Pasta alla carbonara at Trattoria da Enzo al 29 in Rome, Italy

Where to eat in Rome – a local’s guide (updated constantly!)

Now that I’m living in the Eternal City again, I’ve decided to keep this post on where to eat in Rome as a living document. I’ll update it whenever I have a good meal (which happens constantly).

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to eat badly here, owing to the abundance of tourist traps throughout the city. This list of great restaurants in Rome is meant to help you avoid that, as is my post on how to find good restaurants in Italy.

If you’ve never been to Rome before, make sure you check out my post on what to eat in the eternal city, so that you know exactly what to order while you’re here. Note that I’ve also written an entire massive post on the best pasta in Rome, which covers the different Roman pasta dish and where to eat them. Once you’ve got all that down, you can decide where to eat in Rome!

The restaurants are grouped by neighborhood, so that you can find a great place to eat wherever you happen to be. I’ve decided to work on a separate post on the best pizzerias in Rome (coming soon), with one exception because they also have really good pasta.

For more details on each restaurant, click its name to be brought to either the website or social media account of each place, which I’ve linked to if they don’t have a website. I’ve also written full posts on some of these places and have provided the link to those posts, too.

Ready for my local guide on where to eat in Rome? Read on for all the delicious details!

Wondering where to eat in Rome, Italy? This post contains a list great restaurants in Rome, and includes tips on what to order. Check back often for updates - this post on where to eat in Rome is updated constantly (basically every time I have a good meal - which is often!) #rome #italytravel

Where to eat in Rome

I’m starting with some of the best places in eat near some of Rome’s most popular sights, because it can be really hard to find a good meal in the city center. Owing to the popularity of the restaurants and the number of tourists and locals around, book ahead of time to ensure that you’ll get a seat!

Campo de’ Fiori/Piazza Navona/Pantheon

Emma Pizzeria

Via del Monte della Farina 28 – +39 06 6476 0475

Open daily from 12:30 – 3:00 and 7 – 11:30pm

Emma is located a short stroll from Campo de’ Fiori, which makes it a great spot for lunch or dinner during a day of sightseeing. With an emphasis on organic, local, fresh foods, and pizza dough made by Pierluigi Roscioli, it’s no wonder that Emma Pizzeria has become a buzzing go-to for Romans and tourists alike.

I’ve never had a bad meal there (and I’ve had several). Browse the specials for the best of the season. If nothing tickles your fancy, go for one of the Roman classics: the cacio e pepe, amatriciana and carbonara are all excellent. The pizza is dynamite, too. Some say that you can’t get good pizza and pasta at the same place, but to that I say “Go to Emma and get back to me.”

Reservations highly recommended.

Here’s my full post on Emma Pizzeria.

cacio e pepe at emma pizzeria in Rome, Italy
Cacio e pepe at Emma Pizzeria

Armando al Pantheon

Salita dei Crescenzi, 31 – +39 06 6880 3034

Monday through Saturday 12:30 – 3pm; 7 – 11pm, open Sunday only for lunch

Armando al Pantheon was the first place I ate after the pandemic lockdown restrictions were lifted. It’s a memorable spot for me, not just for this reason, but because the food is truly excellent.

Don’t miss the gricia and the saltimbocca alla Romana at this family-run spot in the heart of Rome’s city center.

Reservations essential.

Here’s my full post on Armando al Pantheon.

Pasta alla gricia at Armando al Pantheon in Rome, Italy
Pasta alla gricia at Armando al Pantheon

Salumeria Roscioli

Via dei Giubbonari 21 – +39 06 687 5287 – Booking

Lunch: 12:30pm – 3:30pm – Dinner: 7pm – 11:30pm

My husband and I first went to Roscioli to celebrate getting some important paperwork done – always an accomplishment in Italy. It’s another great spot that’s close to the action, so it’s essential to make reservations (booking link above).

I didn’t really know what to expect. I had heard about the place for years, especially that they had some of the best carbonara in town. I got it, and yes, it was great, but I also really enjoyed the appetizers and the bites of the ravioli that my husband shared with me.

Note that the chef who prepped that famous carbonara has since moved to another joint near the Trevi fountain called Baccano. I’ve only been there for oysters, which were very good. Will report back once I’ve had the chance to go again!

Hosteria Grappolo d’Oro

Piazza della Cancelleria 80 – +39 06 689 7080

Lunch: 12:30-3pm, dinner: 7-11pm

A friend took me to Grappolo d’Oro for the first time last year, and I’ve been back several times since then. I love their mixed appetizer, pastas, and wine list.

Their delicate carbonara is a standout for me – sometimes the dish made elsewhere is way too salty, but at Grappolo d’Oro the balance is just right.

Reservations highly recommended.


Flavio al Velavevodetto

Via di Monte Testaccio, 97 – Lunch: 12:30 – 3; Dinner: 7:45 – 11pm

Piazza dei Quiriti, 4 – Lunch: 12:30 – 2:30; Dinner 7:30 – 10:30

I have an entire post dedicated to Flavio al Velavevodetto because it is that good. It is currently at the top of my list for best cacio e pepe in Rome, and it also happens to have the best tiramisù I’ve ever had the pleasure of shoveling feverishly into my gullet eating daintily like the refined individual that I am.

I’m eating there two days from now and I’m already excited. The name, “Ve l’avevo detto,” translates to “I told you so,” which is what you’ll say to your friends after you’ve told them how good it is and then taken them there.

GO, get the cacio e pepe (or anything, really) and the tiramisù and then comment below so I can say “Ve l’avevo detto!”

Tiramisù at Flavio al Velavevodetto in Rome, Italy
The top tiramisù, in my book

da Oio a Casa Mia

Via Galvani, 43 – +39 06 578 2680

Open daily 12:30 – 3 pm; 7:30 – 11:30 pm, closed for dinner on Sundays

The menu at da Oio is pretty typical of a Roman restaurant and includes the quadfecta of Roman pastas, some meat, and some typical Roman offal dishes, too.

I looooove the meatballs there, and the pollo alla cacciatora. The cacio e pepe is great, too.

Cacio e pepe at da Oio a Casa Mia in Rome, Italy
Yes, I do eat a lot of cacio e pepe

Osteria degli Amici

Via Nicola Zabaglia, 25 – +39 06 578 1466

Open 12:30 – 3pm; 8pm – 12am, closed Tuesdays

I ate in this cozy spot on a chilly fall night with friends for the first time, and the meal was perfect for the season. I had a creamy squash tart that sat on a pool of melted cheese and wore a hat of crispy pancetta, followed by cacio e pepe, followed by berry cheesecake. And I’d eat it all again right now if I could.

Osteria degli Amici is small, so book ahead of time.

Pumpkin tarte at Osteria degli Amici in Rome, Italy
My delicious autumnal appetizer

Mercato di Testaccio

Via Beniamino Franklin

Open daily, 7 – 3:30; closed Sundays

The offering of Roman street food at the Mercato di Testaccio is truly spectacular. If you want to try a bunch of different things while in Rome, I’d say definitely go there and do just that.

They have pizza al taglio, Roman-style artichokes, supplì, meatballs, sandwiches…you name it! And at street food prices. There’s communal seating in the middle, so you can grab your grub and eat with the locals.

I like Mordi e Vai and Food Box.

Sandwich from Mordi e Vai at the Testaccio Market in Rome, Italy
A scrumptious sandwich from Mordi e Vai

Lo Scopettaro

Lungotevere Testaccio 7 – +39 06 575 7912

Lunch: 12:30-2:45pm

Dinner: 7:30-10:45

Housed in what was once upon a time a broom shop, Lo Scopettaro has risen to the top of my list of places to have classic Roman food in a cozy setting. The place smells like pecorino when you walk in the door. It doesn’t get much more Roman than that.


Via Marmorata 39 – +39 06 574 2415

Lunch: 12:30-3pm; dinner: 7:30-11:15pm

Perilli was recently renovated, but they’ve managed to hang onto the classic vibe they’re known for. I love going there when it’s cold outside and warming up over a steaming plate of gricia.

Reservations recommended.

Checchino dal 1887

Via di Monte Testaccio 30 – +39 333 585 5055

Lunch: 12:30-3pm; dinner: 7:30-11pm; closed Mondays and Tuesdays

If you want to eat Roman offal, this is the place to do it. For me, their rigatoni al sugo di coda are the best in town.

Feel free to ask about menu items if you’re curious. The first time we went, my husband and I saw an unfamiliar item on the menu, so we asked the waiter in Italian, “What are granelli?”

Granelli,” the waiter replied, switching to English, “are testicles.”

Read more about Roman pastas here.

Il Collettivo Gastronomico Testaccio

la Città dell’altra Economia (inside Testaccio’s Mattatoio, or old slaughterhouse) – +39 389 248 8413

Lunch: Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 – 3pm; aperitivo and dinner Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 6 – 11:30 and from 6-12 on Saturdays and Sundays

In addition to hosting events like wine tastings, food policy fora, apertivi and exhibitions, the Collettivo Gastronomico serves stellar food. I love the location inside Rome’s old slaughterhouse.


Osteria Fratelli Mori

Via dei Conciatori, 10 – +39 331 323 4399

Open 12:30 – 2:30, Monday through Friday and 12:30 – 3 on Sunday (closed for lunch on Saturdays); daily from 7:30 – 11pm

I can’t say enough good things about this family-run spot, which serves up traditional Roman fare and has some of the best desserts in the Eternal City. The decor is cute, and I’ve always had good service there, too.

If you’re in Rome during artichoke season, don’t miss their artichoke antipasti, and try the gricia con carciofi if it’s on the menu.

Reservations are highly recommended.

Dessert sampler at Osteria Fratelli Mori in Rome, Italy


Via Giovanni da Empoli, 37 – +39 06 8772 5679

Open 9am – 3pm Thursday through Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday

The owners of Marigold restaurant and micro-bakery are committed to using the best local, fresh ingredients to prepare delicious meals and baked goods.

Their menu might be ever-changing based on the season’s best, but there are a few things you can count on at Marigold: freshly baked bread and sweets, delectable meals, delicious coffees, and a relaxed, upbeat vibe.

If you’re in Rome and you want an Anglo/American-style brunch (think avo toast and pancakes), this is the spot, but note that the full brunch menu is only available on Saturdays and Sundays. Fear not, though, during the week you can still get fried eggs and omelets, as well as items like overnight oats and house-made granola with fruit and yogurt. Whatever day of the week you choose to go, be sure to save room for a scrumptious cinnamon roll.

Also be sure to say hi to me, because I pretty much spend as much time at Marigold as I do at home or work, so I’m probably there.

No reservations for weekend brunch, so show up early, but you can book for breakfast/lunch on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Trattoria Pennestri

Via Giovanni da Empoli 5 – +39 06 574 2418

Tuesday – Sunday dinner from 7pm – 11pm, Friday, Saturday, Sunday lunch from 12-3pm; closed Mondays

After dining at Trattoria Pennestri for the first time, I immediately went back again. And again.

I love their seasonal menu, which always has some surprises, and the way they elevate their dishes to be just a cut above the rest.

Like Marigold, Trattoria Pennestri also serves natural wine. For the complete guide to natural wine in Rome, check out my post.

Reservations recommended.


Trattoria da Enzo al 29

Via dei Vascellari, 29 – +39 06 581 2260

Open Monday through Sunday 12:30 – 3pm; 7:30 – 11pm; closed Sundays for dinner

We made our way to da Enzo a few weeks ago for the first time. It’s a bit out of the way, which in Trastevere, is a good thing.

The outdoor tables on the relatively narrow Roman street were perfect for a hot summer night, and the food was delish.

Extremely popular among locals and tourists alike, da Enzo doesn’t take reservations, so go early and be prepared to wait in line.

Pasta alla carbonara at Trattoria da Enzo al 29 in Rome, Italy
Enzo’s excellent carbonara

Roma Sparita

Piazza di Santa Cecilia 24 – +39 06 580 0757

Lunch: 12:30 – 2:30pm; dinner: 7:30 – 11pm; closed Mondays

Made famous by Anthony Bourdain, Roma Sparita serves up what is probably my favorite cacio e pepe in the city. It’s a cheese-lover’s delight. I order it every time I go, but my husband, who is not as big of a cheese fan as I am, has sampled many of their other dishes, which have all also been great.

Reservations recommended.

La Tavernaccia da Bruno

Via Giovanni da Castel Bolognese 63 – +39 06 581 2792

Lunch: 1-3pm; dinner: 7:30-11; closed Wednesdays

La Tavernaccia opened in 1968, which means it’s been serving up Roman goodness for over fifty years. They serve pizza from their wood-fired oven, but they also use it to cook other dishes like pork and lasagne.


da Cesare a Casaletto

Via del Casaletto 45 – +39 06 536015

Lunch: 12:45 – 3pm; dinner 7:45 – 11; closed Wednesdays

Traveling all the way out to the end of the Tram 8 line might seem like a long trip, but it’s oh-so worth it to dine at da Cesare a Casaletto. The fried gnocchi cacio e pepe are incredible, as are the rest of the pastas, the wine list, and desserts. Reserve a table on their outdoor patio for a long lunch in the Roman sunshine.


Trattoria Pigneto

Via del Pigneto, 68 – 12pm to 1am daily

This is one of my newbies, but I already love it like an old friend. The staff are funny and friendly, and the food is classic Roman deliciousness. I’ve had carbonara, gricia, and cacio e pepe there, and they’re all great.

The porchetta is particularly amazing, with the perfect amount of seasoning and crispy fat on the edges. The last time we went, we left a tiny scrap of it, and the waiter told us he wouldn’t take the plate until it was gone. “You can leave one tonnarello or one rigatone, but you can’t leave any porchetta. It would be a sin!” he told us. He was right – we gobbled down the last bite.

They have pasta with ‘nduja – a spicy Calabrian sausage  – in the sauceIf you’re craving a bit of heat, go for it!

The interior is tiny, but they have some picnic tables on the sidewalk, which makes it a good place to eat with a group.

Cacio e pepe at Trattoria Pigneto
Cacio e pepe at Trattoria Pigneto


Trattoria Vecchia Roma

Via Ferruccio, 12b/c

Open Monday through Saturday, 12:30 – 3pm; 7 – 11pm; closed Sundays

Famous for their amatriciana and spaghetti parmigiana flambé (which means they toss the pasta in a flaming wheel of cheese), this is a great spot for Roman fare in the Esquilino/Monti neighborhood.

I went recently to see the show, and didn’t realize that they flambé the pasta near the kitchen, so make sure you ask to watch and don’t miss it like I did.

The cheese wheels for making pasta flambé
Cheese cart, but make it Roman

Ai tre scalini

Via Panisperna 251

Open daily, 12pm – 1am

Ai Tre Scalini is great for lunch. It’s also great for an aperitivo.

It’s cozy inside. The menu is written on a chalkboard, so you can select your dishes ahead of time if you have to wait for a table.

Buffalo ricotta with truffle honey
Ricotta di bufala with truffle honey

Ai tre scalini has a dish that I actually dream about – ricotta di bufala con miele al tartufo (buffalo ricotta with truffle oil). I could eat a tub of regular ricotta on its own, but I could eat a buffalo’s worth of ricotta di bufala. I’m not a huge truffle fan, but this combo works.

San Giovanni


Piazza Tarquinia 4 a/b – +39 06 7720 7354 – book online

Lunch: 12:30-3pm; dinner: 7:30-10pm

Roman classics and other dishes from around Italy, as well as innovative offal (think a fried oxtail meatball and beef-heart prosciutto) are prepared to perfection at SantoPalato, now extremely well known thanks to Stanley Tucci.

Reservations highly recommended.


Via Cesena 30 – +39 06 9727 3382

Lunch: Sundays only, 12:30 – 2:30pm; dinner: 7:30 – 10:30pm; closed Wednesdays

I’m not putting this place on my list of where to eat in Rome because they have my favorite natural wine (ok, that might have a little to do with it), I’m putting it here because the menu is interesting and the food is great.

Book here.

San Lorenzo

Tram Tram 

Via dei Reti 44 – +39 06 490416

Lunch: 12:30 – 3pm; dinner: 7:30 – 11pm; closed Mondays

Blink and you might miss this unassuming spot along the tram line that runs through San Lorenzo, but you’d be making a grave mistake! Inside, you’ll find a cozy atmosphere and a mix of Roman and Pugliese food that includes stellar fried anchovies and a delicious namesake pasta dish.

San Paolo


Via Alessandro Severo 220 – +39 06 8865 0867 – book here.

Lunch: Saturday from 12:30-3pm; dinner: 8-11pm; closed Sundays

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I love Trecca. If they have their pasta with chicken giblets on the menu, I always get it, but I’ve also tried many apps (if you like garlic and they have it on the menu, get the marinated eggplant), other pastas (the carbonara and amatriciana are both top), and a few meat dishes (the fried pannicolo is dreamy).

Tor Pignattara

Eufrosino Osteria

Via di Tor Pignattara 188 – +39 348 588 3932

Lunch: Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 – 4pm; dinner: 7:30 – 11pm; closed Mondays

When I walked into Eufrosino, I fell in love with the old-fashioned decor, open kitchen, and welcoming vibe. When I opened the menu, I fell even more deeply, when I saw that they had a pasta dish with chicken giblets, the most underrated cut of offal in my book.

Well worth the trip to Tor Pignattara, Eufrosino serves up a rotating mix of Italian regional dishes.

Reservations recommended – book online here.

Want more Rome tips?

Interested in walking a bit in between deciding where to eat in Rome? Check out my walking tour! All the sights are free, and it covers many of the city’s highlights.

Seen all the highlights? Check out my post on how to see Rome off the beaten path!

Want to know more about Italian food culture? You’ve come to the right place! Here are some other posts you might be interested in:

15 “Italian” foods that don’t exist in Italy

10 things to know about eating and drinking in Italy

What’s the difference between an osteria and a trattoria?

Wondering where to eat in Rome, Italy? This post contains a list great restaurants in Rome, and includes tips on what to order. Check back often for updates - this post on where to eat in Rome is updated constantly (basically every time I have a good meal - which is often!) #rome #italytravel

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