Italy, the country where foodies and wine-os rejoice. You sing ‘food glorious food’ non-stop when you’re in this country and it’s not hard to understand why.
With pasta, pizza, gelato, cheese and wine galore, it’s carb heaven. The food is created with the freshest produce, and the wine, due to the countries numerous wine regions, is some of the best you’ll ever taste.
While we were in Rome recently, we knew we had to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner to maximise our food enjoyment while we were there. Tim and I love searching for where the locals go, and we will always turn our nose up at tourist traps, so in Rome we were on a mission to find the authentic stuff, and I think we found it. It’s true when they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Here are the places we went to while we were in Rome. We thoroughly enjoyed all of these places, and think you will too.
Gelateria dei Gracchi
THE BEST gelato you’ll ever taste (seriously!). With an array of flavours including dark chocolate and rum, pistachio and meringue and mandarin, you’re spoilt for choice at this very authentically Italian gelato store. This is ‘proper’ gelato, where actual locals go to, it’s far from that tourist trap stuff!
Don’t be put off with it’s heavy wooden interior, Old Bear has an incredible menu with the best carbonara and vegetarian truffle lasagna. They have a fantastic selection of wines too – try the Barbera if you’re finding it hard to pick.
Cul de Sac
Wine and cheese lovers will rejoice over this Roma hot spot. Wines from all over Italy are displayed (pretty much) from the floor to the ceiling, and the wine list comes in a book the size of an encyclopedia. The wine list can be a little overwhelming and you may spend a good 15 minutes going through it, but the waiters will help you if you need. If you want a quick choice, the Feudo Antico Tullum Rosso 2012, is a Montepulciano and it’s absolutely divine! If you choose a cheese board, they’re not stingy on the amount of cheese they give you (unlike most places), and they will provide you with bread-a-plenty. Heading there for dinner? Try to go early as it’s a super popular spot, tables get snatched up quickly.
Ai Tre Scalini
A cute and cosy wine bar / restaurant near the Colosseum and situated in an area frequented by young locals. Try the aubergine parmigiana and vegetarian lasagne, and you won’t be disappointed. Their montepulciano is delicious too.
A local’s favourite in the Trastevere area, this cute little restaurant is hidden away from the touristy hot spots and crowds. Although, it’s a little bit of a walk away, it’s a must-eat-at place if you’re in search of simple yet delicious and affordable pasta and wine. You need to try the cacio e pepe, carbonara, Panzanella and the chianti!
Close to the Colosseum, this is another incredible spot to head to for gelato. It’s not your regular gelato store however, it’s healthy gelato (if that can even be a thing?!), and offers vegan, nut free gluten free gelato. Yum!
Osteria Ragno D’Oro
A cheap and cheerful eatery in the Vatican area, which the local’s love. You must try the house red, a multipulciano, which can be order in a litre size carafe. The cacio e pepe with truffle was to die for, as was the roasted artichoke flowers, a famous Roman dish. If heading there for dinner, make sure to arrive early as the place soon gets full up with Italian families.
Four Euro pasta? Yes please! Close to the Spanish Steps, this little take away pasta place is the perfect spot to grab pasta on the go. With two different types of pasta to choose from every day, this yummy hot spot is a quirky authentic Italian joint and is a favourite among locals.
After your pasta at Pastificio, head down the road to the go-to place for traditional tiramisu. For over 50 years, Pompi has been the only bakery to specialise in this Italian dessert, and it’s to-die-for!
Do you have a favourite restaurant in Rome we recommend visiting next time we’re there? Xx