Italy is famous for many things – history, heritage, culture, romance, scenery…and food.
Our dishes have travelled around the world with Italians who have made their homes on far away shores. However, there is nothing quite like eating Italian food in Italy, and one of the best places to experience Italian food is in Rome. However, to get the best culinary experience, you must eat like a local in Rome. This is very important. Here’s how to do it:
The number one rule is to avoid the restaurants packed with tourists.
To find authentic, top quality food in Rome, stay off the beaten track. The best places to eat and drink are usually the ones that are not packed with tourists, and those that have a steady trade from locals. Sometimes it is easy to pop into the restaurant that’s right next door to one of the main sights. However, if you work harder and look for those restaurants that are not on the main squares and exclusively focused on tourists, then you will be rewarded.
Coffee and Breakfast
One of the best places for coffee is Caffè Sant’Eustachio – located not far from the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona. It is very busy with locals who like its home-roasted coffee beans and water from an ancient aqueduct in the city. It’s been in business since the 1930s and the latest owners still use the same process to get the same quality. You will find it at Piazza di S. Eustachio, 82, 00186 Roma, Italy. Enjoy!
LunchLa Taverna dei Fori Imperiali
is a well-established, family run business situated not far from the Colosseum at Via della Madonna dei Monti 9. Here you will find classic Italian dishes on the menu. Locals always know to ask for information on the specials!
If you are looking for a lunch ‘to go’ option then try Fa-bìo. They sell salads, wraps, juices, smoothies as well as sweet treats. Everything is organic and home made using in-season products. They are located not far from the Vatican, in a quiet side street – Via Germanico 43. It’s a perfect stop after you finish our Tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.
La Carbonara is an excellent, traditional Italian restaurant. I’m pretty sure you will love this place. Based in Monti – Via Panisperna 214, you will find traditional and very well cooked pasta dishes. It has had the same owner and chef for the last 30 years. It’s lively and offers very good quality.
Another good option for dinner (breakfast or lunch, too!) is Ginger – located not far from the Spanish Steps on Via Borgognona. It offers a change from pasta and pizza. They use local, organic and sustainable produce and are vegan and vegetarian friendly. Those with any kind of intolerance will also find delicious choices here.
If you specifically want Pizza, then I’ve enjoyed visiting ‘Gusto at Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 9. The Pizzeria is located on the ground floor of the premises – serving classic pizzas as well as new interpretations. All are baked in a wood oven by Master Neapolitan Pizza Chefs.
You will find many of these throughout Rome and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them, as I’ve never found one that’s less than good. However, to eat like a local and get a taste of something divine, check out Ciampini, which is between the Spanish Steps and the Piazza Navona. The ice cream is traditionally handmade and the choice of flavours is truly vast!
Let Gray Line I love Rome help you eat like a local in Rome.
Gray Line I love Rome is your local sightseeing expert when you visit Rome. If you are a foodie, or you just love Italian food, then we have THE best tours for food lovers. You will literally taste your way through Rome! You can check them out at graylinerome.com/rome-tours/foodies/
You’ll find more information on our other tours in Rome at the Gray Line I love Rome website at graylinerome.com We’ll be able to help you explore our fabulous city – whether it’s on our food tours, or tours of our best known sights in Rome.
“We did online booking through Gray Line Tours official website for the English guided tour Ancient Rome Walking Tour – Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill. The tour was very good, informative and started right on time and well organised Thanks to your guide. My husband and I were amazed at the depth of his knowledge, friendliness and his energy. At 40 euros per person inclusive of entrance tickets, it was very reasonably priced compared to other tour operators.”