Every now and again, I do a post dedicated to Rome dining advice inspired by readers. In the past week I have gotten quite a few emails from incoming abroad students inquiring about budget dining in Rome, so I thought now would be a good time to share some tips. My previous posts on the subject are way outdated, so here is a brand new list of places where you can eat very good food without breaking the bank:
00100: While the pizza quality has declined lately, the fritti are still nice and the trapizzini are good enough. You can get a small for €3 or a large for €5.
Al Vino Al Vino: You can have a plate of caponata (without a shadow of a doubt the best in Rome) and glass of wine for under €10 in this popular neighborhood wine bar in the Monti district.
Enoteca Provincia Romana: Grab a sandwich for a fiver or salads, primi, and secondi for a bit more at this wine bar funded by the Provincia di Roma. It gets packed out at lunch but is rather quiet most evenings.
Forno Campo de’ Fiori: This legendary bakery serves some of the best pizza bianca in town (their other pizzas aren’t quite as satisfying). Sandwiches are served in the adjacent annex for around €4.
Antico Forno Roscioli: A hearty slice of Rome’s/the world’s best pizza bianca costs less the €1, while pizza by the slice costs quite a bit more. Still, you can try a few types of pizza for under €10, or grab some of prepared food at the back. Prices vary, but you can eat a couple of courses for around €12.
La Barrique: This wine bar in Monti recently added a kitchen and expanded its menu. In addition to stellar wines you will find a wide range of moderately priced dishes. You can easily eat lunch for under €15; dinner for a bit more.
L’Asino d’Oro: The lunch menu (3 courses for €12) is one of the best deals in town.
Pizzarium: Rome’s best pizza by the slice isn’t always cheap—I once spent €40 on lunch. Woops!—you can eat here for €5 or less. Just let the person serving you know that you don’t want to spend a lot, give an amount, and they will work with you.
Porchettoni: This super cheap fraschetta in Pigneto, brings a slice of the Castelli Romani to downtown Rome at a fraction of the cost.
Mesob in Pigneto/Prenestino is one of the city’s best restaurants. Eat spectacular and authentic Ethiopian cuisine here for around €12 a head.
Some of my favorite pizzerias where you can eat for under €20 a head if you dine conservatively include: Pizzeria Tonda, Da Remo, Sforno, and La Gatta Mangiona.
You can save money shopping at markets (as opposed to supermarkets). Check out Piazza San Cosimato, Mercato di Campagna Amica, Roma Farmers’ Market, Mercato Esquilino, and Mercato di Testaccio, among others.
Wine bars are great for a light and cheap bite. In addition to those mentioned above, I love L’Angolo Divino, Il Bacocco, and Il Goccetto.
Rome has the world’s best gelato (though not in any of the places your guide books tell you about!). My favorites are Il Gelato di Claudio Torce’, Gelateria Fatamorgana, V-ice, Fior di Luna, Gelateria Gori, and Neve di Latte.