June 7, 2023

The ultimate food guide to Rome, Italy

FILED IN: Italy, Travel

Welcome to the ultimate food guide to Rome, the enchanting city in Italy that I have had the pleasure of visiting numerous times, second only to my adventures in my now second home, Bologna. Rome, with its ancient history, awe-inspiring architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine, holds a special place in my heart. While there is still so much left for me to explore and indulge in, I have managed to gather a wealth of culinary experiences that I am excited to share with you.

In this guide, I will take you on a delectable journey through the gastronomic wonders of Rome, highlighting must-try dishes, hidden gems, and local food culture that make this city a paradise for food lovers. From traditional Roman cuisine that will transport you to the heart of Italy’s culinary heritage, to vibrant street food, cozy trattorie and osterie that offer a taste of authentic Roman flavors, gelaterie, pasticcerie and even an unexpected non-Italian spot.

Before we embark on this tantalizing adventure, I want to stress the importance of making reservations for any sit-down restaurants in Rome. The culinary landscape of this city thrives with the presence of both locals and tourists, all eagerly seeking to indulge in the delectable flavors that Rome has to offer. To alleviate any unnecessary stress, I highly recommended securing reservations, ensuring smoother and more enjoyable travels.

The ultimate food guide to Rome – traditional Enotece, Osterie & Trattorie

Enoteca Corsi (lunch & dinner Monday – Friday, lunch Saturday, closed Sunday)

This restaurant is a legendary establishment near Largo Argentina, that has preserved the enchanting atmosphere of a traditional Roman Osteria for over six decades. Its familiar ambiance blends rustic charm with refined elegance, inviting guests to savor the essence of their home cooking.

The Chef skillfully prepares beloved dishes such as tonnarelli all’amatriciana, carbonara, ossobuco, and indulgent desserts (I highly recommend the torta della nonna here). Boasting an impressive selection of approximately 300 meticulously curated wine labels, the restaurant guarantees a superlative wine pairing for every palate.

Ristorante Antico Carlone (lunch & dinner Tuesday – Sunday, closed Monday)

With ancient origins in the 19th century when it was a classic osteria (patrons came for the wine and they brought their own food), this renowned restaurant in Trastevere is celebrated for its exceptional carbonara and offers a cozy atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating set on a quiet alley. They prides themselves on achieving a perfect balance of quality and quantity, serving traditional Roman favorites such as mezze maniche all’Amatriciana and tonnarelli cacio e pepe.

The friendly and attentive staff strive to create a memorable dining experience, celebrating a passion for simple cooking and leaving guests with the nostalgic scents and flavors of the past. As someone who dined there alone at the end of my trip in 2019, I can personally attest to their warm hospitality and delicious food.

La Boticella (dinner Thursday – Tuesday, closed Wednesday)

Nestled on a charming cobblestone street, adorned with vespas and lush greenery, it has been a while since I last visited this place during my inaugural trip to Rome in 2018.

While I can’t personally attest to its current state, it seems ideal for those in search of an endearing and visually captivating experience. One standout feature is the cacio e pepe dish served in a bowl crafted entirely from cheese – a distinctive culinary delight that infuses a touch of whimsy into the dining experience.

Rimessa Roscioli (dinner Monday – Saturday, lunch thru dinner Sunday)

With a legacy spanning four generations, the Roscioli family has devoted themselves to the world of hospitality and gastronomy. It all began with the bakery on Via dei Chiavari, which eventually expanded to include the beloved Roscioli Salumeria Restaurant on Via dei Giubbonari. Antico Forno Roscioli, an iconic brand in Rome, can be traced back to the early 19th century in the Rione della Regola, with historical records confirming its existence. Today, Roscioli remains a family affair, with Alessandro and Pierluigi, two dedicated brothers, carrying on the tradition. They have successfully preserved the essence of the past while embracing modernity, anticipating evolving culinary trends and passionately focusing on offering exceptional quality in their offerings.

I visited Rimessa Roscioli for the first time at the end of my solo trip back in 2019! I decided to attend a wine pairing dinner, which was a lovely way to share a meal with a bunch of people while traveling solo and simultaneously taste different wines from around Italy. That night, I joined the Roscioli Wine Club, which was so wonderful to have when I couldn’t return to Italy or see Walter for 9 months during the pandemic. Aside from the wonderful wine shipped every few months, the next best thing about the membership is the wonderful tasting dinner you can enjoy every year as part of the membership!

The ultimate food guide to Rome – where to eat pizza

Bonci Pizzarium (Tuesday – Saturday lunch thru dinner, Sunday lunch & dinner, Monday closed)

If you’ve been keeping up with Netflix’s culinary shows, you’re likely familiar with this acclaimed establishment. Gabriele, born in Rome in 1977, pursued his passion for cooking after completing his hotel studies. He started his culinary journey at the renowned restaurant “Il Simposio” before opening Pizzarium in 2003, showcasing his unique pan pizza. The success of Pizzarium led to the opening of Bonci Bakery in Rome in 2012. Gabriele later expanded to the United States, opening two restaurants, including one in Chicago that remains open. Bonci is known for its commitment to quality and offers a diverse selection of exceptional, ever-changing pizzas made with locally sourced ingredients.

Back in 2019, my mom and I had the chance to visit before it gained even more fame from Netflix. A friend of mine living in Rome mentioned that the lines have become even more outrageous since then. If you decide to go, it might be a good idea to have a backup plan. If the crowd isn’t too overwhelming, treat yourself to some mouthwatering slices of pizza.

The menu evolves throughout the day, showcasing unique creations that rely on locally sourced ingredients. Additionally, Bonci ensures a range of vegetarian options are consistently available, catering to diverse dietary preferences.

Seu Pizza Illuminati (dinner Wednesday – Monday, lunch Saturday, closed Tuesday)

Seu Pizza illuminati is the brainchild of Pizza Chef Pier Daniele Seu and his wife, Valeria Zuppardo. Together, they embarked on a mission to create the perfect pizza, starting with a flawless dough that is light and airy. Their dedication led a pizza concept that delivers exceptional pizzas with imaginative toppings, showcasing top-quality ingredients. Located in the vibrant Porta Portese neighborhood, just steps away from Trastevere, Seu Pizza illuminati opened in March 2018. With a wood-fired oven as their culinary tool, they achieved a remarkable blend of the soft, fluffy Neapolitan pizza with the delightful crunch of the Roman style. Pier Daniele Seu’s innovative approach to pizza, known as “contemporary pizza,” speaks a modern language that redefines and pushes the boundaries of this beloved Italian culinary tradition.

Of course the menu changes seasonally, but I’ll detail the pizzas we ordered so you can understand their interesting toppings!

Walter loves a Diavola so he got the XXX san marzano tomato sauce, hot salami, burrata cheese, red hot chilly pepper jam, mint leaves. There is definitely a slightly different version on their current menu.

Since I am mushroom-obsessed I got a pizza called 100% MUSHROOMS Porcini mushrooms cream, pan fried cardoncelli mushrooms, Chanterelle mushroom cream with mustard, rosemary chips, fresh curly mustard leaves.

We also ordered 2 different slices of their dessert pie offerings. “Banoffee Pie” Dessert Pizza Brown sugar caramelized pizza, ricotta cream with bananas and peanut butter, salted caramel chocolate ricotta with dried banana crumble, peanuts, coffee powder | “100% Apple” Dessert Pizza Brown sugar caramelized pizza, apple gel, calvados custard cream, ricotta cream with cinnamon fuji apples with butter, granny smiths apple chips, elicrisium leaves

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele (lunch & dinner daily)

Michele Condurro, a humble man of small stature, embodied the philosophy of Neapolitan pizza. With a sharp gaze and mischievous smile, he was a unique figure known for his passion for pizza. His son, Antonio Condurro, regarded him as an icon of the art. Since 1870, five generations of the Condurro family, led by Antonio and his son Michele, have carried on the tradition of Neapolitan pizza, using natural ingredients and traditional leavening methods. The family’s original pizzeria, initially established in 1906 in Naples, now resides on Via Cesare Sersale, widely acclaimed as “the sacred temple of pizza.”

You can now find their locations worldwide, including three in Rome. We thoroughly enjoyed their authentic Neapolitan pizza. However, our experience at the Bologna location wasn’t as satisfying, so I can’t vouch for the other branches. Nevertheless, I believe the original in Naples must be the best, and I’m excited to visit it on my next trip.

Pizzeria Tonda (dinner daily)

Nestled in the Monte Sacro district, this pizzeria offers a delightful dining experience, albeit a bit off the beaten path and requiring transportation by car or public transit. The inviting atmosphere sets the stage for a culinary adventure, featuring not only classic pizzas, calzoni, and focacce but also the innovative creation of founder Stefano Callegari, trapizzini.

The menu showcases an assortment of pizzas, divided into bianche (whites) and rosse (reds), with a tantalizing section dedicated to the mouthwatering “cacio e pepe” variety. Undoubtedly, we couldn’t resist sampling the street food delights, particularly the trappizino (more on these in the street food section) and the cacio e pepe pizza! Without a doubt, this destination is well worth the journey!

Osteria Da Francesco (lunch thru dinner daily)

Osteria “Da Francesco” originated in the heart of Rome back in 1957 when Francesco Boni and Amalia Tognoloni established the restaurant in Fico Square, just a few meters away from Navona Square. Presently, the third generation, led by Mario Boni, carries forward the legacy. Their culinary approach blends tradition and innovation, showcasing the iconic dishes of Roman cuisine. With a focus on locally sourced seasonal ingredients, including those from small-scale artisans, they meticulously research and curate their offerings to ensure the utmost quality and authenticity of flavors reminiscent of the past.

Prior to my initial visit to Rome, several people had recommended this place. Interestingly enough, we happened upon it unexpectedly after a night out for drinks. However, since my last visit in 2018, I cannot personally vouch for it since I’ve tried a lot of pizzas since. Nevertheless, I recall it being renowned for its thin-crust Roman-style pizza. Perhaps Walter and I should plan to visit it together on our next trip to Rome. Upon browsing their website, I must say their selection of classic pastas appears mouthwatering as well!

Ordered: Truffle Pizza and Sausage Pizza

The ultimate food guide to Rome – Italian street food

Prosciutteria Cantina dei Papi (lunch thru dinner daily)

You can find three charming locations of this prosciutteria nestled in the vibrant heart of Rome! They offer beautiful platters (taglieri), sandwiches (panini), hams, and high-quality cheeses – skillfully curated from artisanal producers. Whether you’re in the mood for an aperitif, a quick and informal lunch, or a delightful dinner – they offer an inviting atmosphere. Choose between a cozy table or the lively counter, and complement your experience with wine or bubbles.

Whenever I find myself in Rome, this is the one place I consistently revisit without fail. Whether I’m exploring the city with Walter, a group of friends & family, or on my own – this place never fails to be my go-to spot for a delicious lunch during my stay in Rome.

Note: We prefer the Trevi location.

Our order: Tagliere (cheese and meat board) or Panini – our personal favorite is the mouthwatering Porchetta, closely followed by the Salami. The beauty lies in the freedom to customize your sandwich with any combination from the array of ingredients available. The possibilities are endless, and you simply can’t go wrong! Personally, I love to select the meat and entrust the skilled sandwich maker to work their magic, creating a truly unique and satisfying masterpiece.

PanDivino (lunch thru aperitivo Thursday – Sunday, closed Monday – Wednesday)

This charming eatery specializes in authentic Italian tapas and sandwiches served on delectable homemade focaccia, crafted with love and care using housemade ingredients. To top it off, they offer a must-try tiramisu that has gained quite a reputation (I have to go back for this!). My friend Sarah raved about this place and insisted we have lunch there. From the moment we stepped inside, it was evident that the owner, Giuseppe, poured his heart and soul into his business, creating an atmosphere brimming with passion and a menu bursting with flavorful delights.

Our order: a couple sandwiches and bruschette. Walter got an artisan beer and Sarah and I ordered the sangria.

Trappizino (most locations lunch thru late daily)

Trapizzino is a corner of pizza, featuring a delectable fusion of international, Italian, and Roman recipes. This culinary sensation can be savored not only in Rome at 7 locations, but Milan, Turin, Florence, Trieste, and even New York. Invented by Stefano Callegari a decade ago, the Trapizzino is a unique pocket of white pizza, sealed with soft wheat flour and yeast dough.

You can indulge in the five timeless flavors available daily: Chicken Cacciatora, the starting point of it all; Meatball with savory gravy, a favorite among both adults and children; Parmigiana di melanzane, a vegetarian delight loved by carnivores too; Double cream and anchovies, featuring luscious burrata stracciatella and Cantabrian anchovies; and Tongue in green sauce, an unexpected yet classic surprise. Additionally, three more flavors await you each day, ensuring a wide array of tantalizing options.

While trapizzini take the spotlight, you can also get the crispy and gooey supplì, a mouthwatering rice ball filled with melting cheese and other flavorful fillings. Additionally, you can also satisfy your sweet tooth with an array of delightful creations.

Morrison’s (lunch thru late daily)

Since 1994, Morrison’s has grown with loyal customers who consider it like family. It’s still the place to enjoy a game, great beer, and a delicious sandwich. Over time, they’ve added finer details like superior drinks and burgers. I’ll be trying their renowned Morrison’s burger next time. For almost 30 years, they have been Rome’s go-to Irish-style pub, guaranteeing quality through careful supplier selection. In 2014, renowned chef Emanuele Del Signore revamped the menu, elevating the pub experience. With top-notch beers, a warm welcome, and a historic ambiance, Morrison’s is a true gem.

Note: We went to this location, which I belive is the original. Here is the second location.

We popped into Morrison’s for a pre-dinner aperitivo and were delighted by the quality of our drinks and the mouthwatering suppli, particularly the cacio e pepe and carbonara varieties. Despite a disappointing dinner elsewhere, Morrison’s beckoned us back to try their superb old fashioned cocktails. In hindsight, we wished we had opted for their renowned burgers instead of going to the aforementioned disappointing restaurant.

The ultimate food guide to Rome – other than Italian

Shiroya (Tuesday – Sunday lunch & dinner, closed Monday)

Situated near Campo de’ Fiori in the heart of the Eternal City, this authentic Japanese restaurant guarantees a distinct experience by combining the finest ingredients with culinary expertise of their chefs and sushi chefs. With its intimate and welcoming ambiance, this can be your go-to destination whenever you seek a break from Italian fare or find yourself craving delectable sushi. In their kitchen, they diligently craft traditional Japanese dishes using only authentic recipes following the core principles of Japanese culture: reverence for timing, harmonious balance, and unwavering respect for traditions.

When I find myself in Italy for an extended period of time, I often crave sushi, but it’s not always easy to find top-notch quality. However, when we stumbled upon this highly recommended spot, it truly exceeded our expectations.

From the delightful array of sushi and sashimi, to irresistibly crispy karaage, perfectly steamed gyoza, and comforting ramen – you can rest assured that whatever choice you make from the menu, you simply can’t go wrong.

The ultimate food guide to Rome – Panetterie & bars (breakfast & aperitivo)

Pasticceria Boccione (morning thru evening Sunday – Friday, closed Saturday)

This kosher bakery dating back to 1815 is situated in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto. This was another suggestion by my friend Sarah who is living in Rome. It is known for its crowded space, where customers are gathered trying to get a slice of pizza ebraica and/or ricotta and sour cherry cake (ricotta e visciole).

The peculiar ricotta and sour cherry cake has an interesting history. The establishment of the Ghetto in 1555 confined Rome’s Jewish community to a small area, resulting in the development of unique recipes. The ricotta and sour cherry cake emerged from a papal decree banning Jews from selling dairy products, leading them to hide ricotta by baking it into a closed-top pastry crust mixed with cherries. We obviously had to get a slice and one bite in, wished we had gotten more. This spot is on the top of my list to visit again on our next Rome trip!

Tip: Go in the morning to make sure you can get what you would like!

Caffè di Marzio (early morning to late daily)

This delightful caffé can be found in the picturesque Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere. It’s a place where I could spend hours, immersing myself in the joy of savoring a perfectly brewed espresso, relishing a delectable pastry, and indulging in the fascinating activity of people-watching!

Panetteria Romana (temporarily closed)

Located just around the corner from the apartment where I stayed at the end of my 2019 trip, was this delightful panetteria. It continues to amaze me how Italy offers such delectable food at remarkably affordable prices. I managed to snag these two items for a mere total of approximately 3 euros.

Bistro Il Buco (early morning thru night Monday – Saturday, closed Sunday)

We stumbled upon this location while retrieving the keys to our Airbnb (a great spot in Prati near Vatican City). Later, we made the choice to come back for an aperitivo, and it turned out to be a delightful experience!

The ultimate food guide to Rome – gelato

Fatamorgana (7 locations around Rome, morning – noonish, afternoon – evening daily)

Mary Agnes, as a child, loved making ice cream without recipes, fumbling with the ice cream maker under her mother’s watch.

Surrounded by nature as a child, a lone almond tree in an orchard became her cherished companion, as she climbed its branches and indulged in plucking fragrant flowers, savoring their nectar-filled pistils. This childhood memory is now embodied in “Almond Blossom Cream,” where her imaginative laboratory intertwines ingredients like toasted almonds with cardamom, chocolate with tobacco leaves, and black rice with muscatel rose buds.

Inspired by family, ancient, oriental, and regional recipes, as well as her own memories, her creations merge unique ingredients as she seeks to recreate the magic of childhood through original and encompassing flavors, constantly fueled by curiosity and the joy of discovering new sweet tastes.

Grom Gelato

This renowned Italian gelateria has captured the hearts of gelato lovers worldwide. With its origins in Turin, Italy, Grom Gelato has become synonymous with exceptional quality and taste.

Their gelato is made with only the finest and freshest ingredients, sourced locally and seasonally. Each flavor is crafted with meticulous attention to detail, resulting in an indulgent and authentic gelato experience. Whether it’s classic flavors like chocolate and pistachio or more adventurous combinations like stracciatella and caramelized figs, Grom Gelato offers a wide array of options to satisfy every palate.

The ultimate food guide to Rome – where to drink

Il Goccetto

In an interview with Luciano Pignataro – young Roman winemaker: Federico Ceccarelli speaks about Il Goccetto – “Together with Trimani, Bleve, and Cavour 313, we embarked on a journey in Rome when the culture of appreciating good drinks was not yet prevalent. It was 1983 when my parents, fueled by their passion for the evolving world of wine, decided to open this shop. Back then, the wine industry was just beginning to flourish. They laid the foundation for our establishment, and over the years, we grew hand in hand with the Italian wine scene.

In the 90s, a significant shift occurred as we transformed from a traditional retail wine shop to a modern establishment offering aperitifs and wine by the glass. This transition coincided with the emergence of notable journalists, founders of renowned magazines, and influential sommeliers.”

Today Il Goccetto is known for its vast selection of global wines by the bottle and by the glass, as well as it’s bar snacks all set in its cozy, yet lively atmosphere.

I happened upon it on my very first trip to Rome and still think about it fondly. The ambiance was pure pre-pandemic perfection. A crowd enjoying their glasses of wine on the cobblestone streets; chatting and making new friends. PERFECTION. We only grabbed wine here, but I would love to go back and get some bites! Adding this spot to my “return on my next trip to Rome” list!

Drink Art Gallery

This cocktail bar transports you to the nostalgic ambiance of 1930s American pubs. Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere where exquisite cocktails, premium spirits, and the finest German and Belgian beers await. Savor these delightful libations while admiring captivating artworks and vintage items that make this gallery truly distinctive. They also offer live music on selected nights, creating an atmosphere that is both nostalgic and vibrant.

I would love to hear any of your recomendations of your favorite places to eat and drink around Rome!

I hope you enjoyed the ultimate food guide to Rome! Looking for more Italy content?

Happy Travels,



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Growing up near Pasadena, CA, my creativity blossomed as I delved into the LA food scene, food styling, photography, and storytelling. Now, I curate content centered around food, beverage, and travel, while indulging in hobbies like thrifting. Italy holds a special place in my heart, where I found love and embarked on a new chapter in Bologna. Join me on this creative journey of food, travel, and love.