Oh, ROMA! I have long since had an intense and complicated love affair with Rome. Visiting nearly every year since 2010, and having spent at least 1 year of my life in The Eternal City (on and off), I feel as though I know Rome very well.. even more so than my own city! A lot of people follow me on YouTube and Instagram likely for my love of this great city, and so with that being said, many people often ask me for restaurant recommendations and what to eat in Rome. Italy in general has some of the best food in the WORLD, and Rome in particular has certain dishes that are loved, and even made all around the world. Well, this post and VIDEO has been a long time coming, but I would like to finally share with you WHAT to eat when visiting Rome, as well as WHERE to eat it (my favourite restaurants). The best part is, this is not just a dinner kind of thing, I will have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even extras covered! So please enjoy my personal list of what I consider the best spots to eat, as well as certain typical Roman dishes that cannot be missed when visiting. All of these spots are not far off of certain tourist spots as well, making them not only delicious, but also very convenient to get to. This is a long, but detailed list, so here we go…..
Italian’s are known to have a simple cappuccino (or any coffee), and sweet pastry for breakfast. Rome is no exception to this, and so I felt right at home, as I am not a fan of huge American style breakfasts myself (unless I’m going for brunch). I am happiest with a coffee and “dessert” for breakfast and so these recommendations for my favourite spots to grab breakfast are in line with the Italian way of doing things. If you are more into a savory breakfast, keep this spots in mind for a snack or dessert, as they should not be missed!
Roscioli Caffe’: Piazza Benedetto Cairoli, 16
This restaurant has what I can only describe as my favourite spot of breakfast! You can dine in (they have tables in the back), but that will cost significantly more money than grabbing this to go, or eating Italian style by standing at the bar and sipping your coffee and eating your breakfast pastry. This is my favourite for 2 reasons: 1. BEST cappuccino (which isn’t hard to find in Italy), and 2. BEST cornetti (which can be harder to find in Italy). I should mention that the locals do not drink cappuccino past 11am (ok maybe past 12), so breakfast is really the only acceptable time to have one (though rules are made to be broken). I am absolutely in love with their cornetti con crema (singular is cornetto). This is essentially the Italian style croissant, filled with pastry cream. You can of course have these plain, filled with various jams, or even Nutella/chocolate. I have tried cornetti in many different bars (coffee shops are referred to as bars), and I can confidentially say, this Caffe has the BEST cornetti! They also have delicious maritozzi (more about that later).
Pasticceria Regoli: Via dello Statuto, 60
This pastry shop is known for their delicious desserts, especially breakfast desserts. Specifically, they make delicious maritozzi (maritozzo is the singlular). I said I will explain more about this, and here we go! A Maritozzo is esentially a sweet brioche bun, often studded with a few raisons, and filled (very filled), with Italian whipped cream known as panna. The Italian panna is not very sweet (sometimes not sweet at all), making this a really delicious breakfast pastry. In fact, maritozzi are native to Rome, so you really must try one when visiting. If that isn’t your thing, this pastry shop has many other delicious pastries to try. If you don’t get around to this location, many bars offer maritozzi (you can even grab one before you leave at the airport, as I often do).
L’Antico Forno (Pasticceria) Boccione: Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 1
This tiny little bakery cranks out a few pies/cakes, but they are most famous for their crostate, especially their ricotta crostata filled with either chocolate and ricotta cheese, or cherry and ricotta cheese. I wasn’t lucky enough (or early enough) to grab a slice of their cherry version (ciliegi, or amarena, black cherry), but I did have a huge slab of their chocolate ricotta “pie” (ricotta e cioccolato), and it was honestly too delicious for words. The tender pie crust on the top and bottom, with that creamy just sweet enough filling of ricotta and chocolate was MELT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH as delicious as it was filling. There are no tables, so you really just have to grab and go (aka, eat this while standing in front of the pastry shop while contemplating getting a second helping). Rumour has it this is a very secret recipe, and these Italian ladies will not tell you how it is made.
Pompi: Via della Croce, 82 (+ other locations)
This pastry shop is known mainly for their tiramisu. They have many locations, but this one is perhaps the most central. They make many versions of tiramisu and for this they are known as il Rei di Tiramisu (the king of tiramisu). If you are not familiar, tiramisu literally means (pick-me-up), as it is a coffee dessert, usually layered with cake and mascarpone cream. You can find tiramisu all over Italy, but this is one of the most popular grab-and-go Tiramisu spots in Rome. I love the pistachio flavour!
ZUM: Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo, 20
This spot is also known for their tiramisu as the name ZUM stands for zucchero, uova, and mascarpone (the ingredients inside this classic dessert, sugar, eggs, mascarpone cheese) . It is not as known or as old as the previously mentioned spot, however, I honestly really enjoyed their tiramisu, dare I say, even more so than il Rei. Done in a similar grab-and-go style, they also offer many different flavour combinations. You can even take a tiramisu making class there. They also have a few spots to sit inside, as well as coffee to drink with your dessert (or breakast). This was close enough to our airbnb so I would often grab one of these, and keep it in the fridge as a snack or early breakfast if I was planning on sleeping in that morning. The Amaretto & Marsala flavour was definitely my favourite!
Since breakfast was easily a sweet dessert or breakfast pastry, lunch is of course savory! I often prefer to have a lighter lunch, especially if I plan on having a nice dinner at a restaurant (see below), and so I have lunch recommendations for mostly grab-and-go type spots. Most of the dinner spots I mentioned are of course fine for lunch, it really just depends on your style of eating. You can check out my dinner recommendations for lunch options if you prefer to sit at a restaurant and eat, but these lunch spots with convenient locations should not be missed, at least for a savory grab and go snack!
Antico Forno Roscioli: Via dei Chiavari, 34
This Roscioli (similar to the caffee for breakfast) is a Forno which means oven (they also have a dinner style restaurant, so esentially you could eat at a Roscioli for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Since this is their Forno, they crank out a lot of breads, pastries, and so on. I recommend this spot for those things as well, but my main reason for coming here is their pizza! Now let’s talk Roman pizza for a second. Rome is known for their pizza al taglio, which esentially means by the slice (or cut by the slice). I LOVE this style of pizza, and this is easily one of my favourite spots for it. You will see many long various topping style pizzas in a window display. How you eat and order this type of pizza is you point (if you can’t speak Italian) at the pizza that you want, they will usually take their big knife and show you where they would cut it, you can motion for a larger slice, or smaller slice and so on. I love to have smaller slices, as I prefer to try a bit of everything. One of my favourites is the burrata pizza, which is esentially a margherita base, but rather than mozzarella cheese, it is burrata on top, which is in a category of it’s own! They have many different flavours and so the best part is you can literally try a bit of everything. Once you have chosen, they will cut your strip of pizza up into a square or rectangle, weigh it out, present you with a ticket, and usually reheat it in the oven (unless it just came out fresh, and they are constantly cranking out pizzas). While the pizza is warming up, you have to take this ticket, and pay for your pizza. Then you present your ticket back to the pizza person, and grab your little try of pizza to either eat inside (they have a few tables, as well as a washroom), or grab it and go.
Bonci Pizzarium: Via della Meloria, 43
Similar to what I just spoke about this spot is specifically designed for al taglio pizza. They offer more unique flavour combinations, as well as classic flavours as well. This spot is so delicious and one of my favourites for al taglio (Anthony Bourdain also ate here, so it cannot be missed). They also have really good supli (more on that later). You are meant to take this to go, or to eat on the tables inside or outside, if you are lucky enough to find a spot. Pizza al taglio is more similar to a focaccia base as the dough is not typical thin-style Roman pizza crust.
Supplizio: Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 143
Finally I will talk about a famous Roman street food – Suppli! This is basically Rome’s answer to Sicily’s Arancini. This is a fried rice ball filled with various fillings. I discovered this spot by chance, and they honestly make the best suppli! The owner was also very sweet and welcoming (which can sometimes be rare in Italy lol). We tried a few delicious flavours like carbonara and cacio e pepe (more on those flavours later). You can sit inside and eat, but I would just really grab one or two to go and eat this while exploring Rome.
Trapizzino: Piazza Trilussa, 46 (+ other locations)
This delicious invention of a trapizzino is a play on words taken from tramezzino (which is a triangular white sandwich bread), and from pizza (which we all know and love). The name is perfect as this is esentially what it is: a fluffy stuffed bread/pizza that they then fill with your topping of choice. I honestly can’t even think about these little beauties without craving them. They have a location right in the heart of Trastevere that also has a spot in the back where you can dine in (and are shockingly not charged extra for – rare in Italy). They have various fillings, and my favourite has to be the cacciatore which is a slow cooked chicken in a white wine sauce – SO GOOD! They also have one filled with Burrata cheese, and a melanzane (eggplant) flavour as well. These are SO good, and esentially the perfect Roman style street food, as you can have this for lunch, or any time of day. You can easily grab one to go as well. They also have good suppli (more on that)
I saved my favourite dine-in restaurants for dinner. You can of course eat at many of these for lunch as well (though they are not always open for lunch hours). All of these spots that I chose feature Roman style dishes, and are located in tourist friendly locations, so they are the perfect places to eat a delicious dinner. Many spots that you dine-in will have a cover charge, but it usually is no more than 1 or 2 Euros a table or head. It should also be known that unlike a Canadian or American city (min of 15%), the tip in Italy is usually just 1 or 2 euros a person, so be sure to not over-tip here, as it is not the custom to do so.
Pizzeria da Baffetto: Via del Governo Vecchio, 114
Transitioning from lunch over to dinner, I named this spot first because I often ate this pizza for lunch. It was literally on the same street as our airbnb so we would take this pizza back to our place after a long day of walking and eat on the terrace. This is the perfect more casual dinner spot, and it was often full of people from lunch to dinner, and for good reason – PIZZA! This spot makes Roman style pizza (not the roman al-taglio), but an entire thin pizza (one per person – yes, in Italy you eat an entire pizza to yourself), and this pizza is thin enough to do so! Where Napoli also offers personal pizza, enough on a thin, yet fluffy and soft dough, Roman pizza is also thin, but more crisp. It is easy to think that this may be too dry or crunchy, however, NO! This pizza is thin but so juicy and delicious. We were in LOVE with this pizza. My favourite flavour was the mozzarella pizza with funghi, cipolla, and salsiccia (mushrooms, onions, and sausage). They offer MANY toppings and flavours, and you can even just choose your own. I also saw how they make this pizza, as the oven is essentially out in the open. You can dine in, and they have many tables to eat outside as well. You can even take this pizza to go as well. SO GOOD!
Da Enzo al 29: Via dei Vascellari, 29
This is easily my FAVOURITE restaurant in all of Rome! This spot offers classic Roman style dishes. They have a saltimbocca (veal, if you are craving meat), but I am such a carb-lover, so my favourite things here are the pasta! Now Rome is known for quite a few pasta dishes, but most famous are esentially 3: Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, and Amatricina. This restaurant makes those dishes RIGHT! I LOVEEEEE their pasta! Roman style Carbonara is often done with the rigatoni pasta (tubular noodle), and that is how they make this here. If you are not familiar carbonara is a creamy egg sauce with “bacon”, or guanciale/pancetta, and it is SO good! Cacio e Pepe is basically a black pepper and cheese “sauce” where they use pecorino (very Romano), and parmigiano, the pasta they use here is very Roman – Tonarelli, which is basically a thicker spaghetti. Finally, Amatriciana is a tomato sauce, also with pancetta/guanciale, and cheese. When in Rome, you should really eat like the Roman’s do and have one of these dishes. You really shouldn’t miss the burrata here though. Not on the menu, their burrata is always a “special” and it is done in more of a straciatella type fashion. Basically burrata is strips of mozzarella and cheese (straciatella) filled inside a mozzarella ball (heavenly), but their version is really just the strips of mozzarella and cream on a plate with beautiful tomatoes (reason alone to visit Italy). They also offer a very high-end version of a classic Roman style dish called panzanella (which is really a bread salad), very classic of cucina povera (meaning poor or peasant cooking), many famous Italian dishes originated this way. Their version features more of that burrata, as well as anchovies (which are not for everyone), but it is truly delicious. ALSO, save room for dessert! If you didn’t get around to eating tiramisu for breakfast, you can grab a little mini yet so delicious one here for dessert. They make one of the best tiramisu here! However, my favurite has to be the mascarpone mousse, with fragoline (mini wild strawberries) – DIVINE! (Can you tell I love this spot)?
Osteria da Fortunata: Via del Pellegrino, 11/12
More pasta!! Can you ever have too much? (no). This spot is very unique as you literally see a little Italian nonna (grandma) making the pasta by hand in the window. They are famous for their hand-made pasta, especially the strozzapreti (meaning strangled Priest lol). This is a thicker, elongated pasta, and it is SO good in many of their sauces, such as carbonara, or even their special version of Gricia with zucchini flowers (fiori di zucca), pecorino, and guanciale/pancetta, in an oil style sauce – SO good! They also have a delicious panna cotta for dessert (basically meaning cooked cream), a creamy, cold dessert, thickened with gelatin, topped with your choice of usually chocolate, caramel, or my favourite frutti di bosco (wild/forest fruits – meaning berries). If you are really craving pasta, this is the spot!
Taverna Trilussa: Via del Politeama, 23/25
I clearly am pasta obsessed because I chose this spot for the main reason of eating one of the best pasta dishes I have ever eaten in my entire life, and that is their black truffle (tartufo) pasta – Tagliolini con Tartufo Nero! They are a full menu restaurant, a little on the pricey side, but you can have many Roman style dishes, especially their artichokes (carciofi) either Roman style, or Jewish style (fried), I love artichokes in Rome! They have many meat, and pasta dishes, but like I said, this truffle pasta was so flavourful and buttery, presented in literally the skillet that it was cooked in, it was heavenly! I remember it was around the 35 Euro price, making it quite costly, but it is a great place if you want to eat well and splurge a little. They have inside dining as well as a nice patio outside. They are also famous for their Ravioli Mimosa which won apparently 2 awards (even “food God” ate this dish), but honestly, this truffle pasta was better in my opinion, and should not be missed!
Old Bear: Via dei Gigli d’Oro, 3
This spot is an old favourite of mine. I didn’t mention it in my video because the foods I love here are not typically Roman, however they are so delicious! If you want to try something different they have a delicious tartare di tonno (Tuna) done on a bed of potatoes, as well as an amazing Paella for two! I really love their truffle pastas as well. A roman Timballo (lasagna) is also delicious there done in a pumpkin or truffle sauce! They have really nice bruschette as well (little toasts with various toppings), so be sure to explore this menu of both Roman and not so Roman style dishes! I also remember having a really nice semi-freddo (ice cream style dessert) with amaretto!
Here I will list some extra places to check out, either for the experience, or a specific food. I will also go into some coffees to try as well.
Caffe’ Sant’Eustachio: Piazza di S. Eustachio, 82
This coffee shop (or bar) makes some of the best coffees in Rome. You can have a classic coffee (espresso), or of course try one of their specialty drinks. I really loved the Moretto coffee which was espresso, milk foam, and cocoa, it was SO good! They show you a picture and description of their drinks on a menu inside. You can drink at the bar, take one to go, or sit on their patio outside (which as usual costs more). I recommend just having a coffee while standing at the bar.
Tazza D’Oro: Via degli Orfani, 84
This literally translates to “Gold Cup” and for good reason. You can come here for breakfast and grab a coffee and pastry, but I love this spot for their Granita di Caffee. This is basically a coffee slushy, layered with whipped cream (panna). I love to grab one of these to go, especially on a hot day! It is quite sweet, and also slightly strong from the espresso, the perfect pick-me-up on a hot day!
This is essentially espresso with Ginseng extract. It comes already sweet most of the time, and is a delicious pick-me-up, or alternative to espresso. It is one of my favourite things to get in Italy as we do not have this back home in Canada. I did not name a bar/coffee shop that carries it, as they are good everywhere, just be sure to ask your local spot if they carry it.
*Caffee’ Crema/ Crema al caffee’ (cremosito):
This is essentially a cold coffee flavourted cream. It is similar to a mini coffee milkshake or frosty. I love having this on a hot day, as it can be found in many bars, not just in Rome, but everywhere. I would always get this as opposed to a hot coffee as I am usually visiting Italy in the warmer months. I also did not mention where to grab this as you can get this all over Italy, and they taste the same everywhere, just be sure to ask if they carry this (known as cremosito, caffee crema, or crema al caffee).
Terazza Borromini: Via di Santa Maria dell’Anima, 30A
This is one of the best experiences you can have in Rome. It is not for their food, but rather for their view! Easily the best rooftop terrace in Rome, you should check this spot out to have an aperitivo (meaning a pre-dinner drink with some snacks) while over looking the stunning panorama that is Rome! We had to really squeeze our way in, in terms of booking, as they are not very easy to get a hold of, and we decided on a whim that we wanted to spend our last night in Rome here (and we are SO glad we did). It is one of my fondest memories in the Eternal City, we had a Spritz (Aperol Spritz is the best patio drink of choice) with a few “stuzzichini” (a few antipasti, best eaten with a cocktail). We had some burrata, mozzarella, olives, etc.. The drinks were great, the food was good, but the experience was incredible! My mom, sisters, and I were lucky enough do experience this at sunset (I vlogged this experience), and we had a perfect end to our mother-daughter Italy trip here on our last night in Rome. I highly recommend this spot for drinks, and obviously the breathtaking view!
Gelato: (See Blog Post & Video)
I have an entire Blog Post and Video dedicated to the best Gelato (Gelaterias) in Rome! I am a little bit gelato obsessed so this deserved an entire video and blog dedicated to my favourite spots. Some of the best gelato in all of Italy can be found in Rome. Gelato is NOT ice cream, but rather the ultimate version of ice cream and cannot be missed when in Rome, or anywhere in Italy. Just be sure to avoid tourist trap gelaterias – I am constantly updating that blog after each visit, so be sure to check it out for the best Gelato in Rome!
I also have many Vlogs dedicated to my travels in Rome, so be sure to check those out on my YouTube channel as well! I am constantly eating and exploring my favourite city, and therefore finding new spots with every visit 🙂 Italy Vlogs: (2017 Vlogs) (2018 Vlogs)
There you have it, my extremely long, but detailed list of the best restaurants/dishes to eat in Rome (and then some). I am a huge foodie, and there is nothing worse than having a bad meal, or feeling like I missed out on a delicious dish. I have included many of these spots, not just because they are some of my favourites, but also because they are easy to get to, and located near many tourist destinations (think, the pantheon, and so on). I hope you enjoyed this list, it was a long time coming, and so I’m very happy to put this together and share with you some true gems! I know I will likely be updating this blog post after visiting Rome, as every time I go, I tend to find a new favourite spot. Be sure to also check out the video to go with this post, as I talk through everything and show you clips from various trips and vlogs where I eat at these spots. Thanks so much for reading, and hopefully watching as I talk and show you lots of video clips of my time in Rome spent eating at these delicious spots!