When in Rome, do as the Romans do. In this case, eat as the Romans eat! Join us as we eat the best Italian dishes in Rome, Italy.
By the way, we’re not just another travel couple recommending the same Italian food restaurants as everyone else. We lived in Rome for 6 months, and these were our favorite places — and the spots that the locals frequented. So trust us when we say these are the best restaurants in Rome!
Watch this DIY Food Tour in Rome, Italy here!
Want to find this food in Rome? You can grab the exact names and locations of these spots on our custom Rome map (see below)! You can also save these places on your own Google Map, navigate there with directions (walking, driving, or public transportation), and read additional tips and tricks about food in Rome. Bonus: We’ve also saved some of the most popular things to do in Rome on this map too!
1. Sciascia Caffè 1919
If you like espresso, don’t miss the chocolate espresso from Sciascia! (Pronounced sha-sha, rhymes with ya ya.)
But don’t be fooled into thinking this is one of those froo-froo American-style coffee shops with sugary drinks (hello Starbucks!). It’s the neighborhood cafe frequented by locals because the coffee is fantastic! And they roast their own beans on-site, which means you can take some back home with you to enjoy later!
Bonus: There’s a pic of George Clooney enjoying an Italian espresso here. If he likes it, it must be good! 😉
2. Caffè Castroni (International Food Store)
Searching for things to do in Rome and things to bring home? Shop here at Caffè Castroni! It’s packed with Italian foods and Italian products — which make for wonderful souvenirs and gifts!
We like to buy Sicilian chocolate (very unique), herbs (pizza seasoning, herbs de Provence, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, rosemary), limoncello, and handmade hazelnut spread (like Nutella, but better).
3. Le Carré Français
I know, I know. We’re in Rome so we should be eating Italian cuisine. But trust us, this is the best French food you will find outside of France. And it should be on your list of places to eat in Rome.
Trust us, try a fresh croissant, handmade macaroons, and whatever pastry catches your eye. You won’t be disappointed!
P.S. Catch a behind-the-scenes look at the bakers making croissants and bread in our YouTube video! While we were filming, one of the managers/head chef saw our camera and invited us downstairs for a sneak peek!
4. Antico Forno Roscioli
Need a quick lunch? Skip McDonald’s and opt for Roscioli, a popular take-away spot! Their focaccia pizzas and cacio e pepe (pasta) are delish! In fact, cacio e pepe is Brett’s favorite type of pasta, and Roscioli may have the best pasta in Rome! But we know that whatever type of Italian cuisine you choose at Antico Forno Roscioli, you won’t be disappointed!
Tip: Don’t stand outside the restaurant and eat because the long line of people will be staring at you plus the birds will swoop down for a bite of your food! (Yes, that really happens!) Instead, walk 1 block away to a quiet street and enjoy your take-away without a bunch of people or birds!
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5. Sant’ Eustachio Il Caffè
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And they have more than one coffee per day! So stop here for an authentic and delicious espresso shot.
Tip: Stand at the bar for a quick, cheap Italian espresso or cappuccino. Or sit at a table to lounge longer, although you’ll pay a higher price than if you stand at the bar. Stay a while and people watch, especially the locals who frequent this cafe.
6. Frigidarium Gelateria
Don’t grab gelato at any ol’ gelateria. Grab gelato (Italian ice cream) here at Frigidarium! This place crafts artisan gelato that is affordable, absolutely delicious, and a local hotspot in Rome (even though it’s near the Pantheon and Piazza Navona)!
Cone or cup, one scoop or two, you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose!
7. Biscottificio Artigiano Innocenti
When you think of food in Rome, cookies probably don’t pop in your mind. But if you’re wondering where to eat in Rome, add Biscottificio Artigiano Innocento to your list! Plus it’s a good excuse to visit the popular Trastevere neighborhood.
Grandma’s cookies are no match for this family-owned bakery! We’ve been here countless times and the owner is always behind the counter and always remembers us. She feels like family, so visit here to make some family in Rome, Italy!
Aperitivo is an Italian way of life. It’s a combo of drinks and appetizers that are enjoyed after work hours but come before dinner.
Here’s the best part about apertivo: you buy a drink and get a free plate to fill at an impressive buffet of pizza, pastas, potatoes, veggies, and more!
Tip: An Aperol Spritz is a local favorite!
9. Come il Latte Gelateria
This place is my (Jana’s) favorite gelateria in Rome — and I’ve been to pleeeennnnttty! In fact, it’s my second favorite gelateria in all of Italy (the first is a tiny place near Trento).
Although it’s not in the touristy center, it’s worth the visit and the gelato is, well, some of the best in Rome! It’s not too far from the Repubblica metro stop either!
Italian Food in Rome, the Capital of Italy
Italian food goes beyond pizza and pasta. If you want to know where to eat in Rome, have cacio e pepe at Roscioli Rome, taste authentic gelato (Italian ice cream) at Frigidarium, and of course you must sample Italian espresso! And along the way your can find a million things to do in Rome, like the Colosseum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and so much more! (Tip: We included some of these touristy things to do in Rome on our Rome map!)
Hungry for more? Check out the tastiest local food in Switzerland!