Rome is one of the foodie capitals of the world, but that doesn’t mean – unfortunately – that you always eat well or pay the right price. Like any city with a major influx of visitors, there are still a few unscrupulous restauranteurs looking to make a fast buck, particularly in high traffic areas such as Piazza Navona or in front of the Pantheon.
We’ve come up with 20 of our favorite restaurants in the city – many in prime locations – where we’ve had good experiences time and time again. We hope to take the stress out of choosing where to have lunch or dinner and inspire you to explore different areas of Rome. Divided by location, we’ve also tried to give a rough indication of how much you’ll spend with our price code, per person, for a typical meal including a drink:
High-end: €30 – €50
Exclusive: Over €45
(Via degli Spagnoli 27, Tel +39 06 6872554)
This centrally located restaurant specializing in Roman cuisine has a laid-back atmosphere at lunch and is pleasantly formal in the evenings. A quiet, romantic haven not far from the city’s major monuments, look out for sensational pasta courses as well as sumptuous tartare dishes featuring salmon and tuna. Il Bacaro also features an impressive wine list and excellent desserts and offers gluten-free pasta when requested at the time of booking. Open every day, lunch and dinner, 12:00 – 24:00.
(Via degli Avignonesi 22, Tel +39 064817538)
Tucked behind touristy Piazza Barberini, this exquisite restaurant, specializing in food from the Reggio Emilia region, offers some of the best homemade pasta in town and makes a pleasant change from Roman traditions. An excellent wine list and immaculate service complete a gourmet experience. Book ahead. Open lunch and dinner, 12:45 – 14:45; 19:30 – 22:45. Closed for dinner on Sundays and all day Monday.
Ham Holy Burger
(via Brescia 24, Tel +39 0689562939 & Via Chiana 58, Tel +39 06 884 0685)
With one restaurant situated in the former Peroni brewery and another in the refined Coppedè district, the Ham Holy Burger philosophy is all about imaginative toppings on quality cuts of beef, set off by an excellent craft beer menu. Order from iPads and then surf the internet for free while you sip and munch. Vegetarian options are available. Open lunch and dinner every day, 12:30 – 15:00; 19:30 – 24.00.
(Via Panisperna 214, Tel +39 064825176)
This reasonably priced, typically Roman trattoria in trendy Monti is distinguished by an excellent wine list and smart, knowledgeable staff. It’s best to book as their well-seasoned pasta dishes and phenomenal ox-tail and lamb main courses are famed throughout the city. Open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday, 12:30 – 14:30; 19:00 – 23:00.
(Via dei Filippini 4, Tel +39 349 9055245)
This smart new sushi fusion restaurant combines Italian ingredients with Japanese cuisine and the results are outstanding. Chef Rodelio Aglibot, whose Salerno-based restaurant has already won recognition, has done the same again in Rome. Focusing on healthy food made from the best possible products and served with flair, expect everything from beef tartare to scallop sashimi. The fusion cocktails – exchanging sake for more familiar ingredients – are also excellent. Open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday, 12:30 – 15:30; 19:00 – 24.00.
(Via degli Specchi 6 Tel 0039 066838989)
This buzzing craft beer pub is hugely popular with young people enamored by its tap list and excellent bar food, featuring burgers, hand-cooked chips, and gourmet ketchup. With guest beers on rotation from all over Europe and the United States, as well as a huge menu of regular favorites, ask the friendly staff for their recommendations of the day. Open for lunch and dinner every day, 12:00 – 1:15.
(Piazza dé Ricci 144, Tel 0039 066861302)
Set in one of Rome’s loveliest piazzas, just behind Campo de’ Fiori, Pierluigi serves traditional Italian food reinterpreted through new techniques. With fish, a specialty, expect freshly caught local specialties as well as French oysters and North American lobster. Meat, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are also on the menu. Open Christmas Day; private dining available. Open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday, 12:00 – 15:00; 19:00 – 24.00. www.pierluigi.it
(Via Bergamo 18, Tel +39 068414136)
Part pizzeria, part trattoria, this bright restaurant focusing on locally-sourced ingredients offers simple pasta dishes and main dishes in the Roman tradition, thin and crisp pizzas, as well as generous helpings of cheese and cold cuts from its appealing deli counter. The vibe is informal but the food is excellent, with a good value wine list to boot. Open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday, when it’s only open for dinner. 12.30 – 15.00, 19.30 – 23.00. www.prolocopinciano.it
(Via dei Serpenti 16, Tel +39 0642016656 & Borgo Angelico 30, Tel +39 06 92919949)
This bijou chain of Japanese-Brazilian fusion restaurants has brought an explosion of color and taste to trendy Monti and the Vatican district (we especially love the latter location, comprising a three-story palazzo with an amazing roof terrace). Funky pineapple-themed wallpaper and bright tables and chairs prepare you for a kaleidoscopic menu, featuring everything from sushi to ceviche, tartare to exotic cocktails. Booking is essential and can only be carried out online. Open for lunch and dinner every day, 12:30–15.30, 19.00–00:30. www.temakinho.com
Da Enzo Al 29
(Via dei Vascellari 29, Tel +39 065812260)
If you’re looking for old-world charm in the winding streets of Trastevere you’ve come to the right place, although Da Enzo really excels for the sheer quality of its food. Offering a fairly typical Roman trattoria menu, good value and first-rate hospitality ensure that a queue snakes out of the door all night. Open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday, 12.30-15.00, 19.30 – 23.00
(Vicolo della Luce 2, tel +39 366 914 4157)
This hip, usually packed restaurant in buzzing Trastevere offers good value seafood in an informal setting. Choose your fish or a selection of delicious tapas-style dishes, then pay before your dinner arrives. We recommending arriving as early as possible to get a seat. Weekends open for lunch and dinner, 12.00 – 1.00; Mon-Fri open for dinner, 19.30 – 1.00.
Le Mani in Pasta
(Via dei Genovesi, 37, Tel +39 06 581 6017)
One of Trastevere’s best kept secrets, this tiny fish restaurant will keep you coming back for more. Try the seabass carpaccio with shavings of truffle or treat yourself to lobster – not forgetting to leave space for one of their famous homemade desserts. Booking essential. Open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday, 12.30-15.30, 19.30 – 23.30.
TESTACCIO & OSTIENSE
Il Secchio e l’Olivaro
(Via del Porto Fluviale 3, tel +39 065745897)
The gloriously oversized pizzas here are designed to be shared – one deep-pan pizza serves four. So it’s ok to order a half or even a quarter portion, allowing everyone at the table to choose their favorite topping. Gluten-free pizza bases and beers are available amongst an excellent selection of local craft brews. We recommend arriving early to get a table. www.ilsecchioelolivaro.it Opens for lunch and dinner on Sundays, dinner only Mon-Sat, 12.30 – 15.30, 19.00 – 24.00.
(Piazza di S. Eurosia Tel +39 065137145)
Located in one of the most glorious piazzas in the Roman neighborhood of Garbatella, this restaurant really comes into its own in the summer as its tables spill out across the square. With a gourmet menu that embraces experimentation, its use of locally sourced, impeccable ingredients keeps the standard very high. Open for lunch and dinner every day, 12.30 – 15.00, 18.30 – 01.00.
La Stazione di Posta
(Largo Dino Frisullo, Testaccio, Tel +39 06 5743548)
This modern restaurant inside Testaccio’s former slaughterhouse was awarded a Michelin star last year. Start with one of the best cocktails in town in the courtyard or shabby chic interior, before moving onto delectable tasting menus or à la carte interpretations of Italy and Rome’s best recipes. Open for lunch and dinner every day except Tuesday, 12.00 – 15.00, 19.00 – 24.00.
(Viale Aventino 121 06 4559 7370)
This gorgeous liberty-style 11-room boutique hotel has three restaurants, all open to the public, and buzzing with atmosphere. Its street-level bistro, Bistreet, prepares gourmet fast food with fresh local ingredients, as well as cocktails and aperitifs. The restaurant, in the capable hands of Michelin-starred chef Marco Martini, offers gourmet cuisine which never strays too far from its Italian origins. There’s also a secret speakeasy with great cocktails and light bites, hidden behind a vintage telephone cabinet. While you’re at it, don’t miss drinks in the impeccable lounge garden. Open every day, full hours on the website www.thecornerrome.com
OUTSIDE THE CENTRE
(via L. Spallanzani, 1A Tel +39 06 44 04021)
Just ten minutes cab ride from the center of town, dining in this glorious villa in one of Rome’s green parks is the perfect antidote to the heat of the city. Great pizzas and pasta dishes keep locals coming back night after night. It’s also open for breakfast, lunch, and the aperitivo hour. Mon-Weds open 9.00 – 19.30, Thurs – Sun open 9.00 – 23.00. www.lalimonaiaroma.it
(Via Basento 70 +39 068546270)
Gourmet Chinese restaurant Lin combines excellent modern cuisine with fresh, locally sourced produce, although the menu isn’t exactly fusion. Look out for fish spring rolls wrapped in courgette flowers, mouth-watering tartare, belly-pork roast with star anise, and Mediterranean fish such as gilt-head bream or seabass poached in delicate broths or with ginger and shallots. Owner Lin is a charming and knowledgeable host and the wine list is ample. Open every day for lunch and dinner, except Sunday, when it’s only open for dinner. 11.30-15.00, 18.30 – 23.00.
(Via Monte Pertica 45 Phone: +39 0637513860)
Not far from the Vatican, this restaurant specializing in Tuscan cuisine is a favorite with the local media crowd and charms with its simplicity. From chicken-liver crostini to egg-pasta dishes dressed with wild boar, lamb, or game bird sauces, the menu is a homage to Tuscany’s rich, rustic cuisine, complemented by an outstanding wine list. The staff is patient and well informed and happy to translate or explain. Open every day for lunch and dinner, except Saturday, when it only serves dinner. 12.00 – 15.00; 19.00 – 23.00.
(Via del Pigneto 41, Tel 0039 0670399483)
Located in Rome’s edgy creative district just a tram ride east of Termini station, this Roman trattoria presents classic local dishes with a twist and excellent Italian wines in a simple, laid-back space thronging with locals. Expect mouthwatering second courses ranging from meatballs stewed in red wine to sweet and sour baccala, tenderloin pork, and Roman-style tripe. Weekends open for lunch and dinner from 12 noon onwards; Tues – Fri open just for dinner 17.30 – 2.00. Closed Mondays. www.pignetoquarantuno.it
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Check out our list of food experiences in Rome and across the rest of Italy below, or get in touch with our team to start planning your custom tour today: