The Best Restaurants In Monti, Rome

A famous caponata, cacio e pepe, vegan gelato, and other things we love to eat in one of Rome's best neighborhoods.
The Best Restaurants In Monti, Rome image

photo credit: Saghar Setareh

If sitting by a fountain in a piazza before you head to one of the city's best wine bars is on your list of things to do while in Rome, spending some time in Monti should definitely be on your list.

The neighborhood is pretty centrally-located and conveniently near the Colosseum and the Roman Forum—a.k.a the sites where you fell in love with your tour guide the last time you were here, and are hoping for a second chance at exchanging ti amos. And although it’s not as “cool as a neighborhood like Trastevere, there are plenty of buzzy spots where you can find some extremely eggy carbonara, ravioli that come served in a napkin, and scoops of vegan gelato that taste like biting into the best hazelnut you’ve ever had.

Head there during the late afternoon, check out a vintage shop or two, and then sit down for a glass of vino with locals who probably just got up from their midday nap. For more recommendations, check out our guide to all of Rome and where to find the best pasta.


photo credit: Saghar Setareh



$$$$Perfect For:Drinking Good WineLunch
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Whether you’re looking to have a very late lunch or an early light dinner, Fafiuchè is the perfect place for apericena, the Italian word that combines aperitivo and cena and means something more than a snack but not quite a full dinner. They serve wines from Piedmont and Pugliese-inspired snacks, plus a few hot dishes like lasagna and the bagna cauda, a warm garlicky anchovy dip with vegetables. If you stay for dessert, order the bruschetta Fafiuchè that takes a slice of toasted bread and tops it with thin shavings of cioccolato cremino, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

$$$$Perfect For:Quick Eats

al42 Street Food Gourmet, colloquially known as Pasta Chef, is a rare concept for Rome: it’s a casual restaurant that also does takeout. It also makes some of the best amatriciana and carbonara in Rome, with perfectly cooked al dente pasta and nice, silky sauce. It’s a great place for when you need an easy, low-stress lunch or quick dinner, and the location near the Colosseum and Roman Forum is especially convenient for a bite in-between tours. They also do a solid caesar salad and sell small bottles of wine that are perfect for solo diners.

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RME Guide

How To Eat, Drink, & See (A Lot Of) Rome In A Day

There are plenty of mediocre places to eat near the Colosseum and Roman Forum, but unlike most of them, you’ll still find some actual locals enjoying a meal here. The menu is a hybrid of Roman, Umbrian, and southern Italian cuisine, and the pasta reflects this mix—the cacio e pepe comes dusted with truffle, the ravioli is stuffed with burrata, and there’s carbonara with fava beans, artichokes, and peas. Look for the seafood specials, as they get all their stuff from the nearby seaside fishing town of Anzio.

In sightline of the Colosseum, Al vino Al vino is an unassuming neighborhood spot that’s perfect for a pre-dinner glass of wine. The front room is where the charm is, with shelves of wine bottles and ceramic tables painted with grapes and vines. Check out the by-the-glass menu that changes weekly, or settle in with a bottle from their extensive selection that has wines from the Alto Adige to Sardegna. Snack on a bowl of crunchy taralli crackers from Puglia or make a light dinner with their famous caponata, a sweet and sour eggplant stew that comes with very good bread for scooping and a mixed plate of cured meat and cheese.

Rocco is a classic Roman trattoria with polished terrazzo and starched tablecloths, but it feels a bit more laid back than some other places in the city. Sure, you might see a former president of the Republic or an Oscar-winning director at the next table, but that’s because this is their neighborhood spot. They have a menu of delicious pastas, super fresh seafood, sides of local bitter greens, and breaded lamb chops, all written in swirly script on a gridded elementary school blackboard. While there’s only one dinner seating, this restaurant hits the sweet spot between a big night out and weeknight dinner where you can wear that special outfit you bought for the trip.

Everything this dessert shop makes is made from entirely raw ingredients, from the cakes to the chocolates to their gelato. (It’s also all gluten- and lactose-free, plus vegan.) The flavor range is small with only six different types, but the distilled flavors of nuts like pistachio, hazelnut, and chocolate really shine. If you miss it in Monti, there’s also a second, smaller location in the Ghetto next to the Fontana delle Tartarughe.

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Suggested Reading

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The Best Pasta In Rome

Caravaggios, the Colosseum, and Baroque fountains are great, but admit it, you’re in Rome for the pasta. 

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Coffee, suppli, gelato, pasta, and wine—here’s how to cram it all into one day.

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Classic trattorias, fantastic pasta, great coffee, and where to eat like a local.

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