Ok, there are many things to see in Rome, but not taking the time to enjoy its cuisine well would be an unforgivable mistake. And eating a good tonnarelli cacio e Pepe is as important as visiting the Colosseum, isn’t it? So here are our recommendations for restaurants to eat in Rome. Restaurants and other places with the typical three “b’s”: good, beautiful and cheap. Actually, we are not so interested in the beautiful thing … and cheap, as some more than others.
After many trips, the last one of almost a month, to the capital of my country, we have tried a few, thanks to the suggestions of local people. Because Roman food is a delight … but not anywhere, beware of tourist traps!
WHAT TO EAT IN ROME: TYPICAL DISHES OF ROMAN CUISINE
First rule: if you go to Rome try to eat the typical local dishes. OK, you are in Italy, but, as I mentioned when talking about Italian cuisine, each region of my country has its typical dishes. This is not the land of risotto or tagliatelle al ragù – the original version of spaghetti Bolognese – although there are restaurants where you can also try them.
The best known typical Roman dish is the Spaghetti alla carbonara – no, they don’t have cream! – but there are many more. We tell you about some of them in our article about typical dishes of Roman cuisine.
WHERE TO EAT IN ROME: TYPES OF RESTAURANTS
Before you stress reading the names, it is time to explain the different types of restaurants in Rome and, by extension, also throughout Italy. Osteria, trattoria, taverna, Tavola calda … don’t panic. So you know where you are getting – eye, you can all eat great – we write Eat in Italy, types of restaurants and menu.
TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN CHOOSING A RESTAURANT IN ROME
The number of tourists traveling to Rome is such that it allows even places where you eat frankly to stay open … and full. Yes, I have to admit that it was in Rome where I had worse eaten in a restaurant. Do not trust checkered tablecloths – which, until years ago they were not seen in Italy, but now they are the “uniform” -. Our recommendation is that you look at the clientele. The more locals you see sitting in their chairs, the more likely it is that the food is good. And on the menu: distrust “typical Roman dishes” and very Italian restaurant abroad: if you see that they have spaghetti bolognese, run away!
On the other hand, as always, let yourself be advised by those who live there. Although many Romans told us that they do not go to the center at all, not even to eat, it is always possible to get a specific recommendation. That place they go to when they have something to celebrate, a small restaurant in the center that still has a family feel, the pizzeria that is worth a detour when walking through the city or the best tiramisù they have ever tasted.
If yours is not to chat in Italian … read on, we will tell you a few good restaurants to eat in Rome. We have been advised by Romans of pure strain or people who have lived there for a few years – I have family and friends in Rome.
EAT WELL NEAR THE VATICAN: LA TAVERNELLA RESTAURANT
We took the stop on our combined tour of Vatican plus Colosseum, Forum and Palatine to go to eat at a restaurant that had been recommended near the Vatican: La Tavernella. Well, close, but not in the Plaza de San Pedro, just over a quarter of an hour walk.
The good? That kilometer and a half away mean that it is not saturated, that prices are not inflated and that you can eat calmly in an almost familiar environment. That’s where we tried our first tonnarelli cacio e Pepe – unforgettable – and some delicious Spaghetti alla carbonara.