Rome is known for its simple, time-tested cuisine, but choosing a restaurant can be tricky. Many places catering primarily to tourists cut corners and compromise on tradition—it's easy to wind up in a dining room where your fellow customers all speak English, your waiter is smuggly indifferent (or cartoonishly fawning), and, the one unforgivable shortcoming, your food is second-rate.
For a more authentic experience, check out the local favorites of our Rome-based restaurant reviewer. Some are trendy, some traditional, but they all meet the demands of discriminating Roman palates, which means your meal is likely to be both delicious and distinctly different from what you get at Italian restaurants back home.
Nicknamed "the mortuary" for its marble-slab tables, Panattoni is actually about as lively as you can get. Packed every night, it serves crisp pizzas that come out of the wood-burning ovens at top speed . . . Read more.
This bustling trattoria is usually snugly packed with hungry Romans. The name refers to its proximity to the tram tracks, but could also describe its size, as it's narrow-narrow and often stuffed to the rafters-rafters . . . Read more.
Not far from Santa Maria Maggiore, Monti is one of the most dependable, moderately priced trattorias in the city, featuring the cuisine of the Marches, an area to the northeast of Rome . . . Read more.
Photo credit: Angelo Campus