Yes, I have finally arrived at this Capital of the World! I now see all the dreams of my youth coming to life… Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.
— Goethe

Rome - one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. This city has endless options if you want to explore the cities ancient history, beautiful architecture and world-class dining. What we found out about Rome was that the city can quite easily become very overwhelming. If you're going during the summer then prepare for a lot of tourists (a whole lot). The many tourists that flock to Rome has unfortunately also meant that there are many mediocre restaurants catering specifically to tourists. Whether you're looking for the best pasta, pizza or wine, we've made a list of the places that can help you avoid the not so great restaurants and instead give you unforgettable culinary experiences.

➳ WHERE TO GET PASTA in rome

There are hundreds of places to get pasta in Rome, but the places below serve absolutely perfect versions of the classics. 

Ai Tre Scalini: We were recommended to go here by a local. Everything about this place is a must. You walk into the packed bar and go to the back where the restaurant is. The restaurant is very rustic and looks like something from old Italy. We started out having the cheeseboard with pecorino, mozzarella and a bunch of other cheeses - then we covered the cheeses in a fantastic honey with almonds. If you're looking for an amazing Italian experience - look no further. Try the Parmigiana, their lasagne and the Polpette al sugo.

La TavernacciaBeautiful restaurant in a quiet and homely atmosphere. This is situated in the heart of Trastevere. It's hard to find quality places in Rome, but this is definitely one of them. Pizzas aren't one of their specialities, but most of the other stuff is great. Try their pastas,  their prosciutto and other meats. The place has a lot of great wines too.

Flavio al Valavevodetto: One of the locals also recommended us to go here. This place is located in Testaccio, which is a very cosy part of town that isn't overrun by tourists. We love pasta and this place was one of the most traditional places that we stumbled upon in Rome. They serve up huge plates here. Try the carbona and the cacio e Pepe (traditional Roman dish)

Da Enzo:  This place is a small trattoria in Trastevere. The carbonara and other pasta dishes here are unbelievable. It would be amazing to try all of the dishes here, but we only went here one night. This place gets full very fast, so make sure to make a reservation. This place is mostly frequented by locals and hardly any tourists find their way here. This is definitely one of the best restaurants in Rome for traditional food in a relaxed setting - a must go.

➳ WHERE TO GET PIZZA in rome

Finding the perfect pizza is not an easy task. We've compiled a list of some of the best places in Rome. Enjoy!

Pinsere Roma: This place is tiny, but it's great if you want to pop in and grab your pizza to go. The people working here work together in a spectacular manner and you really feel welcome here. Cheap pizza and beer.

Volpetti Piu: This place is officially in the top 3 of pizza places in Rome. Situated in Testaccio this is where locals go for in their lunch breaks. The pizzas are amazing and the staff is very welcoming - even to tourists. 

Pizzeria da Remo: Here you get some of the thinnest crispy crust pizzas. You don't come here for the service, but da Remo's pizza is one to remember.

Li Rioni: This was one of the first pizza's we had in Rome. Thin crust. This place is close to Colosseum so go here if you're out seeing that.

Forno Campo de' Fiori: These pizzas are works of art. This place spits out pizzas. Once the pizza comes out staff will ask you how big you want the slices to be (they speak English here). An unforgettable experience. We will definitely be back here. This place is incredibly busy around lunch so get there early. You can't miss this place.

➳ WHERE TO DRINK in rome

Enoteca Cavour 313: We love this kind of place as it doesn't have a lot of tourists even though it's only a couple of minutes walk from Forum Romanum. This is a very old wine bar with a great selection of wines. A great place for a quick bite and a good bottle of wine.

Enoteca Cul de Sac: This place is very popular with the locals. Great selection of wine and a real roman experience.

Hotel de Russie’s Stravinskij Bar: Go here for a drink. This is a magical place with a very romantic garden by the bar. The service is perfect. A lot of a-List celebrities go here (Angela, Brad, Leonardo, Clooney). The bar is inside an upscale hotel too. Do not miss this bar.

Casa del Jazz: This place used to be the1920s villa of Enrico Nicoletti. After it got confiscated from Enrico the place was transformed into the Casa del Jazz. The place has a 144-seat auditorium with great acoustics and also houses a restaurant. During summertime there are outdoor concerts here under the trees. 

➳ WHAT TO SEE AND DO in rome

  • Colosseum

  • Testaccio Food Tour 

  • Sixtine Chapel

  • Galleria Borghese

  • Trevi Fountain

  • Catacombs of San Callisto

➳ Rome AREA GUIDE

Testaccio: Testaccio is a great foodie neighbourhood in Rome. This is where cucina romana (roman cuisine) was born. Testaccio has a strong place in a Roman's heart. Traditionally home to Rome's butchers and abattoirs. Roman's go here for the amazing food markets and authentic Roman cuisine.

Trastevere: One of the prettiest areas of Rome with cobbled lanes. A real medieval neighbourhood. Over the last couple of years this area has become increasingly popular with the young crowd. Trastevere has a lot of nightlife, a lot of cafés and great restaurants. 

Monti: Not far from the Colosseum, you'll find one of Rome's cool neighbourhoods - Monti. This area is very lively with cool bars, a lot of shops and traditional Italian restaurants. This area is full of locals and hasn't been overrun by tourists yet. Monti is named after one of the hills in Rome and is a great mix of classic Roman artisans and hip cafés. Go to the piazzetta some good people watching and a bite to eat. 

➳ USE OUR GOOGLE MAP

Navigate the city with our Google Map. We've pinned all of the places in our guide to the Google Map below. Simply go to the map when you're online to find your way around the city. If you don't have wifi when you're walking around the city, just make sure to load this map when you have access to wifi (at your hotel or at a café) and you'll be able to find your way around even if you're offline.


Our Rome photo gallery

Journal posts about Rome