/Eating on a Budget in Rome

Eating on a Budget in Rome


(UPDATE: Read the revised post here.) You don’t need to spend a lot to have an amazing meal in Rome. Some of the city’s best food blends quality and affordability. Here are my favorite budget options:

Baciamo le Mani
Via Cardinale Marmaggi 12 (Trastevere)
A Sicilian rosticceria serving panelle, pane ca’ meusa and sfincione, all for under €5 each.

Bar Pica
Via della Seggiola, 12 (Largo Argentina)
This bar/tavola calda/gelateria serves hot meals at lunch with lots of great pasta and veggies. A full meal followed by a gelato runs around €10.

Cafffe Camerino
Largo Argentina, 30
Yeah, that’s 3 f’s. This landmark espresso bar also serves prepared food cafeteria style at lunchtime. Cold pastas, salads, fish, and meat dishes are made with high quality ingredients. A full lunch will cost €8-10. Don’t miss the coffee!

Via Catanzaro, 30/36 (Piazza Bologna)
This cafe serves typical Sicilian snacks and desserts. The arancine (fried rice balls) are to die for. For €5 you can eat a pizzetta or arancina and a cannolo siciliano.

Mondo Arancina
Via Flaminia, 42 (Piazza del Popolo)
Via Marcantonio Colonna, 38 (Prati)
“Arancina World” serves a huge array of arancine, ranging from the traditional ragu’ filled to the creative squid stuffed (ink and all). Grab a savory Sicilian bite followed by a typical sweet for under €5.

This legendary bakery serves excellent pizza by the slice ranging from €0.50 to €2.50 for a generous portion, depending on toppings. They also serve light prepared meals and sandwiches in the back for €5-8.

Shawarma Station
Via Merulana, 271
Ridiculously good kebabs, felafels, salads, and hot dishes for under €5 or less each.

You can also get great pizza at an affordable price. Check out the places recommended in this post.

2016-01-08T12:12:07+00:00 June 23rd, 2009|Categories: Restaurants, Rome & Lazio|14 Comments


  1. exromana June 23, 2009 at 2:24 am - Reply

    really nice list, katie.
    roscioli really is the best, but in the centro storico i am a big fan of Fior Fiore for pizza al taglio. a bit greasy, admittedly, but good. when i’m back i have to try Baciamo le Mani in Trastevere, thanks for the tip.

  2. Miss Expatria June 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Enormous ortadella or porchetta sandwich at La Voglia on via Cavour, too! Great list.

  3. Katie June 23, 2009 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    @exromana I LOVE Fior Fiore on Via della Croce near the Spanish Steps. When I am in the neighborhood and need a quick bite I head there or to the alimentari on the corner of Croce and Belsiana for a panino.

    @Miss Expatria if you get there between 11 when its delivered and 12 when its sold out, you can grab a slice of pizza barese there. its really really good.

  4. Petulia June 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    You keep forgetting the croissants salati at Ciampini. If you have them standing up they are only 2.50 and then the filetti di Baccala’ dal Filettaro a Santa Barbara.
    Now I want to come back home and eat all of those things

  5. My Melange June 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Great list Katie. There are so many budget options. Was lucky enough to try Roscioli this last timei. Delish.

  6. thepinkpeppercorn June 24, 2009 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Great list Katie! A few of the places were already on the upcoming “list”, including Mondo Arancina…now I really want to go to Mizzica too!! Thanks!

  7. Katie June 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    @Petulia Ciampini is another great spot. You can get a little bit of fanciness without spending a ton. The Filettaro is a good one too, if you take a filetto di baccala’ to take away but if you sit down and get a beer, you go over 10 euros…

    @My Melange Roscioli is sooo good. I dream about it and am physically unable to pass it without going in for a peek.

  8. JP June 25, 2009 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Great list – have only tried a few so far but can’t wait to have panelle at Baciamo le Mani – never seem to make it past Roscioli!

  9. Katie July 3, 2009 at 9:43 am - Reply

    I also want to throw in:

    Aumm Aumm, a paninoteca with a surprising selection of beers on Via di Torre Argentina half-way between Largo Argentina and the Pantheon.

    Turkish Doner Kebab on Via Ottaviano 126 near the Ottaviano Metro and en route to the Vatican Museums entrance. Borek is 1 euro, felafel and doner is 3. Afiyet olsun!

  10. Mary March 13, 2010 at 5:35 am - Reply

    Thanks, Im looking for cheaper places to dine while in Italy.

  11. Budgetfoodinrome April 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    mizzica and mondo arancina are really great!!!

    i’d also suggest to eat a good pizza formula 1 and Il Podista in San Lorenzo.
    have a nice trip!

  12. Rome’s Budget Dining Trend June 18, 2010 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    […] In addition to the prix fixe and all you can eat buffet choices, there are also lots of cafeteria style dining options where you can eat filling portions of excellent pasta for around €5. Cafffe Camerino (that’s right, three fs) in Largo Argentina has a one of my favorite buffets in the center and Bar Alberto Pica nearby also does great homemade food at low prices. For more on eating on a budget in Rome, check out this post. […]

  13. […] Absolutely. Check out this post on Rome’s budget dining trend and this post for general advice for eating on a […]

  14. John Doe August 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Shawarma Station hit the spot!

Leave A Comment

You are currently not connected to the internet