The Best Restaurants In Rome

Because who needs history lessons when you have carbonara?
Rigatoni carbonara and plate of fried artichoke at Trattoria da Enzo 29

photo credit: Maela Bonafede

Rome is famously chaotic, and a fascinating mix of very old-meets-very-new: you’ll find wifi hotspots at ancient monuments, over 900 churches and nearly as many electric Bird scooters, and an Apple store in the historic Palazzo Marignoli, frescos intact. The Roman food scene reflects this same tangle of ancient and modern. 

Romans, and Italians more generally, are very particular about how they eat. Breakfast is fast and sweet and taken at the bar of a cafe. Lunch really can be the long, multi-course feast that you’ve seen in the movies, especially on weekends, and dinner is late by US standards, with many places not even opening until 8pm.

When dining in Rome, here are a few cardinal rules to follow: Try at least one (or all) of the renowned pasta dishes—cacio e pepe, gricia, carbonara, and amatriciana. Don’t leave without sampling supplì, fried baccalà, and pizza. Allocate one breakfast for a maritozzo. And of course, treat yourself to gelato as often as possible.


photo credit: Saghar Setareh



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Some people ride or die for carbonara, or think cacio e pepe is the pinnacle of Roman cooking. But for us, Trecca shows it’s all about the quinto quarto, or what’s known as offal, the discarded animal parts that are “I can’t believe I’m eating this and actually enjoying it” kind of delicious. Their regaje di pollo e patate is the perfect example—lusciously tender chicken innards sauteed with rosemary and white wine, served in a pan alongside small cubes of the crispiest potatoes you’ll ever taste. Or their rigatoni alla pajata, which might just make you suddenly crave milk-fed veal intestines. We love coming solo to sit at the bar and chat with the chef), or with friends to sit outside during the summer. Just know Trecca is a bit outside the city—four metro stops from the Colosseum, about a 15-minute taxi ride—but it’s worth the commute.

photo credit: Maela Bonafede

Capo Boi serves arguably the best seafood in all of Rome, but that’s just one of the reasons you should have dinner here. On paper, it seems like it might be stuffy: the upscale restaurant is located in Parioli, one of Rome’s most elegant districts. But the atmosphere is more relaxed, like attending a dinner party hosted by your fun uncle who owns a megayacht (but doesn’t tell anyone). You’ll find starters like paper-thin pane carasau, a crackly Sardinian flatbread, topped with thin shavings of salty bottarga, alongside platters of raw fish, oysters, mussels, and shrimp. There are equally delicious entrees, like large, tender filets of salt-baked spigola, set on fire before being served by your waiter who may or may not have just burned his eyebrows off. Come with a big group so you can devour as much seafood as possible.

You should have your last meal in Rome at Trattoria da Enzo. It’s a simple, lively restaurant with checkered tablecloths and daily specials scrawled on a chalkboard, and it’s exactly the type of place you’ll be dreaming about once you’re back home and nothing in your fridge looks good. Although it’s located on the quieter side of Trastevere, this trattoria is always buzzing, with a perpetual line snaking out the door. To make waiting more enjoyable, sip an Aperol spritz while getting to know your soon-to-be fellow diners, discussing whether gelato counts as breakfast (it does). Once you've successfully snagged a seat, start with the crispy artichokes and stracciatella with cherry tomatoes, followed by the silkiest rigatoni alla carbonara you'll ever taste. Wrap up your meal with their tiramisu that has surprising (but very welcome) dollops of Nutella.

Everything in Rome comes with a history lesson, including a meal at Piatto Romano. It’s located in Testaccio, a neighborhood where cucina Romana was basically invented. Order the offal, amatriciana, and the great daily specials like crispy artichokes. They also offer a fantastically-fresh salad with local mixed greens dressed in a zesty, light vinaigrette (yes, Italians do eat salads). Dessert is equally old-school: go with the tiramisu or the ricotta e visciole and a bitter shot of genziana, a gentian root liqueur made in the mountains of Abruzzo. It’s best for a long, mid-week lunch or a quieter dinner in their newly refurbished dining room.

Giggetto is in the heart of Rome’s Jewish Ghetto. Once a place of poverty and oppression, this vibrant and historic neighborhood is home to the city’s main synagogue, shops, an ancient archaeological site, and fantastic restaurants where you can try Roman Jewish cuisine. You’ll find traditional Roman Jewish appetizers like filetto di baccalà and deep-fried whole artichokes whose leaves become thin and crispy like potato chips. This is not a kosher restaurant, so you can still try the gricia, a pasta sauce with pecorino cheese and crispy chunks of guanciale, or the amatriciana made with bucatini. In the warmer weather, grab a table outside next to fragments of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo.

Everybody and their mom might've told you to go to Roscioli while you're in Rome. Beyond being extremely difficult to get into, lately we've found the quality has slipped—maybe that's just what happens when you expand and open a restaurant in NYC. Head to its sibling bakery instead. Antico Forno Roscioli is ideal for quick slices of pizza, supplì, and panini, especially the pizza con patate stuffed with freshly-sliced porchetta, which tastes even better if you order a side of chicory greens, and pile them on top of the pork. Don't forget to pick up a bag of ciambelline, the circle-shaped cookies perfect for dipping in wine or coffee, or a slice of ricotta chocolate chip crostata to take back to your hotel.

Osteria Der Belli is the type of restaurant where you might run into an Italian actor you’ve seen on TV. Grab a seat outside on their shaded patio, and go to town on a bowl of spaghetti alle vongole while discreetly Googling that famous-looking person at the table over. Then, order their thin slices of melt-in-your-mouth tuna on top of a bed of crispy potato rounds, or whatever the fish of the day is. End the meal with their refreshing crema gelato crowned with strawberries, or sgroppino—icy lemon sorbet that they top with prosecco and mirto, a classic Sardinian berry liqueur.

You may finish your lunch at La Tavernaccia Da Bruno and walk out wondering “What year is it?” Or more importantly, “When can I move in?” You’ll be at this Trastevere spot for a long time, not only because their hefty wine list reads like a novel, but because they serve comfort food so good, you simply won’t want to leave. It’s one of the best places to try some of Italy’s greatest hits, like cheesy eggplant parmigiana, hearty coda alla vaccinara, and thick slices of oven-roasted maialino, a.k.a. suckling pig. On Sundays, though, their five-layered lasagna with its crisp edges is a must-try. And save room for whatever the dessert of the day is, especially if it’s the perfectly moist and chocolatey torta caprese.

Even though there are white tablecloths on every table, the atmosphere is anything but pretentious at Pecorino. A Sunday lunch here has the vibe of your long-lost cousin’s home who has old family pictures hanging on the wall of relatives you’ve never met or even heard of before. Yes, the waiters are dressed in fancy white button-downs, but you can tell they’ve been working here since they were teenagers, particularly because of how sarcastic and decisive they are. The portions are generous and unhurried, a quality much appreciated when delving into their creamy carbonara and the maltagliati con carciofi—irregularly-shaped flat pasta tossed with garlicky, oily artichokes and pecorino. For dessert, try their light and fluffy zabaione cake that’s sweet and eggy in the best way.

If any restaurant could make you feel like you’re living in a Federico Fellini film, it’d be Roma Sparita. Especially when you’re having lunch outside, beneath umbrellas and checkered tablecloths in a vast, tranquil piazza, snacking on zucchini squash blossoms and artichokes, both fried to perfection. Everyone around you will likely order the cacio e pepe made with handmade tagliolini noodles and served in a shell of pecorino, but the star of the show is their gnocchi alle vongole, featuring pillows of pasta that soak up all the best bits of the clam sauce. Don’t leave without trying the tripe, bathed in a tomato sauce and dashed with mint and pecorino.

Pasticceria Boccione is the sole kosher bakery left in Rome’s historic Jewish Ghetto. This is not a coincidence: their baked tart brimming with a mound of ricotta cheese and thin layer of wild cherry jam is the best in the city. Their second greatest item is their pizza ebraica—a sweet bread filled with candied fruit and toasted nuts. Cram into the bakery (which is smaller than a walk-in closet), place your order with one of the kind sisters who run the place behind the counter, and don’t be alarmed if your baked goods have a cracked crust or burnt edge—that’s all part of the charm.

Armando al Pantheon has been serving straightforward classics throughout its six decades of family ownership. Come here for simple and excellent Roman food, including fantastic amatriciana made with rigatoni and a sublime spaghetti alla carbonara. You can get a half-portion of pasta if you want to save some room for a second course, like the saltimbocca alla romana or the tripe cooked in tomato with pecorino cheese. Just make sure to book your visit in advance—Armando al Pantheon is closed on Sundays and remains one of the toughest reservations to get last minute.

After sidestepping waiters luring you in for an overpriced aperitivo, stop for dinner at Dar Filettaro in Campo de' Fiori. It’s our pick for Rome’s iconic baccalà, the massive filet of fried salted cod. Even though the setting is laid back, their fish is anything but casual: so tender yet crispy, you might wake up the Pope with every bite. And you can’t have the baccalà without the puntarelle. The curly chicory shoots tossed in an anchovy vinaigrette bring some much-needed acidity to the party. If the weather’s nice, grab a table outside on the lively piazza where you can gaze at the slightly-leaning Santa Barbara dei Librai church.

photo credit: Saghar Setareh



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Giano, which is located in the W hotel, has a prix-fixe lunch special that’s one of the best deals in Rome. After you’re seated in their swanky dining room with velvet chairs and sofas, you’ll get a complimentary bread basket filled with crispy housemade focaccia, wheat bread from Antico Forno Roscioli, and flavorful breadsticks, alongside whipped ricotta with olive oil and a dusting of ground capers. That alone could be a meal, but you’ll also get to pick an antipasto and pasta, like the zesty fennel and orange salad and, without exception, spaghetto taratatà. This dish packs a punch: al dente, made-in-house spaghettone is bathed in lemon, garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes, then topped with toasted breadcrumbs, parsley, tuna bottarga, and grouper carpaccio that tastes straight from the Sicilian coast.

If you read the intro to this guide (we have faith you did, by the way), you know a trip to Rome isn't complete without a maritozzo for breakfast. And Pasticceria Regoli, a century-old bakery near the Termini train station, is where you should have your first of many. Sweet, yeasty buns get neatly filled with a generous mound of whipped cream, and make for the perfect start to the day. Arrive early: the bakery opens at 7am, so they’ll probably be sold out before noon. And if you’re catching the train to go to Naples for the day, stock up on some other snacks for the ride, like their wild strawberry tarts and pistachio cream-filled cornetti.

Romanè is the sit-down restaurant owned by the same team behind Trapizzino. Unlike its counterpart, this is the spot for a more formal dinner, as their tables are lined with lace paper placemats and hand-painted ceramic plates hang on the walls. The menu skips pizza pockets entirely, focusing instead on Roman classics like ultra-creamy carbonara topped with expertly crispy strips of guanciale, as well as pollo alla cacciatora, which consists of chicken simmered slowly with wine, garlic, rosemary, and “magic” (yes, this is a real ingredient, according to their menu). And it’s so good, we can’t help but believe them. They also have an excellent wine list, featuring some great organic and biodynamic bottles from all over Italy.

Even if you’ve eaten too many pastries for breakfast, you’ll need a snack before your late dinner. A deep-fried rice ball from Supplì Roma is the move. This busy, pint-sized takeout spot in Trastevere changes their flavors daily, but you’ll probably find Roman staples like coda alla vaccinara, a rich and tomatoey oxtail stew, cacio e pepe, or carbonara. Break one in half, and stretch the melty cheese like an accordion before absolutely housing it. They do other things besides supplì, too. The most worthy being a slice of pizza rossa, which is smothered in an anchovy-and-garlic-laden marinara sauce so shimmery you’ll want to ask for its skincare routine.

Siciliainbocca in Prati feels like one of Palermo’s bustling markets, without all of the singing about ricotta in a thick Sicilian dialect. There are ceramics like pinecones and teste di moro lining the walls, while colorful platters of fruit, vegetables, and the fresh catch of the day sit on display. Definitely get something fried in addition to the excellent eggplant caponata and softly-smoked ricotta served with orange chili marmalade, before diving into whatever their special pasta is. Even if you're convinced there's no room left in your stomach post-dinner-feast, think twice: the sweet granita that’s loaded with milk, sugar, and nuts or fruit and paired with a warm, chewy brioche bun is one of the greatest icy desserts you can find in Rome.

Trattoria Pennestri is in Ostiense, a modern residential neighborhood outside of Rome’s historic center where you can find more street art and apartment blocks than fountains and cobblestones. The menu includes classics like carbonara, amatriciana, and cacio e pepe, as well as less traditional dishes, like the decidedly un-Roman seared duck breast with different seasonal sauces. For dessert, try the chocolate mousse that’s served with pane carasau, rosemary, and sea salt. Come here for a weekend lunch on the patio under the umbrellas, or for a candlelight dinner in the romantic dining room.

If you’re looking for a light bite and good natural wine, along with the occasional DJ playing old-school rap and Italian songs you can’t understand but definitely want to dance to, head to Circoletto, a wine bar near Circo Massimo. It’s pretty cheeky and fun here—a sign proudly reads “no spritz” beside their wifi password “zerofucks55” and the bathroom’s decked out in random stickers. The menu has small, mainly traditional plates with a twist, a standout being their pizza bianca filled with pastrami di lingua. It’s like a fancier, tastier version of a BLT, with crispy focaccia instead of white bread, and tender tongue pastrami instead of bacon.

This is one of Rome’s best covered markets, and many of the stalls have been in families for generations selling fish, meat, and produce. Not to mention several food vendors serve things like fresh pasta, pizza, and sandwiches. Head to Casa Manco for pizza rossa that’s spiked with chili and a scattering of parsley and mint, or to Morde e Vai, a sandwich shop that serves up crusty rolls filled with stewed beef, tripe, or meatballs. You should also try to snag one of the eight stools in front of Da Corrado al Banco 18 for a glass of natural wine (pick between their pasta of the day and the meatballs—or alternatively, do both). Just know that if you go on Mondays, some places might be closed.

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 including cacio e pepe, seafood fresh from Anzio, 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 your trip.

You know that Italy is famous for its pizza, but in Rome, full pizza pies (as opposed to slices, called pizza al taglio) are typically eaten at dinner, not lunch. But if a single slice just won’t do, head to Emma near Campo de' Fiori. The pizza here is thin-crusted Roman style with toppings like the best buffalo mozzarella from Paestum, tomatoes from the slopes of Vesuvius, prosciutto from Tuscany, and anchovies from Sicily. There’s an excellent wine list, an interesting collection of craft beers, outside seating under umbrellas, and a bright dining room.

Pizza al taglio is the perfect snack, especially if it comes from this bakery behind the flower sellers in the Campo de' Fiori. Long strips of pizza bianca get topped with tomato sauce or thinly sliced potatoes, or come stuffed with mortadella or zucchini flowers. Take it all to go and eat it while leaning against a fountain in view of a palace that Michelangelo designed in the next piazza over.

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—they take a slice of toasted bread and top it with thin shavings of cioccolato cremino, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

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