Travel

The 14 Best Places to Eat in Rome

Published On 05/03/2016 Published On 05/03/2016

Eating is a national pastime in Italy and the rules are clear: arrive hungry, and forget any special requests -- the Roman chef always knows best. Rome has been perfecting its food scene for a few thousand years, so the best approach to dining in the Eternal City is to forget calories are a thing and just dive right in. Embrace Rome's eclectic mishmash of old and new traditions with 14 of the best restaurants in the city. More Stuff You Will Like

Armando al Pantheon

Best Roman institution: Armando al Pantheon

  Centro Storico Wood-paneled walls encircle this small-but-elegant dining room around the corner from the Pantheon. The family-run restaurant has been a part of Rome's dining scene since the 1960s, when it began serving up lunches and wine by the liter to day laborers. Now a more refined affair, you can find some of the best takes on classics like amatriciana and cacio e pepe.

Best breakfast: Pasticceria Regoli

  Esquilino Regoli is a Roman pastry shop that has been creating some of the best baked goods in the city for a century -- it's actually turning 100 this year! Split across two areas, you can browse giant tarts and crostata (jam cakes) to take home, or sidle up to the coffee bar for breakfast on the spot. For your morning meal, don't miss the maritozzi: large sweetened buns piled high with whipped cream. Continue Reading

Coromandel

Best brunch: Coromandel

  Centro Storico Italian breakfasts tend to be short and sweet, but you can satisfy brunch cravings with a trip to Coromandel. A few steps from buzzing Piazza Navona, this charming café offers classics like pancakes (with Nutella, naturally) and eggs Benedict on dainty china. The quirky décor and tasty bites set the perfect mood for Sunday brunching.

Best pizza: Pizzarium

  Balduina Pizzarium serves up pizza al taglio (by the slice) that you have to taste to believe. With options stuffed with slow-roasted pork, topped with octopus, or even pizza-lasagna amalgams, the combos imagined by Gabriele Bonci change daily and are all borderline life-changing -- or at the very least, diet-changing. Be prepared to take a number and stand while you eat; this no-frills shop near the Vatican focuses on flavor rather than comfort, but is more than worth the wait.

Roscioli Ristorante Salumeria

Best food-coma date night: Roscioli

  Centro Storico Snag an upstairs table at Roscioli and settle in for a date-night feast. Split burrata with semi-dried tomatoes or vanilla-buttered anchovy bruschetta before moving on to the best carbonara in the city. A great wine lists rounds out the offerings at the popular ristorante.

Best cheap eats: Pastificio

  Centro Storico A few minutes on foot from the Spanish Steps, this small neighborhood shop serves freshly made pasta and a bit of wine for a whopping €4. Every day, Pastificio whips up two hot pasta dishes for the lunch and dinner crowds. Expect to eat between shelves of dried spaghetti while you sip your small plastic cup of vino.

Gelateria Fatamorgana

Best gelato: Fatamorgana

  Monti In Rome, every meal should end with gelato. Steer clear of the monstrous piles of neon ice cream you may see in some shops, and head straight to Fatamorgana: don't miss the banana-lime, chocolate-rosemary, basil, or coconut rum. We did say to forget about calories, remember?

Best sandwich spot: Mordi e Vai

  Ostiense In the back corner of the Testaccio market, a butcher-turned-panini-master transforms simple sandwiches into an art form. Located in Rome's former slaughterhouse district, Mordi e Vai sandwiches are heavy on the offal, specializing in tripe and slow-stewed beef. These portable Roman classics are a popular on-the-go lunch for locals, and are best enjoyed while strolling around the market stalls.

Marzapane Roma

Best when someone else is paying: Marzapane

  Pinciano Don't be shy -- always go for the tasting menu at Marzapane. This upscale restaurant is unassuming, but does not mess around when it comes to perfectly plated dishes. Gorgeous risotto with candied ginger, sirloin with thistles, and chorizo sprinkled on sweetbread spaghetti will tempt you into taking selfies with your meal in no time.

Il Margutta vegetarian food & art

Best for vegetarians: Il Margutta

  Flaminio For vegetarian fine dining in the heart of Rome, head to the artsy and ivy-draped street of Via Margutta. Nestled between galleries and workshops is Il Margutta, which serves high-end vegetarian and vegan dishes exclusively. For a break in price point, you can pop in for the €15 lunch buffet.

Best late-night eats: Trapizzino

  Ostiense Romans love to stumble out of nightclubs and hit up... the pastry shop. If savory midnight snacks are more your style, fork out €3.50 for a trapizzino -- pizza bianca cut into a triangle and stuffed with slow-simmered meats and vegetables. Think of it as the best pizza/pita/meatball sub hybrid you'll ever eat.

Beppe e i suoi Formaggi

Best wine and cheese: Beppe e i suoi formaggi

  Centro Storico You'll know you're in the right place by the mouthwatering cheese smell outside this glorious shop. Pick your wine, then ask the friendly guys behind the counter to surprise you with a range of stinky, sharp, soft, or aged cheeses from Northern Italy. There's also some excellent charcuterie on offer, if you'd like to add some meat to your menu.

Hopside Roma

Best burger: Hopside

  Ostiense It's taken Rome a while to figure out how to perfect a burger, but Hopside (in the increasingly trendy Ostiense neighborhood) has finally nailed it. The build-your-own-burger model allows you to add as many toppings as you like to the savory patty. Plus, with a rotating selection of Italian craft beers on tap, you can always find the perfect brew to pair with your burger of choice.

Best literal hole in the wall: Pianostrada

  Trastevere After a bus ride or two, you may notice that personal space isn't really a thing in Rome. Embrace it, and squeeze yourself into Pianostrada: a small garage along a tiny backstreet that has been converted into a galley-style kitchen and dining area. Fresh pastas and panini are filled with seasonal ingredients like crispy artichoke hearts and squash blossoms. Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun. Natalie Kennedy is a Rome-based writer who fully embraces carbs. Follow her excessive consumption: @natalierae.

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1. Armando al Pantheon Salita de' Crescenzi 31, Roma, 00186

This historic, pint-sized restaurant in the heart of Rome serves classic fare like cacio e pepe and buffalo mozzarella. You'll be lucky to get a table, because it's always packed. Its charming digs and solid wine list make Armando al Pantheon a good spot for couples.

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2. Pasticceria Regoli Via dello Statuto, 60, Roma, 00185

A fabled pastry shop in Esquilino, Pasticceria Regoli serves gloriously oversize tarts, decorated cakes, and maritozzi, large sweetened buns piled high with whipped cream. Rich, creamy, and fruit-filled, these treats will hit the (sweet) spot. Browse the selections at their street-level storefront on the charming, cobblestoned Via dello Statuto.

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3. Coromandel Via di Monte Giordano, 60, Roma, 00186

Brunch in style at Coromandel, an adorable cafe and restaurant that looks like it popped straight out of a Wes Anderson movie with its quirky wallpapers, marble countertops, and lush dishes that may look too good to eat. Upscale takes on traditional American breakfast favorites like eggs benedict and pancakes (topped with chocolate gianduja, banana, and chopped almonds) are what's on the menu.

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4. Pizzarium Via della Meloria, 43, Roma, 00136

Whereas in New York is grabbing a slice is de rigueur, in Rome, pizza al taglio is considered a novelty. It's being embraced mroe by late-night diners in the city and local fave Pizzarium is its ground zero. But the pizza here isn't just your basic slice. Lauded by Anthony Bourdain, the rectangular pies here feature slow-roasted pork, octopus, or even pizza-lasagna mash-ups.

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5. Roscioli Via dei Giubbonari, 21, Rome, 00186

Owned and operated by a family that's been in the food business for four generations Roscioli is a deli, restaurant, and wine bar in Centro Storico that offers 300 types of cheese, 150 varieties of cold cuts, 2,800 wine labels. Snag an upstairs table here and settle in for a date-night feast. Split burrata with semi-dried tomatoes or vanilla-buttered anchovy bruschetta before moving on to the best carbonara in the city.

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6. Pastificio Via della croce 8, Roma,

A few minutes on foot from the Spanish Steps, this small neighborhood shop gives fast food a good name by serving freshly made pasta and a bit of wine for a whopping €4. Every day, Pastificio whips up two hot pasta dishes for the lunch and dinner crowds. Expect to see familiar pasta variations like pesto, carbonara, gnocchi, eggplant rigatoni, and tagliatelle with herbs and mushrooms.

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7. Fatamorgana Piazza Degli Zingari 5, Roma,

There’s no shortage of amazing gelato in the Italian capital, but Fatamorgana is the perfect twist of modern and old-school flavor. You’ve got all the classic sorbets here, but also unconventional homemade creations like carrot cake, Black Forest gateau, wasabi chocolate, banana-lime, chocolate-rosemary, basil, and coconut rum. Take a job up the Spanish Steps to burn it all off, and then repeat.

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8. Mordi & Vai 12 Via Beniamino Franklin, Roma, 00153

In the back corner of the Testaccio market, a butcher-turned-panini-master transforms simple sandwiches into an art form. Located in Rome's former slaughterhouse district, this unassuming counter-serve stand offers sandwiches that are heavy on the offal, and specialize in tripe and slow-stewed beef. But despite the popularity of meat-based sandwiches, one of the most acclaimed at Mordi & Vai is carciofi e pecorino, or artichokes and pecorino cheese.

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9. Marzapane Via Velletri 39, Roma, 00198

This upscale restaurant is unassuming, but does not mess around when it comes to perfectly plated dishes. Gorgeous risotto with candied ginger, sirloin with thistles, and chorizo sprinkled on sweetbread spaghetti will tempt you into taking selfies with your meal in no time. Be sure to try the tasting menu, which includes items like red prawn tartare, burrata cheese, smoked eggplant cream, candied tomatoes with mustard, and pistachio cookies.

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10. Il Margutta Via Margutta, 118, Roma, 00187

Nestled between galleries and workshops of the artsy and ivy-draped street of Via Margutta is this high-end restaurant, which serves vegetarian and vegan dishes exclusively. Alongside a number of delicious à la carte dinner items, Il Margutta also serves a popular brunch buffet, which offers hot and cold entrees and dessert.

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11. Trapizzino Testaccio via giovanni branca 88, Rome, 00153

Located in Ostiense, this late-night eatery is known for its trapizzino, the love child between a triangular tramezzino sandwich and pizza. This stuffed pocket of baked pizza dough is typically filled with Italian-inspired fillings, like slow-simmered meats and vegetables. Think of it as the best pizza/pita/meatball sub hybrid you'll ever eat.

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12. Beppe e i Suoi Formaggi Via di Santa Maria del Pianto 9, Roma, 00186

You'll know you're in the right place by the mouthwatering cheese smell outside this glorious, Centro Storico shop. Pick your wine, then ask the friendly guys behind the counter to surprise you with a range of stinky, sharp, soft, or aged cheeses from Northern Italy's Piedmont region. Beppe e i Suoi Formaggi also offers some excellent charcuterie, if you'd like to add some meat to your menu

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13. Hopside Via Francesco Negri, 39, Roma, 00154

It took Rome a while to figure out how to perfect a burger, but Hopside (in the increasingly trendy Ostiense neighborhood) finally nailed it. The build-your-own-burger model allows you to add as many toppings as you like to the savory patty. Plus, with a rotating selection of Italian craft beers on tap, you can always find the perfect brew to pair with your burger of choice.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Pianostrada Vicolo del Cedro 26, Roma, 00153

After a bus ride or two, you may notice that personal space isn't really a thing in Rome. Embrace it, and squeeze yourself into Pianostrada: a small garage along a tiny backstreet that has been converted into a galley-style kitchen and dining area. Fresh pastas and panini are filled with seasonal ingredients like crispy artichoke hearts and squash blossoms.

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