Pizza from Ruver Teglia Frazionata in Rome, Italy

A local’s guide to the best street food in Rome for budget travelers (and where to eat it)

If you’re visiting Rome on a budget and are worried about being able to eat well, fear not. The Eternal City is packed with excellent street food to keep you fueled as you stroll from monument to museum, and it won’t put too big a dent in your budget.

With Rome being Rome (i.e. one of the best food cities in the world), there’s something for everyone. Roman street food ranges from crispy fried fish to sweet cream-filled buns, with a lot in between.

I’ve included some street foods on this list that aren’t strictly Roman (e.g. pasta and gelato), but that I didn’t want to leave out because you’re in Italy and you should be consuming a lot of those things.

I love hearing from readers – if you think there’s something I should add here or you have a favorite place for Roman street food, please let me know in the comments!

I’ve provided prices where I was able to find them, but please keep in mind that things change, so actual prices may vary. That said, everything on this list rings in at under €10, and most are quite a bit less than that. I’ve indicated current opening hours, too, but they can also change, so check before you go, just in case. 

Another quick note is that I haven’t actually had the chance to eat at all these places – I know, I’m sad about it too – but rest assured that they’re recommended by local friends, highly reviewed and well known (and also that I’ll try to make it to all of them as soon as I can).

Ready your sneakers so you can work up an appetite, and let’s dive into my complete guide to street food in Rome!

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A local’s guide to Roman street food for travelers on a budget

Savory Roman street food

Filetto di baccalà

Filetto di baccalà, or fried salt cod, is a classic Roman street food. These golden-brown beauties are often on the menu at pizzerias across the Eternal City, but their snack-sized nature makes them a perfect grab-and-go option for hungry travelers.  

Where to eat filetto di baccalà in Rome

Dar Filettaro 

Largo dei Librari 88 (Campo de’ Fiori) – +39 06 686 4018 – 5-10:30pm Monday through Saturday

A famous filetto di baccalà will cost you €7. Dar Filettaro also serves other items. There are tables, but you might rack up extra €€€ if you sit for a service charge and water. If you’re really counting your pennies, order your baccalà to go.

Panino con porchetta

There is some debate between residents of Lazio and Umbria about where porchetta comes from, but one thing is sure: A porchetta sandwich is a Roman street food staple.

Porchetta is deboned pork that is roasted with herbs like rosemary, sage and garlic, as well as salt and pepper, and maybe some other local additions. Some of the very best comes from Ariccia, just outside of Rome. 

Where to eat panini con porchetta in Rome

Er Buchetto

Via del Viminale 2/F – +39 329 9652175 – 10am-3pm and 5pm-9pm Monday through Friday, Saturday 10am-3pm

Right near the Stazione Termini is Er Buchetto, which claims to have “the best porchetta in the Eternal City” and which one reviewer said serves “the food of the gods”. A panino con porchetta at Er Buchetto will set you back between €5 and €6, depending on how much porchetta you want.

Note: I haven’t had the chance to go by recently, but it looks like Er Buchetto still has a “cash only” policy.

Altri panini

There are many other types of panini to enjoy in Rome, with various fillings ranging from grilled veggies to cheese to cold cuts and more.

Where to get panini in Rome

Mordi e Vai

Nuovo Mercato Comunale di Testaccio – Via Beniamino Franklin 12/E – Monday – Thursday 10am to 2:30pm, Saturday 10am to 3pm, closed Sundays

Located in the Mercato di Testaccio, Mordi e Vai (Bite and Go) has some of the best sandwiches in the city. I love the meatballs and the picchiapò (slow cooked beef in tomato sauce with veggies). I haven’t been in a while, unfortunately, but the last time I was there, sandwiches cost between €4.50 and €5. It’s possible they’ve gone up a bit.

Mordi e Vai has a special place in my heart, because me and Jeremy ate a sandwich from there on our very first day out of lockdown.

Sandwich in Rome, Italy
Post-lockdown never tasted so good

Rosette

In a recent conversation with a Roman friend about our favorite sandwiches, he said his top one is a rosetta with mortadella. Highly conducive to sandwich-making because of its airy interior, the rosetta, although often associated with Rome, is, according to most, a relative of the michetta, a bread roll with Milanese roots. 

Where to eat rosetta sandwiches in Rome

Zia Rosetta

Via Urbana 54 – Monday through Thursday, 11am – 4:30pm – Friday 11am – 4pm, Saturday 11am – 5pm, closed Sundays

Located in Monti (metro Cavour on the B line), Zia Rosetta serves up sandwiches with fun names like “When Harry Met Sally” and “Personal Trainer”. They offer minis (€2.50-€3), classic (€6.50-€7) and gluten-free (€9) options. 

Browse the menu here.

Rosetteria da Renato al Ghetto

Via di Santa Maria del Pianto 63 – Sunday through Thursday 12-10pm, Friday 12-3pm, Saturday 6-10pm

This spot in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto is the newest on this list, having opened just a few months ago. An offshoot of Renato al Ghetto, one of the neighborhood’s Kosher osterie, the rosetteria is also Kosher. 

Unfortunately, I can’t find a menu online to get an indication of cost, but a few Google reviewers mentioned “honest” or “good” prices. I’ll try to get there and report back soon!

Trapizzino

Perhaps my favorite Roman street food, the Trapizzino was invented by chef Stefano Callegari a decade ago.

What’s a Trapizzino, you might ask? It’s essentially a pizza pocket loaded with filling, making it a kind of pizza/sandwich hybrid. And it is *chef’s kiss*.

I’ve tried multiple trapizzini, but I think my favorite is the pollo alla cacciatora. The chicken is all melty and tender, and the white wine it’s cooked in backs every bite with a punch of tang. The brothy bit seeps into the crunchy pizza corner, each mouthful dripping with texture and flavor.

A trapizzino will cost you ~€5. Although you might want two (or three). Browse the offerings here.

You’ll now find Trapizzini in Milan, Trieste, Turin, New York and Ladispoli, a beach town near Rome, and you’ll also find them across the Eternal City.

Testaccio – Via Giovanni Branca 88

Ponte Milvio – Piazza di Ponte Milvio 13

Trastevere – Piazza Trilussa 46

Nomentano – Piazzale delle Provincie

Termini – Mercato Centrale, Via Giovanni Giolitti 36

Ottaviano – Via Vespasiano 2 (inside Be.Re, a tap house)

Four trapizzini in Rome, Italy
From the top: meatball, eggplant parmesan, picchiapò and beef tongue

Pizza a taglio

Pizza a taglio is pizza that’s sold by the slice. The pizzas are generally made “in teglia” or trays, so they’re often rectangular, and they’re priced according to weight.

When I was studying abroad in Rome, I quickly learned how to stretch my pennies. A good way to do this was to get pizza a taglio for lunch. Back then, and we’re talking almost twenty years ago (!!!), I used to ask for “un pezzo da due euro” (a two-euro slice), which was enough to get me a decent-sized slab. If you get a big enough piece, they generally slice it in two and put the two pieces together, facing each other, so you can eat it like a sandwich while walking.

If you opt to stay and eat (many pizzerie a taglio will have a bar along the wall and maybe some stools, or a couple of tables), they’ll probably heat the pizza, slice it, and give it to you on a tray rather than giving it to you sandwich-style.

Don’t be afraid to ask them to heat it up, although bear in mind that pizza a taglio is generally not served scalding hot, probably because, given the fact that it’s commonly eaten while standing up or walking, it’s generally assumed that you’ll be eating it right away.

As for the pricing, like I said above, pizza a taglio is sold by weight, so it’s impossible to say exactly how much it’ll cost. Nowadays, you might be spending a bit more, especially if you go to a well-known place.

You can ask for “un pezzo piccolo” or “una striscia” (OO-na str-EE-sha, which means “a strip”) if you want to get small slices and maybe try two or three pizzas. In my experience, once you’ve indicated which pizza you want, the person serving it will hold their slicing tools above the pizza to determine the size of the piece you want. Feel free to say “un po’ più piccolo” (a little smaller) or “un po’ più grande” (a little bigger). 

Pizza a taglio in Rome, Italy
The magical margherita at Roscioli

Where to get pizza a taglio in Rome

Bonci Pizzarium

Via della Meloria 43 (Metro A, Cipro) – Tuesday through Saturday 11am – 10pm, Sunday 11am – 3pm and 5-10pm, closed Mondays 

You may have seen the Bonci episode on Chef’s Table on Netflix. Owing to its popularity, it’s on the expensive side. If you’re desperate to try it but don’t want to break the bank, treat it as a snack rather than a meal and just get a piece or two. The fritti there are also excellent.

Speaking of snacking, you’ll want to go to Bonci at an off time anyway, otherwise you’ll spend ages in line. As of the time of writing, it opened at 11, so you can go then, or go after lunch but before dinner, maybe between 3 and 5.

Antico Forno Roscioli

Via dei Chiavari 34 (Campo de’ Fiori) – Monday through Saturday 7:30am – 8pm, Sunday 8:30am – 8pm

I have brought many friends and family members to Roscioli for pizza a taglio over the years, and I have never had a single unsatisfied customer. Their margherita bewilders me – it’s just crust, sauce and cheese, and yet, it’s magic. I’ve never had any pizza that I didn’t like there. 

Many restaurants around town source their bread from Roscioli because of its reputation for excellence. They also have desserts and prepared dishes in their that you can order from the “bancone,” which is in the small room off the main one that you’ll enter. 

This is another super popular spot, like Bonci, so be prepared to wait in line.

Casa Manco

Mercato di Testaccio Box 22- Via Aldo Manuzio 66C – Monday through Saturday 9:30 – 3pm, closed Sundays

Peek at their topping options here – I dare you not to get hungry. The pizzas at Casa Manco have a thicker base and an oblong shape, and they aren’t afraid to stray from the classics.

Pantera Garbatella

Circonvallazione Ostiense 153 (Garbatella), Tuesday through Saturday 12 – 3pm, Sunday 6pm – 9pm

Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to make it to Pantera yet, but it is very much on my list of priorities. Brought to us by the brothers behind Trecca, my fave, and Circoletto, another super spot, Pantera’s crispy crusts and abundant toppings have quickly earned them a large fanbase.

Ruver Teglia Frazoniata

Viale Aventino 46 (Metro B Circo Massimo) – Monday through Saturday 10am – 9pm, closed Sundays

Opened up recently by a Bonci protégé, everyone is raving about Ruver – especially his pizza al ragù. All the pizzas are made using Italian flour and organic ingredients of the highest quality.

According to this Gambero Rosso article, a notable difference about Ruver is that they sell pre-cut slices, so you won’t be able to specify the amount you want (in fact, the name, teglia frazoniata, means “sliced pan”).

This is good for babes on a budget, though, because you know what you’re going to be spending! I peeked at the price list when I was there the other day, but I couldn’t get a picture because it was so crowded. It looked like slices varied between €3 and 5, depending on the topping. We ordered five, paid €21, and it was enough pizza for three people.

Ruver’s pizza deserves all the praise it’s getting. It’s c-r-u-n-c-h-y and the toppings are generous. The pizza al ragù was excellent, but my favorite was actually the potato and mozzarella. Lucky for me, I’m in the area four days a week, so I’ll go back to try some other kinds asap.

Pizza from Ruver Teglia Frazionata in Rome, Italy
Pizza from Ruver

Pizza e mortazza

A slight twist on both pizza a taglio and a sandwich, “pizza e mortazza” is pizza bianca (a pizza crust drizzled with olive oil and salted) cut in half and filled with mortadella. 

Where to get pizza e mortazza in Rome

Forno Campo de’ Fiori

Their pizza bianca alone is also delicious.

Campo de’ Fiori 22 – Monday through Saturday 8am – 2:30pm and 4:30 – 7:30pm, closed Sundays

Pizza bianca with mortadella in Rome, Italy
Disclosure: I did not eat this on the street, I ate it at Circoletto 🙂

Supplì

Classic supplì are made of a mixture of rice and sauce that is shaped around a piece of mozzarella into an oblong shape and fried. Note that there is generally meat in the sauce, so if you’re not a meat-eater, look for vegetarian versions, which might be made with peas instead. 

Supplì are sometimes called “supplì al telefono” because when split in two, the melty mozzarella becomes stringy and links the two pieces, like phone cord connecting a handset to its base.

You can find many different types of supplì in Rome, including those made with the ingredients of the core four Roman pastas, as well as a variety of vegetables, and different types of cheeses and meats.

Where to eat supplì in Rome

Supplizio

Via dei Banchi Vecchi 143 (Campo de’ Fiori/Chiesa Nuova) – Monday through Saturday 12 – 3:30 and 7 – 9:30pm, closed Sundays

Mercato Centrale (Termini) – Via Giovanni Giolitti 36

Owned by Arcangelo Dandini, who also runs his namesake restaurant, L’Arcangelo, in Trastevere, these stellar supplì ring in at just €3 a pop. There’s more on the menu, too, including potato croquettes and eggplant and baccalà balls. 

I once had a supplì made by Dandini at a street food festival (actually, I had two). It was made with a recipe that calls for chicken giblets. If you know me, you will know how special this was, given my love of the gibs. 

Truth be told, the online menu at Supplizio simply says that the classic supplì contain “carne” or “meat,” but doesn’t specify which cut. Who knows, it could be guts!

Supplì in Rome, Italy

Supplì

Via di San Francesco a Ripa 137 (Trastevere) – Monday through Saturday 10am – 9pm

You’ll see the line at Supplì in Trastevere before you see the actual shop. They serve many other things besides supplì, but my guess is that most people are there just for the rice balls, which come in four ways: with meat sauce, amatriciana, carbonara, or cacio e pepe.

La Casa del Supplì

Piazza Re di Roma 19/20 (Metro A Re di Roma) – Monday through Saturday 10am – 11pm

Pizza a taglio and roasted chickens are also on the menu at this classic supplì spot that’s been around since 1979.

Pasta

Pasta is, of course, eaten all over Italy, and I’m including it here because there are good street-food-esque places to get it in Rome. It’s not quite as easy to eat as the other street food items on this list, so you might just have to sit on a bench and chow.

Pasta in restaurants these days is getting pretty expensive, so this is a good way to try it for a lower price, although you might receive a smaller portion. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – I can’t always finish a restaurant serving of pasta!

Pastificio Guerra

Via della Croce 8 (Metro A Spagna) – Open daily 1pm – 8pm

Pastificio Guerra has been serving up pasta for over a hundred years. One portion will cost you just €4.50.

C’è pasta…e pasta!

Via Ettore Rolli 29/35 (Trastevere) – Sunday through Thursday 8:30am – 3pm and 5 – 9:30pm, Fridays 8:30 – 3, closed Saturdays

This Kosher spot makes and sells fresh pasta and also serves it at their tavola calda. You can eat in or take away if you want to keep on a-walking. Portions of pasta come in at €8.

Altro pasta e vino

Mercato di TestaccioVia Beniamino Franklin 12C

Another top spot at the Mercato di Testaccio is Altro pasta e vino. For just a few euros, you can get a hot serving of fresh pasta to eat as you wander around the market, or you can stop and chomp at the communal tables in the center.

Pasta to go in Rome, Italy

Sweet street food in Rome

Grattachecca

Available seasonally

A summertime staple on the streets of the Eternal City, “grattachecca” comes from the word “grattare,” to scratch or scrape, and “checca” a Roman word for a block of ice (note that “checca” is also a slur for a gay man, so don’t go shouting it around).

Not to be confused with granita, which is made from a mixture of water, sugar, syrup and or juice that is set to freeze, a grattachecca is made of shaved ice, flavored syrup or juice and fresh fruit that’s mixed on the spot. Also unlike granita, which is often eaten in the morning for breakfast in Sicily (they also eat gelato with a sweet bun for breakfast, go to Sicily immediately, guys), grattachecche are usually enjoyed in the evening.

Where to have grattachecca in Rome

I’m not sure if there’s a “best” one, but these are some of the most well known.

Alla Fonte d’Oro

Lungotevere Sanzio (Trastevere, Ponte Garibaldi)

Er Chioschetto 

Via Magna Grecia 9 (San Giovanni)

Sora Mirella

Lungotevere degli Anguillara (Trastevere, Isola Tiberina)

La Sora Maria

Via Trionfale 56 (Metro A Ottaviano)

Lemoncocco

Lemoncocco

Piazza Buenos Aires (Coppedè)

Available seasonally

Another summertime item, Lemoncocco’s secret recipe is unknown. The lemons are from Siracusa, in Sicily, and there’s coconut (Milk? Water?), but the ratios are a mystery.

According to the owner, these ratios have been guessed at and stolen by an American, who is now selling them at supermarkets across the US and Canada. The name was even stolen. Ick! 

If you want to try the original, there’s only one place to get it in Rome, right near Quartiere Coppedè, which is worth seeing, especially if you’re into architecture.

The Lemoncocco Google reviews are fun to read – my favorite was this, from summer 2023:

“The Colosseum is good. So is the Roman Forum. The best thing in Rome is Lemoncocco. You will not find a better drink on this earth. I strongly consider moving to Rome for this drink.”

Caldarroste

Another seasonal* treat you can enjoy in Rome (and elsewhere) are caldarroste, or roasted chestnuts. Served in a paper cone, the smoky smell of the toasted shells fills the air in the squares and on the street corners where they’re sold.

I had never tried chestnuts before moving to Europe. For those of you who might not be familiar, the nuts are soft and sweet, almost buttery in consistency, and the toasted flavor is warming on chilly fall and winter days.

*When researching for this post, I found a couple of interesting articles about how caldarroste are now served all year, outside of October and November, when chestnuts are in season. They’ve become a bit of a tourist attraction, I suppose, being something kind of old fashioned, so they’re available year round now. If you want to try them at their best, stick to the fall.

Where to eat caldarroste in Rome

You’ll find these stands all over the city center.

Maritozzo

Maritozzi are sweet buns sliced down the middle and packed with fluffy cream, and they’re often eaten for breakfast in Rome. 

When eating a maritozzo, don’t resist getting a bit messy – you might end up with cream on the tip of your nose or powdered sugar on your cheeks, but it’ll be worth it.

The word “maritozzo” comes from “marito,” or husband. The story goes that on the first Friday of March, which, at one time, was the date that the feast of Saint Valentine was celebrated, men gave maritozzi to their girlfriends with a gift – perhaps a ring – hidden in the cream. I’m not sure how many teeth were cracked or rings were swallowed, but other than that possibility, I find this a very cute story.

Lots of places make savory maritozzi. I have yet to meet one I like, to be honest. Below are my recommendations for getting a sweet one. If I find a salted option that speaks to me, I’ll add it to the list.

My maritozzo 🙂

Where to eat maritozzi in Rome

Pasticceria Linari

Via Nicola Zabaglia 9 (original Testaccio location) – Tuesday 6:30am – 1:30pm, Wednesday through Monday 6:30am – 9pm

Viale di Vigna Pia 54 (new location in Portuense)

Please go to Linari hungry and have a maritozzo, a ciambella (doughnut), and a pizzetta rossa (a mini-pizza with sauce that yes, you can have for breakfast).

Pasticceria Regoli

Via dello Statuto 60 (Esquilino)

Regarded by some as having the best maritozzi in Rome, Regoli has been around since 1916.

Il Maritozzaro

Via Ettore Rolli 50 (Trastevere)

According to Google, Il Maritozzaro is open 24 hours from Tuesday through Saturday, but that it closes at 7pm on Sunday and Monday. 

If you want a twist on your maritozzo, check out this historic bar, which adds drizzles of pistachio and/or chocolate cream, or subs the whipped cream for cooked cream and adds black cherries. You can also go for an old classic, if you wish.

Casa Manfredi

Viale Aventino 91/93 (Metro B Circo Massimo) – Monday through Friday 7:30am – 9pm, Saturday 8am – 9pm, Sunday 8am – 8pm

I’m lucky enough to work near Casa Manfredi, so I’m generally there a few times a week for coffee and treats. Their maritozzi are great, as are the raspberry croissants, mignon, etc.

Roscioli Caffè

Piazza Benedetto Cairoli (Campo de’ Fiori) – Monday through Friday 7am – 6pm, Saturday 7:30am – 6pm, Sunday 8am – 6pm

Another Roscioli item to try are their maritozzi, sold at the bar next to their excellent salumeria and just down the sidestreet from the Antico Forno.

Gelato

Gelato, like pasta, of course eaten all over Italy, so it’s not strictly a Roman street food. I’ve written about this in other posts, but here are a few tips for choosing good gelato:

  1. It should be low and flat in its pan, not piled high. If you see big mountains of gelato, it probably contains additives that make it this way.
  2. It can be in covered pans as well – some people claim that this is the best way to store gelato.
  3. It shouldn’t be unnatural colors – mint, for example, shouldn’t be glowing green, it should be pale, lemon should be whitish, not bright yellow, etc. Some fruits are naturally pretty bright, like mango and raspberry, for example, but generally, look for the subdued hues found in fruit, nuts and chocolate.
  4. “Artigianale” means that the gelato is made by mixing fresh ingredients on-site in a “laboratorio”, as opposed to gelato that’s made from a base that’s already mixed. Gelato artigianale won’t have thickeners, emulsifiers or artificial stabilizers added to it, whereas industrially produced bases probably do. There seems to be some legal gray area surrounding this concept. I read an interview with the owners of the super-popular chain La Romana while writing this, which said that although they prepare their bases at their flagship store in Rimini, their locations are still considered “artigianali” because each of their locations has a “laboratorio” on the premises where the gelato is made. A draft bill on what makes gelato artigianale was presented to the Italian Senate in 2020, but as far as I can tell, it hasn’t been passed yet.

The following list is subjective, of course, and it contains what I consider to be some of the best gelaterie in Rome. If you have a favorite, share it in the comments!

Prices should be clearly displayed and will vary based on the size cone or cup you get.

Gelato in Rome, Italy

Where to eat gelato in Rome

Gelateria del Teatro

Open 12 – 9pm daily

Via dei Coronari 65/66 (Piazza Navona)

Via di S. Simone 70 (Piazza Navona)

Lungotevere dei Vallati 25 (Between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Garibaldi)

Come il Latte

Via Silvio Spaventa 24/26 (Porta Pia) – Open 12 – 8pm daily

Fatamorgana

Special note here because this is my very fave – if they have the basil, walnut and honey flavor, please get it and let me know what you think!

Via Roma Libera 11 (Trastevere)

Via degli Orti di Trastevere 86 (Trastevere)

Via dei Chiavari 37A (Campo de’ Fiori)

Piazza degli Zingari 5 (Monti)

Via Aosta (Re di Roma)

Via della Croce 46 (Spagna)

Via Lago di Lesina 9/11 (Trieste)

Gelato from Fatamorgana in Rome, Italy
Get that green goodness

Neve di latte

I’ve only been to the location in Flaminio, but there they had a flavor that isn’t super common, and that I happen to love: peanut. I think their offerings rotate, so I can’t promise they’ll have it, but get it with chocolate if they do!

Via Nomentana 335F (Nomentano)

Via Federico Cesi 1 (Piazza Cavour, Prati)

Via Luigi Poletti 6 (Flaminio)

Via Veneto 112

Via dei Banchi Vecchi 140 (Campo de’ Fiori/Chiesa Nuova)

Otaleg!

Via di San Cosimato 14a (Trastevere)

Viale dei Quattro Venti 70 (Monteverde)

The raspberry at Otaleg stopped me in my tracks when I first ate it. The color, the texture, the taste – it is perfect.

Gelato from Otaleg in Trastevere, Rome, Italy
That perfect raspberry

Gelateria dei Gracchi

Via dei Gracchi 272 (Prati)

Via di Ripetta 261 (Flaminio)

Viale delle Provincie 30 (Nomentano)

La Romana

Like I said above, La Romana is a chain that was born in Rimini. It’s now operated by the two sons of the original owner, and they have expanded all over Italy and even abroad. You’ll definitely clock La Romana owing to the inevitable line that will be snaking out the door and down the sidewalks. Locals love it. I like it, but what I really like are their seasonal granite, especially the pink grapefruit one. On a hot summer night, I could have a bucket full.

Via Ostiense 48 (Ostiense/Piramide)

Via Magnagrecia 47A (San Giovanni)

Piazza di S. Andrea della Valle (Piazza Navona)

Via Venti Settembre 60 (Porta Pia) 

Via Cola di Rienzo 2 (Prati)

Viale Europa 123 (EUR)

Great spots for lovers of Roman street food

Mercato Centrale

Via Giovanni Giolitti 36

Located towards the back of the Stazione Termini, Rome’s Mercato Centrale is jam-packed with stalls, some of which are run by the city’s most well-known purveyors of street food. 

It’s a great spot to stop before or after a train ride, or if you just want to try multiple Roman foods in one place.

Mercato di Testaccio

Entrances on via Beniamino Franklin, via Alessandro Volta, via Aldo Manuzio and via Lorenzo Ghiberti

The Mercato di Testaccio is definitely one of my favorite places in all of Rome. Located across the street from the neighborhood’s old slaughterhouse, the market is a street-foodie’s dream. 

If you’re short on time, extremely hungry, or both, it’s a great place to go. Keep in mind that it’s only open until 3pm, so get there for lunch time. 

Other tips for budget travelers visiting Rome

  1. Bring a water bottle

There are fountains all over the city where you can stop and fill up.

2. Look into staying in a hostel or outside of the city center

The prices in the city center, especially for accommodation, are incredibly high.

There are hostels near the Stazione Termini if you really want to stay in town but are trying to save money. Otherwise, say a bit further out. I love the Pigneto neighborhood, which you can easily reach by tram or Metro C. Rooms are a little cheaper out there, and you get the added bonus of being in one of the coolest areas of the city. It’s great for nightlife and has some excellent restaurants, not to mention its own little village vibe.

3. Book train tickets ahead of time, and know your options

People ask if they can just “buy train tickets on the day” all the time. You can, provided the train isn’t sold out (which happens on the high-speed trains or frecce, especially in the high season), but you’ll be paying a lot more. 

I’ve got a really detailed guide about train travel in Italy with tips on how to get the cheapest tickets.

4. Use public transport

Public transportation in Rome, while not known for being particularly reliable, is by far the cheapest (and most sustainable) way to get around the city, and it comes with a very low price tag of just €1.50 per ticket. 

If you’re not on a budget…

This tour by Walks of Italy hits many of the above foods that I’ve mentioned. With a total of nine tastings, you’ll definitely leave more knowledgeable about Roman street food and with a full belly.

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