I have lived in Rome since January 2003. It is my home base and where (aside from Mamma Parla’s house) I feel most at home in the world. I have a dining app called “Katie Parla’s Rome” and an ebook called “Eating & Drinking in Rome” (available for Kindle, Nook, and in PDF format) that summarize all the best places to eat and drink. Here are a few highlights of the last decade in Rome:
If you are looking for fine dining, don’t. JK, Il Sanlorenzo is my top spot but everyone I send there complains the pasta is too al dente (it isn’t). Tempio di Iside is another upscale place for fish. Roscioli and Santo Palato blend innovation and tradition (though be sure to plan your trip to Roscioli ahead).
If you prefer traditional cucina romana at moderate prices, Armando al Pantheon, Flavio al Velavevodetto (best for lunch these days; some readers have reported sub-par food and service at dinner) and Cesare al Casaletto are your best bets. And for super honest, affordable, delicious Roman/Umbrian/Sardinian specialties, plus pizza, serve with a smile, Tavernaccia Da Bruno is it.
C’e’ Pasta…e Pasta is amazing for Roman Jewish classics in a cafeteria setting. I like Enoteca Provincia Romana (aka Terre e Domus) if I have to have sit-down lunch near Piazza Venezia and the Forum. Choices in nearby Monti are pretty grim these days.
For Neapolitan style pizza, check out Tonda, Sforno and La Gatta Mangiona, while Da Remo and Pizzeria Ostiense serve the quintessential thin crust Roman pie. Pizzeria Emma does thing crust Roman style with a gourmet slant. Don’t miss pizza by the slice at Pizzarium or Prelibato or pizza bianca at Antico Forno Roscioli. The pizza rossa at Forno Campo de’ Fiori is delicious and for tasty little pizzette, visit Da Artenio in the Mercato di Testaccio.
Century-old Regoli and newly opened Roscioli Caffè offer excellent traditional Roman pastries, while Andrea De Bellis offer delicious traditional and contemporary pastries, respectively. Pergamino Caffe in Prati does great coffee.
Thristy? My favorite wine bars are Litro, Bulzoni, Il Goccetto, Remigio, Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi, and La Barrique. For beer, go to Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà, Open Baladin, Birra +, no.au (for wine, too), Stavio, and Brasserie 4:20. The Jerry Thomas Project, Litro, Co.So., and Caffe Propaganda serve ace cocktails.
Take a break from Roman flavors with Ethiopian fare at Mesob, Japanese cuisine at Taki, sushi at Take, south Asian at Janta Fast Food, and Chinese at Dao.
There are more Rome posts on my blog than I know what do do with and sifting through them can be a nightmare, so I selected a few essential posts (plus some recent Rome articles for other publications) to help you make the most of your meals in the city:
Travel Guide to Rome (Saveur)
“Katie Parla’s Rome” (Imbibe Magazine)
“Rome’s Best Street Food” (Food & Wine)
“Roman Holiday” (AFAR)
“Saturday Night in Rome” (PUNCH)
“8 Must Eat Restaurants in Rome” (Serious Eats)
“24 Hours in Rome With Katie Parla” (Design*Sponge)
And here are my hotel recommendations.
You can buy my book “National Geographic’s Walking Rome” here.
Looking for tours? Take a look to see the tours I offer.