Heading to Rome is a dream come true for any foodies like myself, from pasta carbonara to tiramisu and of course pizza, Rome has some of the best food on the planet. The first time around, my girlfriends and I didn’t do any research on food places so we went to restaurants near the tourist spots which weren’t as good. I didn’t make the same mistake the second time to Rome, my husband and I research the must try places and must get dishes. Here are some of the places we went to:
The first restaurant we went to after landing in Rome is Cantina e Cucina. It’s a short 7-minute walk from the Pantheon and right next to Piazza Navona. We ordered a margherita pizza and cacio e pepe at a reasonable price of 9 Euro each. They were both tasty but my pasta was dried and cold on the top when I got it.
What Have I Learned: You can enjoy a free glass of prosecco while you wait for a table.
Cost: Most pizza and pasta dishes cost about 9 Euro (10.90 USD)
Hour: Mon to Thurs: 10:30AM–9:00PM, Fri to Sat: 10:30AM–10:00PM, Sun: 11:00AM-9:00PM
We were debating if we should try Tonnarello or Grazia & Graziella (restaurants are located diagonally across each other) the first night we were in Rome and we went with the shorter of the two long lines that night. This restaurant opened back in 1876 and have over 30K reviews on Tripadvisor. We ordered lasagna and meatballs and spaghetti. The meatballs and spaghetti wasn’t memorable but the lasagna was good.
What Have I Learned: We waited in line for about 45 minutes so I recommend making a reservation online.
Cost: The lasagna cost 9 Euros (11 USD) but the entrees cost around 9 Euros (11 USD) to 16.50 Euros (20 USD). Check the menu online.
Hour: Mon to Sun: 8:00 AM – 1:00 AM
When you’re in Italy, I scream, you scream, we all scream for gelato. Frigidarium is the first gelato of many during our 15 days honeymoon. You know you found a good spot when you see a line out the door. We probably had at least one gelato every day but since this was our first gelato, we went all out and got two scoops with a cone, biscotti, and whipped cream.
What Have I Learned: The long line is worth the wait at this place and we didn’t know at the time but they offer free chocolate topping.
Cost: Two scoops of gelato with a biscotti cost 2.50 Euro (3 USD)
Hour: Mon to Sun: 10:00 AM – 01:00 AM
If you’re looking for an affordable delicious sandwich and meat and cheese platter, this is the restaurant you want to eat at. We ordered two sandwiches recommended by our server (can’t remember which ones) and a small charcuterie board.
What Have I Learned: The small charcuterie board was more than enough for the two of us. It comes with 6 different types of meat (2-4 slices), 2-3 kinds of cheese, jam, honey, and small toasts.
Cost: Sandwiches were around ~5 Euros (6 USD) and the small charcuterie board was only 5 Euros (6 USD).
Hour: Mon to Sun: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Our last dinner before heading back to NYC was at Grazia & Graziella. We waited 45 minutes to be seated but it was worth it. Since this was our last dinner in Rome, we ordered as much as we can eat: the crispy roman artichoke, carbonara, boscaiola pizza, and homemade tiramisu. We love the pasta, pizza, and tiramisu at this restaurant but I am not a big fan of artichoke.
What Have I Learned: This restaurant has outdoor seating with heaters and umbrellas. Complimentary blankets are also available if you need one.
Cost: Pasta and pizza dishes range between 9 Euro to 18 Euro (11 USD to 22 USD). Check the menu online.
Hour: Mon to Sun: 10:00 AM – 02:00 AM
This is the best tiramisu I have ever had and I regret not trying the other flavors. I am not a coffee lover but I am a dessert lover and this was just amazing. They have the classic tiramisu (we got this one), strawberry, pistachios, banana & nutella, hazelnut, and pina cola.
What Have I Learned: There are 6 locations in Rome and it’s an easy-to-go dessert since it’s in a box.
Cost: 4 Euro (~5 USD) for one tiramisu
Hour: Mon to Sun: 07:00 AM – 01:30 AM
Other gelato shops to check out in Rome:
- Venchi – They opened in 1878 with over 140 years of making chocolates. One of the store near the Trevi fountain had a chocolate waterfall in the back which make sense now. They opened their first gelato store in 2007. This is a bit on the expensive side where it’ll cost you 3 to 4 Euro (4 to 5 USD) for each scoop.
- Gelateria Old Bridge – This is a really good gelato spot near Vatican City that started 30 years ago and only uses 100% Italian milk. It was 3 scoops for 3 Euro (~4 USD) so we had to get two separate cones since it was such a great deal.