5 top tips for delicious cuisine in Rome

 

Rome is a beautiful city with a history that spans more than more than 2,500 years with so many fascinating things to see and do – so much so that the wonderful culinary experiences you can have there sometimes get overlooked.  Here are my top five tips for tracking down the best  food and drink in Italy’s capital city.

1. The best Carbonara in town

Probably the best-known traditional dish from Rome is Spaghetti Carbonara and the Roscioli restaurant and deli on Via dei Gubbonari is reputed to serve the best in town. Booking a table is highly recommended, as this great restaurant is rather small and very popular with the locals. Ask for a table at the back as those in the front run alongside the deli counter. Advanced bookings can be made through their website.

2. Pizza by the slice and Piazza Bianca

For the perfect lunchtime snack, check out Antico Forno Marco Roscioli just around the corner on Via dei Chiavari. They serve very tasty pizza and pizza bianca, which is pizza without any toppings. It’s very moreish. There are a couple of tables and bar stools or you can buy a slice and eat it on the go.

3. Authentic artisan gelato

There are many great gelatarias in Rome and a few not so great ones! In artisan establishments selling hand made gelato only flavours that are in season will be available, so you won’t find strawberry gelato in winter, for example. Another great way to tell at a glance the likely quality of all the flavours is to check out the colour of the banana gelato, which should be cream, not bright yellow or pistachio, which should be pale brown with a hint of green but most definitely not bright green. My favourite gelataria in Rome is Il Gelato on Piazza Monte D’oro which has over 90 flavours to choose from including 17 varieties of chocolate, as well as many more unusual flavours, such as salted peanut and toasted sesame seed, both of which are surprisingly good.

4. The perfect coffee

It is said in Rome that the worse the view the better the coffee, although Sant’Esutachio Il Caffè, which is reputed to serve the best coffee in Rome, is on a pleasant piazza of the same name and the view isn’t at all bad.

5. Gourmet souvenirs

Without doubt, in my opinion at least, the stall of Monica and Jocelma in the market on Campo dei Fiori is THE place to find the best edible or indeed drinkable souvenirs of Rome. They will happily let you ‘try before you buy’ from their splendid collection of extra virgin olive oils, liqueurs, sauces and more. I strongly recommend that you try their aged balsamic vinegar; if you have not tasted it before you may well be pleasantly surprised by its sweetness; it would be quite at home drizzled over peaches and gelato.

A great way to discover more about food (and wine) in Rome is to join one of the many wonderful tours and tastings that are on offer. I can highly recommend Walks of Italy’s food tour and Vino Roma’s wine and cheese tasting, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed during my last visit to Rome.

Kathryn Burrington is Author of Travel with Kat.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Malin says:

    Brilliant tips, heading for Rome in December, can’t wait, any tips on a high end not to be missed gourmet restaurant?

  2. Marco says:

    Dear Malin,

    Don’t miss

    Filippo La Mantia at Hotel Majestic in Via Veneto for great sicilian food revised in a gourmet key: supertasty experience in a fancy location in the heart of Rome.

    Tuna in Via Veneto for great seafood in a fantastic cosy yet cool location.

    Do not hesitate to write me for any further information you may need… Rome is a great spot for foodies!

    Warm regards and a safe trip,

    Marco

  3. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Marco for getting back to Malin. Sounds great.

    Malin, think we’ve already chatted about this on twitter but in case anyone else is interested try Metamorfosi or Glass Hostaria, both of which come highly recommended.
    Many thanks, Kathryn

  4. Andrea says:

    Great tips Kathryn,
    I’ve been living in Rome for 5 years and I absolutely agree on the cafe’, but if I may in regards of ice creams I will add the gelato di San Crispino, simply the best.
    Now I’m in Budapest, any intention to come to visit Budapest soon?
    Andrea

  5. Nathalie says:

    Unfortunately Il Gelato on Piazza di Monte d’Oro has closed. You now have to go to Viale Aventino to sample the goods.

  6. Kathryn says:

    @ Andrea, I think I need to visit Rome again soon to try out your suggestion. I’m always pleased to hear other people’s advice. I’ve never been to Budapest but would love to visit sometime.

    @ Nathalie, Thanks for the up date. What a shame but I know Il Gelato have a number of branches. I must try and get to them all when I next visit!

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