Italy is well known for having amazing food. When you're visiting Rome as a tourist, it's not always easy to get a decent lunch without ending up in a tourist trap that will give you low quality food for overinflated prices. Here are 5 restaurant recommendations for your next visit to Rome where you will have incredible food without getting ripped off!
This chain of restaurants originated in Naples, and their main value is making you feel like a guest of a Neapolitan house, no matter if you're a tourist or a local. They have now expanded all over Italy, and there's a few of them in Rome too.
They offer a great variety of first and second dishes, as well as multiple different pizzas. Their calzone was one of the best that I've ever had in Italy! The most central restaurant is in Largo di Torre Argentina, just a few minutes behind the Pantheon. Considering the great location, prices are quite fair for the quality of food that you get.
Pizzeria La Montecarlo
Our hotel recommended us this place as 'one of the best pizzas in Rome', and they weren't wrong!
Their pizzas are made following the traditional Roman style, with a thin, crispy dough. You can find them off Piazza Navona, and I'd suggest that you book in advance - they tend to be pretty packed!
Antica Trattoria Due Colonne
Right in the heart of Rome, in between Fontana di Trevi and the Pantheon, you will find this amazing trattoria. The building occupies part of an adjoining church, and the main dining area is crossed by two columns from the original structure, giving the name to the restaurant.
You can choose from a great variety of traditional Roman dishes. I tried the carbonara and it was delicious! You can't miss the homemade bread, and I recommend you their craft beer 'na birreta chiara (Roman dialect for 'a little blonde beer'). I'm not a big fan of drinking beer during lunch, but I absolutely loved this craft!
Il Giardino Romano
Jewish Romans had their own cuisine, and there's no better place to try it than in the former Jewish Ghetto.
Il Giardino Romano specialises in traditional Jewish food from the ghetto, and I can tell you that it will be quite different from what you can order in any other Roman restaurant. You can't miss the artichokes, chicory in a sauce of anchovies, or pumkin flowers. You can, of course, find pizzas as well, many of them with a Jewish twist!
Hostaria Dino & Tony
Now, if you're looking for THE REAL Roman experience, you have to try this one!
Located just a few minutes away from the Vatican Museums, this traditional trattoria offers some of the best Roman dishes that you will find in the Eternal City. Don't expect anything fancy, it actually feels like you're having lunch in the kitchen of an Italian family.
Their speciality is the rigatoni all'amatriciana; pasta tubes with tomato sauce, bacon and chilli. This dish originates in Amatrice, a town that was badly affected by an earthquake in 2016. When I was there, part of the price of the dish was donated to the victims of the earthquake and to help with the reconstruction works. I was happy to collaborate with the cause while I enjoyed their great food!
Restaurant: Hostaria Dino & Tony
Location: Via Leone IV, 60
Price range: €-€€