Rome restaurants that are absolutely bellissimo
Restaurants in Rome that have to be on every foodie’s list.
Choosing somewhere to eat in Rome is not an easy task. From Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants to family-run trattorias, it can take years to scratch the surface of the best places to eat in Rome.
The Trastevere area has the highest concentration of restaurants, bars and cafes, and some have an open dining facility on the terrace, providing a panoramic view of the historic buildings.
However, with a myriad of dining options comes numerous tourist traps, especially places serving overpriced, mediocre meals in the name of authentic Italian dishes. An easy way to spot restaurants you should avoid is to work out the type of customer they are appealing to.
Restaurants where flyers are being handed out to tourists, English-only menus, too-good-to-be-true combo offers, and signs declaring “Authentic Italian Food”, all scream of places best avoided. To save you the search and keep you clear of tourist traps, we have listed the best restaurants in Rome to enjoy traditional Italian delicacies.
Image: Colonna Open
Glass Hostaria is located near Piazza Santa Maria in the heart of Trastevere.
The modern structure of this Roman restaurant beautifully contrasts with the old neighborhood.
Its contemporary cuisine from Michelin-starred chef and director Cristina Bowerman, is rich and distinctive, and is accompanied by a choice collection of wine.
Vicolo del Cinque 58, 00153 Rome
Founded in 1966 and probably the best seafood restaurant in Rome, La Rosetta is situated on a quiet street near the Pantheon.
The interior is simple and elegant. Signature meals to savour includes grilled octopus with strips of zucchini, followed by rigatoncini with grouper ragout and sauteed ricotta cheese, accompanied by excellent wines, of course.
Via della Rosetta 8, 00186 Rome
Located in Campo de' Fiori in the heart of Rome, Ditirambo offers delicious authentic Italian cuisine, and a well-stocked cellar, in a traditional taverna setting.
The menu has a wide range and includes some excellent vegetarian dishes such as eggplant meatballs, and marmalade of zucchini with parmesan cheese, smoked buffalo mozzarella and potato patties.
Piazza della Cancelleria 74–75, 00186 Rome
Brainchild of renowned chef Antonello Colonna, this restaurant impresses as soon as you enter, with its glass-walled interior.
Featuring signature dishes such as filo pasta stuffed with cod and caviar and lemon cream bath, the menu is a perfect blend of old and new Roman cuisine.
The two-course weekend brunch menu is great value for money.
Via Milano 9a, 00184 Rome
Obicà Mozzarella Bar
Obicà’s is known for the delicious cheeses that arrive daily from the neighboring farms of Campaña. Its recipes have been passed down for centuries, keeping their simplicity and authenticity intact.
The decor is also minimalist, fusing steel with wood and columns, so you are not distracted from enjoying the cheeses and pasta, and wines from indigenous grapes.
Piazza di Firenze 28, 00186 Rome
Piazza Campo de' Fiori 16, 00186 Rome
Pizzeria Da Baffetto
Da Baffetto is one of the best places to try the perfect Roman pizza. The place is popular with several celebrities, especially footballers.
Try fried zucchini flowers as a starter before passing to traditional Roman pizza topped with provola cheese and speck, on top of artichokes and mushrooms.
Via del Governo Vecchio 114, 00186, Rome
Armando al Pantheon
Operating since 1961 and located opposite the Pantheon, this family-run trattoria features a unique interior of cork walls, abstract artwork and a beautifully stained glass entrance.
The traditional Roman menu has remained almost unchanged for the last 21 years, and includes classics such as fettuccine with mushrooms, peas and tomatoes, and osso buco.
Salita dei Crescenzi 31, 00186 Rome
Caffè Canova Tadolini
Sculptor Antonio Canova signed a contract in 1818 to ensure this property remained a sculpture workshop.
Today the building offers a unique dining experience.
The sculptures remain, but you can also enjoy a variety of drinks and delicious snacks, from canapés to biscuits and sweets, while you are literally surrounded by history.
Via del Babuino 150/a-b, 00187 Rome
This Michelin-starred restaurant in the historic centre of Rome offers one of the best-value gourmet dinners in the city.
The menu incorporates Eastern influences with local cuisine, clearly illustrated in an antipasto of grilled scallops with marinated meat in teriyaki sauce.
The wine list is small but interesting, and you should leave plenty of room for excellent desserts.
Via dei Banchi Vecchi 129/a, 00186, Rome
Founded in 1946 as a roasting and tasting place for different blends of coffee, Tazza d'Oro is the only vintage coffee shop in the heart of Rome’s historic centre.
The powerful coffee aroma is a magnet for coffee lovers. Go for a granita di caffè in summer and cioccolata calda con panna in winter.
Chocolate covered coffee beans are great souvenirs to take home.
Via degli Orfani 84, 00186 Rome
Agata e Romeo
If you have a big budget for a meal for two with a good bottle of wine, you must spend it here.
Agata is in charge of cuisine, with Cacio e Pepe, a Roman pasta dish with pecorino cheese and pepper, one of her specialties.
Her husband Romeo takes care of the extensive wine list. Don’t miss the triple-bewitched chocfest half-bitter chocolate with chocolate sorbet.
Via Carlo Alberto 45, 00185 Rome
Perched on top of a hill with a vine-covered terrace for open-air dining, this is an ideal restaurant for a leisurely lunch after a visit to the catacombs or Circo di Massenzio.
Among the specialties are scrigno alla Cecilia, green noodles cooked in cheese sauce; nerone flambéed chicken; and polenta ai porcini, a type of porridge with porcini mushrooms.
Via Appia Antica 125–129, 00178, Rome
Antica Birreria Peroni
This historical brewery was here decades is the perfect place for a quick lunch or dinner. Known for its laid-back atmosphere and visited mostly by locals, it serves a variety of dishes of pasta and risotto, salmon and salads.
For a casual dining experience, have a beer with classical pork “Cerveland” sausages, or “Knacher” sausages from Germany.
Via di S. Marcello 19, 00187 Rome
Birra e Sale
Birra e Sale is a top-rated Rome restaurant on TripAdvisor. It is located in the heart of Rome, a few steps from Piazza Navona and Campo de' Fiori in a delightful boutique setting, with wooden stools and a marble shelf set at the counter.
Its staff provide excellent service and fairly priced gourmet dishes, and the restaurant never fails to disappoint its guests.
Via del Governo Vecchio 90, 00186 Rome
Rosso is well-known among the locals. The vintage decoration and small terrace provide a comfortable setting and authentic feel.
Splurge on the irresistible buffet with an assortment of traditional Italian dishes, sample its famous homemade pizza from the wood-fired oven, or take away American-style sandwiches and hamburgers.
Viale Aventino 32, 00153, Rome
Food tours and cooking classes
If you are looking for a more engaging experience with Roman cuisine, you can participate in these food tours and cooking classes.
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