A Food Lover’s Guide to Rome

A Food Lover’s Guide to Rome

Are you a food lover planning a trip to Rome? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a culinary journey through the heart of Italy’s capital city. Rome is famous for its mouthwatering cuisine, from classic dishes like pasta and pizza to delectable desserts like gelato and tiramisu. Whether you’re a fan of traditional Italian fare or eager to try new culinary experiences, this guide will help you discover the best food spots in Rome. Get ready to indulge your taste buds and explore the vibrant food scene that Rome has to offer.

Best Restaurants in Rome

Traditional Roman Cuisine

When it comes to experiencing the authentic flavors of Rome, traditional Roman cuisine is a must-try. The city is renowned for its rich culinary history, and you can indulge in a variety of mouth-watering dishes. From classic Roman recipes that have been passed down through generations to modern interpretations of traditional fare, Rome has something to offer for every food lover.

One highly recommended restaurant for traditional Roman cuisine is Trattoria da Danilo. Located in the heart of Rome, this family-run trattoria has been serving up delicious Roman dishes since 1961. Here, you can savor the flavors of traditional pasta dishes like carbonara and cacio e pepe, as well as Roman specialties such as saltimbocca alla Romana and abbacchio alla scottadito.

Pizza and Pasta

No food lover’s guide to Rome would be complete without mentioning the city’s famous pizza and pasta. Rome is home to some of the best pizzerias and pasta houses in the world, where you can indulge in the most delectable creations.

For an unforgettable pizza experience, head to Pizzarium. This renowned pizza by the slice joint offers a wide variety of toppings, from classic margherita to innovative combinations like potato and mozzarella. The crust is thin and crispy, making each bite a heavenly delight.

When it comes to pasta, Roscioli is a must-visit restaurant. This establishment not only offers a variety of pasta dishes, but it also has its own pasta laboratory where they make their fresh pasta daily. From indulgent carbonara to delicate amatriciana, the pasta at Roscioli is cooked to perfection and bursting with flavor.

Fine Dining

For those seeking a more refined and upscale dining experience, Rome has an array of fine dining establishments that are sure to impress. These restaurants combine exceptional service with exquisite cuisine, resulting in a truly memorable meal.

La Pergola is one such fine dining restaurant that stands out from the rest. Located in Rome’s Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria hotel, this Michelin three-star restaurant offers an unparalleled gastronomic journey. With a menu created by renowned chef Heinz Beck, La Pergola showcases innovative and artistic dishes that are a feast for both the eyes and the palate. From the stunning panoramic views of Rome to the opulent decor, dining at La Pergola is an experience of a lifetime.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional Roman cuisine, crave a mouth-watering pizza or pasta, or desire an upscale fine dining experience, Rome has it all. The city’s best restaurants offer an incredible range of culinary delights that will leave every food lover satisfied and eager to return for more.

Must-Try Street Food


One of the must-try street foods in Rome is Supplì. This delicious snack is a deep-fried rice ball filled with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. It is a popular street food that you can find in many food stalls and pizzerias across the city. The outer layer of the Supplì is crispy and golden, while the inside is soft and gooey with melted cheese. It is a perfect combination of flavors and textures that will surely satisfy your taste buds.


Another street food that you cannot miss in Rome is Trapizzino. It is a triangular-shaped pocket of pizza dough that is stuffed with various fillings. The most common fillings include classic Roman dishes like chicken cacciatore, oxtail stew, and marinated artichokes. The combination of the soft and chewy pizza dough with the flavorful fillings creates a unique and delicious taste. Trapizzino is a convenient and tasty option for a quick bite while exploring the streets of Rome.


No food lover’s guide to Rome would be complete without mentioning gelato. Gelato is the Italian version of ice cream, but it is known for its creamier and smoother texture. Rome is home to numerous gelaterias that offer a wide variety of flavors ranging from classic ones like chocolate and vanilla to unique combinations like pistachio and rosemary. Whether you prefer fruity or indulgent flavors, you will definitely find a gelato flavor that suits your taste. Enjoy a scoop or two of gelato while strolling through the beautiful streets of Rome.

Indulging in these must-try street foods in Rome will not only satisfy your hunger but also provide you with an authentic culinary experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste Supplì, Trapizzino, and gelato during your visit to the Eternal City.

Local Markets and Food Tours

Campo de’ Fiori Market

Campo de’ Fiori Market is a vibrant and bustling market located in the heart of Rome. This historic market has been in operation since the 19th century and continues to be a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Here, you can find a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other delicious food items.

The market is known for its lively atmosphere and colorful stalls. As you browse through the market, you can sample local specialties like fresh pasta, olive oil, and traditional Roman street food. Make sure to try the famous supplì, a deep-fried rice ball with a gooey mozzarella center.

Visiting Campo de’ Fiori Market is not only a great way to experience the local food scene but also an opportunity to interact with the friendly vendors who are always happy to share their knowledge and recommendations. Whether you’re looking to buy ingredients for a home-cooked meal or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll, this market is a must-visit for any food lover in Rome.

Trastevere Food Tour

If you’re looking for a more immersive food experience, consider taking a food tour in the charming neighborhood of Trastevere. Trastevere is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, picturesque squares, and a wide array of traditional Roman eateries.

On a Trastevere food tour, you’ll have the chance to explore the neighborhood’s hidden culinary gems and sample a variety of local delicacies. Your knowledgeable guide will lead you through the winding streets, stopping at family-run trattorias, gelaterias, and bakeries along the way.

Indulge in classic Roman dishes like carbonara, cacio e pepe, and supplì, all prepared with the freshest ingredients and traditional techniques. You’ll also get to taste some of the best gelato in Rome, with flavors ranging from classic favorites to innovative creations.

Not only will you get to savor the delicious food, but you’ll also learn about the history and culture behind each dish. Your guide will share fascinating stories and insights into Roman culinary traditions, making this food tour a truly enriching experience.

Testaccio Market

For an authentic food shopping experience, head to the Testaccio Market. Located in the Testaccio neighborhood, this market is a favorite among locals and offers a wide range of high-quality produce, meats, cheeses, and more.

What sets Testaccio Market apart is its focus on local and sustainable products. Many of the vendors here are small-scale farmers, butchers, and artisans who take pride in their craft. This ensures that you’ll find the freshest and most flavorful ingredients for your meals.

As you explore the market, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant atmosphere and friendly vendors eager to share their expertise. Try some of the regional specialties like porchetta, a savory roasted pork dish, or the unique Roman artichokes, known as carciofi alla romana.

In addition to the fresh produce and artisanal products, Testaccio Market also has a variety of food stalls where you can grab a quick bite to eat. From gourmet sandwiches to traditional Roman street food, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

Visiting Testaccio Market allows you to connect with the local food community and support small businesses while enjoying the flavors of Rome. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this vibrant market and discover the true essence of Roman cuisine.

Wine and Aperitivo Culture

Wine Bars in Rome

Rome is renowned for its vibrant wine culture, offering a plethora of charming wine bars that cater to every taste and preference. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply looking to enjoy a glass in a cozy atmosphere, Rome has something for everyone. Here are some wine bars you must visit during your stay in the eternal city:

  1. La Barrique: Located in the heart of Rome, La Barrique is a hidden gem that boasts an extensive wine list featuring both local and international selections. The cozy ambiance and knowledgeable staff make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

  2. Il Goccetto: Tucked away in the charming neighborhood of Trastevere, Il Goccetto offers a unique wine-tasting experience. With an impressive collection of over 800 wines, this intimate wine bar allows you to sample rare and exquisite bottles from all over Italy.

  3. Roscioli: Combining a wine bar, restaurant, and gourmet food shop, Roscioli is a must-visit destination for food and wine enthusiasts. Their extensive wine list features a carefully curated selection of Italian wines, and their knowledgeable sommeliers are always ready to guide you through the tasting experience.

Aperitivo Traditions

Aperitivo is an essential part of the Roman lifestyle, allowing locals and visitors to unwind and socialize before dinner. The tradition typically involves enjoying a pre-dinner drink accompanied by a selection of delectable snacks. Here are some popular aperitivo traditions you should know about:

  1. Spritz: A classic aperitivo drink, the Spritz has gained popularity worldwide. Made with Prosecco, Aperol or Campari, and a splash of soda water, it is a refreshing and vibrant cocktail that perfectly complements the Italian sunshine.

  2. Negroni: Another iconic Italian cocktail, the Negroni is a sophisticated blend of equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Served on the rocks with a twist of orange peel, it offers a bittersweet flavor profile that is adored by cocktail enthusiasts.

  3. Bitter Campari: For those who appreciate the bitter notes, sipping a glass of Campari on the rocks is a beloved aperitivo tradition in Rome. The vibrant red color and distinctive bitter taste make it a true Italian classic.

Popular Cocktails

Apart from the traditional aperitivo drinks, Rome also offers a wide array of popular cocktails to suit every palate. Whether you prefer something fruity and refreshing or strong and sophisticated, you’ll find the perfect cocktail in the city’s vibrant bar scene. Here are a few favorites:

  1. Bellini: Originating from Venice, the Bellini is a delightful cocktail made with fresh peach puree and Prosecco. This fruity and elegant drink is perfect for a sunny afternoon or a romantic evening in Rome.

  2. Martini: A timeless classic, the Martini is a sophisticated cocktail that never goes out of style. Whether you prefer it shaken or stirred, dry or dirty, Rome’s mixologists are skilled in crafting the perfect Martini to suit your taste.

  3. Mojito: If you’re in the mood for a refreshing and minty cocktail, the Mojito is the way to go. Made with rum, fresh lime juice, mint leaves, sugar, and soda water, it’s a popular choice for those seeking a tropical twist in the heart of Rome.

Indulging in Rome’s wine and aperitivo culture is an experience not to be missed. Whether you choose to explore the city’s charming wine bars or immerse yourself in the lively aperitivo traditions, you’re sure to create unforgettable memories while savoring the flavors of Rome.

The culinary delights of Rome make it a food lover’s paradise. From the traditional trattorias serving authentic Roman cuisine to the vibrant street food markets offering a taste of local delicacies, Rome truly has something for every palate. Whether you’re indulging in a plate of pasta carbonara or savoring a scoop of gelato by the Trevi Fountain, the city’s food scene will leave you wanting more. So, if you’re a food lover planning a trip to Rome, be prepared to embark on a gastronomic adventure that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you with unforgettable memories. Buon appetito!

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