As you can imagine, Rome is full of amazing culinary delights. Unfortunately, there are many non-authentic and overpriced restaurants, purely targeted towards unsuspecting tourists. Here’s my guide to the best authentic food and drink I found in Rome:
Look at most guidebooks and you’ll find Sant’Eustachio listed as the place to drink the best coffee in the city. Although definitely not cheap, the coffee really is amazing and a must-stop whilst you’re near Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. Opt to drink yours inside at the counter to save money, table service equals much higher prices.
Best lunch to go
Although as a general rule you should avoid eateries close to the main attractions, L’Antica Salumeria is an exception. Right beside the Pantheon, this hidden gem serves up delicious and affordable paninis. With traditional fillings like proscuitto and cheeses, these are a great option when you’re out and about. Sit inside or enjoy sat in the square by the fountain.
Best cocktail bar
Situated on a quiet street in the Monti area, Black Market is a great place to grab a cocktail away from the tourist crowds. Deceptively large inside, the bar is filled with armchairs and comfortable sofas that you can relax on. Although there’s an extensive menu of craft beers and cocktails, I would recommend going traditional and having an Aperol Spritz- they are HUGE and made just perfectly.
As the name suggests, La Carbonara serves up the city’s best version of this famous dish. On the same road as Black Market, grab some cocktails and then head to La Carbonara- the earliest table we could get was at 10pm, so booking is recommended should you wish to eat earlier. The restaurant is traditional Italian and the Carbonara was by the far the best I’ve ever tasted. Opt for a glass of wine or Prosecco (they walk around and top up your glass for free), a sharing platter to start, followed by the Carbonara. The Italian way to eat is to have antipasti plus two courses but one pasta is more than ample following a starter.
Best for relaxed dining
Although targeted towards tourists, Amalfi Pizzeria is a great option for reasonably priced and well cooked food. Sit out on the street if weather permits; the pizza and pastas are both delicious. I’d recommend the tomato and basil pasta- simple but extremely delicious! Their sister restaurant is situated across the street, so there’s usually plenty of space.
Best rooftop views
A visit to Rome isn’t complete without enjoying the sunset on one of its many rooftop bars. Les Etoiles Roof Garden (within the Hotel Atlante Star) is great; with reasonably priced drinks, aperitivo and stunning views over the city and St Peter’s Basilica, this is a great option that won’t break the bank.
Best authentic experience
A truly authentic Italian restaurant, Osteria Centouno only opens its doors at 8pm and is filled with Italian families. Although not the cheapest option, the food is tasty and they have a great wine selection. Great for immersing yourself in Roman life!
I only spent three days in Rome, so this is not an exhaustive list and I’m sure there are a great many other options. Please do let me know if you find any hidden gems, I’d love to try them out on my next visit!