Rome restaurants, the best places to eat local in Rome
Traveling to a place as rich with history and culture as Rome necessarily involves not missing out on the very manifestation of that history and culture of Rome through food. With everyone on the sidewalks stepping up to offer you the best restaurants in Rome, it’s nice to arrive with already an idea in your head of what’s the best and where you’re headed.
Then, here allow us to show you the best places to eat in Rome, to eat local, eat good, and …did we say eat?
What you can expect to enjoy in Rome restaurants
Unique to Italy is its regional touch. Cuisine varies depending in which part of the country you find yourself.
For Rome, expect risottos with both seafood and meats and vegetables and salted meats prosciutto (pork) and bresaola (beef) along with still seafood influences found in pastas like the classic frutti di mare. Keep in mind for the liquors to test out some Babà or Sambuca along with your of local wine which will naturally accompany each and every meal.
Pizzas will be a go-to for a quick bite, ranging in quality. You may be surprised by Rome’s Pizza al Taglio or Pizza al Trancio which are thicker, square slices, not the type you may think of that you may find in northern Italy which is more of a thin, crisp pie.
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Our top 3 best places to eat in Rome, Italy
- Pastificio Guerra dal 1918
- Why? Because dining the way locals do with the pasta-to-go vibe of this spot really gets you to feel like a local even if you can’t speak yet a lick of Italian!
- Where? Via della Croce 8
- Budget – $
- Colline Emiliane
- Why? Because you can only appreciate the tradition of Italian family style dining with a celebration of a restaurant preserving quality of food and closeness of family together since 1931 here.
- Where? Via degli Avignonesi 22
- Budget – $$
- Romeo Chef & Baker
- Why? Because it’s worth the year in advance reservation to experience something truly special and situated proximate to the water. One of the best restaurants in Rome.
- Where? Piazza dell’Emporio 28
- Budget – $$$
Rome restaurants – from haute to local vibes
Budget-friendly Rome restaurant $
- Pastificio Guerra dal 1918
- The basics: This is a great option where you can show up and get fresh pasta (even as the locals do in their own containers they bring themselves!) and enjoy a meal that’s prime for quality of the food as opposed to being concerned with making a fancy presentation. Want to get a feel what it’s like to really live in Rome, eating like a local? This is your spot. Enjoy your eats sitting on the nearby Spanish Steps.
- Opening: 1PM daily
- Contact: T +39 06 679 3102
- Reservations: Nope!
- Trattoria Luzzi
- The basics: Excellent choice nearby the Colosseum to get a bit cheaper of a price but still stay closer to the action and the excitement of the tourist chaos of Rome if you find yourself in this area of the city. From cheap wine to cheap pastas, the prices don’t compromise on quality. You’ll enjoy a tasty meal for a reasonable price here without sacrificing flavor. Give it a go!
- Opening: 12PM daily; closed Wednesdays
- Contact: +39 06 709 6332
- Reservations: Yes, if you aren’t okay with a wait. Otherwise, you can walk up.
High-quality, but value for dollar Rome restaurants $$
- Colline Emiliane
- The basics: So presents a pleasant combination of variety and family feel with its dining experience. Family-owned since 1931, this will give you an authentic feel of a classic Italian feel, marking the special union of family and food, foundational to Italian culture.
- Opening: 7:30PM; closed Mondays
- Contact: T +39 06 481 7538
- Reservations: You’ll be okay walking in
- The basics: This is a great choice if you’d like to test out some eats that are rich and local and full of seasonal influence but at the same time take you a bit into the healthier realm of eating for a while. Get something quintessentially Italian but unexpected here with a healthy twist. Feel fresh and refreshed here.
- Opening: 10AM, daily
- Contact: T + 39 06 9603 6390
- Reservations: not necessary
Haute, and worth it Rome restaurants ! $$$
- The basics: Taste a mango ketchup on your panino (panini is the plural, remember! It’s only panini if you’re ordering two or more, for those of us learning some basic Italian before the trip). Enough said. New York Magazine loves this place, if you needed a higher end endorsement. If you don’t have time to make the reservation, test your luck finding the food truck which you can track here on their Twitter account.
- Opening: 4PM Tuesday – Saturdays; 12AM Sundays; closed Mondays
- Contact: Piazza dell’Emporio, 28; T +39 06 32110120 / +39 06 45229090
- Reservations: It’s possible by the time you’re reading this it may be too late in the game to snag a reservation here, but give it a go anyways. This is advised to book one year in advance.
- Il Pagliaccio
- The basics: Enjoy this two-starred Michelin option on your trip to Rome, and be prepared to be delighted with flavors dancing on your lips. From the color of the fresh ingredients to the presentation of cutlery and the plates upon which your meal is served, Anthony Genovese does not disappoint. Even, enjoy chocolate chips with your lobster. This is an excellent pick to put on your Rome restaurants list. Not to miss for the foodies reading along.
- Opening: 7:30PM Tuesday-Saturday; lunches 12:30PM Wednesday – Saturday
- Contact: T + 39 06 68 80 95 95
- Reservations: An absolute must
So you want the best gelato in Rome?
Particularly if you find yourself in Rome in the summertime, but likely no matter what time of year you’re there, you’re certain to find yourself craving the creamiest of gelatos Rome has to offer. If you’re not already salivating reading this article, you most certainly will when you see everyone walking around with it in their hands, and with a complementary smile on their faces, soaking up the flavor. I mean, Condé Nast recommends some of our picks, so need we say more?
- I Caruso (Via Collina, 13) $$
Even though this has become more and more popular over time, this one’s still worth writing about here. Sometimes places are crowded for a reason, and this one makes that match. Flavor-wise, the fondente is an excellent choice for something bold and richly flavorful (it’s dark chocolate!) and arancia (orange) is a great choice for something lighter and seasonal. The fruit flavors available may change with the season which is your assurance that what you’re getting here is fresh.
- Gelato San Lorenzo (Via Tiburtina, 6) $$
Favorite flavor here is the zabaione, and the chef guarantees a seasonal selection of the ingredients used in the flavors. Again, keeping the freshness on the forefront, exactly what you’d expect from a high-quality gelato experience. With its sharp white interior, this pick takes the casual experience of gelato to fine dining.
- Il Gelato de Claudio Torcè (Viale Aventino 59 and Piazza del Risorgimento 51) $$
Don’t let the fact that this one has multiple locations deter you away. If anything, this should show you just how good it is that it’s gotten the traction to have multiple locations in the ever-so-competitive gelato world that is Rome these days. Get spicy here, with our flavor pick being the spicy chili pepper with chocolate, giving a new twist to a traditionally basic flavor.
- Come Il Latte (Via Silvio Spaventa, 24/26) $
From vegan options to classic, that creamy kind that folds into your mouth and takes you off to a dreamland, this is your place. If you want to feel like you’re getting local and get a bit away from the crowds of I Caruso, this is the place for you to be. The vibe is a bit more intimate. Fancy something other than wine? Get your taste of whiskey in the gelato here with our flavor pick as the whiskey cream flavor on the menu here.
Conclusion on Rome Restaurants
With our Rome restaurants list you can now enjoy a fine meal in the center of tourists whirling around you while you savor the finest gelato of your life. You will also find yourself in secret enclave of a garden patio dining experience.
Follow our best places to eat in rome to be sure to discover Rome’s finest, without having left a drop of pasta sauce on the plate. If you are also looking to have a nice drink please read our article on the best bars in Rome.
Fanny is a music and travel lover who has been visiting Rome since 2012. She is the founder and main editor of the Roma Pass blog and she like to share the best things to do in Rome.