Mercoledì 18 Dicembre 2019 00:12

Where to Eat & Drink & Shop for Food in Rome in 2020

With a city nicknamed Caput Mundi—Capital of the World—it’s only natural that Romans are accustomed to seeing their home as unrivaled in matters of history, culture, and food. And while it's true that traditional local cuisine holds a sacred place at the table, the Rome is hardly impervious to change. The city’s classics, from carbonara to [...]

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Where to Eat & Drink & Shop for Food in Rome in 2020
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Katie Parla

#food & wine #gastronomic traditions #pizza #restaurants #rome & lazio #rome dining advice
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With a city nicknamed Caput Mundi—Capital of the World—it’s only natural that Romans are accustomed to seeing their home as unrivaled in matters of history, culture, and food. And while it’s true that traditional local cuisine holds a sacred place at the table, the Rome is hardly impervious to change. The city’s classics, from carbonara to cacio e pepe, are still universally beloved, but Rome’s dining and drinking culture, like that of all cities, is in a constant state of evolution (albeit at a glacial pace compared to New York, Paris or London). Recently, tightening purse strings, transitioning food systems, and changing palates have conspired to create exciting new ways of dining, drinking, and shopping for food.

The innovative features of Rome’s flourishing food and drinks scene are at their best when they use tradition as a foundation: neo-trattorias like
Santo Palato
serve honest classics with a few clever twists, while the booming independent enoteca scene, embodied by wine bars like
Il Sorì
La Mescita
, and
embrace natural and traditional wines. Craft beer pubs like
Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa’
, run by enthusiastic experts, promote small producers over conventional choices. Meanwhile, a revived interest in food provenance has given rise to a growing number of farmers’ markets, which contrary to popular belief are relative newcomers to the city’s gastronomic landscape. If you’re looking for fresh, seasonal produce directly from farms, visit the stalls in the south side of the Mercato Trionfale near the fish mongers. There, and elsewhere in town, the light and dark green banners hanging in stalls announcing “ALBO PRODUTTORI AGRICOLI IN VENDITA DIRETTA” signal that you’re at a stall run by a farm (the others sell produce sourced from a wholesale market).

Visitors to the Italian capital will be endlessly satisfied, whether they are after traditional foods or fresh flavors–but only if they know exactly where to look! So, where should you eat, drink, and shop for food in Rome? SO MANY AWESOME PLACES. I have so many resources dispersed over so many platforms (take a spin on
my clips page
to find guides and articles for NYT, Bon App, Eater, Punch, and more), but here’s a more succinct guide to my personally and independently* vetted recommendations for dining, drinking, and shopping for food and booze in Rome.

If you are after traditional cucina romana at moderate prices,
Armando al Pantheon
Cesare al Casaletto
are your best bets. I also love
Tram Tram
in San Lorenzo (they also serve dishes from Puglia) and for cheap, abundant comfort food, I visit
Osteria Bonelli
in Torpignattara. And for super honest, affordable, delicious Roman/Umbrian/Sardinian specialties, plus pizza, served with a smile,
Tavernaccia Da Bruno
is it.

Santo Palato
may not serve explicitly traditional classics, instead blending modern techniques with local flavors, but both are excellent. I have a
handy guide
for getting the most out of your visit to Roscioli, a must-read before this must-visit.

For thick-rimmed pizza, check out
, Sbanco, and
La Gatta Mangiona
, while Da Remo and Pizzeria Ostiense serve excellent thin crust Roman pies.
180g Pizzeria Romana
does thin-crust Roman style with a gourmet flare. Don’t miss pizza by the slice at Pizzarium and Panificio Bonci (or Bonci’s bakery in the Mercato Centrale in the train station). I also like Prelibato in Monteverde for a slice. The pizza bianca at
Antico Forno Roscioli
and pizza rossa at
Forno Campo de’ Fiori
are delicious, as are the various flavored slices at the latter (Forno Roscioli’s pizzas are heavy IMO). For tasty little pizzette, visit
Da Artenio
in the Mercato di Testaccio. While you’re at the market, pop over to
Casa Manco
 for slices. For a round-up of these and other favorite places for pizza in Rome, take a peek at
this article
I wrote for the sadly defunct Lucky Peach Magazine.

You may wish to give fine dining a pass. So much of it is so disappointing, derivative, and precious. But if you must, I highly recommend Metamorfosi in Parioli, which is the only Michelin-starred spot in Rome that I really have fun at.
Il Sanlorenzo
, an upscale fish restaurant in central Rome, may not have a star, but you’ll find formal service, an elegant atmosphere, and the finest fish dishes in town. (Not everyone reports the same service experience–see comments below). For more fresh fish at prices that reflect their high quality (fresh fish in Italy is very expensive), I love raw dishes, fried starters, and seafood pasta at
Tempio di Iside

For kosher meals, try
C’e’ Pasta…e Pasta
, which serves Roman Jewish classics cafeteria-style. In the Ghetto, Boccione Forno del Ghetto does amazing fruitcake called pizza ebraica, as well as spectacular almond paste and ricotta cakes. Nearby,
Nonna Betta
serves kosher-style food in a restaurant setting. Stick to the the pezzetti fritti, concia (fried and marinated zucchini) carciofi alla giudia (in season in the winter), and spaghetti con bottarga e cicoria.

Go to Testaccio or San Giovanni for brisket or artichoke or kidney sandwiches at
Mordi e Vai
. The trapizzini at the growing number of
shops are a must (especially the chicken cacciatore)! I’m a fan of the Trastevere location in Piazza Trilussa, which is currently the only branch with table service and a full-on wine list. The suppli’, potato croquettes, and fried pastry cream at Supplizio are super tasty.

For gelato, my favorites are Al Settimo Gelo, and
Gelateria dei Gracchi
Il Gelato di Claudio Torce’
, and
Fior di Luna
. My 
Guide to the Best Gelato in Rome
has more.

and newer 
Roscioli Caffè
 and Panificio Bonci offer excellent traditional Roman pastries, while
Andrea De Bellis
 serves delicious contemporary sweets.

During holiday season, don’t miss the chance to fill your luggage with panettoni from Panificio Bonci and
Santi Sebastiano e Valentino

There’s coffee everywhere, but some places truly are a cut above. My favorite historic shop is
, established in 1919. Four new-ish place celebrating Italian-style coffees with third wave techniques are Roscioli Caffè and
, Faro, and
Marjani Coffee

Thristy? My favorite wine bars are the aforementioned
Il Sorì
La Mescita
, and
, as well as my local
, recently refurbished
, and long-established Il Goccetto. I often stop in at
La Barrique
, and
for a glass.

For beer, I love
Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà
Open Baladin
, Birra +, 
Brasserie 4:20
, and
, and
Luppolo Station
. I also drop in at the
Jungle Juice Brewing
in Mandrione whenever I can; their bar is open evenings from Tuesday to Sunday.

You can buy wine to take away at the wine bars listed above, as well as at
Les Vignerons
in Trastevere. For spirits, check out
Whisky & Co
., and the
Jerry Thomas Emporium

If you love cheeses and cured meats, visit
, Roscioli,
Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi
(skip the cured meats there and stick to the cheeses), or one of the wine bars mentioned above. I buy cheeses and meats to take home from 
La Tradizione
and Roscioli (they’ll vacuum seal things for air travel, too.

There are well over 100 municipal markets in Rome, so no matter where you’re staying, you’re likely within walking distance of one. My favorites are Mercato Trionfale just north of the Vatican Museums main entrance. It is perfect and, although I live between two markets in Monteverde, I regularly make the downhill trip to Trionfale because it has plenty of famers’ stalls, great butchers, wonderful fishmongers, and some ace alimentari selling cheeses and cured meats. The Testaccio Market is great, as well, and offers plenty of in-market dining. My faves are Mordi e Vai for sandwiches, Da Artenio for pizzette and baked goods, Casa Manco for pizza by the slice, Sartor for meat, and Da Corrado for wine and cheese.

Need a break from Roman fare? Check out
in Pigneto for Ethiopian,
in Monti for seasonal Japanese dishes,
Janta Fast Food
for Indian, and
for sushi.
Asian Inn
in Viale Marconi does ace Chinese regional cuisine and has a very good wine list. Nearby,
Dumpling Bar
7 Lanka
does cheap and tasty Sri Lankan dishes, while
Neighborhood Restaurant
serves excellent Filipino & Kapampangan cuisines.

In the regional Italian category, Trattoria Monti is wonderful for specialties from Le Marche.
Tram Tram
is great for fish and vegetable classics from Puglia.

A New Roman Restaurant With a Young Chef Celebrates the Classics

Where to Eat and Drink in San Lorenzo
(Bon Appetit)

The 38 Essential Restaurants in Rome

Centocelle is the Coolest Neighborhood in Rome

How to Eat Your Way Through Rome in 24 Perfect Hours

The New Wave of Roman Pizza

Best Pizza in Rome
(Condé Nast Traveler)

Rome’s Disappearing Dishes

Rome Restaurants: New Takes on the Classics
(Food & Wine)

Rome City Guide
(The Infatuation)

Friday Fives: Katie Parla’s Guide To Rome
(The Infatuation)

5 Under the Radar Spots

Travel Guide: Rome

The Pinnacle of Pasta: The Top 9 Plates of Pasta in Rome
(Bon Appetit)

Katie Parla’s Guide to Rome

City Guide: Rome

Where to Eat in Rome
(Serious Eats)

Where to Eat, Drink, and Sleep in Rome
(Bon Appetit)

Roman Holiday

Street Food Guide: How to Eat Cheap in Rome

Ask an Expert: Katie Parla

“Supplì Size Me: A Look At Rome’s Rice Ball Revolution”

“Saturday Night in Rome”

A Boozy Tour of Rome

10 Ways to Enjoy Rome on a Budget
(The Guardian)

Unmissable Spring Foods in Rome
(The Local)

Rome’s New Take on Pizza
(The Guardian)

Rome Street Food
(Food & Wine)

How To Enjoy A Summer In Rome: Katie Parla’s Tips

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 4.27.45 PM

I have been collaborating with my super talented friend
Kat Tan Conte
to create YouTube videos documenting neighborhoods and Roman food themes. You can find the videos over
on my You Tube channel

In addition to all those free resources on where to eat in Rome, I also have a few guides on various paid platforms. For portable versions of my top picks for dining, drinking and shopping for food, check out my ebook “Eating & Drinking in Rome” (available in
PDF format

And finally for Rome’s top cultural attractions, check out my guidebook
National Geographic’s Walking Rome

*I do not accept comps, discounts, freebies, press invites or any other such form of exchange. I cannot stress enough how rare this is in this town.

The post
Where to Eat & Drink & Shop for Food in Rome in 2020
appeared first on
Katie Parla

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