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A plate of spaghetti well dusted with cheese
Salumeria Roscioli
Salumeria Roscioli [Facebook]

The 38 Essential Rome Restaurants

Where to taste the best of Roman cooking, from timeless institutions that haven’t changed in decades to neo-trattorias that change by the day

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Salumeria Roscioli
| Salumeria Roscioli [Facebook]

Roman cuisine is defined by a unique set of ingredients, techniques, and dishes that set it apart from the food of all other Italian cities. While traditional trattorias and osterias still dominate the dining options with a predictable (if delicious) litany of specialties such as cacio e pepe, carbonara, roasted lamb, and assorted offal, there is now an increasing number of alternatives, from fast-food riffs on local recipes to international flavors and neo-trattorias.

Though the past decade has seen some serious shifts in local dining habits, generally speaking, lunch is served from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Once the pandemic subsides and travel resumes as normal, consider booking at least a few days in advance, or a few weeks ahead at sought-after spots like Armando al Pantheon and Salumeria Roscioli. At the moment, you can still walk in at many of Rome’s historic hotspots, though check directly with restaurants before making plans.

One major silver lining of the pandemic is that outdoor seating, once prohibitively expensive or impossible to secure, is now the norm, even at places on busy streets, like wine bar Il Goccetto. Another plus is that pizzerias are booming, as the expansion of I Quintili and 180g Pizzeria Romana attest. But COVID also continues to foment uncertainty, causing staffing issues at restaurants and making customer regulations feel like moving targets. Currently, in order to eat indoors, Italians over age 12 are required to produce a Green Pass, which proves vaccination, recovery from COVID within the last 6 months, or a recent negative test. Travelers should be prepared to show equivalent documents.

Still, Rome’s greatest feasts are worth navigating any difficulties. Dining and drinking in the city is as special and exciting as ever.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol

$ = Less than 15 euros (less than $18 USD)

$$ = 16 - 39 euros ($19 to $46 USD)

$$$ = 40 - 66 euros ($47 to $78 USD)

$$$$ = More than 66 euros (more than $78 USD)

Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases in Italy, please visit the Ministry of Health.

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.

Katie Parla is a Rome-based food and beverage journalist, culinary guide, and award-winning cookbook author. She is the host of Katie Parla’s Rome and Katie Parla’s Roman Kitchen on Recipe.TV, and the co-host of the GOLA podcast about Italian food and drinks culture.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cesare al Casaletto

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Via del Casaletto, 45
00151 Roma, Italy

Following careers in fine dining in Italy and abroad, Leonardo Vignoli and Maria Pia Cicconi went back to basics with Cesare al Casaletto, a straightforward trattoria the husband-and-wife duo took over in 2009. The menu features Roman classics with a few restrained twists, like fried gnocchi served on a pool of cacio e pepe sauce. The pasta alla gricia has achieved cult status, the suckling lamb mains are exceptional, and the beverage list spotlights stunningly affordable natural wines from Italy, France, and Slovenia. Cesare isn’t particularly close to any monuments but is easily accessible by public transit — though don’t rule out a post-lunch stroll through the nearby Villa Pamphili, a vast public park. [$$]

Fried calamari spilling from a paper cone onto a plate
Totani fritti
Cesare al Casaletto [official]

2. Himalaya Palace

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Circonvallazione Gianicolense, 277
00152 Roma RM, Italy

In 1993, the Gupta family opened Himalaya Palace, one of the first restaurants to introduce tandoor cooking to Italy. Their longevity in the Gianicolense district has proven customer demand for North Indian cooking in the typically seasoning-averse Italian capital. Their loyal clientele come for succulent chicken makhani, smoky baingan bharta, and tangy paneer tikka. [$$]

A table set with a decorative table cloth. On top are a large stew pot of chicken vindaloo, a bowl of white rice, and a dish of tandoori chicken
Tandoori chicken and chicken vindaloo
Katie Parla

3. Pizzarium

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Via della Meloria, 43
00136 Roma, Italy
+39 06 3974 5416
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Gabriele Bonci’s landmark pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) shop near the Vatican Museums has become a globally acclaimed landmark where cold-fermented, heirloom wheat-based dough is topped with exquisite produce from biodynamic farms and artisanal cured meats and cheeses. Most toppings change from day to day, or even hour to hour, but Pizzarium’s signatures (tomato-oregano and potato-mozzarella) are always available. There are only a few high-top tables outside and no seating, so don’t wear yourself out too much wandering the museums before stopping by. [$]

Size squared off pieces of pizza with various toppings on wax paper on a tray
Slices of sausage and arugula; artichoke; and potato with prosciutto and chicory
Katie Parla

4. La Tradizione

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Via Cipro, 8 E
00136 Roma RM, Italy

Whether you’re shopping for pantry provisions for your Airbnb or hunting for mature cheeses, aged vinegars, and extra-virgin olive oil to take home, La Tradizione has got you covered. The selection of cheeses, up to 400 depending on the season, is unrivaled in Rome, and few gastronomie offer such a prestigious assortment of cured meats. In spite of being one of the city’s premier gourmet food purveyors, the prices are reasonable, owing to its location in the working- and middle-class Trionfale district. Owners Stefano Lobina and Francesco Praticò are devoted to serving their local clientele. [$$]

Sausages and other meats in a deli case with labels
The meat case in all its glory
La Tradizione [Facebook]

5. Mostò

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Viale Pinturicchio, 32
00196 Roma RM, Italy

Mostò, which opened in 2015, is one of a growing number of natural wine bars in Rome. The neighborhood enoteca is set on a residential street in the Flaminio district, not far from Renzo Piano’s Auditorium and Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI museum for contemporary art. Mostò has an especially fun selection of pet-nat from Italy and France, which owner Ciro Borriello pairs with oysters, fish tartare, and exceptional buffalo mozzarella delivered regularly from his native Campania. [$]

Shelves of wine bottles in a darkened room
Shelves of wine at Mostò
Katie Parla

6. Il Goccetto

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Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, Rome
Latium 00186, Italy
+39 06 686 4268
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Great atmosphere, an extensive list of wines by the glass (up to 30 in rotation), and endearingly surly service make this wine bar a cult favorite among locals. Look for the painted sign reading “vino e olio” above the entrance, and then push through the crowd of smokers to the wood-accented inner sanctum, where beloved owners Sergio and Anna Ceccarelli have built an enviable cellar of more than 800 labels. The recently renovated counter showcases sott’olii (marinated vegetables), canapes, cheeses, and cured meats, and there’s a small selection of salads offering a break from Rome’s unadulterated guanciale fest. For the time being, there is seating on the street outside, shaded by towering Renaissance apartment blocks. [$$]

A large oval plate of vegetables, with small dishes of canapes, anchovies, and bread
Sott’olii (marinated vegetables), anchovies, and canapés
Katie Parla

7. C'è Pasta… e Pasta

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Via Ettore Rolli, 29
00153 Roma, Italy
+39 06 5832 0125
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Located a short distance from Stazione Trastevere, C’è Pasta… e Pasta (translation: “There’s pasta… and pasta”) serves delicious kosher meals to eat in or take away. Order at the counter and don’t miss Roman Jewish classics like carciofi alla giudia (fried artichokes), filetti di baccala (battered fried cod), aliciotti con l’indivia (layered anchovy and frisee casserole), and concia (fried and marinated zucchini). As the name promises, they also serve pasta dishes and sell fresh pasta to cook at home. [$]

Fried artichoke hearts on a paper towel-lined tray
Carciofi alla giudia (fried artichokes)
C’è Pasta… e Pasta [Facebook]

8. Supplizio

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Via Dei Banchi Vecchi 143, Rome
Latium 00186, Italy
+39 06 8987 1920
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Chef Arcangelo Dandini, known for his formal ristorante L’Arcangelo in Prati, opened this casual street food-inspired spot on the ground floor of a Renaissance building in central Rome in order to bring his fried specialties and signature finger foods to the masses. The name is inspired by suppli, Roman rice balls, which are served in assorted flavors alongside other fried classics, including crocchette di patate (potato croquettes), polpette di alici (anchovy “meatballs”), and, the most decadent of all, crema fritta (pastry cream). [$]

9. Zia Restaurant

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Via Goffredo Mameli, 45
00153 Roma RM, Italy

Chef Antonio Ziantoni trained at Rome’s ultra-contemporary, two-Michelin-starred restaurant Il Pagliaccio, as well as restaurants in France and the U.K., before opening Zia with his partner Ida Proietti in Trastevere in 2018. Zia’s service and cuisine were recognized with a Michelin star the following year. The a la carte menu features mutton tartare, buffalo mozzarella risotto with lemon and gentian root, and squab civet. There are tasting menus of five or seven courses as well, and the fine dining service has a formal, ceremonial feel to it. [$$$$]

A small cake with a tightly wound coil of frangipane on top
Vanilla tourbillon with frangipane and almond flour crust
Katie Parla

10. Tavernaccia Da Bruno

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Via Giovanni da Castel Bolognese, 63
00153 Roma, Italy
+39 06 581 2792
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Bruno Persiani, an Umbrian transplant to the Italian capital, opened this homey trattoria in southern Trastevere in 1968 to serve a mix of dishes from Umbria and Rome. Tavernaccia is now run by Persiani’s daughters and Sardinian son-in-law, who throws in a few of his own regional specialties like suckling pig cooked in the wood-fired oven. The fresh pastas are excellent (especially Sunday’s lasagna, which sells out fast), and the wood oven-roasted brisket is otherworldly. Organic and natural wines from Italy and Slovenia round out the wine list. The service is patient and unbelievably kind — far from the norm in the Italian capital, so don’t get used to it. [$$]

A brick-walled dining room with large tables set for dinner
Inside Tavernaccia Da Bruno
Tavernaccia da Bruno [official]

11. Enoteca L’Antidoto

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Vicolo del Bologna, 19
00153 Roma RM, Italy

Natural wine bar L’Antidoto opened its wrought iron doors in the heart of Trastevere in November 2020, a bold move in precarious times. During the worst of the pandemic, it stayed afloat by selling wines from Italy, Spain, Georgia, France, and Slovenia off the shelves — you can still walk in and snag a bottle without sticking around. But visitors can now enjoy wine and small plates at the three high-top tables and counter seating inside. Due to Rome’s idiosyncratic licensing rules, L’Antidoto’s staff can’t physically serve you, so you’ll have to open bottles yourself and fetch dishes like porcini mushroom salad and figs with burrata from the kitchen’s window. But what the bar lacks in table service, it makes up for with enthusiastic guidance from the staff. [$$]

A plate of sliced mushroom salad on a wooden table with a menu beneath the plate
Porcini mushroom salad
Katie Parla

12. Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà

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Via Benedetta, 25, Rome
Latium 00153, Italy
+39 06 6456 2046
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Routinely named among the best places to drink in Europe, this long-established craft beer pub in Trastevere pours around a dozen draft beers from Italy, the U.S., Belgium, Germany, and the U.K., in addition to a small but well-curated assortment of bottles. The staff is passionate and knowledgeable, and can guide you to the right choice for your palate. It’s worth waiting for the few tables on the street outside, set up during the pandemic, which offer a front row seat to Trastevere’s lively nightlife. Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà is open every day of the year — even on Christmas, Easter, Ferragosto, and New Year’s. [$]

A branded pint glass full of beer on a bar
A draft of Alderbeer Green Lobster
Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà [Facebook]

13. Trapizzino

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Piazza Trilussa, 46
00153 Roma RM, Italy

Trapizzino is a small street food chain with locations throughout Italy (and an outpost in New York). The concept is based on the trapizzino, a combination of the popular triangular tramezzino sandwich with long, slowly leavened pizza dough, invented by pizzaiolo Stefano Callegari in 2009. Callegari fills his tricornered creations with Roman classics like oxtail simmered with tomato and celery, chicken cacciatore, and tripe cooked with tomato, each going for just 4.50 euros ($5.50). Most locations provide a quick, affordable meal, but the branch in Trastevere also offers table service and a full bar highlighting wines and beers from across Lazio. [$]

Three trapizzini with various fillings in a metal rack
Stracciatella and salted anchovy, tongue with salsa verde, and chicken cacciatore trapizzini
Katie Parla

14. Otaleg

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Via di S. Cosimato, 14a
00153 Roma RM, Italy

Marco Radicioni trained with Rome’s gelato maestro Claudio Torcè, embracing his sensibility of all-natural flavors, meticulous sourcing, and restrained sweetness. Since striking out on his own, Radicioni has grown into a maestro in his own right, churning some of the most exquisite gelato in Italy. Otaleg’s rich and creamy gelato is made from high-quality ingredients like Valrhona and Amedei chocolate, and IGP Tonda Gentile Romana hazelnuts. The fruit, chocolate, and nut sorbets are intense and delicious. [$]

A plastic dish filled with bright yellow gelato with a cone sticking out to one side, and a chocolate square branded with “Otaleg” to the other
Two scoops of zabaione
Otaleg [official]

15. Forno Campo de' Fiori

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Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 22, Rome
Latium 00186, Italy
+39 06 6880 6662
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In the southwest corner of one of Rome’s most touristy squares, Forno Campo de’ Fiori bakes sweet and savory Roman specialties like jam tarts and flatbreads. Look for pizza alla pala (long slabs baked directly in a deep electric deck oven), which is sold in slices by weight; the unctuous toppings and crispy bases make a surprisingly balanced pair. [$]

16. Sinosteria

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Viale Guglielmo Marconi, 586
00146 Roma RM, Italy

After nearly 30 years at the helm of Rome’s first Thai restaurant, Beijing-born chef Ge Jing Hua opened Sinosteria in 2020 to serve a blend of Chinese regional cuisines like Beijing-style tripe with chile oil and cilantro, and Shandong-inspired squid with peppers, ginger, and bamboo. There are also signature creations like basmati rice with coconut milk, shrimp, capers, and oregano from Pantelleria. The front of house is expertly managed by Ge’s gregarious sommelier son Jun, whose natural wine list and coffee menu are outstanding. [$$]

A heart-shaped dish of squid with vegetables in light sauce
squid with peppers, ginger, and bamboo
Katie Parla

17. Mercato Testaccio

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Via Beniamino Franklin
00118 Roma RM, Italy

The Testaccio neighborhood market is the best place in central Rome to shop for seasonal produce, meat, fish, and baked goods all in one place. Get there in the morning to see it in full swing (it’s open Monday through Saturday until 2 p.m.). Visit Da Artenio (Box 90) for takeaway pizza slices and pizzette, little pizzas topped with tomato sauce, potatoes, or onions. Don’t miss the essential Mordi e Vai (Box 15), where husband-and-wife team Sergio Esposito and Mara Cipriani prepare sandwiches filled with offal and meat based on family recipes, including disappearing historic dishes like allesso di scottona (simmered brisket). Nearby Da Corrado (Box 18) sells natural wines and Italian gourmet products, while Casa Manco (Box 22) serves naturally leavened pizza by the slice by weight. [$]

A stack of purple artichokes at a farmer’s market
Roman artichokes for sale
Katie Parla

18. Salumeria Roscioli

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Via dei Giubbonari, 21
00186 Roma, Italy
+39 06 687 5287
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Founded in the Historic Center in 2004 by Rome’s premier baking family, Salumeria Roscioli does triple duty as a deli, wine bar, and restaurant. Though the menu is extensive, the real stars are the cheeses, cured meats (the burrata with semi-dried tomatoes and mortadella with Parmigiano-Reggiano are particularly stellar), and pasta dishes expertly prepared by chef Nabil Hadj Hassen (get the gricia, cacio e pepe, amatriciana, or carbonara). If you dine at lunch or on the early side at dinner, the bread basket will include freshly baked bread from nearby Antico Forno Roscioli. The wine list is wide-ranging, and don’t miss the distilled spirits before closing out the meal. Be sure to book well in advance and request a ground-floor or outdoor table so you don’t get stuck in the basement. [$$$]

A plate of pasta on a white plate.

19. Marzapane

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Via Flaminia, 64
00196 Roma RM, Italy

Originally founded in 2013 near Piazza Fiume, Marzapane relocated just north of Piazza del Popolo to a townhouse on the Via Flaminia in early 2021. The ground-floor kitchen is run by co-chefs Guglielmo Chiarapini and Francesco Capuzzo Dolcetta, who both trained in fine dining kitchens in France. They deploy their technical virtuosity in fun, flavorful dishes like sweet red shrimp with tomatoes and Nero dei Nebrodi prosciutto, and cold spaghetti with clams, an exercise in contrasting temperatures that is more delicious than it sounds. They also serve a more casual aperitivo-type menu in the evenings. [$$$$]

A plate of pasta topped with fixings on a textured tablecloth on an outdoor wooden table
Fresh pasta with fried zucchini and Provolone del Monaco
Katie Parla

20. Piatto Romano

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Via Giovanni Battista Bodoni, 62
00153 Roma, Italy
+39 06 6401 4447
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Located in Testaccio, Rome’s undisputed offal capital, Piatto Romano focuses on classics like rigatoni con la pajata (pasta with milk-fed veal intestines cooked in tomato sauce) and fettuccine con le rigaglie di pollo (fettuccine with chicken innards). There are plenty of pescatarian options as well, like the outstanding cod baked with onions, pine nuts, apricots, and prunes. [$$]

A large fried artichoke on a plate, on the corner of a table
Carciofo alla giudia (fried artichoke)
Katie Parla

21. Armando al Pantheon

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Salita de' Crescenzi 31, Rome
Latium 00186, Italy
+39 06 6880 3034
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Just 100 feet from Rome’s most intact ancient monument, Armando al Pantheon champions local food traditions. For more than five decades, the Gargioli family has been dutifully producing Roman classics like spaghetti ajo ojo e peperoncino (spaghetti with garlic, oil, and chile) and coda alla vaccinara (oxtail braised in tomato and celery). Among the seasonal side dishes, look for puntarelle (Catalonian chicory) with anchovy sauce and carciofi alla romana (simmered artichokes) in the cooler months. Save room for the torta antica Roma, a ricotta and strawberry jam pie. The lovingly curated wine list gets better every year. [$$]

Four diners eat pasta and drink wine at a white table cloth-covered table
Four-top at Armando al Pantheon
Armando al Pantheon [official]

22. Boccione — il Forno del Ghetto

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Via del Portico d'Ottavia, 1, Rome
Latium 00186, Italy

For more than three centuries, Rome’s Jewish community was confined to a walled ghetto along the Tiber River. The squalid buildings are long gone, but a historic ghetto-era bakery survives on what has become the transformed neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. The pizza ebraica — an almond flour-based fruit cake studded with nuts, raisins, and candied fruits — is an easy specialty to eat on the go, but it’s worth seeking out a bench to get messy with a slice of the spectacular ricotta and sour-cherry tart. Also try the amaretti and biscotti made with heaps of cinnamon and a generous smattering of whole almonds. [$]

Cakes in a pastry case
Kosher cakes and breads
Eleonora Baldwin

23. Nonna Betta

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Via Portico d'Ottavia, 16, Rome
Latium 00186, Italy
+39 06 6880 6263
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The dishes at Nonna Betta, a Kosher restaurant on the main street in Rome’s Jewish quarter, are inspired by traditions of the historic ghetto, which tend toward fried vegetables like carciofi alla giudia (deep-fried artichokes) and pezzetti fritti (assorted battered vegetables), as well as humble fish offerings like alicotti con l’indivia (anchovy and frisee casserole). Alongside centuries-old Roman Jewish classics, owner Umberto Pavoncello also serves more modern dishes like carbonara with zucchini instead of guanciale. [$$]

A bunch of fried artichokes on a white plate
Carciofi alla giudia
Nonna Betta [Facebook]

24. Marigold Roma

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Via Giovanni da Empoli, 37
00154 Roma RM, Italy

After years of pop-ups in their apartment, baker Sofie Wochner and chef Domenico Cortese have inaugurated Marigold. The operation is part bakery, focused on naturally leavened breads and pastries, and part restaurant, focused on hyper-local, foraged, and seasonal ingredients. The dining room’s light-filled, spartan interior is open for morning and midday meals from Wednesday to Sunday. The menu is vegetable-driven, offering a pleasing break from Rome’s seemingly nonstop carbonara train, with dishes like beets with roasted carrots, peaches, and labneh, or lupini bean hummus with herbs, green beans, hazelnuts, and plums. [$$]

Artichoke hearts in a creamy sauce topped with crispy onions and sprigs of greens, on a colorful plate in an empty dining room
Stracciatella, torn bread, artichokes
Katie Parla

25. Trecca - Cucina di Mercato

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Via Alessandro Severo, 220
00145 Roma RM, Italy

Trecca is, for lack of a better term, a neo-trattoria. It delivers everything a Roman trattoria should: an informal setting, rigorously seasonal comfort food, and an offal-forward menu. But there’s also a natural wine list, an Instagram page, and two young brothers at the helm. Manuel and Nicolò Trecastelli lean into Rome’s powerful flavors and rich ingredients. Their carbonara and amatriciana are as loaded with pepper-spiked guanciale as any in the city, and tomato and vinegar are employed in the meaty mains to offset their unctuousness. [$$]

A menu written on a chalkboard on the wall of a dining room, with pendant lights above, a checkered floor, and a two-top set for dinner
The menu at Trecca
Katie Parla

26. Colline Emiliane

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22 Via degli Avignonesi, Rome
Latium 00187, Italy
+39 06 481 7538
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A short walk from the Trevi Fountain, this friendly trattoria has been serving satisfying dishes from Emilia-Romagna, a region in northeastern Italy, since 1931; the current owners took the helm in 1967. The menu is rich in egg-based house-made pastas like tortelli di zucca (pumpkin pasta with butter and sage) and tagliatelle alla bolognese (long strands of fresh, egg-based pasta dressed with a rich meat sauce). Save room for meaty mains including bollito misto (assorted simmered meats) and fried liver. Book well in advance and try for a Sunday, when Colline Emiliane serves delicate, bechamel-laced lasagna. [$$]

A server hands over a bowl of tortellini in broth on a saucer
Tortellini in broth
Colline Emiliane [Facebook]

27. Drink Kong

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Piazza di S. Martino Ai Monti, 8
00154 Roma RM, Italy

Veteran mixologist Patrick Pistolesi opened craft cocktail bar Drink Kong in the shadow of a towering medieval fortress at the cusp of the Monti and Esquilino districts. The bar, however, is anything but dated: Neon accents, tropical plants, and Blade Runner vibes anchor the slick black interior. Rather than individual drinks, the conceptual menu prompts guests to select from a litany of flavors and emotions, which the bartenders then use to mix the ideal cocktail. All this might sound incredibly precious, but Drink Kong is just a fun place to drink well with help from some of Italy’s top talent. [$]

A bar interior, with a brightly lit bar, tables and lounge area, cement floor, bright strip lighting on the ceiling, and neon sign reading “drink kong” on the far wall
Inside Drink Kong
Drink Kong [official]

28. Pasticceria Regoli

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Via dello Statuto, 60, Rome
Latium 00185, Italy
+39 06 487 2812
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The Regoli family were originally charcoal makers from Tuscany, but when they came to Rome they opened Pasticceria Regoli in 1916. Since then the family has transformed their small operation into one of the city’s most beloved pastry shops. The display cases are packed with cakes, wild strawberry tarts, maritozzi (whipped cream-filled buns), and seasonal treats like bigne in March, colombe at Easter, and pandoro at Christmas. Get your pastries packaged to take away, or order at the counter and the kitchen will send the items to your table at the neighboring Caffé Regoli, which also serves coffee. [$]

Rows of brightly covered pastries
Pasticcini (bite-sized pastries)
Pasticceria Regoli [official]

29. Tempio Di Iside

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Via Pietro Verri, 11
00184 Roma, Italy
+39 06 700 4741
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A short walk from the Colosseum, Tempio di Iside is an elegant fish restaurant known for its crudi (raw dishes) like fish carpaccio, sea urchin roe, langoustines, and oysters. The pasta with sweet red shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and fresh pecorino is excellent (and proof there are valid exceptions to the “no cheese with seafood” rule), as are the spaghetti with clams, whole roasted fish, and pasta with spiny lobster. Book ahead, especially to secure an outdoor table for dinner in the summer, and expect to pay a premium for access to some of the freshest fish around. [$$$$]

Spaghetti with clams in a shallow plate with a diner sitting behind
Spaghetti alle vongole
Katie Parla

30. Santo Palato

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Piazza Tarquinia, 4a/b
00183 Roma RM, Italy

Chef Sarah Cicolini started in fine dining kitchens, but her forte is expertly executed trattoria fare that channels the soulful simplicity of Rome’s peasant classics — a refreshing change in a city where young chefs frequently try and fail to modernize the local cuisine. Diners visit Cicolini’s small dining room in the residential Appio-Latino quarter for carbonara, amatriciana, and a wide range of quinto quarto (offal) dishes, like delicate trippa alla romana (tripe cooked with tomato and seasoned with pecorino Romano and mint). Don’t overdo it with the savory dishes so you can fully enjoy desserts like the maritozzo (cream-filled bun) made with smoky grano arso flour. [$$]

A stack of rigatoni with sauce and meat on a white plate
Rigatoni con la pajata
Cultivar Agency

31. Sbanco

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Via Siria, 1
00179 Roma RM, Italy

Sbanco is the most central pizzeria of Rome’s foremost pizza entrepreneur, Stefano Callegari, who teams up with Italian craft brewery Birrificio del Ducato to serve thick-rimmed pizzas baked in a domed, wood-burning Valoriani oven alongside draft beers. Toppings range from classic margherita and marinara to creative cacio e pepe. There’s even a stack of seven margherita pizzas known as lasagna di pizza. Sbanco also serves lots of crispy fritti (fried starters) including suppli carbonara (rice croquettes flavored with the classic carbonara ingredients) and fiori di zucca (battered and fried squash blossoms stuffed with mozzarella and anchovy). For more excellent pizza from Callegari a bit further afield, visit Tonda and Sforno. [$$]

A close-up on the crust and toppings of a margherita pizza
Margherita pizza
Sbanco [Facebook]

32. Kiko Sushi Bar

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Piazzale del Verano, 90
00185 Roma RM, Italy

Atsufumi Kikuchi is deep into his fourth decade as a sushi chef, and his newest Roman endeavor is Kiko in the student area of San Lorenzo. There, he prepares some of the finest sushi in town, characterized by clean flavors and austere presentation — a rarity at most Roman sushi spots. The sushi combination plates primarily feature mainstream fish such as tuna and salmon, so dive into the a la carte menu for nigiri, sashimi, and rolls offering more variety, including locally caught amberjack and shi drum. [$$$]

A decorative plate topped with slices of sashimi layered around a clump of cabbage in the center, on a decorative slice of butcher paper next to a decorative pot of soy sauce
Sashimi at Kiko
Kiko Sushi Bar [official]

33. Tram Tram

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Via dei Reti, 44
00185 Roma, Italy

In San Lorenzo, a district near La Sapienza University, this family-run trattoria serves carnivorous Roman fare, along with vegetable and seafood dishes influenced by Puglia’s coastal cuisine. The sparsely decorated dining rooms welcome workers and families hungry for rigatoni con la pajata (pasta with milk-fed veal intestines), coratella (sauteed lamb hearts, lungs, and liver), pureed fava beans paired with simmered dandelion greens, and potatoes with mussels. [$$]

Outdoor seating at Tram Tram
Tram Tram [Facebook]

34. Pizzeria I Quintili Furio Camillo

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Via Eurialo, 7c
00181 Roma RM, Italy

Pizza maestro Marco Quintili opened his second location in Rome in July 2020, where he marries thick-rimmed Neapolitan pies with Roman flavors. Classic Neapolitan starters like frittatine (pasta croquettes) are flavored with cacio e pepe or amatriciana sauce, while the carbonara pizza channels Rome’s most famous sauce as a topping. Quintili’s dough is ethereal, highly digestible, and the product of years of thoughtful trial and error. The hydration of the dough, temperature of the oven, and bake time are all perfectly calibrated to create a pizza that is stable, not soupy like so many Neapolitan pies. [$$]

A croquette bursting with cheese and topped with pepper flakes and a leaf of basil
Crocchette di patate with stracciatella and ‘nduja
Katie Parla

35. Ali Babà

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Via Carroceto, 96
00178 Roma, Italy
+39 06 9021 8085
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Occupying the ground floor of an aesthetically challenged residential block in southeast Rome, this kebab shop is worth a trip on the Metro A for quick and delicious Syrian food. Order assorted kibbeh (bulgur and spiced-meat croquettes) and brik (savory phyllo pastry) to start, followed by lamb or chicken kebabs sliced from vertical spits and wrapped in house-made lavash. Around the corner, on Via Arco di Travertino, you’ll find Ali Babà’s full-service restaurant. [$]

A small plate with various snack items
Kibbeh and brik
Katie Parla

36. Enqutatash

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Viale della Stazione Prenestina, 55
00177 Roma RM, Italy

Fasika and Giovanni Ghirlanda run this historic Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant just off the ancient Via Prenestina, not far from the Villa Gordiani public park. Deeply flavored simmered vegetables and legumes, along with perfectly seasoned chicken and beef stews, are served on house-made injera. [$$]

A variety of stews on injera, with more flatbread rolled up to the side
Kitfo, doro wot, atkilt wot, kik alicha, and gomen
Katie Parla

37. Osteria Bonelli

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Viale dell'Acquedotto Alessandrino, 172
00177 Roma, Italy
+39 329 863 3077
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Former produce vendor Patrizio Bonelli opened his eponymous osteria a decade ago in Tor Pignattara, a diverse, working-class district in eastern Rome. The place is a casual affair known for abundant pasta portions and meaty mains like roasted lamb and horse skirt steak. Owing to Bonelli’s previous profession, the osteria offers a wide range of contorni (vegetable side dishes). [$$]

A dining room with small tables, a back room beyond a brick-lined entry
Inside Osteria Bonelli
Katie Parla

38. 180g Pizzeria Romana

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53, Via Tor de' Schiavi
00172 Roma RM, Italy

180g Pizzeria Romana opened a second location in a new space near Villa Gordiani in August 2021 while the original in Centocelle transitioned to takeaway and delivery. As the name suggests, this “third-wave” pizzeria uses 180 grams of long-fermented dough for each pizza, which is stretched by hand into a disk and garnished with toppings both classic (margherita) and creative (porchetta, wild greens, and buffalo mozzarella) to yield a characteristically crispy, chewy pizza romana. The new menu also features classic fritti, as well as sampietrini, croquettes shaped like and named for the city’s cobblestones. [$$]

A full pizza with huge hunks of cheese, tomatoes, prosciutto, and basil
Roasted tomato, stracciatella, and prosciutto pizza
Katie Parla

1. Cesare al Casaletto

Via del Casaletto, 45, 00151 Roma, Italy
Fried calamari spilling from a paper cone onto a plate
Totani fritti
Cesare al Casaletto [official]

Following careers in fine dining in Italy and abroad, Leonardo Vignoli and Maria Pia Cicconi went back to basics with Cesare al Casaletto, a straightforward trattoria the husband-and-wife duo took over in 2009. The menu features Roman classics with a few restrained twists, like fried gnocchi served on a pool of cacio e pepe sauce. The pasta alla gricia has achieved cult status, the suckling lamb mains are exceptional, and the beverage list spotlights stunningly affordable natural wines from Italy, France, and Slovenia. Cesare isn’t particularly close to any monuments but is easily accessible by public transit — though don’t rule out a post-lunch stroll through the nearby Villa Pamphili, a vast public park. [$$]

Via del Casaletto, 45
00151 Roma, Italy

2. Himalaya Palace

Circonvallazione Gianicolense, 277, 00152 Roma RM, Italy
A table set with a decorative table cloth. On top are a large stew pot of chicken vindaloo, a bowl of white rice, and a dish of tandoori chicken
Tandoori chicken and chicken vindaloo
Katie Parla

In 1993, the Gupta family opened Himalaya Palace, one of the first restaurants to introduce tandoor cooking to Italy. Their longevity in the Gianicolense district has proven customer demand for North Indian cooking in the typically seasoning-averse Italian capital. Their loyal clientele come for succulent chicken makhani, smoky baingan bharta, and tangy paneer tikka. [$$]

Circonvallazione Gianicolense, 277
00152 Roma RM, Italy

3. Pizzarium

Via della Meloria, 43, 00136 Roma, Italy
Size squared off pieces of pizza with various toppings on wax paper on a tray
Slices of sausage and arugula; artichoke; and potato with prosciutto and chicory
Katie Parla

Gabriele Bonci’s landmark pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) shop near the Vatican Museums has become a globally acclaimed landmark where cold-fermented, heirloom wheat-based dough is topped with exquisite produce from biodynamic farms and artisanal cured meats and cheeses. Most toppings change from day to day, or even hour to hour, but Pizzarium’s signatures (tomato-oregano and potato-mozzarella) are always available. There are only a few high-top tables outside and no seating, so don’t wear yourself out too much wandering the museums before stopping by. [$]

Via della Meloria, 43
00136 Roma, Italy

4. La Tradizione

Via Cipro, 8 E, 00136 Roma RM, Italy
Sausages and other meats in a deli case with labels
The meat case in all its glory
La Tradizione [Facebook]

Whether you’re shopping for pantry provisions for your Airbnb or hunting for mature cheeses, aged vinegars, and extra-virgin olive oil to take home, La Tradizione has got you covered. The selection of cheeses, up to 400 depending on the season, is unrivaled in Rome, and few gastronomie offer such a prestigious assortment of cured meats. In spite of being one of the city’s premier gourmet food purveyors, the prices are reasonable, owing to its location in the working- and middle-class Trionfale district. Owners Stefano Lobina and Francesco Praticò are devoted to serving their local clientele. [$$]

Via Cipro, 8 E
00136 Roma RM, Italy

5. Mostò

Viale Pinturicchio, 32, 00196 Roma RM, Italy
Shelves of wine bottles in a darkened room
Shelves of wine at Mostò
Katie Parla

Mostò, which opened in 2015, is one of a growing number of natural wine bars in Rome. The neighborhood enoteca is set on a residential street in the Flaminio district, not far from Renzo Piano’s Auditorium and Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI museum for contemporary art. Mostò has an especially fun selection of pet-nat from Italy and France, which owner Ciro Borriello pairs with oysters, fish tartare, and exceptional buffalo mozzarella delivered regularly from his native Campania. [$]

Viale Pinturicchio, 32
00196 Roma RM, Italy

6. Il Goccetto

Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, Rome, Latium 00186, Italy
A large oval plate of vegetables, with small dishes of canapes, anchovies, and bread
Sott’olii (marinated vegetables), anchovies, and canapés
Katie Parla

Great atmosphere, an extensive list of wines by the glass (up to 30 in rotation), and endearingly surly service make this wine bar a cult favorite among locals. Look for the painted sign reading “vino e olio” above the entrance, and then push through the crowd of smokers to the wood-accented inner sanctum, where beloved owners Sergio and Anna Ceccarelli have built an enviable cellar of more than 800 labels. The recently renovated counter showcases sott’olii (marinated vegetables), canapes, cheeses, and cured meats, and there’s a small selection of salads offering a break from Rome’s unadulterated guanciale fest. For the time being, there is seating on the street outside, shaded by towering Renaissance apartment blocks. [$$]

Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14, Rome
Latium 00186, Italy

7. C'è Pasta… e Pasta

Via Ettore Rolli, 29, 00153 Roma, Italy
Fried artichoke hearts on a paper towel-lined tray
Carciofi alla giudia (fried artichokes)
C’è Pasta… e Pasta [Facebook]

Located a short distance from Stazione Trastevere, C’è Pasta… e Pasta (translation: “There’s pasta… and pasta”) serves delicious kosher meals to eat in or take away. Order at the counter and don’t miss Roman Jewish classics like carciofi alla giudia (fried artichokes), filetti di baccala (battered fried cod), aliciotti con l’indivia (layered anchovy and frisee casserole), and concia (fried and marinated zucchini). As the name promises, they also serve pasta dishes and sell fresh pasta to cook at home. [$]

Via Ettore Rolli, 29
00153 Roma, Italy
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