Rome is unquestionably one of the world’s greatest food cities – it is packed with varied food and wine options. Not only is there plenty to eat across all price ranges, but it’s obvious that food is really important to the locals.
We’ve highlighted some of the city’s most popular food-centric neighborhoods and suggest a handful of places that are worth visiting in each area.
Testaccio, the original foodie neighborhood of Rome, is the birthplace of “cuisine Romana”. Locals simply call it “the heart of Rome.” And we fully agree!
This neighborhood has historically been associated with foodstuffs: from the ancient port on the banks of the Tiber river where traders hauled olive oil, wine, grains and other goods, to the location for Rome’s first slaughterhouse that initiated traditional recipes such as tripe, coratella, oxtail, and sweetbreads.
All in all, regardless of how adventurous of an eater you are, there couldn’t be a better neighborhood for food lovers than Testaccio – with authentic restaurants, multi-generational shops, and fresh markets on nearly every corner.
To help you navigate in all these delights, here are some best places, according to the opinion of our MeetnGreeters from Rome:
Bonus: if you are a street food lover, check out Trapizzino that offers quite a unique product, the trapizzino, an artfully crafted pocket of pizza dough stuffed with the kinds of sauces you’d usually find on a plate of pasta. Try hunters’ chicken – poultry stewed with fresh vegetables – or slices of eggplant in a rich tomato sauce.
Restaurants, both kosher and not, provide huge insight into this area’s deep culture and astounding heritage – locals even say that the kosher foods are the ground of the roman cuisine and of 80% of the Roman recipes and traditions they have today. Isn’t it impressive?
Actually, we have already recommended some places to try Carciofi Alla Giudia (a type of deep-fried artichoke dish) in this area, but, surely, there are some more restaurants and cafes to discover:
– Nonna Betta (for ancient Jewish-Roman dishes);
– Yotvata (for home-made Kosher cheeses and kosher Roman-style pizza);
– Mondo di Laura (for desserts and parve cookies or carrot cake, in particular);
– Il Boccione (for cinnamons).
Useful hint: remember that almost all the restaurants and shops in this area are closed every Friday evening and Saturday because of the Shabbat (from the sunset of Friday till the sunset of Saturday).
Trastevere’s cobbled streets and winding alleys are full of the charm of ancient Rome. Trattorias, pizzerias, and restaurants range from traditional and authentic to innovative and even cutting edge. We should admit that this charming area is beloved by many people, so adhere our list in order not to fall into tourist traps:
– Da Enzo (for fried zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella and anchovy);
– Spirito di Vino (for the hugest wine selection);
– La Boccaccia (for the sliced pumpkin pizza);
– Capatoast (for Milanese salami toastie);
– Gelateria del Teatro (for perfectly made gelato);
– Le Levain (for a selection of small tarts, choux pastries, and macarons).
Interesting tip: In the 5th century B.C. fishermen inhabited Trastevere for the abundance of fish in the Tiber river. Today, there are still many great Italian seafood restaurants here. These local eateries pride themselves by using fresh products from their local area. For example, pop into Pimms Good for a wide selection of seafood.
In general, everywhere in Rome, you could find a restaurant which treats its guests with good dishes and another restaurant with bad dishes on its menu.
The wise solution here is to make friends with locals who will advise you nice places to eat – and, luckily, our platform can easily help you to meet nice and trustworthy people in Rome. Ask them about the places with the best Margherita pizza in the city or the best Mexican restaurant – they are always here for you! :)
Note that we also have such a service as “arranging a gastronomic tour”, you can find an informative description of it here.