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Roma a Tavola: The Best Restaurants in Rome

“Amatriciana, Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, Rigatoni alla pajata, puntarelle, carciofi (artichoke) alla giudia, abbacchio allo scottadito, coda (oxtail) alla vaccinara” all dishes that scream “There is nowhere else you could be or would want to be right now other than Rome!!” And here is a tight list of where you can have some of these traditional (and a few creative variations) of these roman dishes…without them you can’t say you have experienced Rome to its fullest:


Matricianella – “Bucatini all’amatriciana” and “carciofo alla giudia” (roman fried artichoke)


Santo Palato –  Tonnarelli Alla Genovese ( beef sauce with a lot of onions) it’s “da leccarsi i baffi” (lick one’s chops)


Retrobottega – Exactly what Rome needs. Chef Alessandro combines informality with high quality food, the menu changes by what’s in season or by what Alessandro finds or is inspired by. Vegetables as main courses, local herbs, natural wines, home baked bread. A new way of preparing , perceiving and eating food. A delicious one for sure! A once in a while experience is definitely not enough for us, we take their bread and ravioli home from their next door deli, Retro Pasta, on a daily basis.


Marigold — A danish Italian couple, chef Domenico Cortese and his wife baker Sofie Wochner, bring to the table a different take on the usual Roman food. Breakfast, brunch and dinners done the American/Australian style with the unmissable avocado on homemade rye topped with poached eggs, reinventions of typical Roman dishes and Domenico’s homemade pasta-filled creations. A place where to hang out, meet new people and enjoy some amazing local produce fashioned into simple dishes with a hint of creativity. The long walk to the up-and-coming Ostiense neighbourhood is worth it and will allow you to not feel guilty post cinnamon buns overload (best we’ve ever had!)


Settimio Al Pellegrino – Super simple, super traditional, order the “polpette” (meatballs) Pro tip: The food can be a hit or miss, it all depends on the owner Teresa’s and husband Mario’s mood and if they like you. Highly recommend going with an Italian!  


Pierluigi – We love it on a summer night, sitting outside in one of our favorite hidden squares. Even better at Aperitivo time with a nice prosecchin and a fritto misto.


Le Mani in Pasta – “Carpaccio di spigola al tartufo” (pro-tip: ask to be seated on the top floor) and all their pastas are phenomenal (one of my favorite is the “spaghetti alla pescatore con astice” (seafood pasta) and as a side dish the “broccolo romano ripassato” (sautéed roman broccoli)


Osteria Der Belli   – Astice alla catalana and the antipasti di ‘crudo’ (raw fish)


Felice a Testaccio – Everyone goes there for their famous “cacio e pepe” (which is hands down amazing) but I like to go there for their “spaghetti alla Felice” (with cherry tomatoes, basil, mint, oregano, thyme, marjoram and salted ricotta)


Da Teo – “Seppie e carciofi” (cuttlefish with artichokes) “carciofo alla romana” (Roman-style artichokes) and “puntarelle”


Trattoria Al Moro – Spaghetti Alla Moro (a revisited carbonara) 


Da Enzo Al 29 –  “gricia” (guanciale and Pecorino pasta) or “carbonara”,  “burrata”a MUST is their home made pistacchio gelato!  Pro-tip: Go during the week for an early lunch or  dinner, at prime time and during the weekend it’s way too crowded. 


Trattoria Cavalier Gino – Tucked into a tiny alleyway right by the parliament Gino a family run restaurant is a certainty. Simple, authentic and delicious. Sit outside and leave some space for their tiramisù.


Roscioli Forno or Cafè — Forno for a snack made of the best pizza al taglio in Rome (opt for “la rossa”) and the Cafe for a quick lunch made of few great roman dishes and a great espresso accompanied by a glass of “acqua all’arancia” orange scented water.


Outside of Rome by the sea

Osteria Iotto (Campagnano Romano) —  A fantastic little restaurants in a sleepy town 40 minutes outside of Rome. The ideal spot where to stop on your way out or in to Rome (coming from the North of Italy.) Our advice is to follow the wonderful owner and chef Marco advice or simply order the whole menu. He creatively changes the menu daily, using only local products and get ready to go wild with the natural wine selection.


L’Isola del Pescatore (Santa Severa) – “Spaghetti ai ricci di mare” (sea urchin spaghetti) and “crudi” (raw fish platter) Pro-tip: when you make the reservations ask for a table close to the sea) 


Da Romolo (Anzio) – ask for the “crudi” starters (you don’t come here for the atmosphere but simply for great seafood)


Da Teo

Santo Palato


Settimio Al Pellegrino


Le Mani in Pasta

Osteria Der Belli

Felice a Testaccio

Trattoria Al Moro

Da Enzo Al 29

Trattoria Cavalier Gino

L'Isola del Pescatore (Santa Severa)

Da Romolo (Anzio)