Wondering which places locals love to eat in Rome? Rome's culinary tradition is known for its strong and contrasting flavours. This hub of politics, religion, art and culture has kept its down-to-earth roots when it comes to food. The dishes consist of largely distinct flavours and humble ingredients such as pork, offal and Pecorino cheese.

    These touchstones of Roman cuisine can be enjoyed in both historic eateries where recipes are passed down through generations and avant-garde restaurants where past meets future with organic and natural ingredients on offer. In the trattorias, you can soak up the simple atmosphere of old working-class neighbourhoods. Even the finer osterias reflect their humble origins in the menu. Experience all this during your visit – here’s where to find Rome's best local food.


    Osteria Trattoria da Fortunata

    Enjoy local cuisine at this trattoria

    Pass Trattoria da Fortunata and you’ll likely catch a glimpse of a lady making pasta by hand through the window. To most, it’s an irresistible invitation to go and enjoy a delicious plate of fettuccine. The trattoria nearby Piazza Navona is an ideal spot for when you’re feeling peckish during your visit to the historic centre.

    Choose a combination of your favourite pasta and sauce once seated – whether it be twisted (strozzapreti), thin ribbon (tagliolini), gnocchi, thick ribbon (sciavatelli) or ravioli. For the sauce, there’s pork and tomato (amatriciana), oxtail (coda alla vaccinara), bacon and pecorino. Simply, you can ask for recommendations. Also on the menu is gricia pasta, a Roman speciality. It's considered amatriciana's ancestor and derives from a cheese-and-pepper recipe to which shepherds added lard and bacon.

    Location: Corso del Rinascimento, 17, 00186 Rome, Italy

    Open: Daily from noon to 1 am

    Phone: +39 06 6880 2908


    photo by Andy Montgomery (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Trecca - Cucina di Mercato

    A simple eatery serving dishes using carefully selected ingredients

    Trecca - Cucina di Mercato is a local restaurant in the Ostiense district that presents dishes cooked seasonally using quality ingredients purchased directly from the producers. The suppliers are chosen based on their production methods, preferring small-scale breeders and farmers. It's a simple, informal eatery, with all the focus being on the flavours and authenticity of the ingredients.

    For example, there's butcher's pan of chicken entrails and potato (padellotto alla macellara con frattaglie di pollo e patate), pork belly (pancia di maiale) or cheek and salad (guancia con misticanza). For dessert, the ricotta and sour cherry tart (crostata di ricotta e visciole) is especially good. Trecca is basically a go-to for authentic and understated Roman cuisine.

    Location: Via Alessandro Severo, 222, 00145 Rome, Italy

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 pm to 11 pm, Saturday from 12.30 pm to 3 pm and 8 pm to 11 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +39 06 8865 0867


    Ristorante Mamma Angelina

    Enjoy seafood in an old-Rome setting

    Mamma Angelina in Rome’s African quarter is the place to head to if you're more of a seafood than a meat fan. At work in the kitchen is chef-owner Angelina herself. Everything is homemade, even the desserts from the quince, ricotta to chocolate tarts. It's an informal restaurant where the menu's spoken aloud and celebration dishes are presented on Sundays.

    The wine list reveals a carefully chosen selection, and the staff will help you choose the best to pair with your meal. We especially recommend the cuttlefish and asparagus salad (insalata di seppie e asparagi) to start with, followed by saffron pasta with prawn and broccoli ragù (maltagliati allo zafferano con ragù di gamberi e broccolo), and then fresh fish, baked or grilled, for main course.

    Location: Viale Arrigo Boito, 65, 00199 Rome, Italy

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 12.45 pm to 2.45 pm and 7.45 pm to 10.45 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +39 06 860 8928


    Nuovo Mondo

    Pizza and supplìs in a rustic and bustling setting

    Nuovo Mondo's pizza is considered one of the best in Rome – the bases are thin and crispy, true to Roman tradition. The ingredients, like the sausage and Pachino tomatoes, are simple and authentic. And it’s all at value for money. All the pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven. But don't expect a stylish, luxurious restaurant. Nuovo Mondo’s atmosphere is down-to-earth and unpretentious, just like its district and the locals.

    If you prefer Roman specialities to pizza, start with the fried house specials (fritti della casa), like courgette flowers with anchovies and mozzarella, then tube pasta with oxtail sauce (rigatoni al sugo di coda) or a delicious carbonara. Finish with ricotta, pear or chocolate tart. All the desserts, including the profiteroles, are made on-site.

    Location: Via Amerigo Vespucci, 9/12/15, 00153 Rome, Italy

    Open: Daily from 7 pm to 12.30 am

    Phone: +39 06 574 6004


    Il Quagliaro

    Tasty local dishes served since 1958

    Il Quagliaro is a restaurant in Rome’s Quarticciolo district that specialises in quail. The restaurant in the city's eastern suburbs has a history that’s closely connected to quail – when it opened back in the 60s, customers would trade quails they'd hunted in the surrounding countryside for wine. Now the birds are marinated in white vinegar, baked and served with olives, champignon mushrooms and the Roman bread chiriola bruschetta.

    You can choose your portion size: 1, 2 or 3 quails, depending on your appetite. If you prefer the classics, the menu includes various local specialities, from pork and tomato (amatriciana) to beans and pork rind (fagioli con le cotiche). The supplìs, homemade and freshly fried in extra virgin olive oil for authenticity, make great starters.

    Location: Largo Mola di Bari, 17, 00171 Rome, Italy

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 7.30 pm to midnight, Friday from 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm and 7.30 pm to midnight (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +39 06 2521 0875



    Authentic flavours in a family environment

    Catinari is a restaurant in the heart of the Roman Ghetto, where you can discover and refresh yourself with local cuisine. Here, professionalism and a warm family atmosphere go hand-in-hand. We recommend thick spaghetti with cheese and pepper (tonnarelli cacio e pepe), a house special. Or there's tube pasta with tripe (rigatoni con pajata), a typical Roman dish with a strong and pronounced flavour. Entrails are a common ingredient in Roman cuisine. 

    The portions are generous, and the excellent house wine is comparable to those offered at most prestigious wine cellars. Scan the menu and you'll spot a classic of the Ghetto: carciofo alla giudìa, Roman artichoke that's sliced and fried using a method that makes the leaves particularly crispy and flavoursome.

    Location: Via di S. Maria del Pianto, 16, 00186 Rome, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from noon to 3.30 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm, Monday from 7 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +39 06 687 1540


    Da Bucatino

    Simplicity and tradition in Testaccio

    Da Bucatino is a simply furnished restaurant in Rome, with walls covered in photos depicting the bygone times. The varied menu features classic Roman dishes, as you'd expect in the heart of Testaccio. For your first course, delicacies include pasta and chickpea soup (minestra di pasta e ceci) or creamy prawn risotto (risotto alla crema di scampi).

    Second courses include roasted meat, like pork or veal with potatoes, or pan-fried options including stewed rabbit (coniglio alla cacciatora) or Roman-style chicken (pollo alla romana). The grilled options include fillet of beef or spring lamb chops (abbacchio a scottadito). Seafood dishes are also available – the brill, seabream, grilled salted cod or spicy cod (merluzzo alla diavola) are highly recommended.

    Location: Via Luca della Robbia, 84, 00153 Rome, Italy

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from noon to 3 pm and 7 pm to 11.55 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +39 06 574 6886


    Osteria Fratelli Mori

    Lazio cuisine and Roman poetry

    Osteria Fratelli Mori offers good food combined with the owners' great love of Roman poetry. The restaurant is in Testaccio, a district that's kept its working-class spirit, whose streets take you back in time to breathe the spirit of old Rome. The restaurant’s white walls have been engraved and annotated with the unpublished compositions of a group of street poets.

    Classic dishes include carbonara and boiled meatballs (polpette di bollito), but there's also pizza, with dough that's naturally leavened over 48 hours and cooked in a wood-fired oven. Save room for dessert: cakes and tarts are made in-house by mamma Giuliana, while we have papà Ambrogio to thank for his ricotta with candied orange and caramelised pistachio.

    Location: Via dei Conciatori, 10, 00154 Rome, Italy

    Open: Daily from 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 11.30 pm

    Phone: +39 331 323 4399



    A Roman restaurant serving local dishes since 1957

    Matricianella is a restaurant located in one of Rome's most beautiful areas, between Piazza di Spagna, Ara Pacis and Montecitorio. The name is a nod to Rome's timeless culinary classics. There's a certain dish for every day of the week: salted cod (baccalà) on Tuesday and Friday, and tripe (trippa) on Saturday. For the gnocchi, it's best to go Thursday.

    If you like to accompany your dish with a wine that brings out the flavour, Matricianella's cellar holds almost 1,000 labels. Too many to choose? Ask one of the restaurant's sommeliers; they'll know what to recommend. There are many wines from Lazio on the list, as well as excellent choices from other regions.

    Location: Via del Leone, 4, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

    Open: Daily from 12.30 pm to 3 pm and 7.30 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +39 06 683 2100


    Flavio al Velavevodetto

    The place to go in Rome for carbonara

    At Flavio al Velavevodetto you can choose where to enjoy your meal, whether it's lunch outside or an atmospheric dinner under the barrel vault ceiling and stone arches. The menu includes Roman classics, like stewed oxtail (coda alla vaccinara) with vegetables and tomato sauce.

    For the first course, remember the restaurant's chef bears the title Carbonara King, although the other choices are equally tempting, such as gnocchi with sauce and roulades (gnocchi con sugo di involtini) and fettucine with broad beans, peas, artichokes, bacon, lettuce and pecorino. You're also spoilt for choice for dessert: the tiramisù in a glass (tiramisù al bicchiere), wine doughnuts (ciambelline al vino), chocolate fondant dessert (fondente al cioccolato) or tart (crostata) are to die for.

    Location: Via di Monte Testaccio, 97, 00153 Rome, Italy

    Open: Daily from 12.30 pm to 3 pm and 7.45 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +39 06 574 4194


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