I’ve been in Rome really many times. The capital of Italy is famous for its unusual history, amazing monuments, and the walk through the Eternal City itself takes us to a completely different space-time. I don’t know a person who at least once in his life wouldn’t like to see the historical Colosseum, the Roman Forum or the unique, magical Trevi Fountain!
However, this time I go to Rome for a completely different purpose – culinary! Usually, the tour around the city was taking much of my time, and as a result, I lacked the strength and willingness to research food.
That’s why before this year’s trip I prepared a list of all the restaurants / bars that I want to visit and I decided to focus primarily on gastro-sightseeing. And as Rome can be visited “on foot”, in the end I managed to combine pleasant (admiring monuments) with useful (food)!
In Rome, I spent about two days and the gastro-guide below reflects my trip plan by 100%. I returned delighted, so I also encourage you to use my advice / suggestions!
Day I – but breakfast is first
Before you start exploring the city, first eat a real Italian breakfast, which thanks to a large dose of sugar will certainly give you energy for a long day.
What’s characteristic of? First of all, it differs significantly from that which we know and practice in Poland. It usually consists of cornetto (Italian croissant) and cappuccino (Italians drink them only before noon!) or caffe (intense espresso, not just “coffee”).
You’ll find such a delicious set in the morning in every Italian bar. This time I was very lucky because I managed to hunt two fresh cornetto with white chocolate! <3 I think, I don’t have to write how it taste ?! You shouldn’t pay more than 1 euro for cornetto, and 1.30 euro for a cappuccino.
Pizza for the second breakfast?
For the second breakfast I decided to go to the famous and now extremely popular pizzeria in Rome – Pizzarium Bonci, where you will eat a real Roman pizza and pezzi, or pizza to pieces. I need to say the truth – it was one of the main reasons for the trip to the Eternal City! There are rumors that they serve there the best pizza in Rome. I can’t verify it accurately (I spent too little time in Rome), but it is definitely one of the best pizzerias in the Italian capital!
The restaurant is located close to the Vatican, so take it into your plan when visiting this part of the city. It’s best to get off at the metro stop – Cipro, then walk for 5 minutes along the street until you see a crowd of hungry people, leading to a small Pizzarium, selling pizza to pieces. You can take some time to “unhooking” this point – usually very long queues lead to Bonci.
Before entering, you take a number from the machine and wait patiently for your turn. I was very impressed with the number system – something that makes life much easier and generally I didn’t expect such an extremely rational solution in chaotic Italy!
As for the pizza itself, it’s hard to decide what to choose – we will find there a lot of unusual, non-standard proposals. Personally, I recommend the central composition from the photo – pizza with spicy sausage Nduja, mozzarella and potatoes. An amazing combination!
Pizza from Bonci is light, crispy and the ingredients freshness is amazing! It’s true that it’s not the cheapest (but I paid 20 euro for a pizza box), but what You wouldn’t do for a delicious pizza ?!
The next stop will be street-food in my favorite neighborhood in Rome. I decided to get there by a walk from the Vatican, on the way passing the castle and the bridge of St. Angel, while making a small break for a pizza from Bonci.
Another stop – street-food on Trastevere
Continuing along the river, you’ll reach the most atmospheric neighborhood in Rome – the magical Trastevere. Why do I like it so much? There are fewer tourists, lots of beautiful, picturesque streets and, above all, a lot of original street art. Well, prices in restaurants are definitely lower than in the center of Rome!
The first gastronomic destination in Trastevere was to try the Roman Trapizzino. All you have to do, is go through Ponte Sisto, and then immediately before your eyes will appear a gray-red inscription “Vineria Roma – Trapizzino”, meaning entry into a small, very narrow place.
And what is this mysterious trapizzino? This name came from the combination of two words – pizza and Tramezzino, an Italian sandwich in the shape of a triangle. Trapizzino was invented in 2008 by the Roman pizzaiolo – Stefano Callegari, who decided to combine the love for a pizza with traditional Roman cuisine in one dish.
The “foundation” of trapizzino is a triangular “pocket”, made of a cake characteristic of “pizza bianca”, soft inside, crunchy on the outside (btw a similar best bianca pizza in Rome can be eaten at Antico Forno Roscioli). The trapizzino is filled with classics of Roman and Italian cuisine, such as, for example, polpette al sugo (meatballs in tomato sauce), pollo alla cacciatora (chicken with herbs, tomatoes, peppers and wine), or parmigiana di melanzane (baked aubergines).
In the restaurant you’ll also try the second type of typical Roman street-food – suppli, which very much resembles Sicilian arancini. The word itself comes from the French “surprise”, which is usually the mysterious filling of the suppli. It is a fried ball, filled with rice in the middle and a classic version of tomato sauce with mozzarella.
The offer also includes various other compositions prepared for the day. I had the opportunity to try a delicious “ajo e ojo”, which refers to the cult pasta “con aglio, olio e peperoncino” – with garlic, olive oil and chilli. It was really delicious!
Ristorante Carlo Menta – how to eat quite tasty and cheap
Another restaurant “to go” at Trastevere was the Carlo Menta restaurant, where I decided to try a typical Roman dish – Cacio e Pepe pasta (7 euros).
It is a pasta with coarsely ground pepper and Roman Pecorino Romano cheese. It would seem that such a pasta is nothing special… Nothing could be more wrong! Once again, the rule which applies to the Italian pizza: the less ingredients, the better and most of all the more tasty!
The restaurant has a lot of space – both inside and outside, and the prices are really low. The pizza they serve there didn’t look the best, lasagne (5 euro), which my friend ordered tasted not so well, while tiramisu (3 euro) was delicious. A glass of wine was from just 2 euros!
Carbonara for the dinner – Da Francesco
Originally, I had to go for a dinner to the recommended by many people Enoteca Corsi, which unfortunately turned out to be closed on Saturdays. Therefore, remember that before You’ll go to a restaurant in Italy, ALWAYS check what time it is open. Most restaurants take a break between 15 and 18/19 or are closed in unusual days for us (for example Saturday). And besides, when you have the opportunity, check what the Enoteca Corsi serves.
After this, I went to the restaurant Da Francesco, which is in a very atmospheric area, near Piazza Navona. I ate there the best Carbonara in my life!
Real, Roman Carbonara does NOT contain cream, and you only need eggs (egg yolks), Pecorino cheese, guanciale (pork jowl with spices) and pepper.
At Da Francesco you will try typical Roman dishes, pasta and a round pizza on a thin, crunchy dough.
The best ice-cream in Rome?
And when after this whole day full of culinary attractions we have gone towards the subway station, slowly heading for our house, THEN an ice cream parlor stood on our way, which I heard was REALLY good. Accident? I don’t think so!
And although I didn’t expect that I would be able to fit anything in my stomach, the ice cream belongs to a completely different category, right ?! And the ice cream shop which I’m talking about is of course, Giolitti! I highly recommend it, a large selection of flavors and ice cream which are really delicious.
And if you would like to discover more places with delicious ice cream, take a look at Magda’s blog (Italia Poza Szlakiem), where she shares her 23 checked addresses of Roman ice cream parlors!
Day II – time to say goodbye
From the native Romans, I learned that the real Roman pizza is called Pinsa and is very different from the Neapolitan pizza (in Stories you will find the entire report from Rome!). It’s characterized by an oval shape and quite thick, but easily digestible, heavily aerated dough.
However, in Rome you can distinguish a lot more “variations” about the pizza. In addition to the pizza and pezzi and classic pin (soon there will be an entry about the pizza in Rome, in which I explain everything!), in many places we’ll eat tonde pizzas (round) prepared in Roman style. They are characterized by a very thin, crispy dough and an equally crunchy, barely visible edge. This isn’t my favorite type of Italian pizza, but I won’t hide that I always associated Rome with this kind of a pizza!
In search of such kind of a pizza, I accidentally went to the Emma Pizzeria, located not far from Campo dei Fiori. On the menu you’ll find various types of starters, suppli, pasta, Roman dishes and of course pizzas (with tomato sauce) and bianche (without tomato sauce). I decided to order something other than usual – a bianca pizza with mozzarella and zucchini flowers (9 euros).
The quality of ingredients is at a really high level. Probably because the restaurant cooperates with the famous Pierluigi Roscioli (one of the gurus of a Roman pizza), which helped Emma create a recipe for a cake, and the pizza ingredients come from the famous Salumeria Roscioli, which only confirms their high quality. I spent too little time in Rome to find out where they serve the best Roman pizza in this style, but the composition from Emma fulfill my expectations!
Best coffee in Rome – Tazza d’Oro
And what does every Italian have to do after a meal? Drink a coffee! And from the natives of Rome, I learned that the best one can be found in the historic La Casa Del Caffe Tazza D’oro (founded in 1946), located next to the historical Pantheon!
We drank the aromatic espresso in a hurry, but I recommend you try something different – this place is famous for its delicious coffee-flavored granita with whipped cream (granita di caffè con panna). Be sure to try and let me know!
Pompi and the best tiramisu in Rome
Our friends from Italy said that we wouldn’t leave Rome (which started to become quite probable, because we had less and less time to catch our plane) until we try the best tiramisu in the city! That is why we quickly went to Piazza Re di Roma, next to which there is a famous POMPI.
And I have to admit, tiramisu ‘with Pompi is really delicious! In addition to the classic composition, you can try them in a few other flavors – banana, strawberry, nut, pistachio. It is also a great gift idea! The dessert is packed in a small box that is ideal for taking on a journey!
More tips on Italy can be found here. On my INSTAGRAM, in STORIES, you will find the entire report from Rome (videos, photos, behind the scenes, unpublished materials). Be sure to visit this if you dream of instant teleportation to the Eternal City!
And You, what good did you eat in Rome? Let me know in a comment and share this article if you liked it!