Where to eat with the locals in Rome
Get the inside track on the world’s top city breaks from the team at Spotted by Locals
The Eternal City has no shortage of eating options. Italian culture is well known for its family traditions, that almost always focus on food. Your experience in Rome should be no different. But, in case you’re overwhelmed by the choices available to you, or simply want to avoid the tourist traps, we’ve asked the Spotted by Locals team in Rome to recommend some of their favourite options. Buon appetito!
Flavio al Velavevodetto (ristorantevelavevodetto.it) nearly always gets five-star reviews. It’s rightly celebrated for its delicious and traditional cooking, especially its cacio e pepe (pasta with pecorino and black pepper). But, because it’s located on a quiet street on the edge of Testaccio it’s not often stumbled on by tourists (despite its renown). You get the great combination of a local kitchen with local patrons surrounding you.
A popular recommendation from local Ivan is Ginger (ginger.roma.it), a health-focused, organic restaurant located on Via Borgognona, close to the Spanish Steps that will soon reveal their €1.5m Bulgari-sponsored renovation. If you’ve had your fill of pizza and pasta, Ginger offers refreshing palate cleanser – octopus carpaccio with lime mayonnaise or fish with cherry tomatoes, olives, chard and oregano.
Local Daniela admits it can be hard to avoid the touristy restaurants, around the city’s landmarks that try to lure you in with promises of superior cooking or discounts. If she’s near the Pantheon though, she knows she’ll get a good meal if she heads to La Ciambella (laciambellaroma.com). A lot of the dishes that the friendly staff serve you are Roman, made from the best ingredients, for example lamb with fried artichokes.
Rome sports a great deal of history, astounding architecture and imposing art. However, you don’t often get to sit down among all that grandeur and enjoy a meal. That’s not the case at La Veranda (laveranda.net) though, a restaurant in the Palazzo della Rovere, which dates back to 1480. It has impressive arched ceilings and frescos and you’ll be hard-pressed to keep your focus on your delicious meal. It can be pricey though (main courses cost €26 and might include sirloin steak with asparagus, taleggio, herbs and strawberry salad), so you might want to try its (cheaper) Sunday brunch, which starts at €15pp.
Finally, a unique recommendation comes from local Livia. At Soul Kitchen (lacucinadellanima.it) delicious dishes from Puglia are the focus of the menu, but the highlight is the chance to make your own tiramisu. You’ll get all the ingredients to assemble your delicious dessert, all you need to do is mix them together and wait for your creation to settle.
Spotted by Locals (spottedbylocals.com) is a series of apps and blogs available on iPhone and Android devices with up-to-date tips by locals in 60+ cities in Europe and North America