Italy, where do we even start when it comes to the food, it’s easily one of our favourite cuisines. One thing we recently learned was that each area of Italy has its own traditional dishes. So even though you can probably get carbonara anywhere in Italy, traditionally it comes from Rome. But, for the most part, each area of Italy sticks to its own recipes/dishes, meaning you can only get them in their specific place. Pizza excluded, obviously.
Let’s get right into it, shall we? This is our list of what you should eat while you’re in Rome. Where we ate is listed after.
Obviously, pizza is on the list. That’s just a given! You can’t go to Italy and not have pizza… at least a couple times.
Carbonara actually traditionally comes from Rome/that area. So definitely have it while in Rome. If it’s not a simple dish of egg, pecorino romano, pasta water, and crispy guanciale, then it’s not as traditional as it can be.
Cacio e Pepe is another traditional Roman dish. It’s very similar to carbonara, just minus the eggs and bacon. The sauce is made with pecorino romano cheese and pasta water and then pepper is added. It’s very cheesy, and a great vegetarian option.
Another traditional Roman dish easily found in most restaurants. A pasta dish with tomato sauce, crispy guanciale, onions, and pecorino cheese. Not the best photo we got but I promise it was really good.
Suppli are deep-fried risotto balls filled with mozzarella. You can get them in restaurants and from street food type stalls that serve suppli in paper cones and you can enjoy them as a snack while you wander around.
Very very similar to a croissant. You can get them plain, or filled with things like Nutella, or different types of jams. We were even able to find vegan ones.
These are a typical Roman breakfast pastry. They are a yeasty pastry and filled with some sort of whipped cream. Best paired with a cappuccino.
You can get gelato all over Europe but in my opinion, it just tastes so much better in Italy. My favourite is pistachio, you can’t go wrong with a traditional flavour!
One of the first things I do when I know we’re going somewhere is to check out the food. Find out what local dishes to try and so on. Then I look for restaurants to try, usually by searching Pinterest, Instagram and Google. I then pin them on Google Maps so that when we are out and about and get hungry, I can just pull up the map and see what I’ve pinned that may be nearby. Or, if some places are highly recommended we’ll make a point to go there.
Anyway, now that you have an idea of what to try while in Rome, below are the places where we ate.
Pizza and good cheap house wine. Hands down this was our favourite place we ate at while in Rome. It’s solely a pizzeria and it is the BEST pizza in Rome, in our opinion! The atmosphere in this place also makes it. We went a couple times and it is filled with locals and tourists. Their seating style basically just seats you where there are empty seats so don’t be surprised if you end up sharing a table with strangers, it’s all part of the vibe! Order some pizza and some suppli and just relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Oh and definitely get the house wine! It’s cheap and good and sure to make the evening even more enjoyable.
TIP: add buffalo mozzarella to any pizza you order. You won’t regret it!
Restorante de Edy
Pasta all’Amatriciana, and Gnocchi Pomodoro e mozzarella. This was easily our 2nd favourite restaurant we ate at. It was tucked away down a little alley and you’d easily miss it if you didn’t know it was there. It’s got a locals-only vibe, which we LOVE. Other than us and another couple, the rest of the people at the restaurant were locals/Italians.
We were recommended this place by the guide we had for our Colosseum tour, she said it was the best carbonara in Rome. Although we felt like we had better elsewhere, it was still really good and they had some unique twists on the classic. Try the truffle carbonara
Grazia & Graziella
This place is a pretty popular place in Trastevere and they have a really nice outdoor seating area. We had their pizzas but their pasta looked good as well.
Mercato Centrale Roma (Food court)
This place is like a food court, it has so many options of where to eat, so definitely check it out! There are all kinds of stalls, from pasta, and trapizzino, to meats and pizza. We got pizza from this place but can’t remember the name of the actual stall that we got it from, sorry!
This place actually has really good take away pasta. It’s tucked down a little side street right near the Vatican. Possibly the best Carbonara we had but definitely try the Cacio e Pepe too.
Dar Poeta, Restorante De Edy, and Pastaciotta — We hardly ever go back to one place when we’re travelling because we like to try as many as we can so that we can find the best. So that’s how you know it’s good, the fact that we go back again or multiple times.