Dining in Rome

A guide to dining in Rome and some of my favorite restaurants, trattorie, osterie, pizzerie, and gelaterie

Great dining experiences
Bucatini all'amatriciana at Hostaria Romanesca
• Pizza at Da Baffetto
• An old-school trattoria lunch at Fiaschetteria Beltramme
• Gelato from San Crispino or Giolitti
• A classic French feast served by nuns under frescoed ceilings at L'Eau Vive
• Buffet lunch at Birreria Peroni
• The lasagne at Il Duca
• Rigatoni con pajata at Checchino dal 1887
Culinary walks
Cooking classes
A perfect home-cooked meal at an outdoor osteria table in Rome.
A perfect home-cooked meal at an outdoor osteria table in Rome.
This site includes some of my favorite Roman eateries, from a holy hospice run by lay sisters to a trattoria frequented by the families of convicts.

There are some of Rome's greatest pizzerie to its most classic wine bars, an old-fashioned German-style beer hall to a modern cafeteria-like tavola calda.

We cover everything from classy restaurants with wine lists longer than Moby Dick to tiny osterie that don't even print menus and are tucked into Trastevere's back alleys and hidden in corners of the Jewish ghetto.

Finding the perfect Roman restaurant

Useful Italian
table for two - tavola per due
I would like - vorrei
this - questo
fizzy water - acqua gassata
still water - acqua non gassata
red wine - vino rosso
white wine - vino bianco
beer - birra
check, please - il conto, per favore
is service included? - é incluso il servizio?
Even in the Eternal City's third millennium, you can still enjoy a feast fit for a Roman emperor. The tricky part is finding an inexpensive one. Your best bet is to hunt down one of a handful of traditional Roman osterie, the sort of down-home, family-run restaurant holdover straight out of a 1950s Fellini film.

There are several reviewed on this site, but to find your own just listen for the clink of glasses and murmur of Roman dialect emanating from behind the strings of beads hanging in a doorway with no sign and no menu posted.

Pop your head inside and a beaming papa will stride over to welcome you, ushering you to a communal table while his son abandons the soccer game on TV to slice you a basket of bread.

Dining for free in Rome
Want a free dinner in Rome—or at least a hearty snack to stave off hunger until dinner? Do a stuzzichini (snacks) crawl from bar to cafe during the aperitivo /Happy Hour for tons of free bar snacks and scrumptious canapés. » more
Mamma shuffles out from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron and asking with a feisty smile, "So, what do you want?" to which you retort, "What do you have?" and she inevitably replies, "I got spaghetti!" so you order the spaghetti.

The food will be simple, hearty, and delicious, the wine home-made, the atmosphere convivial, and the bill a fraction of that in a proper restaurant.

The best restaurants in Rome

Below are about three dozen of my favorite Roman places to eat, arranged by neighborhood, but I've also separated out a list of pizzerias and one of wine bars. There is also a page describing some of the best, classic Roman dishes (plus a page on gelato—mmm, ice cream).

  • Tridente
  • Upper
  • Lower
  • Ancient Rome
  • Termini/
    Via Veneto
  • Vatican
  • Trastevere
  • Testaccio
  • Via


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This article was written by Reid Bramblett and was last updated in January 2011. All information was accurate at the time.

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