Where to Eat in the Heart of Rome
Go for the history.
Stay for the food.
Like light as a feather pizza al taglio, cut with scissors and sold by weight. Or banana chocolate tiramisu that tastes like heaven. Or espresso with foam so thick you’ll eat it with your spoon.
And don’t even get us started on the pasta! It’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted outside of Italy. We’d even go so far as to say you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted the four Roman classics: bucatini all’ Amatriciana, pasta carbonara, cacio e pepe, and pasta all gricia.
Of course, there’s also plenty of horrible food sold in tourist traps all over the city. Especially near the major sights.
To help you steer clear of it, we’ve put together this sample one-day eatinerary.
Here are some suggestions of where to find authentic local food, even when you’re right in the middle of the tourist crush.
Where to Eat Near the Spanish Steps
Antico Caffé Greco, Via dei Condotti, 86
Start your morning with a cappuccino and pastry at the oldest café in Rome. Founded in 1760, the ornate Antico Caffé Greco was a favored haunt of Keats & Byron. Don’t skip the pastry. You’ll need the calories to power your way to the top of the longest and widest staircase in Europe, the Spanish Steps.
Where to Eat Near the Trevi Fountain
Pane e Salame, Via Santa Maria in Via, 19
Fuel up with a porchetta sandwich and glass of wine at Pane e Salame before tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain.
- One coin thrown with the right hand over the left shoulder will guarantee you a safe return to Rome.
- A second coin will have your return met with romance.
- And a third? A Roman wedding.
Where to Have an Aperitivo Near Piazza Navona
Hotel Raphael*, Largo Febo, 2
After a long day of sightseeing, head to the rooftop terrace at the Hotel Raphael for a classic Italian aperitivo, like the Aperol Spritz. The view of the surrounding rooftops and church domes is unforgettable.
Where to Eat Near the Pantheon
Armando al Pantheon, Salita dei Crescenzi, 31
Located 100 feet from Rome’s best preserved ancient monument, Armando al Pantheon serves traditional Roman fare in an old-school, wood-paneled dining room. Locals love the pasta carbonara, braised oxtail, and puntarelle with anchovy sauce.
For more great places to eat in the Centro Storico check out our self-guided food tour of Rome. You’ll taste your way through the heart of the Eternal City with stops at ten legendary venues where you can sample some of the best food in Rome.
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