/Ten Must Eat Dishes in Rome

Ten Must Eat Dishes in Rome

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It’s peak tourist season, the city is crowded, and many restaurants, particularly in the center, are threatening to burst at the seams. If you want to taste the absolute best that Rome has to offer while simultaneously minimizing crowds, here are ten things you shouldn’t miss and how, where and when to get them.

My absolute number one favorite food is pizza bianca (pictured above). Grab a slice or two at Roscioli (via de’ Chiavari 34) and taste the best in Rome–and therefore the world.

Trapizzino at 00100 in Testaccio, Rome

Staying on the carb theme, Rome’s famous trapizzino, what I fondly refer to as the “Roman hot pocket”, was invented at 00100 (Via Giovanni Branca 88) in Testaccio. It consists of a triangle of fluffy toasted pizza bianca stuffed with traditional roman sauces like tomato and oxtail, tongue and salsa verde, and meatballs. If you get to 00100 when it opens at 1230, there’s no line and the ingredients are fresh out of the oven and hot off the stove.

Pizza Rossa at Pizzarium, Rome

Avoiding lines at Pizzarium (Via della Meloria) is no easy feat, but if you go before 1230pm, from 4-6, or around 830, you should’t face much of a queue. Of course try all the slices, but IMO, the absolute best is the pizza rossa, a simple tomato sauce pie.

Suppli' at L'Arcangelo in Rome

Dinner at L’Arcangelo (Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 59) tends to be busy, so go at lunchtime and order the classic suppli, a rich mixture of rice, tomato sauce, ground meat, chicken innards, and melty mozzarella. The hefty €15 for two suppli is worth every penny and then some.

Gnocchi all'Amatriciana

And of course, the gnocchi at L’Arcangelo are the best in existence.

Il gelato di Claudio Torce'

Claudio Torce’s gelato is the best in Rome and you can find it in 7 different shops all over the city. The newly opened branch (Piazza Monte d’Oro) rarely has lines. Unfortunately with 100 flavors, you can’t get one of everything, but you could try!UPDATE: This location has closed. Try Viale Aventino 59 instead.

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Try the Panacea gelato–almond milk, mint and ginseng–at Fatamorgana (Via Bettolo 7) and prepare to be wowed.

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Burrata may be the greatest invention. Roscioli (Via dei Giubbonari 21) is the best spot in Rome for it. Booking a table at lunchtime or many days in advance for dinner is the best way to get it.

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Stick around for the carbonara which is one of the best in Rome.

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Cristina Bowerman’s tagliatelle quasi panna prosciutto e piselli is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. The new dish on her menu at Glass (Vicolo del Cinque 58) is composed of handmade pasta, dehydrated prosciutto, peas, and frozen crème fraiche.

2017-02-17T15:27:08+00:00 June 17th, 2011|Categories: Food & Wine, Pizza, Restaurants, Rome & Lazio|30 Comments


  1. janie June 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. HK Epicurus June 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    I could so do with that last dish mentioned – “Cristina Bowerman’s tagliatelle quasi panna prosciutto e piselli” . Sounds fantastic.

  3. shayma June 17, 2011 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    mmm….you are adding to my list!

    some of my top ‘eats’ for our July trip are: 1-stracetti con rucola at the Volpetti tavola calda; 2- the seasonal pasta dish at Tutti Frutti; 3- the Greek salad at Bar Frattina; 4-the burrata and brandade di bacala at Cul de Sac; 5; a pizza margherita at Remo; 6- marron glaces gelato at Ciampini; 7- the cacio e pepe at Roma Sparita; 8- i know you’ll hate this one bec of the restaurant- but the ravioli ai fiori di zucca at Maccheroni; 9-the coffee and cornetto at Cafe Linari in Testaccio; and 10-the pizza rossa (al taglio) from Passi in Testaccio. and for good measure, i’ll throw in a number 11- the caponata at Al Vino Al Vino. do you see a Testaccio pattern here 🙂 ?

    you are joining me for some of these treats, that’s for sure.

    x shayma

  4. Johanna June 18, 2011 at 3:12 am - Reply

    So are there two Rosciolis? One at via de’ Chiavari 34 and another at Via dei Giubbonari 21? I need to go dig out my map.

    This is a wonderful list, thanks!


  5. Petulia June 18, 2011 at 11:15 am - Reply

    You ladies are making me miss my town soo much..cannot wait to come back in a few weeks. Giacomo has been alerted and keeping a jar of caponata for me:-)

  6. semsa denizsel June 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    tell me, why on earth didn’t we try “trapazzino”?

  7. Engred June 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Great list Katie – can’t wait!

  8. Gabriella June 19, 2011 at 10:17 am - Reply

    We are winding up a 6 month stay here in Rome and looked at this list last month. Happily, we have tried most of the food you listed…and couldn’t agree with you more!!! We are so thankful for your blog….we have discovered moat of these treats because of you! I always look forward to your new posts. You are right on with your comments and ideas. I wish you had a blog for food back home where we live in San Francisco.

  9. Eleonora June 20, 2011 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Brava, punto.
    When are we having lunch together again?


  10. daphne June 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    I have everything written up for my next (and first) trip to Rome this year, also will be visiting london… you`re blog was of such great help and a pleasure to read and look at! 🙂 thanks!


  11. […] Ten Must Eat Dishes in Rome […]

  12. Katie June 22, 2011 at 12:24 am - Reply

    @janie youre quite welcome:)

    @HK Epicurus you are so overdue for a return trip!! hurry while it is still on the menu!

    @Shayma great list. never had the ravioli at Maccheroni, just lost and lots of bad carbonara, cacio e pepe, etc:)

    @johanna there are MANY rosciolis! the ones i refer to above are the bakery (Forno Roscioli, piazza bianca) and the wine bar/deli/restaurant (Salumeria Roscioli: burrata, carbonara)

    @petulia that caponata actually belongs on this list. doh!!

    @Semsa didnt we get stuck in the rain in testaccio and go to al ceppo for lunch instead??

    @Engred its all here waiting for you!!

    @Gabriella im so glad the blog was helpful for you. San Francisco is one of my favorite food cities…along with neighbors berkeley and oakland. you are so lucky to live there!! i may be in the bay area in the fall so look for posts if i make it. fingers crossed!!

    @Eleonora Grazie, cara. Let’s make a date!!

    @Daphne im so glad to hear that! London is my favorite food city in Europe (yes, ahead of rome!). Enjoy it and let me know how it goes!!


  13. Audrey June 23, 2011 at 2:26 am - Reply

    Yum!! This looks fabulous! Haven’t been to Rome in 15 years..going in July and can’t wait!!

  14. Melissa Santos July 1, 2011 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Somehow I lived in Campo de’ Fiori for three months in college and never went to Roscioli. In several subsequent visits it just hasn’t worked out… this next time I’m going to make it happen (especially since my husband always demands that there be excellent carbonara available if we’re going to try a new restaurant in Rome). Thanks again!

    • Katie July 1, 2011 at 10:04 am - Reply

      If your husband likes carbonara, I recommend the trifecta: Da Danilo, Roscioli and Arcangelo. They are three very different approaches to the condiment. You can read more here http://www.parlafood.com/a-tale-of-three-carbonaras. FYI: Roscioli’s carbonara is great but the service sometimes isnt so great… Let’s call it…Roman… You lived in Rome so you know what Im talking about:)

  15. Melissa Santos July 1, 2011 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Thanks Katie! I basically booked a B+B for myself, husband and two relatives right next to L’Asino D’Oro soley so that I have no excuse not to go, and also knowing that Da Danilo is (reasonably) close.

    I’ve pretty much decided to hit up L’Asino D’Oro, Roscioli and Arcangelo, and maybe Glass, on this next trip. I’m struggling with a pick on the Via Appia Antica, though… I might just bring a picnic.

  16. Melissa Santos July 1, 2011 at 10:34 am - Reply

    *Solely. Spelling fail.

    • Katie July 1, 2011 at 10:38 am - Reply

      ha! im the worst speller on earth so no worries;) great choices (though i think l’asino d’oro is better for lunch when it is €12 for 3 courses). ive been a bit disappointed with the a la carte dinner options lately…i read your comment about dining on the appian way and will give it some thought before getting back to you. also did you see this post on dining in monti? it may be helpful for your time on via del boschetto http://www.parlafood.com/eating-and-drinking-in-monti/

  17. Katie July 5, 2011 at 12:43 am - Reply

    @Audrey let me know how you like these dishes. enjoy your trip!!

  18. aventine July 8, 2011 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I’m curious if you’ve tried the rigatona alla carbonara at Perilli in Testaccio. It’s color is almost a bright yellow, and the guanciale is a bit crisp. For me, it’s entirely pleasing, but I have not been to the three you recommend above.

  19. jason July 9, 2011 at 10:52 pm - Reply


    Just returned from a week in Roma. I wanted to thank you for all the insight in regards to all things food in such an amazingly intricate city. We stayed in Trastevere and adored it.

    Found Bar S. Calisto on our own for coffee in the morning and beers anytime on the super cheap with a great local vibe.

    l’Asino d’oro for braised wild boar in choclate and snails stewed in fennel.

    00100 for trappizini, particularly the picchiapo, and of course beer

    Roscioli on governo vecchio for wine, more wine, some olive oils & vinegars

    Went to Cul de Sac for dinner on another friends recommendation and what a great wine list. The food was super solid too.

    Our last day happened to be Thursday so my girlfriend and I made our way to L’Arcangelo for gnocchi…..oh my god. I’ve eaten some great pasta @Vetri in Philly. I worked at Quince in SF, Campagna in Telluride, CO, and I’m currently at Dopo in Oakland so I feel I’ve had some pretty amazing pasta dishes for having lived in the states my entire life. The gnocchi @ L’Arcangelo are pretty unreal. We were one of two tables having lunch and the chef and his wife personally waited on us. Pretty special and I’m so glad we each had our own order.

    Hit up Da Francesco for a really delicious dinner in tiny Piazza del Fico later that night to end the trip. I really hope to make it back to Roma one day in the off season.

    If you’re ever in Oakland please come visit me @ Dopo.



  20. Ruthie J M July 10, 2011 at 12:53 am - Reply

    I’m heading to Italy for the first time in October (4 nights in Rome, 3 in Florence). I literally have tears in my eyes after reading this post — That’s how excited I am. Thank you!

  21. Katie July 9, 2011 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    @aventine yes i have had the carbonara at Perilli. very good and a similar color to da danilo’s!

    @jason you are a rockstar! glad you made out so well in rome. ill definitely look you up when i come to oakland next. im way overdue for another food trip to the bay area!! ciao!!

  22. yonca April 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    grazıemille….just for two days…please let me know your must eat lıst just for twodays

  23. nico August 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    “Trapizzino” not trapazzino!
    It sounds too funny…

    • Katie August 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      eh lo so! scritto bene nelle foto file ma a volte non sono perfetta;)

  24. Carol Malzone August 24, 2012 at 1:31 am - Reply


    My mouth is watering! You always it it right on, and then some.

  25. Marie October 3, 2012 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I think you can add the famous granita al caffè covered with whipped cream from Gran Caffè Tazza D’Oro! Absolutely epic!

  26. […] she says in the first article below that if you get there before 12:30 you should avoid the lines): Ten Must Eat Dishes in Rome The Layover Rome, Parla Food Edition Rome Pizza Showdown: Callegari vs Bonci Pizzarium Reopens […]

  27. […] Ten dishes to eat in Rome. […]

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