Rome. A bustling city where millions of people roam, hundreds of historic landmarks stand and numerous eateries line the busy streets.
It was mid-day when we emerged from the train station and arrived in the carbohydrate-capital of the world. After a long morning of travel, it was time to feed our hunger but with so many options staring us in the face (and listed in our guide book), we didn’t know where to start. Pizza, pasta, gelato; you name it, the city has it! But when in Rome, finding authentic cafes and restaurants can be difficult. So after conversing with many and taste testing a few unique, off the beaten path eateries myself, I came up with five of my favorites dishing up real Italian cuisine!
Taverna Le Coppelle
Via delle Coppelle, 38-39
(between 5 and 12 Euro)
Mouth-watering Roman pizza
The crispy, thin, airy crust, fresh crushed tomato sauce and a blend of melted cheeses will give you reason enough to finish the whole pie yourself! The pizzeria is located on the corner of a narrow street in between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Grab a table outside and take a break from the hustle and bustle of sight seeing. With a variety of choices including calzones and pastas, go for the pizza – anchovy, meat lover’s prosciutto or a simple mushroom pie. This restaurant will have you coming back for more authentic Roman pizza.
Via Di San Giovanni, 88 (In Laterano)
(between 7 and 15 Euro)
Small tables line the restaurant’s sidewalk, while a brick oven heats up the inside but the chaotic atmosphere is what gives this restaurant a real Italian feel! Just around the corner from the Coliseum, Trattoria Luzzi is located on a quiet neighborhood street offering delicious food. Ranging from homemade pastas to wood-grilled pizzas and fresh salads, there is something on the menu for everyone. But the best part of the whole experience is the cheap, tasty wine! Paired with Stringozzi con funghi (pasta with mushrooms) and an insalata caprese (caprese salad), you will be craving seconds.
Via Di Pietra, 89 A (Roof Terrace)
(between 6 and 15 Euro)
Enjoying the view at ‘happy hour’
After a day of walking in the blazing sun and soaking up the Roman sights, it is time to cool down with a cold beverage on the roof terrace of Albergo Cesari, a hotel located in Piazza di Pietra. Since aperitivo in Italy has come to resemble “happy hour” everywhere else, we were offered complimentary snacks with our beverages; plump green olives, fresh roasted almonds, rosemary infused crackers and an assortment of cheeses settled our cravings. Also pick from one of their smaller dishes including the fresh caprese salad, assorted meat platter or roasted vegetable panino. Not only were the views impressive but the simple menu was just right.
Via del Politeama, 27
(between 5 and 15 Euro per kg.)
This small neighborhood eatery is a local favorite for freshly baked bread, homemade pizzas, a variety of panini and delicious Italian cookies. La Renella is located in Trastevere, a charming, slow paced neighborhood away from the crowded streets of Rome. You pay by weight so stock up on freshly baked goods to settle any food cravings.
One of life’s simple pleasures!
Try the tuna on focaccia bread with vine ripe tomato slices and fresh arugula or opt for a thick slice of pizza – all with a variety of toppings – but then again go straight for the dessert with some biscotti. There is little room inside so grab some napkins on the way out and enjoy in a piazza. Simply delicious!
Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè
Piazza Sant’Eustachio, 82
(between 2 and 5 Euro)
The best way to start a day in Rome
Best. Coffee. Ever. And many of the locals agree as they gather around the coffee bar with cup in hand. Since it’s probably the start to another busy day, try the double espresso (sweetened) or a creamy cappuccino or you might want to sip on a monachella (coffee with chocolate and whipped cream). The crowded café might be intimidating at first but once finished, you will be ready to conquer the world.