One of the best places for food in Italy is surely its capital Rome. The quality of restaurants, trattorias and enotecas continue to improve year on year, making it hard to compile a ‘best restaurants in Rome’ list. But compile, we have, with 6 of our favorite restaurants. From modern to traditional to wine-focused, you’ll find some great dining choices here. All it takes now is to find your perfect hotel in Rome and head to Italy’s largest and most exciting city. Finally, if you’re flying into either Fiumicino or Ciampino airport, be sure to check out our Rome airport guide.
Retrobottega is one of the new-guard of fine Roman dining, right in the center of the city. Every Monday, the team visit the surrounding countryside to forage for herbs, wild fruit and other foodstuffs which make their way onto their inventive menu during the week. The food is traditional but with clever little twists. They have a full 8 course tasting menu, which usually comprises of some snacks, homemade pasta, a main dish and desert. The pastas are of particular note, perfectly formed parcels of deliciousness such as tortellini stuffed with ossobuco. The wine list is also fantastic. They have one of the best Champagne selections in the city as well as classic and funky wines from all across Italy – and the world.
Via della Stelletta, 4, 00186, Rome
Roscioli is a dual purpose deli-come-restaurant. Along one wall is around 3000 bottles of wine. Along the other is a deli packed with the most delicious Italian delicacies you can think of. And in the middle of it all are restaurant tables for one of best dining experiences in Rome. The restaurant has one of the best carbonaras in town. Rome is famous for 4 different types of pasta – check out our Rome food and wine travel guide for more information – and carbonara is one of them. Just a few, choice ingredients make up the dish; egg, guanciale (cured pig cheek) and pecorino or parmesan. And of course, perfectly cooked, al dente pasta.
For wine lovers, there is an eclectic list from some of the great names of the wine world. If we’re going to talk about the best restaurants in Rome, Roscioli is always one close to the top of the list.
Via dei Giubbonari, 21, 00186, Rome
La Barrique is a small, Parisian style restaurant close to the Colosseum. Although it is inspired by France, great Italian cooking is also available here with a short but very good seasonal menu. Dishes such as mozzarella and homemade pesto, hand-pulled pasta with slow-cooked beef ragu or Romanesco. The interior is small, with cozy corners and walled lined with famous wine bottles. Wine aficionados will be in their element here; the list is large, comprehensive and gem-filled.
Via del Boschetto, 41B, 00184, Rome
Armando al Pantheon
The Armando al Pantheon is a family affair; three generations have cooked there since it opened in 1961. Claudio Gargioli currently runs the show, along with the 4th generation in training, Fabiana. The location couldn’t be better, right in the center of Rome, close to the Pantheon, of course. This is traditional cooking at its best, with takes on the classic Roman kitchen. That means plenty of handmade pasta, slowly cooked meats and simple cold cut platters. The star of the show is the pastas. Of particular note is the caccio e pepe, a distinctly Roman pasta dish made with just four ingredients; pasta, pasta water, parmesan and black pepper. Simple but utterly delicious. Armando al Pantheon would be a great place to finish after our highlights of Rome tour; a tour of Roman traditions followed by a traditional Roman lunch or dinner.
Salita de’ Crescenzi, 31, 00186, Rome
Conveniently situated in the heart of Rome is Pizzeria Emma, close to the famous Campo de’ Fiori. It’s a roomy, modern trattoria with high glass ceilings and simple décor. It doesn’t need to be fancy because the food is what people really come here for. This is a fantastic place to try Rome’s famous pizzas. Unlike Neopolitan pizza which is gooey and soft, Rome’s pizzas are traditionally thin crust and crispy. The pizzeria focuses on the classic flavors but always with quality in mind. There is also some flexibility when it comes to the toppings; you can choose your mozzarella type and any toppings you like from their list. And for those who love a drink or two, there is an extensive list of small production wines and craft beers.
And if you love pizza, make sure to check out our Roman pizza making experience where you can learn how to make your own thin crust, Rome-style pizzas under the watchful eye of a ‘pizzaiolo’ chef.
Via del Monte della Farina, 28, 00186, Rome
Flavio al Velavevodetto
Flavio al Velavevodetto is down in the trendy Trastevere neighborhood to the south of the city. This is an up and coming area, but this particular trattoria has stuck to its roots; it is distinctly traditional. The restaurant itself has vaulted stone ceilings, set on an ancient Roman archeological site, and a large outdoor terrace for the summer months. The source of the meat is from the restaurant’s own herds and flocks and they grown their own vegetables too, which is about as farm-to-table as is possible. The food is beautifully executed and you can find most of Rome’s famous pasta dishes here; rigatoni alla carbonara, pasta alla gricia and caccio e pepe. You really can’t talk about the best restaurants in Rome without talking about Flavio al Velavevodetto.
Via di Monte Testaccio, 97, 00153, Rome
Eating in Rome is Close to Perfection
The Italians are well known for their dedication to quality and Rome’s restaurants are no exception, as our best restaurants in Rome list shows. Only the Italians could take something as simple as pasta, cheese and black pepper and turn it into something magical. If you’re looking for a quick getaway, our 2 days in Rome is a great place to start for planning an adventure in Italy’s capital. And you’ll not be stuck for things to do with our comprehensive range of tours in Rome. Imagine taking part in our Roman wine tasting experience followed by a table at one of these wonderful aforementioned restaurants. That sounds like a perfect weekend to us.