Italian food is world-renowned as one of the best cuisines ever. If you ask me, the food in Rome offers the best Italian food in the entire country. Here you can find slow-cooked sensations from the north and mouth-watering dishes from the south. The food in Rome is something special and I can guarantee it will be hard to leave this culinary gem. If you’re keen to taste the best of Italian gastronomy, all delicious roads lead to Rome!

food in rome pizzeria

So let’s dig in! The best food in Rome and some of the best restaurants in Rome too

1) Cacio e Pepe

The dish has just 3 quality ingredients. Spaghetti, fresh black pepper, and grated pecorino, a salty, aged sheep’s milk cheese.

food in rome cacio e pepe

Only 3 ingredients to create this incredible food in Rome. Cacio e pepe is AMAZING! Photo Credit: BBC.com

It’s one of the simplest Italian recipes, yet one that brings the most satisfaction. The secret to a good cacio e pepe dish is of course using the best ingredients, and then getting the method of cooking just right. 

The finely grated pecorino and black pepper are combined with cooked spaghetti and a little of its cooking water. It’s stirred vigorously to create a silky sauce. Learn more about this dish in this article by BBC.com.

2) Saltimbocca alla Romana

The key to this dish is to use ingredients of the highest quality. Saltimbocca translates to “jumps in your mouth”, and once you try this dish, you’ll understand why.

food in rome saltimbocca

Saltimbocca. Food in Rome you’re bound to eat more than once during a visit. Photo Credit: delicious.com.au

These tasty small veal cutlets layered with prosciutto crudo and topped with fresh sage are pan-fried in butter and wine.

They’re best eaten hot and with some crusty Italian bread to mop up all the delicious juice from the pan.

3) Baccala 

Cod is a staple of Roman-Jewish cuisine and is prevalent in Mediterranean cooking. Salted cod is fried in egg batter and served hot in Rome. 

  • Where to eat the best Baccala food in Rome? A little place called Dar Filettaro a Santa Barbara located near Campo de’ Fiori.

4) Suppli – Delicious Snack Food in Rome

Romans eat dinner quite late in the evening, and sometimes you just need a few snacks to tide you over until then. Fritti, or fried snacks are the perfect fillers.

food in rome suppli

Much loved food in Rome is Suppli. Don’t miss it! Photo Credit: trappizino.it

An ideal choice is the supplì, a fried rice ball or cone combined with mozzarella cheese and ragu and even pumpkin risotto and bechamel sauce.

They’re dipped in egg, breadcrumbs, and finally deep-fried until golden. Served hot, these are simply the best!

  • Where to find the best Suppli street food in Rome? La Casa dei Supplì in Trastevere has many versions and they’re all spectacular.

5) Carbonara 

Carbonara is food in Rome that you need to try, and it could taste much different to the carbonara you’ve been cooking back home. All recipes for carbonara in Rome do not include the addition of cream.

Ingredients for carbonara in Rome will include; spaghetti, pancetta (guanciale or cured pork jowl), eggs, pecorino, and black pepper. 

food in rome spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Food in Rome that will definitely make you smile. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Most carbonara recipes are prepared using spaghetti, however, it is also prepared with rigatoni and bucatini works very well for this dish.

  • Where to eat Carbonara food in Rome? Trattoria Da Enzo is a quaint little eatery serving Roman classics.

6) Spaghetti or Bucatini alla Gricia

It’s probably no surprise to you by now that our list of the best food in Rome includes one include just a few ingredients. I love this dish because it’s easy to prepare and so memorable. Only the finest guanciale and pecorino cheese are the main features of this dish.

These two quality ingredients produce a meal that will surely become one of your favourites too.

food in rome spaghetti alla Gricia

Food in Rome is all about pasta! This dish is simply wonderful.

7) Trapizzino

Trapizzino is a triangle-shaped pocket of soft pizza dough stuffed with a variety of ingredients. Think fillings such as braised beef, chicken, meatballs, Napoli sauce and cheese or fried eggplant. 

  • Where to eat Trapizzino food in Rome? Head to a spot named Trapizzino. My favourite locations are in Testaccio and Trastevere, but there are a couple of others in Rome too. 

8) Aperitivo

It’s my favourite time of day in Rome! Every day, around 7.00 pm it’s time for aperitivo! This is a cultural ritual in Italy that means to have a pre-meal drink, and often snacks and bites are offered.

This tradition is meant ‘to open’ the stomach before dining.

food in rome aperitivo time

Aperitivo time! My favourite time for food in Rome.

The evening aperitivo vibes in Rome are fantastic! The sun is low in the sky, it’s not nearly so hot and it’s perfect to choose a place to enjoy aperitivo to meet friends or just go on your own and meet people. 

  • Where to enjoy aperitivo, the best food in Rome to end your day? I recommend Il Goccetto for amazing wines and plates of charcuterie & cheese. If you’re around Trastevere, there are many great places – just follow the locals!

9) Pizza al Taglio

My favourite street food in Rome is pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice). There are so many variations to choose from, and once you enter the shop, they’re all lined up in front of you to make your choice.

food in rome pizza al taglio

Food in Rome that you need to try is definitely pizza al taglio

Choose the classic margarita, tomato sauce and mozzarella; or perhaps ham and artichoke hearts is more your style? There are simple options of just olive oil and salt on top or even pizza topped with sliced potatoes, rosemary and salt.

If you’re heading to Florence, don’t miss these 5 places with the best pizza in Florence.

Our 2-day itinerary in Florence is perfect for visitors with just a few days to explore.

  • Where to find the best Pizza al Taglio food in Rome? So many places do fantastic pizza al taglio, but I’m a big fan of Antico Forno Roscioli.

10) L’amatriciana

Many of the best Italian dishes are often made with simple ingredients, and this is one of them. Amatriciana is a thick tomato sauce prepared with tomatoes, olive oil, guanciale (pork jowl), dry white wine and chillies.

The best pasta to use for this dish is either bucatini or spaghetti. Topped with grated pecorino cheese and a glass of red wine, you’ve got yourself a winning dish! 

My recommendation is to head to any of the small restaurants in Rome, Trastevere to devour this classic Italian dish.

food in rome bucatini l'amatriciana

Simple and delicious food in Rome is a plate of Bucatini L’Amatriciana. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Join a Food Tour or Cooking Class in Rome

I encourage you to immerse yourself even further and learn more about Italian cuisine by joining a food tour or cooking class in Rome. We’ve done several food experiences in this city and there are so many to choose from.

But, here are my 3 recommendations that will not disappoint.

Street Food Tour of Rome with a Local Guide – A 4.5 hour guided walking tour of Rome while tasting authentic Roman specialities. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Choose either a private or small-group tour and try artisanal goodies such as pizza, supplì, gelato and more.

Evening Food Tour of Rome – This evening food tour in Rome takes you to the city’s foodie neighbourhoods and visit much loved local food spots. With over 20 tastings, this tour is value for money.

You’ll also get a good idea of places to return to for next time.

food in rome pizza dough

Pasta & Tiramisu Workshop for Dinner – A cooking class in the heart of the city. Cook like an Italian and learn how to make pasta from scratch, and the famous Tiramisù dessert from simple and fresh ingredients.

Of course, you get to enjoy what you’ve cooked after class in a relaxing environment.

Where to Stay in Rome

Good food in Rome is everywhere and the city is connected by a good metro service. When choosing a place to stay for foodies, I’d recommend choosing a hotel in Campo di Fiori area.

This is a good area and it’s not too far to Trastevere where you will have a mountain of great options for cafes, restaurants and opportunities for aperitivo in the evening.

I’ve listed 3 hotels in this area below that I recommend for every budget.

food in rome city views

Budget Hotel – Navona Nice Room – If you want to visit all of Rome’s attractions on foot, this is a fantastic place to stay. Offers good value for money with some great restaurants nearby. Check prices here.

Mid Range Hotel – Sora Luxury Inn– An excellent location in the centre of Rome, close to Campo di Fiori and offering city views and free WiFi. A short distance of Largo di Torre Argentina, Synagogue of Rome and Pantheon. Check prices here.

Luxury Hotel – Navona 49 is located directly in Rome’s Piazza Navona square. The Pantheon is only 450m away on foot. Offering spacious rooms and apartments, rooms include satellite flat-screen TV and a minibar. Breakfast is served in the comfort of your room. Check prices here.

food in rome pasta dishes

Best Things to Do in Rome

We’ve covered everything to see and do in our detailed post – The Perfect Itinerary for 3 Days in Rome. If you don’t have that much time here or have visited before, below are some of the most popular tours in Rome.

One thing is for sure, there are endless things to do in this city and it’s, without doubt, one of our favourite cities in Europe. 

I hope you enjoyed our list of the best food in Rome. Our 7 tips to find the best food when travelling may also be useful for seeking out more amazing places to eat. What is your favourite Roman dish? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it to our ‘foodie list’ for our next visit.

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A Few Tips for Travel in Italy

We adore this country and these are our 15 Best Places to Visit in Italy

You may also enjoy this post about the top 10 best things to do in Venice. We love to travel by train in Italy, it’s a very efficient and easy way to get around the country. Check out these 4 reasons to travel around Italy by train. 

And if you’re planning to do visit Vatican City when in Rome (and you definitely should), we recommend that you book one of these top-rated Vatican Tours

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