In a city that ´lives to eat´ rather than ´eats to live´, Rome is without doubt the foodie capital of the world.
If you are looking for authentic Roman cuisine, avoid the tourist hot spots, and head for the back streets where you will find a choice of ´hidden gems´ within easy reach of the city centre.
Whether you are planning a gastro-tour of Rome, a romantic dinner or simply a quick lunch, Rome´s vibrant pizzerias and trattorias cater for all tastes and budgets.
The beauty of Italian food is in its simplicity.
Have you ever wondered why a ´rocket and parmesan salad´ never quite tastes the same when you make it at home? The answer is in the ingredients!
Locally sourced cheese, meat, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs and organic vegetables feature heavily on many Italian menus, resulting in some of the world´s tastiest cuisine.
Five of the best ´off the tourist track´ restaurants in Rome include:
Cherished by the locals and revered by the few tourists who find it, Da Enzo is situated in eastern Trastevere and offers delicious, locally-sourced organic food in a vibrant, residential part of the city.
Don´t expect luxury décor, but do expect clean, simple surroundings and stunning food. Try the stuffed courgette flowers, the pepper and cheese pasta and the oxtail.
It is advisable to book as Da Enzo gets very busy and tables are not always available.
La Carbonara dal 1906
La Carbonara in Monti offers classic Roman dishes in a quirky, tavern-style restaurant with graffiti on the walls.
Family-run, Le Carbonara, as its name suggests has been welcoming locals since 1906, and offers simple, delicious home-cooked food at reasonable prices.
Traditional home-made pastas and pizzas include the super-spicy ´zi Tere´ made with fresh chilli, basil and pecorino and the cheese and walnut ravioli. Classic fried vegetables flavoured with fresh herbs and award-winning olive oil are also worth a taste. If you still have room for dessert, try the lemon tart, profiteroles or creamy Tiramisu.
Combining excellent food, stylish but simple furnishings and a bustling location, the Osteria Bonelli is always full. Try the vermicelli with anchovies and courgette flowers, the ricotta, basil and porcini mushroom or the mouth-watering spaghetti vongole with fresh clams, mussels and seafood. Osteria Bonelli is also one of the most reasonably priced restaurants in the city, and you can eat, drink and be merry for less than the price of a pizza in some of Rome´s more touristy restaurants.
The husband and wife owners of this restaurant were trained at the National School of Pizza, and offer five selections of Roman pizza every night. If you are looking for fine dining, elaborate furnishings and luxury decór, this may not be the place for you, but if you want excellent ´no nonsense food´ Fariné will rival anywhere in Rome. Fresh produce is bought daily in local markets, and this restaurant has paper plates, no cutlery and no staff apart from the two owners. The only menu options are Margherita, Napoli, Mozzarella and Anchovies, Mediterranean, and a daily special based on fresh seasonal ingredients. The choice may not be great but the food certainly is and if you are something of a pizza guru, this is the place to come.
Frequented by well-heeled locals, Cabo Boi is an elegant restaurant, specialising in fresh fish dishes and a choice of upmarket wines.Situated in Coppide, in between Parioli and Trieste, Cabo Boi takes diners back to the days of 1920´s Rome, and is where the locals come to celebrate special occasions.Sample the fresh oysters, mussels, octopus and delicious mixed fried fish dish which the restaurant is famous for.Everything about Cabo Boi reeks opulence and fine dining. The restaurant is not cheap but does not profess to be, and the white linen table cloths and crystal wine glasses add a touch of class to its excellent cuisine.
If you are looking for a superb choice of holiday accommodation rentals in Rome, check out our apartments, villas, rooms for rent and studios in and around the city centre.