How to Eat Like a Local in Rome
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
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I ate at Trattoria Monti while in Rome recently when I was traveling with my husband (who's from Italy). The service was very good but it's a VERY small space and the food was a little pricey for the taste. We also ate at a restaurant called Tempio Di Mecenate in the same neighborhood where the food was AMAZING and the prices were unbelieveable. The service was exceptional and we are still talking about the experience we had while we were there.
'Gusto is one of those remarkably consistent and enjoyable places where you can get a range of great food. Besides the Osteria, there are two (maybe three) other places in the same building that all maintain the same high quality.
Our favorite is perhaps, Da Francesco., in the Piazza Del Fico, near the Piazza Navona. Get there early. It is popular with locals and has few tables. Good food & great pizza. Very cheap and the staff are wonderful! Sorry about the spelling in the previous posts
Our favorite is perhaps, Da Francesco., in the Pizza Del Fico, near the Piazza Navona. Get there early. It is popular with locals and has few tables. Good food & great piazza. Very cheap and the staff are wonderful! Sorry about the spelling in the previous post
Our favorite is perhaps, Da Francesco., in the Pizza Del Fico, near the Pizza Navona. Get there early. It is popular with locals and has few tables. Good food & great pizza. Very cheap and the staff are wonderful!
The small Jewish quarter, near the Acropolis ruins and the bridge to trastevere is absolutely delightful, welcoming, great food and not touristy. In fact the owners synergize and one will recommend you to another, i.e. for after-dinner coffee and desserat. Warm happy human feeling. (Natch, you don't have to be Jewish...but somehow New Yorkers find a deeper "connection". / enjoy, Pancho, NYC
I love Santa Maria Maggiore, it's the most beautiful church i've seen
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