Rome Food Guide: The Best Restaurants in Rome (By Neighborhood)

Pizza, pasta, gelato, and more. Here are the best restaurants in Rome, organized by neighborhood.
woman eating gelato in rome


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I know Rome has a storied and long history, but when I think of those cobbled, Italian streets, the first things that come to mind are pizza, pasta, and lots of it. Sure, the tours of the Colosseum and Pantheon are great, but the reason I go back to Italy is for the food. 

Food is the backbone of Italian culture–it’s where tradition meets art. Ancient recipes are delivered on an exquisite plate. Simple yet for some reason, incredibly difficult to replicate outside of the boot-shaped country. 

In a city as big as Rome, there’s never a shortage of mouthwatering delicacies, but it can get overwhelming trying to dodge the countless tourist traps. We’re making it easy on you with our Rome Food Guide and revealing the best restaurants in Rome, by neighborhood.

Trastevere

trastevere rome

When you think of Roman streets, the ones you are conjuring up in your mind, are likely the ones of Trastevere. It’s one of the most picturesque and vibrant neighborhoods in Rome. The hanging vines and burnt orange buildings complement the winding streets so much so that both tourists and locals are equally enamored. The neighborhood is both a great spot for classic Italian fare and to experience Rome’s vibrant nightlife. Here’s where to eat in Trastevere: 

  • Bacco: This is a great spot to taste test some of the classic Roman pastas but don’t miss out on the Secondi dishes either. We recommend the Guanciotto di Bacco, which the restaurant menu describes as “when the beef drink like fish.” The dish is a beef cheek that has been soaked in red wine and served over potatoes. The beef becomes so tender that it falls apart as soon as it hits your tongue. 
  • Trappizzino: You’ve likely seen this Italian street food spot on your Instagram. They fill soft bread pockets with things like meatballs, burrata, oxtail, and other Italian ingredients. This is a great cheap eat you can grab to go and you’ll likely see them in more than one neighborhood. We recommend grabbing a Trappizzino in Trastevere, however, because you can munch on the goodness while making your way up to Gianicolo Hill to enjoy an unbeatable view of Rome. 
  • Zia: Treat yourself to a Michelin-rated meal at Zia. It’s Italian fare taken to an exquisite fine-dining level. It’s not just a meal, it’s an experience (for you and your wallet). 
  • Polpetta: Italy isn’t all pizza and pasta. Polpetta serves up meatballs in a cool courtyard with equally delicious drinks. This could be a perfect spot for a quick, afternoon snack. 
  • Dolce Delizia: Craving something sweet? Make your way over to Dolce Delizia. You can get donuts filled with pistachio cream or go classic and try a maritozzo (a bun filled with sweet cream). Either way, you can’t go wrong. 
  • Nannarella: This place may look nondescript or a bit touristy with the checkered tablecloths, but trust that you’re getting some of the most authentic Italian food and dessert around. Plus, the portion sizes are far more generous than a lot of spots in Italy.
  • Terrazza Caffarelli: So, technically, this rooftop cafe isn’t in Trastevere but just on the other side of the river at the Capitoline Museum. I had to include it though because it’s a nice, relaxing spot to see the city and it can be très romantique (excuse the French) if you’re traveling with your partner.

Prati & St. Peter’s

prati st. peters rome

If you’re visiting St. Angelo or touring the Vatican, one thing I can guarantee is that you’re gonna need to rest your feet and refuel. The nearby Prati/St. Peter’s neighborhood is less touristy and is a great place to recharge after a long day of sightseeing. Here are the best places to eat in Prati. 

  • Bonci: If you are the type of foodie that likes to go to places that have been seen on TV, consider going to Bonci, which was featured on Chef’s Table. Be ready to brave long lines and pay a little extra.
  • Malaterra: If you’re looking for a more casual pizza spot, Malaterra is a great place to get some pizza Napoletana.
  • Fraschetta: If you’re looking for the typical Roman plates of pasta, head over to Fraschetta. Indulge in the Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, Gricia, or Amatriciana dishes while there. They also serve up delicious sheep skewers.
  • L’arena del Gelato: In Rome, I find it almost impossible to stroll without a gelato in hand. This spot is a family-owned gelateria that will satiate every sweet craving, especially on a hot day. My favorite flavors are always pistachio and hazelnut but they have an amazing strawberry flavor as well.

Campo de’ Fiori

campo de fiori rome

When literally translated, Campo de’ Fiori means “field of flowers.” You’d never know that the bustling plaza with a daily market was once a meadow. It’s now one of the hot spots for good food and cocktails. Here’s where to eat in Campo de’ Fiori:

  • Ruggeri: For a quick bite, grab a sandwich (or, as the Italians say, panini) at this little deli.
  • Osteria Trattoria da Fortunata: Experience the true Italian dining atmosphere at this gem located right off of the Campo de’ Fiori plaza. You’ll be dreaming about the handmade pasta for years to come.
  • Roscioli: If you consider yourself a foodie, don’t miss visiting Roscioli. Everything is made in-house so you can’t go wrong but be sure to order yourself something from their extensive burrata menu. It’s one of the more affordable Michelin options. If you can’t get a table at the main restaurant, head over to their sister restaurant, Antico Forno Roscioli, a few doors over and enjoy a casual slice (or square) of pizza or one or their other baked goods.
  • La Romana: Are you sick of me recommending gelato yet? No? Good.
  • Giganti: Fancy yourself a spritz? Take an afternoon rest and grab a cocktail at Giganti.

Near Piazza Navona and the Pantheon

piazza navona rome

You can’t make your way through Rome without passing through Piazza Navona or the Pantheon. Even though these are two tourist hotspots, there are some can’t-miss food experiences in the area. Here is where to eat in Piazza Navona and near the Pantheon. 

  • Two Sizes: The best tiramisu you’ll have. Just trust me. You can only take it to go, so grab your tiramisu cup and then stroll down Via del Governo Vecchio and take in all the vintage shop storefronts. Pro tip: You won’t be tempted to buy something you can’t afford when you have a tiramisu in hand.
  • Frigidarium: Right next to Two Sizes is Frigidarium, an all-natural gelato shop. The line can get quite long but it moves pretty quickly. If the line is too long there, try checking out another famous gelateria: Giolitti.
  • All’Antico Vinaio: This is probably the most famous panini shop in all of Italy. Originally from Florence, it also has a location in Rome. The lines can get long so it’s best to go early or go after the lunch rush.
  • Sant’Eustachio il Caffè: The coffee at Sant’Eustachio is famous to locals and tourists alike. The yellow packaging is hard to miss and the quality is unbeatable. Order your coffee like a true Italian and get an espresso to have at the bar. This is also a great spot to get souvenirs for your friends or yourself.
  • Cocktails: There is no shortage of good cocktail spots in these neighborhoods. Try out Mimì e Cocò for some cozy wine bar vibes or go to Cul de Sac and enjoy a cheese plate and some savory appetizers. Just note that they only serve wine there, but come on, it’s Italy, you should be having wine anyways…

Near the Spanish Steps

spanish steps rome

Personally, I feel like anything with the word “steps” or “stairs” in it should end with a treat at the end. If you find yourself at the top or bottom of the Spanish Steps, here are the best places to eat:

  • Caffe Greco: While the aforementioned Sant’Eustachio makes a mean (tiny) cup of espresso, Caffe Greco is still my favorite for an espresso bar coffee because you can also order pastries. When you visit, get anything made with their shortbread. I don’t know how they do it but it melts in your mouth. I know that’s a cliched way to describe food, but there’s no other word for it.
  • Ginger: If you find yourself needing a break from pizza and pasta, head over to Ginger for some healthier, more balanced meals. It’s also a great brunch spot.
  • Hosteria Mercato: In a similar vein, you can find organic and more modern fare at this spot.
  • Ciampini Roma : Gelato, coffee, spritz. This place has it all, no matter what you are craving. It’s a bit hard to get a seat sometimes and it’s a bit pricier than other bars in the city, but well worth it.

Testaccio

I hesitate to share what is one of the best-kept secrets from tourists but the Testaccio neighborhood is one of the best food spots in Italy. It’s just out of the way enough that tourists aren’t as likely to venture out but it maintains that classic Roman vibe. The Testaccio neighborhood doesn’t have as many landmarks as the plazas in the interior of the city, so it’s a favorite for locals to hang out. While tourists might go grab a drink in Trastevere, locals will enjoy an Aperol spritz in Testaccio. 

  • Da Bucatino: I don’t know about you but I could eat pasta, all day, every day. And I never get sick of it. Da Buacatino is the spot to get your fill of the best traditional Italian eats.
  • Osteria Fratelli Mori: This is another delicious pizza and pasta-centric spot but the plating is lovely and feels a bit more upscale without the tourist price-gouging you can experience near the main attractions in Rome. It’s also very close to Rome’s pyramid. (Did you know Rome has a pyramid?!)
  • Testaccino Bar: For a cozy bar with delicious and classic bar bites like seasoned nuts and potato chips, head to this spot. It’s intimate but modern and the perfect place for an afternoon pick-me-up.
  • Gelateria Brivido: Italians are very committed to upholding traditions and pride themselves on classic recipes. Gelateria Brivido serves that up with their gelato but they also offer vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free gelato options to keep in touch with the modern stomach.

Note: A special thank you to Una Romana for all the helpful Rome dining tips and restaurant recommendations.

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