The vast number of restaurants in Rome can be overwhelming whether you visit for one day, one week or longer. Read on to discover our favorite Rome restaurants that you won’t want to miss plus street food, pizzerias, cafes and markets.
If you’re taking your first trip to Italy, you’re probably starting in Rome. It’s practically inevitable. It’s also inevitable that you’re overwhelmed by the variety of places to eat in the eternal city.
Intriguingly, much of the Italian food we all grew up eating in America has little do with the food served in Italy’s eternal city. While Roman cuisine certainly includes pasta and pizza, those Italian food favorites are cooked just a little differently from the pastas and pizzas served in Southern Italian cities like Naples.
However, in recent decades, thanks to food acolytes like Anthony Bourdain and Marcella Hazan (both now deceased) and the spread of modern Italian restaurants across the globe, the artful Roman style of cookery and Roman classics like Cacio e Pepe, Amatriciana, Carbonara and Porchetta have grown to become legend. And with good reason…
When restaurants get it right, Roman cuisine, in all its simplicity, is one of the best cuisines on earth.
Rome is one of the world’s greatest food cities. Discover our picks for other great food cities around the world.
There are food travelers who travel to Rome with the primary goal of eating all the food. We understand this goal since we fit into that culinary category ourselves. We also acknowledge that eating in Rome can be a challenge.
Rome is an enormous city with a lot to unpack. Since our initial visit in 2010 we’ve visited the eternal city a number of times and, the more we visit, the more we understand and love Rome.
It all came together during our visit in 2020. As more seasoned food travelers (pun intended), we knew where to best focus our calories and stomach space. Hello pasta and gelato! But, since that week wasn’t enough, we’ve returned yet again to continue our ongoing quest to eat the best Roman food at the best Roman restaurants.
Discover more than two dozen must-eat Rome foods.
Table of Contents
- Rome Food Guide | Where to Eat in Rome
- Our Favorite Rome Restaurants
- Rome Pizzerias
- Rome Street Food
- Rome Cafes and Pastry Shops
- Rome Bars
- Rome Food Markets
- Rome Restaurant FAQs
- Rome Planning Checklist
Rome Food Guide | Where to Eat in Rome
Deciding where to eat in Rome sounds easy but actually takes a bit of skill and dedicated research if you want to eat well in Italy’s sprawling capital. While there are thousands of restaurants in Rome, they’re not all great. Plus, many hotel concierges have their own agendas which aren’t always altruistic.
This is where our Rome restaurant guide comes in handy…
We’ve curated a selection of traditional Roman restaurants as well as other spots that will hit the spot whether you’re jonesing for a sandwich on the go or want to linger over a more gastronomic meal in your personal search for the best restaurant in Rome.
Of course, you’ll want to eat at least one pizza and lots of pasta. And you don’t want to skip wine-filled aperitivo sessions when Roman days transition to Roman nights. Our guide covers all of these options and more.
Our Favorite Rome Restaurants
The best restaurants in Rome range from cosy trattorias to chef-driven establishments which have earned one or more Michelin stars. Many are located in the heart of the tourist zone while others require a bit of logistical planning and a trip on the metro or bus. Consider them all when you’re planning your Rome dining itinerary.
Our biggest piece of advice is to plan ahead and make advance restaurant reservations. Rome is probably Italy’s most popular tourist destination, especially during the summer season. Don’t assume you just can walk into a restaurant and score a table.
As is the case with many cities in Italy, failing to plan your Rome restaurant meals is planning to fail in your Rome food quest. Plus, it’s simply good decorum in Europe to make restaurant reservations.
We conducted an inordinate amount of research, both in advance and on-the-ground, when deciding where to eat in Rome. During this labor of love, we discovered traditional Rome restaurants which have been serving pastas for decades, restaurants that continue Rome’s Jewish traditions and restaurants sporting one or more Michelin stars.
The following Rome restaurants are our current favorites:
Trattoria Al Moro
Al Moro has a timeless dining room, the kind of place where legends like Fellini broke bread. It’s a restaurant that has endured the changes and transformations of time which have transformed central Rome neighborhoods, like its own near the Trevi Fountain, into cheap tourist zones.
Though labeled a trattoria, Al Moro fulfills the definition of a ristorante in Italy. Wooden appointments line the room. Fresh seasonal porcini mushrooms, some the size of softballs, greet visitors who dine at Al Moro in September as we did. Esoteric and somewhat whimsical art and memorabilia adorn the walls.
Open since 1929, Al Moro is the kind of restaurant where you’ll want to linger over lunch, taking a break from Rome’s maddening crowds and potentially stifling heat. And, assuming you’re not seated in a room with a bunch of tourists (as can happen in Rome – this city probably invented the practice), you may even be dining with local politicians whom you probably won’t recognize.
Its dishes can be a little pricey but they’re worth it. Many are Al Moro classics. We call them Al Moro classics instead of Roman classics since many are Al Moro inventions.
You won’t want to miss Spaghetti Al Moro, a dish that harkens back to the true ‘bacon and eggs’ legend of carbonara but it’s a unique dish made purely of egg yolks. During our meal, its taxi-yellow pasta shared a plate with chunks of chewy smoked bacon.
Spaghetti wasn’t the only dish we ate during our meal. We also ate silky artichokes, shells filled with earthy sausage and porcini that channeled the city’s rusticity plus a secondi of textbook Vitello Tonnato – cold, pounded slices of veal with a creamy tuna sauce.
We finished our meal by sharing custard-like Zabaglione. It was silkier and more beautiful than we expected, not to mention incredibly tasty.
Felice a Testaccio
Testaccio has a lot of restaurants and Felice a Testaccio is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, of the lot. Opened by Felice Trivelloni in 1936, the restaurant has been a Testaccio fixture for almost a century.
What Is Testaccio?
Testaccio is the neighborhood to visit if you’re looking to eat the best versions of Rome’s classic pasta dishes (ie. “The Roman Four’). Just south enough of the center to make it local and unique, Testaccio was once a working class neighborhood with a slaughter house located within its boundaries. It’s now notable for its restaurants and the bustling Mercato di Testacccio.
We had heard of the prowess of Felice’s Cacio e Pepe before we dined on the restaurant’s expansive terrace. But Daryl, who generally doesn’t like to follow the crowd, ordered Pasta Amatriciana (pictured above) instead. After writing a recipe for the dish and cooking it numerous times at home, he needed to try a ‘Testaccio Trattoria Version’ to see how his recipe compares.
Sure enough, there was good news on two fronts: not only had Daryl mastered Pasta Amatriciana but Felice’s Bucatini all’Amatriciana was wonderful – a synthesis of sauce, fatty pork, starchy pasta and cheese. Amatriciana has many iterations and Felice’s version is the apotheosis of the dish.
Mindi’s fettuccine was also great – a variation of Pasta alla Gricia with fettuccine, guanciale and artichoke. While both pastas were outstanding, it should be noted that our simple secondi of roast lamb was a little boney with a meager amount of meat for our taste. That being said, Felice has a big menu and we WILL try the restaurant’s tableside Cacio e Pepe and a different secondi when we next pass through Testaccio.
Make a reservation at least a couple weeks in advance since Felice a Testaccio is super popular with both locals and tourists.
Felice a Testaccio is located at Via Mastro Giorgio, 29, 00153 Roma RM, Italy.
Chef Antonio Ziantoni and Ida Proiett took a unique approach when they opened Zia in 2018. Instead of serving homey Italian dishes in an equally homey space as is the norm in Rome, they went a different direction with their Trastevere restaurant.
Zia’s elegant space feels almost Scandinavian and its dishes take Italian ingredients to new levels. Druing our meal, spherified goat’s milk mozzarella balls exploded in our mouths and strips of brined pork cheek looked like bacon but tasted so much better.
It would be difficult for us to choose one favorite dish from our Zia dinner but, it if we had to, it would be the tortelli (pictured above) made with potato, ‘nduja and sage. Then again, maybe it was the sea bass meunière (not very Italian but, then again, France is next door) served in a buttery sauce flavored with with capers and licorice.
We were thrilled to find our favorite beer, Põhjala’s Öö brewed in Tallinn, on Zia’s menu.
Choosing to dine at Zia was a no-brainer for us after we got the recommendation from Terry Giansanti, a knowledgeable Rome local whom we met at a Venice restaurant. A little research revealed the restaurant’s pedigree which includes a Michelin star earned after just one year and a head chef who worked with Gordon Ramsay and at Rome’s only two-starred restaurant, Il Pagliaccio.
It was also a no-brainer for us to skip the a la carte menu and order Zia’s five-course tasting menu. This approach enabled us to sample a parade of plates for a relatively affordable price. During our meal, that tasting menu cost 60€ while the seven-course meal cost 80€. However, we’ve noted that the restaurant is currently offering six and eight course options for 90€ and 120€ respectively.
As always, prices are subject to change.
Very few restaurants earn a Michelin star without a solid team and Zia is no exception. While Chef Ziantoni helms the savory dishes, Christian Marasca does the same with Zia’s dessert program.
Marasca’s signature pastry is his swirled Tourbillon, but we didn’t try that particular dessert. Instead, our tasting menu included raspberry Millefoglie pastries constructed with layers that were both shatteringly crispy and delightfully creamy. We were completely satisfied, not to mention too full to even think about ordering a Tourbillon. Maybe next time.
Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina
We wonder where people ate Carbonara in Rome before Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina opened in 2014.
Of course we’re joking but no matter whom we asked for Rome restaurant advice, especially when we asked where to eat the best carbonara, the answer always included Roscioli.
Roscioli’s makes its Carbonara with artisan guanciale, pepper, locally sourced eggs and DOP pecorino romano. After tasting the pasta, we understood why this dish is so lauded. It’s a supercharged, ultra-rich carbonara with chunks of fat with just the right bite, firm, rich tonarelli and a sauce that beautifully ‘dresses’ the pasta.
To be clear, Carbonara isn’t the only dish worth ordering at Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina. The popular Rome restaurant has a full menu featuring cured meats, local cheese and a full range of classic Roman dishes. Then there’s its extensive wine list which spans Italy and beyond from a vast cellar with more than 60,000 bottles.
Join the Roscioli Italian Wine Club.
Despite Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina’s relative youthful status, the Roscioli family are far from new kids on the block, or in their case, in the ghetto. The family’s patriarch opened Antico Forno bakery in 1972, more than 30 years before progeny Alessandro and Pierluigi Roscioli opened the multi-purpose salumeria which operates as a deli counter, natural wine shop and restaurant.
The little touches at Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina make the restaurant special. These touches include baskets filled with bread baked at the family’s nearby bakery and the complimentary ciambelline cookies served with chocolate sauce that capped our meal.
We mentioned that we didn’t order Cacio e Pepe at Felice a Testaccio but we didn’t tell the full story. As it turns out, we didn’t feel the need after ordering and loving the experience of eating Tonarelli Cacio e Pepe at another Testaccio restaurant – Piatto Romano.
Piatto Romano’s service of the simplest Roman pasta dish is a show. While the pasta leaves the kitchen fully dressed in cheese, owner Augusto proceeds to grind a generous amount of pepper from his motorized pepper grinder. And, by generous, we mean that Augusto ground fresh pepper on our pasta for a full two minutes.
These steps added up to a masterpiece. We doubt that we’ll ever have a better version of this deceptively simple dish in Rome or elsewhere.
We loved a number of other dishes at Piatto Romano including simple, less saucy Spaghetti all’Amatriciana made from a special recipe from Augusto’s mother who hails from Amatrice and Trippa alla Romana served with a slightly piquant sauce that had enough bite to counter the rich, slightly funky flavor of the tripe.
If you go to this family-run gem, your meal will be filled with many classics and they’ll all be good. That includes classic Roman desserts like Torta Ricotta e Visciole, a rustic ricotta cheesecake with sour cherries, which ended our meal on a sweet note.
Some of Rome’s most famous dishes have roots in the city’s Jewish community and date back to the days of ancient Rome. In more recent centuries, Jews were relegated to a defined neighborhood referred to as the ghetto which is where Nonna Betta is located. However, being segregated didn’t stop Jews from contributing to Roman cuisine.
The most famous Jewish Roman dish is Carciofi alla Giudia (i.e. Jewish-style artichoke). Other typical dishes include Fiori di Zucca (i.e. fried squash blossoms) and Stracotto (Italian pot roast). Nonna Betta serves all of these Roman dishes and more at its ghetto location.
Don’t expect to eat pork or seafood at Nonna Betta and also don’t expect to mix milk with meat. Owned by a Roman Jew, this is a ‘kosher style’ restaurant that celebrates Rome’s Jewish cuisine and customs. Umberto Pavoncello named the restaurant after his grandmother (i.e. Nonna Betta) and stakes a claim to fame since the late Anthony Bourdain ate – and liked – Nonna Betta’s signature Carciofi alla Giudia.
Channeling Bourdain, we ate the crispy artichoke dish as well as two pastas (Carbonara with zucchini and Gricia with mushrooms – obviously no guanciale was used) plus a serving of saucy Polpettes (i.e. meatballs) cooked with celery. We especially liked the artichoke which is no surprise since the traditional Carciofi alla Giudia preparation involves both deep frying and spicy peppers.
Order classic Roman Jewish desserts like cassola (i.e. baked ricotta chesse cake) and torta ricotta e visciole (i.e. ricotta and sour cherry cake) for a sweet ending to your Nonna Betta meal.
Nonna Betta is located at Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 16, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
Taverna Volpetti is worth a visit whether you’re looking for an aperitivo break or a traditional Roman meal. While it’s only been open since 2016, the Testaccio tavern sources its ingredients from Volpetti Salumeria, a local institution since 1973, that’s located just around the corner.
Not surprisingly due to the salumeria connection, most people order charcuterie at Taverna Volpetti. We were no exception, ordering a tagliere topped with a sampling of Prosciutto di Norcia, Finocchiana, Pecorino di Tartufo, Pecorino Sardo, alpine cheese and wild boar Salumi during our visit.
We also ordered a classic rendition of Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe and a bottle of red wine.
Though not earth shattering, the meal was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon in Rome. We recommend Taverna Volpetti as a back-up if you can’t score a reservation at nearby Felice a Testaccio or Piatta Romano.
Although Volpetti Salumeria is open every day, Taverna Volpetti is closed on Mondays.
Taverna Volpetti is located at Via Alessandro Volta, 8, 00153 Roma RM, Italy.
Additional Rome Restaurants
Our quest to find and dine at the best Rome restaurants continues and yours should too. Like us, you need to eat at as many top Rome restaurants as possible to find your favorites. One again, don’t forget to make advance reservations. We can’t recommend this enough!
Beyond our suggestions, consider traditional gems like Armando al Pantheon, Da Enzo al 29 and Trattoria Monti unless you’re tempted to splurge on dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurants like Aroma or Moma.
If you’re feeling flush, you can even book a meal at two-starred Acquolina, Enoteca La Torre and Il Pagliaccio or three starred La Pergola. Then again, your pick for the best Rome restaurant may be a pizzeria.
Rome has several excellent pizzerias serving a variety of pizza styles that include thin crusted Pizza Romana and Pizza al Taglio slices as well as Pizza Rossa and Pizza Bianca flat breads. We ate them all and more at ten excellent Rome pizzerias.
However, if we had to pick just one pizzeria in Rome to recommend, that pizzeria would be Stefano Callegari’s Sbanco.
Stefano Callegari opened Sbanco in 2016 but it’s not his only Rome pizzeria. Caellegari also owns and operates Sforno and Tonda. He’s also the man behind Trapizzino (see below) which serves a popular pizza-sandwich hybrid.
You can’t go wrong with any of Callegari’s pizzerias. However, Sbanco is the one we’re recommending for its friendly atmosphere, great beer selection and, of course, outstanding pizza.
During our Sbanco meal, we enjoyed two pies – a Diavolo pizza with fior di latte (mozzarella) and ventricina (a spicy salami typically eaten in Italy’s Abruzzo region) and a Cacio e Pepe pizza that channeled the popular pasta dish into a monster of a pie loaded with pepper and Pecorino Romano.
Order the Cacio e Pepe pizza since it’s both unique and mind blowingly delicious.
Sbanco is located at Via Siria, 1, 00179 Roma RM, Italy.
Additional Rome Pizzerias
You could easily eat pizza every day during your visit during your visit and never get bored. We don’t recommend this approach since you’d be missing out on a lot of other great Rome food; however, we would understand it.
Check out our Rome pizza guide to discover nine more excellent places to eat pizza in central Rome and beyond.
Rome Street Food
Sometimes travelers don’t have the time, interest or budget for a leisurely restaurant meal. That’s when it’s time to hit the streets!
Street food is no novelty in Rome. Beyond pizza, Rome’s street food menu includes Suppli, Porchetta and Trapizzino just to name a few local favorites. Read on to discover our favorite spots to eat street food in Rome:
Some people have proclaimed that Er Buchetto is the last authentic Porchetta shop in Rome. We’re not sure if that’s true. However, we’re sure that Er Buchetto should be your first stop if you happen to be near Roma Termini station and you’re hungry.
The concept of Porchetta is simple enough. A whole pig is deboned, layered with herbs and/or cheese and breadcrumbs, tied and then roasted. At Er Buchetto, they cook their Porchetta “…in a big hot oven, 10 at a time for four hours.” The resulting skin is blisteringly crisp and the flesh is succulent. You could say Porchetta is to Rome as cheesesteaks are to Philadelphia.
Run by 5th and 6th generation Romans, Er Buchetto has been open since 1890.
Though the shop lists its opening at 8am, Allesandro Fiorvanti began slicing the slow-cooked pork at around 10am when we visited. You can eat your Porchetta two ways – either on a short baguette or on focaccia. We preferred the focaccia sandwich, but you’ll have to taste both versions to see which you prefer.
Go early to Er Buchetto to beat the inevitable lunch rush.
Er Buchetto is located at Via del Viminale, 2F, 00184 Roma RM, Italy.
Open since 2014, Supplizio feels older since it’s located in a 17th century structure that previously operated as a horse stall. Its comfortable dining room is designed to feel like a living room albeit a living room with ancient brick walls. In other words, Supplizio is a funky yet comfortable spot to eat Suppli in Rome.
Chef Arcangelo Dandini surprises nobody by frying Suppli at Supplizio. After all, the crispy balls filled with rice, cheese and tomato sauce are a Rome street food staple. But Dandini goes further by serving five types of Suppli as well as additional street treats like potato croquettes and cod fritters.
Order wine unless you’re in the mood for craft beer. We chose the latter.
Supplizio is located at Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 143, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
One of our favorite Rome street food spots isn’t a restaurant or food stall. Instead, La Tradizione is a specialty food shop. But not just any specialty shop.
La Tradizione sells salumis and hams from all over Italy sourced from a variety of artisan producers. It also sells interesting cheeses including stinky, oozy raw milk varieties like Tomino from Piemonte and Robiola wrapped in leaves from Lombardy.
But what about the street food?
Here’s where the street food comes into play. In addition to selling a tempting variety of fresh pastas and an entire range of prepared foods like stuffed peppers and tomatoes, La Tradizione also makes bangin’ sandwiches upon request. Once you buy a sandwich, you can take it to the street and eat it at a park unless you’d rather devour it in your hotel room.
If La Tradizione were locagted near our home, we’d probably be there every day… or at least Daryl would be there buying stuff for him and Mindi every day. Whatever the case, we’ve seen our share of great delis, markets and traiteurs in France, Spain, Germany and other areas around Italy and the selezione at La Tradizione ranks with the best in the world.
A hybrid of Pizza Bianca and triangular Tramezzino sandwiches, Stefano Callegari’s 2013 culinary creation is a pizza dough cone stuffed with savory Roman food favorites and a few international classics. Its shape makes it uniquely portable while its ingredients attract crowds to Trapizzino locations around Rome and beyond. There’s even a location in New York City.
During our visit at the original Testaccio location, we spotted familiar fillings like Trippa alla Romana (Roman Tripe), Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant Parmigana) and Polpetta al Sugo (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce) as well as more exotic fillings like Ethiopian Zighni flavored with berberé spice. Of course, Callegari’s original filling, Pollo alla Cacciatora (Chicken Cacciatore) was also on the Trapizzino menu.
Order a Suppli at Trappizino and check two Rome street food favorites off your Rome eating list.
Trappizino has multiple Rome locations.
Forno Campo de’ Fiori
Located on the edge of the Campo de’ Fiori market (see bbelow), Forno Campo de’ Firori specializes in Pizza Bianca, little flat breads that rely on olive oil for their flavor, and Pizza Rossa slabs lightly doused with tomato sauce. We tried one of each during our first visit, munching on the duo as we wandered around the market and its crowd, and then we returned for more two days later.
Mixing things up, we ordered a Pizza Bianca stuffed with mortadella, Italy’s tasty cured pork product with roots in Bologna, to share for a protein-packed breakfast. More similar to a sandwich than to typical pizza, this loaded Pizza Bianca filled us up until lunch.
Rome Cafes and Pastry Shops
Cafes have played a part in Rome’s culture since Antico Caffè Greco opened in 1760. Luminaries like Casanova, Ibsen, Keats and Wagner have sipped cups of darkly roasted coffee this historic cafe over the centuries. Other historic Rome cafes include Caffetteria Sciascia, Giolitti, Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè and Caffè Tazza D’Oro.
You’ll probably want to visit one or more of those historic cafes for the experience just like you’ll want to visit the best gelato shops. After you check that off your list, we recommend the following spots for a sweet start to your day or an energizing afternoon break:
If you only try one pastry in Rome, that pastry should be a Maritozzo. And, if you only have time to eat one Maritozzo, you should eat it at Pasticceria Regoli.
To be honest, we weren’t huge Maritozzo fans until we shared one at Pasticceria Regoli. However, once we bit into Regoli’s sweet bun, practically as big as Daryl’s head and filled with freshly whipped cream, our only question was when could we eat one again.
The quality of Pasticceria Regoli’s Maritozzi shouldn’t be a surprise considering that the Regoli family has been operating the Esquillino pastry shop for more than a century. While Maritozzi aren’t the only pastries to eat here, they draw the crowds. Other tempting options include cookies and pastries topped with pine nuts, Chantilly cream and wild strawberries.
Share a Maritozzo with a friend if you’re planning to eat your way around Rome. Eating one of these big boys on your own would put a big dent in your appetite.
Pasticceria Regoli is located at Via dello Statuto, 60, 00185 Roma RM, Italy.
If you’re impressed by Pasticceria Regoli’s centenary status, the you’ll really be impressed by Pasticceria il Boccione. The Limentani family has been baking tarts and biscotti for more than two centuries (and counting) at Rome’s popular Jewish Ghetto bakery. You’ll also be impressed by the bakery’s signature pastry – the Pizza Ebraica.
Despite its name, Pasticceria il Boccione’s Hebrew Pizza doesn’t include tomato sauce or cheese in its ingredient list. Instead, the cooke is jam packed with colorful dried fruits and crunchy nuts. We’ve previously likened the hard cookie to mandel bread on steroids and we stand by that description. We’ve also previously called the Pizza Ebraica delicious and we stand by that description too.
Check the calendar before visiting to Pasticceria Boccione. This kosher bakery is closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
Pasticcerria Boccione is located at Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
Faro – Luminari del Caffè
Faro – Luminari del Caffè is proof that Rome isn’t stuck in the past.
Open since 2016, this cafe roasts single origin beans grown in countries like Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya for its flat whites, cappuccinos and shakeratos. But it doesn’t stop with coffee. This Rome cafe also serves an interesting food menu.
Sharing a Maritozzi at Faro – Luminari del Caffè provided us with enough energy to power on until a late dinner reservation. Filled with tripe and pecorino, the savory pastry’s flavors and texture were simultaneously unique and familiar.
Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria
Roscioli Caffè isn’t a typical Italian cafe. To us, this isn’t a bad thing
While its shelves are filled with traditional Italian pastries and desserts, Roscioli Caffè serves something that we don’t always see at Italian cafes. That something is specialty coffee.
The cafe was offering two different beans, single-origin Guatemala bans and an African arabica blend, during our visit. Varying from our typical flat whites and pour overs, we ordered hand-pulled espressos and a Maritozzo pastry. Since Roscioli Caffè is located in the heart of Rome’s historic center, it felt like the right thing to do.
Weather permitting, go early to score an outside table.
Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria is located at Piazza Benedetto Cairoli, 16, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
While we enjoy visiting traditional cafes in Rome during the day, sometimes we’re in the mood to linger over an adult beverage as the day turns to night. As you may expect, the eternal city has a multitude of options for these times.
Many of the best bars in Rome have historically focused on serving beer and wine though the city now has cocktail bars too. These are our favorite bars in Rome when we’re in the mood for a late afternoon tipple:
Located inside a 16th century building and sporting a sign promising Vino e Olio (i.e. wine and oil), Il Goccetto is an enoteca (i.e. wine bar) whose history is shorter than it seems. A relative newbie open centuries after its building was constructed, it’s a great spot to stop for a quick glass of wine or linger longer over a leisurely aperitivo session.
We opted for the second option when we visited Il Goccetto with friends. Not hungry after a self-guided gelato tour, we shared a Mix Salumi e Formaggi (i.e. mixed meat and cheese) plate and a bottle of wine. Somehow, we managed to clean the plate and empty the bottle despite the gelato bloat.
More important, we had a great time chatting and people watching at an outdoor table while the day turned to dusk and then dark. Since Il Goccetto stays open until midnight every night except Sunday, we were in no rush.
It was a beautiful night and we were on a quiet street hidden behind more crowded thoroughfares. The wine proved a perfect capper to our day. The experience was an absolute delight.
Order oil preserved vegetables if you’re not a meat or cheese eater. Options included grilled artichokes and spicy turnip tops during our visit.
Il Goccetto is located at Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
Italy may not be famous for its craft beer but it should be. The country has come a long way over the past decade and now rivals other European countries with beer crafted in regions like Piemonte, Emilia- Romagna and Rome’s home region of Lazio.
Located near the Vatican and open since 2016, Bar.Re. is a great birreria (i.e. brew pub) for beer drinkers who pass through Rome. The spacious Rome beer bar serves craft beers sourced both locally as well as from locations further afield within Italy and beyond.
We’d like to say that we found Be.Re. after doing copious amounts of research. However, we bumped into it while drinking coffee next door at Pergamino Caffè. However, the fortuitous discovery didn’t diminish our happiness at all. Not even by a drop.
You don’t have to worry about getting hungry at Bar.Re. since you can order a Trrapizzino to go with your craft beer.
Be.Re. is located at Via Vespasiano, 2, 00192 Roma RM, Italy.
Rome Food Markets
While visiting sites like the Vatican and Colosseum are musts during any first trip to Rome, the same goes for visiting one or more Rome food markets. This is especially the case if you have access to a kitchen or even a refrigerator during your stay.
Rome’s markets are meccas for seasonal produce as well as for artisan meats and locally produced cheeses. They’re also great spots to mingle with locals and eat lunch on the fly.
These are our favorite Rome food markets:
Mercato di Testacio
Testaccio isn’t just a neighborhood with good restaurants. It’s also a neighborhood with one of the city’s most popular food markets.
Originally a neighborhood market, Mercato di Testacio attracts locals from throughout the city as well as a throng of global food travelers. Some seek locally sourced artisan products while others enjoy lunch. A few savvy shoppers come to this market to buy food and stay to eat foods like Suppli and Porchetta sandwiches.
Expect a queue at popular Mordi e Vai. The stand sells a range of Panini including Sergiio Esposito’s signature Panino con l‘Allesso di Scottona filled with slow-cooked beef and chicory.
Mercato di Testacio is located at Via Aldo Manuzio, 66b, 00153 Roma RM, Italy.
Mercato Centrale is a unique Rome food market.
For starters, it’s located in an old railway dining hall underneath the city’s main train station. But this market’s central, convenient location isn’t why you should visit Mercato Centrale. The primary reason is its food selection.
In addition to selling produce and cured meats, Mercato Centrale’s vendors sell a range of prepared foods made with ingredients sourced from Lazio and other Italian regions. These foods include expected pastas and pizzas as well as less expected hamburgers and vegan dishes. Stefano Callegari has a Trapizzino stand here too. Yes, he’s everywhere.
Don’t worry if your train is running late. Mercato Centrale is open until midnight every night of the week.
Mercato Centrale is located at Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell’Ariento, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy.
Nuovo Mercato Esquilino
Nuovo Mercato Esquilino may be the most unique food market in Rome. It’s certainly the city’s most diverse market thanks to vendors who sell products more typically sold in Asia and Africa.
This market isn’t fancy and you probably won’t bump into other tourists during your visit. However, it’s a great market for those looking to dig deeper into Rome’s modern food scene and for those who simply enjoy exploring and eating great food.
Nuovo Mercato Esquilino is just a ten minute walk from the Roma Termini train station. Though not as close as Mercato Centrale, it’s still pretty close.
Nuovo Mercato Esquilino is located at Via Principe Amedeo, 184, 00185 Roma RM, Italy.
Campo de’ Fiori
Originally a flower market, Campo de’ Fiori has operated in its current iteration since 1869. Expect to find a range of fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats and cheeses in the market’s many stalls. And, yes, you can also find flowers.
Campo de’ Fiori is unabashedly touristic but don’t rule this market out. Sure, it has hawkers and its prices are a bit higher compared to other Rome markets. But, with a history that spans the centuries, it’s special.
Campo de’ Fiori is a great spot to purchase edible souvenirs and gifts.
Campo de Fiori is located at Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
Rome Restaurant FAQs
Rome’s top foods are all pasta dishes- Cacio e Pepe, Carbonara, Amatriciana and Gricia – and they’re all delicious.
Rome restaurants range from cheap eats to fine dining. Prices are in line with restaurants in other European capital cities.
No. Tipping is optional in Italy.
Anthony Bourdain visited Betto E Mary, Cacio e Pepe, Cafe Faggiani, Freni e Frizoni, Gelateria dei Gracci, I Porchettoni (permanently closed), Osteria dal 1931, Pizzarium, Ristorante Paris (permanently closed), Roma Sparita, Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina, Trattoria a Casa di Rita, Trattoria Il Timoniere, Trattoria Morgana, Trattoria Settimio, Trattoria Sora Lella, Vitti dal 1898 and Volpetti Salumeria while filming the sixth season of No Reservations, the first season of The Layover and the eighth season of Parts Unknown.
Phil Rosenthal has not yet filmed an episode of Somebody Feed Phil in Rome.
Stanley Tucci ate at Armando al Pantheon, Bistrot64, Bar San Calisto, La Reginella (permanently closed), Pommidoro and SantoPalato while filming the first season of Stanley Tucci – Searching for Italy.
People typically eat dinner between 7pm and 9pm in Rome.
Yes. Reservations are necessary at both casual and upscale restaurants.
Rome currently has 16 Michelin-starred restaurants including one three-star restaurant (La Pergola), three two-star restaurant (Acquolina, Enoteca La Torre and Il Pagliaccio) and 13 one-star restaurants (All’Oro, Aroma, Glass Hostaria, Idylio by Apreda, Il Convivio Troiani, Imàgo, La Terrazza, Marco Martini Restaurant, Moma, Per Me Giulio Terrinoni, Pipero Roma, Pulejo and Zia).
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: May 29, 2022