How to Eat Like a Local in Rome

Posted by Fodor's Editors on August 09, 2010 at 3:55:01 PM EDT | Post a Comment

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.

Dar Poeta
Romans drive across town for great pizza from this neighborhood institution on a small street in Trastevere. Maybe it's the dough—it's made from a secret blend of flours . . . Read more.

'Gusto - Osteria
You can get regular osteria fare and service at this member of the 'Gusto restaurant empire, but why would you? The beauty of this spot is what makes it different . . . Read more.

Panattoni
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.

Perilli
In this restaurant dating from 1911, the old Testaccio remains, and it has the decor to prove it. A seasonal antipasto table starts things off, offering Roman specialties . . . Read more.

Primo
Primo is a modern Italian restaurant highlighting local ingredients and simplified cooking techniques. The young and hip sip from a selection of 250 wines . . . Read more.

Tram Tram
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.

Trattoria Monti
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

Posted in Trip Ideas Tagged: Rome

Member Comments (7)  Post a Comment

  • Alicia_S on Apr 9, 11 at 04:12 PM

    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.

  • RCKennedy on Aug 13, 10 at 11:03 AM

    '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.

  • mogollon on Aug 13, 10 at 04:20 AM

    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

  • mogollon on Aug 13, 10 at 04:17 AM

    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

  • mogollon on Aug 12, 10 at 05:09 PM

    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!

  • panchosays on Aug 12, 10 at 11:06 AM

    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

  • altamiraweb on Aug 11, 10 at 11:51 AM

    I love Santa Maria Maggiore, it's the most beautiful church i've seen

Sign in or Join to comment.

Advertisement

Advertisement