I've been to lots of restaurants in Rome, but I've reduced the list below down to my favorite places -- these are the places I'd visit regularly if I lived in Rome. Many are too small to show up in the travel guide books.
Updated February 2006
Antico Forno Roscioli - Via dei Giubbonari 21/22, Tel:06/6875287
A nice place to sit down for a glass of wine and sample some of Italy's different cheeses, hams, and other specialties. Also a full service restaurant with a seasonal menu of typical Roman dishes.Take home a bottle of wine or one of the lovely jars of jam, truffles, olive oil or balsamic. Reservation recommended for dinner
Il Forno Campo De'
Fiori - corner of Piazza Campo De Fiori
This crowded shop on the Piazza Campo De Fiori sells homemade bread, pizzas, and a limited selection of pastries. The pizzas are some of the best in the city and make a wonderful snack before or after visiting the market. Watch to see what's coming out of the oven, and get it while it's hot. Early in the day, you can also enjoy watching the bread being made through the big glass windows next door.
Casa Bleve - Via del Teatro Valle 48/49, Tel: 06/6855970
This upscale little shop is a great place to stop in and pick up packaged products to take home. Italian specialties such as olive oils, balsamic, jams, truffle honey (an incredible treat with cheese or thinly sliced apples), and more are available.
La Rosetta - Via della Rosetta 9, 06/6861002
One of the best places in Rome for seafood. Service is first class at this elegant but cozy restaurant in old Rome. If truffles are in season during your visit, this is a great place to enjoy some truffles shaved on your meal.
Alfredo e Ada - Via dei Banchi Nuovi 14, near San Pietro Tel: 06/6878842
Eating here is like getting to going to an Italian friend's grandmother's house. Ada (the owner) will make you feel right at home in this small and often crowded restaurant. There's no menu -- you'll eat whatever Ada has made that night. Don't worry though, everything is delicious and as authentic as it comes, and if you're with a group, she'll make sure there's plenty of variety. End the meal with homemade cookies dipped in wine. If you have a minute to check out the kitchen in the back, do it! You'll be surprised all this delicious food is produced from just a few hot plates and simple utensils. I guess I'll have to rethink my claim that my own cooking would be better with a fancy kitchen remodel.
Orso 80 - Via dell'Orso 33, near Piazza Navona 06/6864904
A favorite spot for lunch or dinner. Start with antipasto, but be careful, you'll be tempted to fill up on these delicious small plates and miss out on the wonderful homemade pastas and delicious main courses. A great place to sample lots of different Italian foods.
Tazza d'Oro - Via delgi Orfani 84, near the Pantheon 06/678-9792
This bustling coffee shop is filled with both locals and tourists who come in to taste the world famous coffee. If you're not into coffee drinks, or the weather is hot, try ordering one of their famous granitas.
Pizzeria ai Marmi, Viale Trasevere
Classic roman pizza (with a thin crispy crust) and local dishes. Busy in the evenings. Closed on Wednesdays
Forno del Ghetto
(also known as the Burnt Bakery) -
Via del Portico d'Ottavia 1, in the Jewish Ghetto, Tel: 06/6878637
This small bakery in the heart of the Jewish Ghetto (near the synagogue) has no sign and no tables. You'll recognize it by the crowd spilling out the door and the slightly burnt pastries in the display case. Everything is a little bit burnt, which caramelizes the sugars just enough to give the pastries a rich, deep taste. Ricotta cake with sour-cherry or chocolate are special favorites, and the biscotti is delicious, but choose whatever strikes your fancy -- it's all wonderful. This is the last remaining bakery preserving traditional Jewish Italian cooking in this shrinking community. You won't find pastries like this anywhere else in the world. As you bite into a pastry, savor its flavor and the warm community feel of this special place. Closed Friday at sundown and Saturdays.
Questions and Answers
Is the Restaurante Ambasciatori in Parioli neighborhood still serving?
Il Gusto restaurant in Rome - number and address please
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