. Near Piazza Farnese/Campo de’ Fiori: Il Fornaio – Via dei Baullari 5. Here you can taste the roman famous “pizza co’ la mortazza”. It’s a large slice of thin focaccia (flat bread) just taken out of the oven, cut horizontally and stuffed with mortadella. Great! This is a bakery, you can’t sit at a table here.
20. Near Ghetto: Gran Caffè Rione XIII – Via di Santa Maria del Pianto 59 – +39 06 8693 2095
A pub-shop where taking your breakfast, your afternoon tea or eating a quick meal, all in really cosy and beautiful environment.
21. Near Via Giulia: Supplizio – Via dei Banchi Vecchi 143. Specialized on Supplì (roman typical rice ball seasoned in different ways, stuffed with mozzarella cheese, breaded and fried).
22. Near Piazza Navona: I Pizzicaroli – Via della Fossa 9. A hi-quality variety of Italian cold cuts, cheeses and wines, perfect for a quick meal or an aperitivo!
23. Near Piazza Navona: Vivi Bistrot – Piazza Navona 2 – +39 06 6833779
Right into the gallery between Piazza Navona and Palazzo Braschi, this cosy bistrot offers good quality sandwiches, small dishes or a quality cup of tea with handmade cakes.
24. Near Piazza Navona/Lungotevere Marzio: Cipasso Vineria Bistrot – Via dell’Orso 71 – +39 06 8927 4020
Fantastic food & wine. Really an innovative experience offering high quality ingredients in a perfect environment.
25. Near Termini Station/Piazza della Repubblica: Er Buchetto – Via del Viminale 2/F. This place is famous for porchetta sandwiches. Porchetta is roman style roasted pork, very tasty!
26. Near Termini Station: Mercato Centrale – Via Giolitti 36. This is a must to be visited and enjoyed. You will find many types of Italian street food in this incredible location on the right side of the station.
27. Near Foro Romano/Via Cavour: Zia Rosetta – Via Urbana 54. Rosetta bread is the most famous shape of bread in Rome. The name means “small rose” due to its upper cuts making it similar to a flower. In this place, Rosetta breads are stuffed with high quality gourmet ingredients.
28. Near Piazza Barberini: Gino Bar – Via di San Basilio 52 – +39 06 483671
Good pub with sitting area, perfect for a short pit-stop before 1 p.m. (too crowded after that time). Sandwiches but also first and second courses.
• EATING OUT IN RESTAURANTS
a. in all good roman restaurants, pasta is cooked “al dente” – meaning that it will probably be a bit harder than how you taste it at home. This is normal for us, just take this point in mind.
b. It’s always better calling the restaurant to check if it’s open and to reserve your table.
Eating out near SPQR (at walking distance)
29. Vecchia Osteria del Gelsomino – Via del Gelsomino 68 – +39 06 630750
Traditional roman restaurant, serving good quality roman dishes.
30. La Caletta – Via Aurelia 74 – +39 06 64400375
Good quality fish restaurant, quite classy.
31. Goose – Piazzale Gregorio VII 33 – +39 06 39366269
It looks like an Irish pub, but they make good pizza and also Italian food. They often have big groups of tourists – it can be noisy (but nearly all Italian restaurants are noisy ).
32. Perdincibacco – Via delle Fornaci 5 – +39 06 632527
Small restaurant & pizzeria. Of course, many many tourists eat there, but food is real Italian.
33. Osteria dei Pontefici – Via Gregorio VII 53 – +39 06 635206
This is a touristic restaurant & pizzeria, but it’s one of the most acceptable in the area; please go there only if the others are full.
34. Il Padiglione delle Cicogne – Via Giovan Battista Gandino 44 – +39 328 1192557
Excellent Chinese restaurant, food quality and style are completely different from those of all other Chinese restaurants in Rome. It’s in the neighbourhood, but you’ll need to take a taxi.
Eating out in monumental area
35. Near Castel Sant’Angelo/Corso Vittorio: Alfredo e Ada – Via dei Banchi Nuovi 14 – +39 06 6878842
Small traditional restaurant serving home-made roman dishes.
36. Near Castel Sant’Angelo: La Fraschetta di Castel Sant’Angelo – Via del Banco di Santo Spirito 20 – +39 06 68307661
A micro-restaurant, perfect for eating excellent roman dishes in a very informal location… very special!
37. Near Corso Vittorio Emanuele/Via Giulia: LABottega Pastificio con Cucina – Via dei Banchi Vecchi 48 – +39 06 6819 2952
Do you like handmade pasta? You must try this place. They produce and sell handmade pasta of many different kinds, including ravioli, cannelloni and gnocchi, you can shop and take it to SPQR for dinner. But eating it there is possible as well, in the small informal restaurant inside the shop. Really remarkable!
38. Near Piazza Venezia: Terre e Domus – Foro Traiano 82 – +39 06 6994 0273
Avoid going here during high touristic season, too many people will make this small restaurant overflow and service quality will drop consequently. But from November to April you will enjoy a truly roman meal served just in front of Colonna Traiana. Amazing!
39. Near Piazza Venezia: Plebiscito – Via del Plebiscito 104 – +39 06 678 5440
A new place offering a selection of dishes from across Italy, divided into different areas: a bar for a coffee and a cake or a sandwich, a pub for a platter of cold cuts and a beer, a fish restaurant, a pasta restaurant… and it’s also a market. Marvellous ancient location with modern/minimalist décor.
40. Near Piramide: Eataly – Piazzale 12 Ottobre 1942. This is a must. It’s a huge place where spending some hours, three floors of food markets and typical restaurants. Many foods such as mozzarella, piadina and others are produced under your eyes. You’ll find here all the best of Italian food (both cooked dishes and ingredients), to eat/drink there or to buy and get back home as Italian souvenir. I suggest to go to Eataly on the last day of your stay because for sure you will buy something!
41. Near Piazza Barberini/Piazza di Spagna: Crispi 19 – Via Francesco Crispi 19 – +39 06 6785904
Excellent italian food, especially fresh fish.
42. Near Piazza Navona: Virginiae – Via di Parione 41 – +39 06 89017261
High quality roman cuisine in the very center of Rome.
43. Near Piazza Navona: EST Artigiani del Gusto – Vicolo della Cancelleria 11 – +39 06 68803332
A small nice restaurant serving pasta and other traditional dishes, all homemade.
44. Near Piazza Navona: Cantina e Cucina – Via del Governo Vecchio 87 – +39 06 6892574
Another small restaurant very famous for well-prepared roman dishes. They also serve pizza.
45. Near Piazza di Spagna: Il Gabriello – Via Vittoria 51 – +39 06 69940810
Only open for dinner. Great small restaurant, serving excellent roman dishes. It’s worth a visit.
46. Near Piazza di Spagna: Ginger – Via Borgognona, 43 – +39 06 6864995
Excellent for a quick, healthy meal in the heart of high fashion shopping area.
47. Near Montecitorio Palace (House of Representatives): Osteria Poldo e Gianna – Vicolo Rosini 6 – +39 06 6893499
Cosy small roman/mediterranean restaurant, with a nice dehors on a quiet street; high quality food at very reasonable price.
48. Near Piazza Barberini: Colline Emiliane – Via degli Avignonesi 22 – +39 06 4817538
If you wish to try dishes from another Italian region famous for fantastic food, Emilia-Romagna, you shouldn’t miss this place.
49. Near Piazza del Popolo: Il Pollarolo – Via di Ripetta 4 – +39 06 361 0276
Traditional roman food, and pizza as well. A very informal place for eating authentic local food (pizza is very small).
50. Near Piazza del Popolo: Antica Osteria Brunetti – Via Angelo Brunetti 10 – +39 06 6452 1062
Fantastic roman cuisine, traditional setting, welcoming atmosphere. Not cheap.
51. Near Termini Station: Diana’s Place – Via Volturno 54 – +39 06 87818000/+39 06 92935170
A classy winery with excellent Italian food, a rare exception among so many low-quality restaurants near the central train station.
52. Near Via Nazionale: Ambrosia (restaurant of Hotel Artemide) – Via Nazionale 22 – +39 06 489911
An elegant restaurant on the top floor of a hotel. Great view, great food and great service, at an affordable price.
53. Near San Giovanni in Laterano: Il Tajut – Via San Giovanni in Laterano 244 – +39 349 641 8088
If you are fed up with roman cuisine please try this restaurant, they serve traditional dishes from another Italian region, Friuli. Really excellent. Closed on Mondays.