/Rome’s International Cuisine

Rome’s International Cuisine


UPDATED FOR 2013: Rome is, of course, known for its Roman specialities, but there are plenty of international kitchens to choose from. Not all of Rome’s non-Italian restaurants are amazing, but there is some really stellar stuff out there. Here are some spots I really love. Please let me know yours!

Bi Won: Decent Korean food (including gogi gui–meat-based grilled dishes) in the Esquilino neighborhood. Via Conte Verde 62; take Metro A to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.

Gainn: Better Korean food (especially the bossam) north of Termini. Via dei Mille 18.

Ali Babà: Proper Middle Eastern fast food near the Arco di Travertino Metro. Via Carroceto 69.

Enqutatash: This small restaurant has a special place in my heart. I lived next door for three years and when it opened, it was a newly converted garage. It’s come a long way and while it is by no means formal, Enquatatash is a charming place serving Ethiopian and Eritrean food. Viale della Stazione Prenestina 55; take the 5 or 14 tram from Termini.

Food & Beverage: One of the better Chinese restaurants in town and, while it won’t win any hospitality awards, it does offer authenticity sadly absent from the far more popular Chinese restaurants nearby. Via Giolitti 105/113; take Metro A or B to Termini.

Kabir Fast Food: A cafeteria near Piazza Vittorio serving Indian food. Via Mamiani 11; take the Metro A to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.

Mesob: Outstanding Ethiopian food near the heart of Pigneto. Read my full review here. Via Prenestina 118; take the 5 or 14 tram from Termini.

Taki: Excellent seasonal Japanese cuisine just off Piazza Cavour.

Take: Very good sushi prepared by a Kyoto born chef. Viale di Trastevere 4; take the 8 tram from Largo Argentina.

Dozoo: Really nice Japanese food in Monti, with lots of affordable lunch options and a delightful courtyard for al fresco dining when weather permits.

And now for my least favorites, some of which get good reviews in spite of being very bad: Hang Zhou (the most mediocre Chinese food imaginable), Hasekura (a ridiculously overpriced Japanese place in Monti serving pitifully uncreative sushi that tastes anything but fresh), Sitar (in a word, terrible), Africa (this East African restaurant serves food that is beyond bland–a crime against injera!), Mexico al Aventino (possible the worst food I have ever eaten, after the now defunct Grigliera La Vaca, of course!).


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2017-02-17T15:16:57+00:00 January 9th, 2013|Categories: Culture, Gastronomic Traditions, Restaurants, Restaurants in Rome, Rome & Lazio|22 Comments


  1. Charles Collins April 25, 2011 at 10:44 am - Reply

    There used to be a Mexican restaurant in Via Urbana that was by far the most digusting food I had ever eaten. Not even cooked all the way through. There just is no good Mexican in this town.

    • Katie April 25, 2011 at 10:49 am - Reply

      aw man i remember that place. mexico al 104 was it? terrible. bistro by linda used to be OK but ive heard bad things lately. Cucara Macara is supposed to be good but i havent gotten there yet. Mexico al Aventino is certainly very very bad.

  2. Conor April 25, 2011 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Cool list, didn’t realise Rome had this much diversity, love the sound of Mesob. I have one for your least favourites list, I went to Akropolis, the guide book recommended Greek place near Trastevere and it was a pretty depressing evening from start to finish with terrible food the equally bad service.

  3. nyc/caribbean ragazza April 25, 2011 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I will definitely refer back to this post.

    I had no idea there was a sushi place in San Lorenzo. If it’s that good, it will be worth the schlep.

  4. shayma April 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Katie, my friend told me about this place near the Villa Ada called Tarun- it is a Persian restaurant. Apparently quite good. x shayma

  5. Oliver W Douglass April 28, 2011 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Has anyone tried Green T on Via del Pie’ di Marmo?
    Their website says they become a “gourmet restaurant” for dinner.

  6. Katie May 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    @Conor I think ive been to that place. i say i think because the greek place i went to in Trastevere years back sent me into full repression mode

    @NYC/Caribbean ragazza The place in S Lorenzo is pretty good but Take’s pretty good too. and you can walk there from your place!

  7. Katie May 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    @Shayma oh my god im there. but i cant find it on the internets. is Tarun the full name?

    @Oliver I went there 5 or 6 years ago and had a very mediocre meal with exceptionally rude service. I have been meaning to go back. ive heard some good things, but not from anyone who knows chinese cuisine well.

  8. shayma May 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    here you go, m’dear:
    Via Chiana 54-56, 00198 Roma, Italia
    +39 (0)685300416 | http://www.ristorantetanur.com/

  9. Katie May 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm - Reply


  10. Kirstie June 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I love everything you have to say! I spent four months living in Rome (Jan – May 2011) and I miss it so much.

    In Monteverde there is a restaurant called Thai Inn that offers a sort of fusion of Thai and Malaysian cuisine. It was so good and the caramelized bananas were amazing. Also, the service was great! They liked giving free french fries, cucumbers with peanut sauce and wine to us as well (we were American study abroad students, go figure).

    It’s located in Monteverde and the address is Via Ozanam, 94, Rome, Italy.

    There was also an Indian restaurant called Himalayan Palace on Via Colli Portuense in Monteverde that was pretty good too, though the portions were small.

    Go Rome!

  11. Brendan January 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I have inside information that Mexico all’Aventino has shut down and is becoming a “km 0” restaurant under the same owner. Yeah, the “Mexican” food was pretty bad but I liked their greasy aperitivo and the bartender mixed a mean cocktail (real Maragritas!)

  12. Lorenzo Casaccia January 9, 2013 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    I assume you left out Shawarma Station intentionally?

    I went to Sitar once and agree it’s pretty bad, but so are several other Indian joints around Piazza Vittorio (sadly). I’m just saying this for completeness :). I agree that Kabir is pretty good once expectations are well set.

    Does anyone whether there’s anything South Indian (I know I’m being picky). All Indian restaurants are from North, mostly Punjab

  13. Linda January 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    The first place I’m heading to after this juice fast is Doozo. I totally crave pickled ginger and vegetarian futomaki when I’m fasting. Are there any Vietnamese restaurants you recommend? The last time we went to Thien Kim which was – granted – many many moons ago – we were not impressed and found it pricey.

  14. amit January 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    The key to enjoying non-Italian food in Rome is to keep very low expectations.

  15. Katie January 10, 2013 at 1:11 am - Reply

    @brendan thanks for the heads up on Mexico all’Aventino. I rode by it recently and it was still open. I see the km0 trend is alive and well…we’ll see if they come up with anything of substance or are just riding a trend!

    @Lorenzo yeah i cut it from the list. it was in the previous incarnation of this list. i like it fine and it is in a convenient location, but ali baba’ blows it away. i dont know of any S Indian restaurants. anyone else have ideas?

    @linda thien kim is pretty bad and overpriced. mekong in tuscolano was one of the worst meals ever. there must be some decent vietnamese in rome, i just dont know of any

    @amit managing expectations are key, with one exception: mesob is sensational without making excuses or concessions for its roman location

  16. Kelly January 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Why is it so hard to find good Mexican? It’s not a problem that is unique to Rome. Even here in NY it can be tricky.

  17. francesco January 11, 2013 at 10:00 am - Reply

    So please help to find a great mexican in Rome….but also in NYC

    • Katie January 24, 2013 at 6:38 am - Reply

      no good mexican food in rome. i honestly dont know how i survive.
      NYC isnt rolling in great mexican food, but have u tried the Taqueria Inside of Tehuitzingo. If you head to the back of this Hell’s Kitchen bodega, past the snack displays and rows of soda refrigerators, there’s a tiny taqueria serving some of the best Mexican food in the area, for dirt cheap. Get the tongue tacos. (from eater). there is also La Esquina and the newly opened salvation taco

  18. Brendan January 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I walked by on Sunday and there’s a sign “stay tuned for grand re-opening end of Jan.” Of course, they’re riding the trend and mediocrity is to be expected! But the bartender is sticking around so at least the drinks will still be good.

  19. Brendan January 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Had Indian at Krishna 13 (via Ugo Foscolo 13 – piazza Dante) on Saturday and It was very good. Although they focus on Northern Indian cuisine, the very nice propietors said that if you call 3 days in advance they’d prepare a Southern Indian feast for you.

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