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The 10 Hottest Restaurants in Rome, Italy

Where to eat tramezzino, guanciale-laced paccheri, and even ramen in the Italian capital

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Today, Eater returns to Rome, Italy to discover the hottest drinking and dining destinations the city has to offer. Our guide, as always, is cookbook author and food writer Katie Parla, who dishes on the 10 buzziest openings of the past year.

"Rome's recent openings are increasingly drifting away from the traditional restaurant format," Parla says, noting new genres like innovative street food (the pizza-dough-sandwich slingers Trapizzino) and international cuisines (the Mexican-influenced Agaveria La Punta and the iekei-focused Ramen Bar Akira). Also on her radar: a spot reviving the Roman classic picchiapò (Mordi e Vai 2.0), a revamped version of a long-established deli (Taverna Volpetti), and a casual restaurant that will sate your pasta craving (Retrobottega).

Here now, and in geographic order, the Eater Heatmap to Rome — and when in Rome, make sure to memorize Eater's 38 Essential Restaurants, which will lead you towards the city's indispensable spots.

Eater’s bringing this map to life with a trip to Rome, brought to you by Black Tomato. See the full itinerary and book a food-filled trip now.

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Secondo Tradizione

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La Tradizione, Rome’s premier salumeria, opened Secondo Tradizione earlier this year as a companion restaurant to the well-stocked gourmet shop. The simple and unpretentious food offerings mix Roman dishes and Italian flavors: think cacio e pepe, risotto with Castelmagno cheese, paccheri with pumpkin and guanciale, and rabbit with porcini mushrooms, as well as cheese and cured meat plates drawing from the best of La Tradizione’s deli case. Beginning in the fall, Secondo Tradizione will collaborate with celebrated chef Anthony Genovese of Il Pagliaccio, who will depart from his fine-dining roots to focus on a menu celebrating simple Roman comfort food.

Trapizzino

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The latest branch in the small but growing Trapizzino chain is located in Prati’s Cinema Adriano. Pizzaiolo Stefano Callegari invented the trapizzino in 2009, merging the triangular shape of the popular tramezzino sandwich with a long, slowly leavened pizza dough. He fills his tri-cornered creations with Roman classics like oxtail simmered with tomato and celery, chicken with bell peppers, and tripe cooked with tomato. For €3.50, the trapizzino delivers hearty Roman flavors for hungry locals on a budget. Other locations are in Testaccio (Via Giovanni Branca 88) and Ponte Milvio (Piazzale Ponte Milvio 13).

Retrobottega

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Retrobottega serves quick but thoughtful dishes in a casual space near the Parliament. The place is part of a new crop of venues that are open all day and provide casual, affordable food to the increasingly frugal Roman public. The young team, which works quietly in an open kitchen, trained at Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe, but they take inspiration mainly from Italy, with dishes like Piedmont-style steak tartare and spaghetti with garlic, oil, chili, and Grana Padano.

Roscioli Caffè e Pasticceria

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The Roscioli family’s gourmet food empire, known for its bakery and restaurant, continued its expansion in Rome's historical center earlier this year with the addition of a cafè serving espresso-based drinks, third-wave coffee, sandwiches, and pastries. The coffee and pastry menu is served to customers standing in the front, while a small seated area in the back offers a larger menu of cheeses, cured meats, pastas, wine, and cocktails.

Agaveria La Punta

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From the cocktail specialists behind the Jerry Thomas Project and Freni e Frizioni, Agaveria La Punta brings the flavors of Mexico to Rome’s Trastevere district. The kitchen serves Mexican dishes made with ingredients familiar to the Roman palate: cod, a local staple, tops tostadas, while the “ceviche” is mezcal-marinated steak tartare. The extensive cocktail list draws on mezcal and tequila from small producers. Currently only the ground floor of Agaveria La Punta is operational, but in the coming months, two additional basement areas will open, each aimed at increasingly exclusive Mexican spirits.

Taverna Volpetti

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For more than 40 years, the Volpetti family ran a high-end deli in the heart of Testaccio. Last year, the brand was purchased by Matteo Tomljanovich and Lorenzo Respighi with the purpose of expanding the brand and improving customer experience. The duo recently rolled out the first of their planned changes with the opening of Taverna Volpetti, a wine bar and restaurant in the former Volpetti Più cafeteria space. The Taverna serves a buffet lunch with additional daily specials cooked to order, while the evenings are dedicated to aperitivo and dinner service. Though the menu remains limited at the moment, the venue will roll out wider options throughout the fall and winter, which showcase the quality Italian products available at the deli next door.

Romeo, Cups, and Frigo

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Chef Cristina Bowerman of Romeo and Glass opened a double-wide stall in the Testaccio Market that combines three distinct concepts. The first is essentially an outpost of Romeo, Bowerman’s gourmet food shop and bakery near the Vatican, which sells bread, pizza by the slice, sandwiches, and deli products. Beside Romeo’s deli counter, Cups serves takeaway dishes — such as meatballs and chicken with bell peppers — in insulated cups (hence the name). Meanwhile, Frigo sells scoops of gelato and sorbet. The stall is part of a nascent but growing trend in the Testaccio Market to serve prepared foods, a break from the typical Roman market tradition of selling raw materials to prepare at home.

Ramen Bar Akira

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Ramen Bar Akira serves iekei ramen, a specialty of Yokohama, Japan. The pork bone and soy sauce-based broth is thick, viscous, and creamy, and traditionally served with thick yellow noodles, sliced pork, nori, and spinach. In addition to ramen, Akira serves a range of fried starters including gyoza, chicken, and tofu, not to mention meat-based rice dishes. At the moment there is a limited sake menu, but there are plans to expand the list in the coming months.

This pizzeria/ristorante in the Appio-Latino district is the newest venue from Stefano Callegari, Rome’s foremost pizza entrepreneur (he’s also the force behind Trapizzino). Here, he teams up with Italian craft brewery Birrificio del Ducato to serve thick-rimmed pizzas baked in a domed, wood-burning Valoriani oven. In addition to pizza and the 15 draft beers available, Sbanco also serves meat dishes and creatively flavored supplì.

Mordi e Vai 2.0

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Following the runaway success of their offal-rich stall in the Testaccio Market, Mara Cipriani, Sergio Esposito, and their sons have opened a second location, Mordi e Vai 2.0, near Piazza Re di Roma. Offering longer hours than the original location, 2.0 serves the same beloved classics: offal and meat dishes based on family recipes. The family digs deep into the past to revive disappearing dishes that have lost their place at the Roman table, like picchiapò (simmered brisket cooked in an onion-rich tomato sauce).

Secondo Tradizione

La Tradizione, Rome’s premier salumeria, opened Secondo Tradizione earlier this year as a companion restaurant to the well-stocked gourmet shop. The simple and unpretentious food offerings mix Roman dishes and Italian flavors: think cacio e pepe, risotto with Castelmagno cheese, paccheri with pumpkin and guanciale, and rabbit with porcini mushrooms, as well as cheese and cured meat plates drawing from the best of La Tradizione’s deli case. Beginning in the fall, Secondo Tradizione will collaborate with celebrated chef Anthony Genovese of Il Pagliaccio, who will depart from his fine-dining roots to focus on a menu celebrating simple Roman comfort food.

Trapizzino

The latest branch in the small but growing Trapizzino chain is located in Prati’s Cinema Adriano. Pizzaiolo Stefano Callegari invented the trapizzino in 2009, merging the triangular shape of the popular tramezzino sandwich with a long, slowly leavened pizza dough. He fills his tri-cornered creations with Roman classics like oxtail simmered with tomato and celery, chicken with bell peppers, and tripe cooked with tomato. For €3.50, the trapizzino delivers hearty Roman flavors for hungry locals on a budget. Other locations are in Testaccio (Via Giovanni Branca 88) and Ponte Milvio (Piazzale Ponte Milvio 13).

Retrobottega

Retrobottega serves quick but thoughtful dishes in a casual space near the Parliament. The place is part of a new crop of venues that are open all day and provide casual, affordable food to the increasingly frugal Roman public. The young team, which works quietly in an open kitchen, trained at Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe, but they take inspiration mainly from Italy, with dishes like Piedmont-style steak tartare and spaghetti with garlic, oil, chili, and Grana Padano.

Roscioli Caffè e Pasticceria

The Roscioli family’s gourmet food empire, known for its bakery and restaurant, continued its expansion in Rome's historical center earlier this year with the addition of a cafè serving espresso-based drinks, third-wave coffee, sandwiches, and pastries. The coffee and pastry menu is served to customers standing in the front, while a small seated area in the back offers a larger menu of cheeses, cured meats, pastas, wine, and cocktails.

Agaveria La Punta

From the cocktail specialists behind the Jerry Thomas Project and Freni e Frizioni, Agaveria La Punta brings the flavors of Mexico to Rome’s Trastevere district. The kitchen serves Mexican dishes made with ingredients familiar to the Roman palate: cod, a local staple, tops tostadas, while the “ceviche” is mezcal-marinated steak tartare. The extensive cocktail list draws on mezcal and tequila from small producers. Currently only the ground floor of Agaveria La Punta is operational, but in the coming months, two additional basement areas will open, each aimed at increasingly exclusive Mexican spirits.

Taverna Volpetti

For more than 40 years, the Volpetti family ran a high-end deli in the heart of Testaccio. Last year, the brand was purchased by Matteo Tomljanovich and Lorenzo Respighi with the purpose of expanding the brand and improving customer experience. The duo recently rolled out the first of their planned changes with the opening of Taverna Volpetti, a wine bar and restaurant in the former Volpetti Più cafeteria space. The Taverna serves a buffet lunch with additional daily specials cooked to order, while the evenings are dedicated to aperitivo and dinner service. Though the menu remains limited at the moment, the venue will roll out wider options throughout the fall and winter, which showcase the quality Italian products available at the deli next door.

Romeo, Cups, and Frigo

Chef Cristina Bowerman of Romeo and Glass opened a double-wide stall in the Testaccio Market that combines three distinct concepts. The first is essentially an outpost of Romeo, Bowerman’s gourmet food shop and bakery near the Vatican, which sells bread, pizza by the slice, sandwiches, and deli products. Beside Romeo’s deli counter, Cups serves takeaway dishes — such as meatballs and chicken with bell peppers — in insulated cups (hence the name). Meanwhile, Frigo sells scoops of gelato and sorbet. The stall is part of a nascent but growing trend in the Testaccio Market to serve prepared foods, a break from the typical Roman market tradition of selling raw materials to prepare at home.

Ramen Bar Akira

Ramen Bar Akira serves iekei ramen, a specialty of Yokohama, Japan. The pork bone and soy sauce-based broth is thick, viscous, and creamy, and traditionally served with thick yellow noodles, sliced pork, nori, and spinach. In addition to ramen, Akira serves a range of fried starters including gyoza, chicken, and tofu, not to mention meat-based rice dishes. At the moment there is a limited sake menu, but there are plans to expand the list in the coming months.

Sbanco

This pizzeria/ristorante in the Appio-Latino district is the newest venue from Stefano Callegari, Rome’s foremost pizza entrepreneur (he’s also the force behind Trapizzino). Here, he teams up with Italian craft brewery Birrificio del Ducato to serve thick-rimmed pizzas baked in a domed, wood-burning Valoriani oven. In addition to pizza and the 15 draft beers available, Sbanco also serves meat dishes and creatively flavored supplì.

Mordi e Vai 2.0

Following the runaway success of their offal-rich stall in the Testaccio Market, Mara Cipriani, Sergio Esposito, and their sons have opened a second location, Mordi e Vai 2.0, near Piazza Re di Roma. Offering longer hours than the original location, 2.0 serves the same beloved classics: offal and meat dishes based on family recipes. The family digs deep into the past to revive disappearing dishes that have lost their place at the Roman table, like picchiapò (simmered brisket cooked in an onion-rich tomato sauce).

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