All roads lead to Rome: a gastro-route through the capital of Italy
Together with Airbnb rental service, we are launching a series of guides in different cities – from Tbilisi to Lisbon. In the first article, we made a route through the best taverns, cafes, bars, restaurants, fast food outlets and jelatories in Rome and selected apartments for you that can be booked on Airbnb.
We indicated the approximate location of the Airbnb apartments that we liked. You can find out the exact address of the apartment only after you book it.
La tavernaccia da bruno
And other reliable trattorias
The real treasure is an honest and inexpensive family trattoria in the Trastevere quarter. Snacks, pasta, lasagna, meat – all on top. Bruno, who opened this place in 1968, came to Rome from Umbria, therefore, in addition to local specialties, there are also Umbrian ones, for example, pappardelle with boar stew. Now the founder’s daughters run the restaurant, and the husband of one of them, a native of Sardinia, is working in the kitchen, thanks to which a new hit appeared on the menu: a milk pig baked in a wood-burning stove. The main thing is that the tourists here are treated in the same way as the regulars who have been dining here for two decades in a row.
In case you don’t get to Bruno, write down the address Da Enzo – this is another gastronomic scrap of Trastevere. Here, Roman classics are being prepared as a reference: zucchini flowers in batter, Jewish artichokes (fried in oil until crunchy) and kacho-e-pepe pasta with pecorino and black pepper. In the center of Rome, the family-run Colline Emiliane restaurant near the Trevi Fountain, specializing in the cuisine of the Emilia-Romagna region since 1931, has never let down. Order home-made egg pasta there, ravioli with pumpkin deserve special praise – and always something from meat dishes.
Mini Empire Roscioli
Fine cheeses, sausages, pastries and coffee
The Rocoli family, by example, shows how to build a successful family business: it still began in the 1970s with the Antico Forno Roscioli bakery on Chiavari Street, where you can still grab a piece of hot pizza. Later, Salumeria Roscioli, a hybrid of a deli, a winery and a restaurant, appeared nearby. Expensive, crowded, the tables are torn off with hands, but you have not eaten such burrata with sun-dried tomatoes and mortadella with parmesan. Actually, it is recommended to focus on snacks for wine. Finally, a new and also noteworthy point of indefatigable Rocoli is the Roscioli Caffè pastry shop with beautiful pastries (try maritotstsi, classic Roman buns with cream), an excellent espresso and – a terrible rarity for Rome – coffee brewed by alternative methods.
The best ice cream
From classic to avant-garde
A separate guide can be written on Roman ice cream, which greatly brightens up life during the sizzling summer heat. The reference point has been set forever: the hundred-year-old ice cream maker Giolitti is a real gastronomic attraction with all the crowds of Japanese tourists laid out: not to eat a cherry ball here is the same as not to see the Colosseum. The closest competitor to Giolitti is Il Gelato di San Crispino with notable branches near the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain.
Gelateria del Teatro on Coronari Street is identified by the crowd gobbling up hand-made ice cream on the steps of a picturesque shabby staircase. The best varieties: honey-lemon, raspberries and sage, dark chocolate with red wine. Fatamorgana also prays for natural ingredients and includes imagination – you can take simple, but ideal fig or coconut, or you can do something a bit more elaborate, for example, fennel with licorice or chocolate with the addition of tobacco infusion. But the main Roman maestro for this part is Claudio Torce, the first to start making ice cream from hot pepper and black sesame. The Torche outpost is located in the far quarter of the EUR (which, however, it is recommended to get out for the sake of Mussolinian architecture), but there is also a branch near the center – look for the signboard Il Gelato di Claudio Torcè near the ruins of the Grand Circus.
Central Market, Testaccio and Eataly Market
Temples of Italian food
The first gastronomic market of the city opened at the end of 2016 in the restored pavilion of the Mussolinian era near Termini Station. Everything according to the laws of the genre – a lot of light, beautiful wooden counters, cooked on one side and peppy sellers who vying to offer something to treat: from some you can get artichokes, from others – a hamburger from kyanina, from the third – wine, from the fourth – Sicilian sweets (tables, of course, also have). In a word, an excellent springboard for a snack, especially if you can’t get used to the Italian tradition of unblocking restaurants strictly at lunch and dinner hours: the market is open from 8 am to midnight.
Those who consider Mercato Centrale too emasculated and touristy go to the market in the test and student quarter of Testaccio. There, be sure to find the Mordi e vai kiosk, where they prepare sandwiches with meat filling according to old recipes – a variety of entrails are used, but it is very tasty.