No food and wine travel guide to Rome would be complete without mentioning two key principles; simplicity and incredible quality. The food in the restaurants and enotecas of Rome reflects this dedication to the best ingredients. As do the markets and delis which are a goldmine for beautiful produce. Gathering supplies for a picnic lunch before heading to one of Rome’s incredible sights is one of the best ways to experience Rome’s food culture for yourself. Here are 5 things you need to know about Rome’s food and wine scene, and how to do it right.
Rome’s Markets and Delis Are a Haven for Food Lovers
Every neighborhood of Rome has its own food market, each with its own delicacies and atmosphere. Our Rome market tour and cooking experience will take you to one of the most famous markets – Campo de’ Fiori. After you buy all your ingredients, you’ll then be coached through a cooking session to learn how to make the most traditional Italian dish of pasta.
If you’re looking to pick up presents or ingredients for a supreme picnic lunch, head to one of the markets in Rome. The best Rome markets are Testaccio, Mercato Centrale (next to Termini train station), and Mercato Trionfale. Or swing by Volpetti delicatessen for incredible porchetta and pecorino.
Enotecas House the Best of Rome’s Wines
What would be a Rome food and wine travel guide without mentioning enoteca Italia culture? The concept of the enoteca Italia was born when wine shops put a few stools out, opened a couple of bottles of wine for their customers and paired them with simple plates of food. These spots where thirsty Romans meet after work for a glass or two of wine are dotted all across Rome
We love Litro in the smart residential district just above the Trastevere neighborhood. They specialize in natural wines, made both locally and further afield, and small plates of modern cooking. For something more classic, try Il Goccetto, where Italian wines line the shop walls from floor to ceiling. Or take the stress of choosing out of the equation and join a Rome wine tasting tour. An experienced sommelier will guide you through an intimate wine tasting at one of the best enotecas in Rome.
There Are Famously 4 Roman Pastas
The 4 Roman pastas are Cacio e pepe, spaghetti alla carbonara, pasta all’Amatriciana, and pasta alla Gricia. All these dishes take the simplest of ingredients and form something magical. Cacio e Pepe uses what feels like alchemy to form a silky smooth, punchy sauce from just pasta water, cracked black pepper, and pecorino. You’ll find the best pasta in Rome at Roscioli, a deli restaurant with an incredible 3,000-bottle wine list. You can try pasta all’Amatriciana (pasta, tomatoes, guanciale, and pecorino) and pasta alla Gricia (pecorino, guanciale, and black pepper), at Armando al Pantheon, a traditional and central restaurant making some of the best pasta in Rome.
Another option to learn more about traditional Roman cuisine is to join a pasta-making class in Rome. On our Rome Market Tour and Cooking Experience and our private cooking class with a local in Rome, you’ll learn how to make Rome pasta from scratch! Can’t settle on just one dish to try? This Rome Food Tour gives you a taste of 10 different Roman specialties at the best, high-quality local spots.
Rome’s Pizza Is Unique
Traditional pizza in Rome is unique in that it has a crunchy, thin base with an addition of olive oil to enrich the crust. There’s no better way to experience Rome pizza than through a Roman pizza-making experience. You’ll work with expert pizzaiolos to create a traditional Roman pizza to be proud of.
If you’d rather eat pizza than make it, Pizzeria Emma is widely considered the best pizza in Rome, along with Bonci Pizza Rome which specializes in pizzas by the slice, another Roman tradition.
Rome’s Local Wines Are Little Known but Delicious
The winemaking area of Lazio is just to the east of Rome. It may not be as famous as other names, but the area has a charm of its own. It is best known for its fresh, zingy white wines made with grape varieties such as Trebbiano. The wines of the region can be found in restaurants and enotecas across Rome. But the best way to learn about wine is to visit where it’s made. Our Frascati winery tour and lunch is just the ticket. Learn about the history of the winemaking region with a tour and tasting along with lunch at a traditional trattoria.
Food and Wine Is the Key to Rome
If you want to know how the Romans tick, learn about their food and wine. It’s the heart and soul of the city. But of course, there’s so much more to Rome too. Our Rome tours and multi-day Rome packages are a great way to design a Roman holiday. If this guide has whetted your appetite for Roman cuisine, spend a few days on our Taste of Rome 5 Day Food Tour. Be sure to check out our ultimate Rome travel guide, our wide range of Rome hotels, and our list of must-see museums in Rome. Buon appetite!