/I Porchettoni in Pigneto

I Porchettoni in Pigneto

When we got the bill at I Porchettoni, Jessica and I nearly fell off our respective benches. It’s been a loooong time since we’ve paid under €12 a head for dinner anywhere, much less in Rome where an inexpensive meal is increasingly harder to come by. I had expected dinner would be cheap, but €23.10 for two people is stunning.

I Porchettoni opened at the end of February on Via del Pigneto (corner of Circonvalazione Casalina) in Rome. This is the second location; the original is northeast of Rome in Fonte Nuova. Its name derives from the word porchetta, and the place is modeled on a fraschetta, a simple tavern that serves food on plastic plates, has paper on the large communal picnic tables, and supplies just a single glass for water and wine.

Porchetta and fraschette are the symbols of Ariccia, a hillside town just outside Rome. Porchettoni’s atmosphere takes a page from Ariccia’s playbook and manages to duplicate the food of the town very well.

The service is very informal and there is no written menu. The servers rattle off the day’s specials, composed mainly of traditional dishes. The menu may vary from day to day, but the classic fraschetta starters are always available: fresh mozzarella, salami, olives, grilled vegetables in olive oil. We ordered these mixed appetizers and also got the seasonal starter, corallina on Easter bread, a rustic contrast of savory and sweet. Of course, we also ordered some porchetta, which was sliced off a huge roasted beast and delivered to the table wrapped in brown paper.

For her first course, Jessica had pasta all’amatriciana, while I had fettuccine with meat sauce. Our abundant servings of pasta were served in big plastic buckets bowls. Though I was very tempted to try their spezzatino, we skipped the second course and each had an amaro and ciamballine al vino instead. Then the near-bench-falling ensued.

I Porchettoni
Via del Pignetto 68 – Rome
+39 3888723723
Dinner only

2016-09-19T10:48:27+00:00 April 18th, 2011|Categories: Gastronomic Traditions, Pork, Restaurants, Restaurants in Rome, Rome & Lazio|Tags: |22 Comments


  1. Sue April 18, 2011 at 9:05 am - Reply

    I’ll have to remember this place

  2. giovi mazzano April 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Pigneto has only one ‘t’ …

    • Katie April 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm - Reply

      @sue it’s so close to jessica’s apt!

      @giovi I’m an idiot. I publish blog posts at 3am without editing. At least I got it right in the text:)

  3. Engred April 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks Katie – it is going on the list for October!

  4. @passerotto April 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    On my musts list, grazie!

  5. Jessica April 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Arg!! I told you not to write about it and ruin the secret! :p But seriously, the first time I came with a friend we paid €9 pp and this time, with more food, €12. You could even live just with the antipasti. The place is already always full and this is exactly the type of place that’s perfect for Pigneto.

  6. Bonnie April 22, 2011 at 3:49 am - Reply

    I’m weeping with desire. My friend lives in Pigneto so now I have another reason to visit, as if I needed one.

  7. Frank April 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    What a deal for three courses and wine/water… !

  8. […] cheap antipasti, primi and secondi. The atmosphere is fun and animated. Expect some shouting. More here. I Porchettoni is located at Via del Pignetto […]

  9. Brooke Babcock September 29, 2011 at 3:00 am - Reply

    Katie, I’ve been devouring your website in anticipation of our only two days in Rome, Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6. As porchetta has been a favorite food for 30 years, we want of course to go to I Porchettoni in Pigneto.
    My question: when is it open? No one but you has reviewed it on the Internet!

  10. Brooke Babcock September 30, 2011 at 5:24 am - Reply

    Thanks very much, Katie! Where should we go for lunch and/or dinner on Sunday, Nov. 6? We’re on a budget and my boyfriend and I both love gnocchi, also coda and lamb. I’ve studied your article on restaurants open on Sundays but don’t find any gnocchi. We want to try the real thing!

    • Katie September 30, 2011 at 5:34 am - Reply

      check out flavio al velavevodetto for gnocchi at sunday lunch. if you really want to make sure they have them drop them an email at tuttinoisrl@virgilio.it. have you seen this post on budget dining? for dinner id hit up la gatta mangiona for pizza. let me know how it works.

  11. Brooke Babcock September 30, 2011 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Thanks again, Katie! I have seen your post on budget dining, of course, and Flavio al Velavevodetto is high on my list. Another idea — we will be in Civitavecchia on October 13, which is a Thursday, but will be too tired from our flight from San Francisco to take the train into Rome. Do you suppose any restaurants in Civitavecchia make real gnocchi di patate on Thursdays?

  12. Katie September 30, 2011 at 4:46 am - Reply

    hey brooke! I porchettoni is open for dinner only. it is definitely open saturday night–not sure about sunday–so if you go on nov 5 you are golden. enjoy!

  13. Katie October 2, 2011 at 6:19 am - Reply

    dunno. gnocchi on thursdays is typical in rome but i dont know about civitavecchia. ive had gnocchetti with seafood there but it’s not the same thing.

  14. Brooke Babcock October 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Katie. Are there any special places or dishes we should try in Positano or in the Cinque Terre? Our cruise bring us for a day to each of them. I do wish we had more time in Italy on this trip.

  15. Katie October 3, 2011 at 1:49 am - Reply

    if you have a car, get out of positano. or take a train to vico, which has pizza a metro. check out these posts for liguria: http://www.parlafood.com/category/liguria/ enjoy!

  16. Brooke Babcock October 3, 2011 at 7:17 am - Reply

    We won’t have a car in Positano, just a seat in a van to tour the Amalfi Coast, a feast for the eyes.
    In the Cinque Terre on Nov. 8 we’ll try Trattoria dal Billy and hope to find trofie al pesto. Basil will be out of season, but maybe they freeze pesto to serve all winter.
    I enjoy all your writing, Katie.

  17. […] Porchettoni: This super cheap fraschetta in Pigneto, brings a slice of the Castelli Romani to downtown Rome at a fraction of the cost. […]

  18. […] blog and photos by Katie Parla.  My favorite dishes are the porchetta and the super creamy burrata cheese. Pizzeria Gino […]

  19. Roberto January 27, 2012 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    The food there is awesome. My cousin’s best friends actually own it, Gian Luca and Fabio and Porchettoni was actually featured on an Anthony Bordain show.

    Porchettoni 2 is actually opening in the famous San Lorenzo ristorante district of Roma in 2 weeks;.
    I Porchettoni, via dei marrucini 18c, San Lorenzo, Roma – ask for Fabio and Alessandro (who speaks perfect English)

  20. Luca April 28, 2012 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Hiya Troopers,
    carefull! these guys will shovel food down your gizzards till you walk like Quasimodo.

    The idea is for the troopers to feed the troops; for them it’s a labour of love

    The food is great value as opposed to cheap; in the statute/operations manual/afterhours operations fine tuning conversations the term -the people- emerges continuously.

    I love these guys and admire their congiscence of the difference between wealth, prosperity and riches

    here here,


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