Rome, Italy

Rome Food Guide 2021

One of the most difficult things about eating in Rome is that you can’t try everything, and some of the best restaurants are the ones hidden away from the tourist tracks

Before we start it is worth noting that there are some restaurants in Rome that have taken advantage of tourists. You won’t have to scroll to far to find the story of the Japanese diners who were charged €430 ($470) for two plates of spaghetti, fish, and water.

Although the story above is at the higher price end of the scale, it isn’t uncommon for restaurants to slap on a €20 or €30 “service charge”.

In all of our experiences of travelling to Rome our advice is simple.

  • Ensure that the menu you are given has clear pricing
  • When ordering, ask the waiter if that is the price for “the full meal”
  • Take a picture on your phone of the menu with pricing
  • Ask for an itemised bill
  • Refuse to pay anything more than you have too and if they stop you from leaving, ring the Carabinieri on 112

The points above are a guidance, common sense usually prevails and we must say that this does not happen in every restaurant.

Below are our favourites which have been checked and vetted, we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Top Tip – For spontaneous travellers who don’t want to book ahead, you can find well priced delicious food in restaurants away from tourist areas on quiet side streets not in view of the famous landmarks

An introduction to Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine is usually considered to be the best in the world and is also one of the healthiest foods there is.

The popularity of Italian food is renowned the world over and you can find it in almost every continent.

Pizza is  the most reproduced food in the world, and  is undoubtedly the most important Italian culinary invention. There is no place in the world where you cannot taste it.

Pasta fresh daily in-house with natural ingredients, always opting for fresh milk and cream to powdered versions in Italy, no matter how you prepare it, is always excellent. Each region, even every city, has its typical condiments including Pesto alla Genovese, Amatriciana, Norma and Ragù whether it be stuffed or not.

And we have to say its true when we say the best Gelato in Rome is nothing like the ice cream you’ve had before. Unlike the American version which is high in fat and is produced in large, industrial quantities, it simply tastes different. Italian Gelato is a work of art in itself made fresh daily in-house with natural ingredients, always opting for fresh milk and cream rather than powdered alternatives.

Areas to consider

Rome is packed to the rafters with varied food and wine options. Below are some of the city’s most popular food-centric neighbourhoods where you will be able to indulge in delicious food and a great atmosphere.

The Testaccio area is popular with locals and tourists alike and is essential for foodies. The neighbourhood is around a 20 minute walk from the Colosseum and boasts an array of authentic restaurants with functional yet  comfortable rooms, sunny yellow tablecloths, proper napkins, and stocky glasses.

The Centro Storico district of Rome is brimming with tourists as famous landmarks such as The Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Trevi fountain are all close by. Try restaurants in the maze of narrow streets and cobbled alleys off the tourist path for good food at local prices.

Foodies should also head over to The Jewish Quarter, it is a happening, up-scale and beautiful part of the city, with of course, great food.  Jewish culture has had an enormous influence on Italian cuisine ever since the 14th Century so its no surprise that you’ll find food born out of the ghetto such as dried beef, artichokes, courgette, fish, and offal. Fried artichoke is a classic delicacy of the area, which every restaurant will proudly prepare in its own way.

The areas around Prati and Trionfale which are adjacent to Vatican City bring together some of the finest food in town. Think pizza by the slice with high quality toppings and fluffy dough for those who don’t have time to sit down. Cheese lovers should also put La Tradizione on their itinerary, even if it is just to browse through the stock of over 500 cheese’s.

Monteverde offers tourists who like the finer things in life an escape from the hustle and bustle of Rome. Located in a middle class and delightfully vintage area of Rome, this area is well connected with public transport, safe and elegant and is the place for some of the city’s finest dining and drinking.

And we couldn’t compile a list like this without including Trastevere, with its narrow, winding alleys, rooftop homes, hidden churches and wonderful piazza. You’ll find seafood restaurants that are more like shrines and local eateries the tourists wouldn’t even consider. This is where tourists who want to live like the locals come for food.

Budget Restaurants

There are lots of websites giving tourists information about where to buy cheap food in Rome. Most of them will point you in the direction of cheap frozen food involving pizzas, fried food and even a few gelato shops to stop by, but what if you want to indulge in mouth watering fresh roman food on a budget? Then we have you covered.

Osteria Della Suburra

You could be mistaken to think that this restaurant located near the Colosseum would be expensive, but it isn’t.

In fact, once you look past the dated décor you’ll find a quite essentially roman trattoria bustling with a brilliant atmosphere where locals have been returning to fill their belly’s for decades.

Excellent pasta dishes include classics such as Carbonara and Gricia with a great selection of meat, fish and locally sourced vegetables.

Address : Via Urbana, 67, 00184 Roma
Tel : +39 06 486531


Cacio e Pepe

Simple, local, delicious.

In fact, the best part of this restaurant is the menu’s or lack of, it is limited but don’t let that stop you. The waiters will let you know what is being served up on the day.

It would be rude not to try the cacio e pepe pasta but it wouldn’t be a mistake given that nearly everything on the menu is mouth-wateringly good.

If you don’t think you can stomach the regular portion, then opt for the “mezza-porzione” which is quite simply, a half portion.

It is definitely advised to book ahead.

Address : Via Giuseppe Avezzana, 11, 00195 Roma
Tel : +39 06 321 7268


Trattoria Dal Cavalier Gino

With a vibrant and fun interior and excellent waiters, this trattoria serves up some of the finest Italian “home cooking” in Rome.

The classic pasta dishes Cacio e Pepe and Amatriciana are delicious but you will also find some local dishes including the Pollo alla Romana a summer dish that is made with chicken and peppers.

Don’t expect to wash down your meal with a coffee though as they don’t serve it, which is strange considering this is Italy. They also painfully don’t accept credit cards so make sure you have cash with you before being seated. You can’t have it all.

Address : Vicolo Rosini 4, Rome, 00186
Tel : +39 06 6873434

Average Priced Restaurants


Fine Dining Restaurants


Considered to be one of the most up-scale and sought-after restaurants in town, Pierluigi is a perfect representation of Rome’s understated elegance: it lies in a lovely but unassuming piazza behind Campo de’ Fiori and provides traditional white tablecloth service with extremely professional but friendly waiters. It excels at fish and seafood, with prices to match its high caliber entrées and clientele. Pierluigi attracts elite locals and noteworthy foreign guests who stop by to eat here when they’re in town so you just may run into some VIPs during your visit.