Address: Via Girolamo Benzoni, 34, 00154 Roma RM
Eating in Rome can be a tricky business. As the capital city of Italy, its fame amongst the tourist industry is unmatched. From ancient monuments to culinary escapades, Rome is a refreshing discovery that continues to impress and surprise visitors year after year. Still, its popularity is also the reason why many of its specialties tend to get lost among several commercial, money-making ventures. From high-priced average eateries in the city's center to every establishment claiming the best pizza in town, for a first-time traveler, things can get confusing. Therefore, to help you find the best food in the city, here are six restaurants worth a visit during your Roman holiday.
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Altrove is chic, minimalistic, and a trendsetter that can give any traditional trattoria a run for its money. Situated in the Ostiense district, its location amongst what is primarily a residential area gives it a unique appeal. Inside, there's wooden flooring, exposed copper pipes, and bursts of color through bright furnishings and contemporary lighting. However, before even the food impresses at Altrove, it is the restaurant's noble cause of hiring young individuals from underprivileged backgrounds that makes eating here all the more special. Working with a local NGO, the front staff, and many of the workers in the kitchen are refugees or people looking to get hands-on experience for a bright future in the food business.
The menu here is equally reflective of the international staff, and while it features Italian ingredients, the dishes have a sophisticated appeal in terms of taste. The menu at the restaurant changes often, but some of the favorites at Altrove are the ceviche, octopus, maftoul, a couscous dish with vegetables, and their perfectly spiced sheep meatballs.
Address: Via Girolamo Benzoni, 34, 00154 Roma RM
If inventing one of the most delicious comfort foods in the world wasn't enough, Italian, Stefano Callegari went ahead and revolutionized the pizza with his rather straightforward trapizzino. A trapizzino is a pizza pocket that consists of a base made with a century-old yeast recipe that is a guarded family secret. The fillings are equally exclusive, with the restaurant, that has branches across the world, serving five permanent and three seasonal flavors every day.
Then there are suppli, breaded and fried risotto balls that work wonders as a quick bite. Contrary to what one might think, you can have a wholesome meal at Trapizzino by including wine and ending your meal with a classic Italian dessert like tiramisu, ice cream, or the house specialty, doche trapizzino triple chocolate.
Address: Via Giovanni Giolitti, 36, 00185 Roma RM
Sourcing their ingredients from the immediate neighborhood, Casetta Rossa brings to the table a melange of flavors through natural Italian dishes at prices that are hard to beat. That the trattoria is situated next to a family-friendly park in Garbatella only helps elevate its charm further. Add to that its popularity with the locals who visit the space regularly to partake in events such as cooking classes and theatre, and Casetta Rossa becomes a hotbed for local activity. It is all the more essential that you reserve a table before coming here.
The vibe at Casetta Rossa is quite relaxed, which means the food sometimes takes a little longer to come out, but that only gives guests ample time to appreciate the surroundings. The menu is ever-changing, made with fresh and in-season local produce, often organic in nature. For gourmands in search of tasty options, try their soup of the day and pick the gnocchi as the main dish.
Address: Via Giovanni Battista Magnaghi, 14, 00154 Roma RM
Rome isn't without its fair share of memorable gastronomic destinations, and Trattoria Monti tops that list. Extremely famous with residents and tourists, last-minute booking is impossible to get in on most days. The family-run restaurant specializes in Le Marche cuisine, serving up meaty preparations that will leave the most ardent of gourmands wanting more. Although they do have options for vegetarians, Trattoria Monti is one place where carnivores will have a much better time.
Inside, the restaurant has a rather standard decor, which allows the focus to fall solely on the food. As is the case with most traditional Italian restaurants, stick with the homemade pasta, and you won't be disappointed. However, guests can enjoy pure, robust flavorings through the restaurant's select dishes such as quail, deep-fried olives with meat, rabbit, or one of their fresh fish options.
Address: Via di S. Vito, 13/a, 00185 Roma RM
If you like to feel the buzz of food all around while having your meal, Roscioli will serve you right. It's an eatery with a deli counter, promising the choosiest of cuts and cheeses every day. A bakery and wine bar completes the picture of what is nothing short of a holistic foodie experience. While the place is perpetually busy, evenings are a lot more tranquil, and with the right lighting, they manage to create a magical ambiance perfect for a romantic date.
The menu here, as well as the wine list, is quite extensive and consists of ingredients and bottles from across the globe. The food dabbles a little in Mediterranean fare along with Italian classics giving it a distinct characteristic. Guests can enjoy delicacies like pan-fried squid with mashed broccoli, beef tongue with red pumpkin and mustard, handmade tortellini, and spaghetti with pork and eggs. It goes without saying that any meal at Roscioli is incomplete without proper wine pairing.
Address: Via dei Giubbonari, 21, 00186 Roma RM
It would be wrong to travel around in the capital of Italy and not indulge in a pizza from an independent pizzeria. Farine la Pizza is a quaint little shop run by a couple, with the wife handling the kitchen, while the husband takes care of the customers. Although the decor of the eatery is pretty modest, the warmth and friendliness of the hosts far exceed hospitality standards. The pizza menu is limited and comprises of various vegetarian and non-vegetarian toppings with the chef cooking up specials now and then.
The prices at Farine la Pizza are quite low, and customers can choose between three sizes based on how hungry they are. However, it's worth going with the smallest size and ordering different toppings to get the full scope of what's on offer. If searching for the best Roman-style pizzas available here, try the classic margarita with buffalo mozzarella or the one that has potatoes and red onions as the main toppings.
Address: Via Degli Aurunci, 6, 00185 Roma RM
A rule of thumb, when picking a restaurant in Rome, is to eat at a place where locals go. Most probably, these will be small family-run eateries that have been serving age-old recipes bursting of regional tastes. It is also here that you truly discover the passion and pleasures of authentic Roman cuisine.