It’s peak tourist season, the city is crowded, and many restaurants, particularly in the center, are threatening to burst at the seams. If you want to taste the absolute best that Rome has to offer while simultaneously minimizing crowds, here are ten things you shouldn’t miss and how, where and when to get them.
My absolute number one favorite food is pizza bianca (pictured above). Grab a slice or two at Roscioli (via de’ Chiavari 34) and taste the best in Rome–and therefore the world.
Staying on the carb theme, Rome’s famous trapizzino, what I fondly refer to as the “Roman hot pocket”, was invented at 00100 (Via Giovanni Branca 88) in Testaccio. It consists of a triangle of fluffy toasted pizza bianca stuffed with traditional roman sauces like tomato and oxtail, tongue and salsa verde, and meatballs. If you get to 00100 when it opens at 1230, there’s no line and the ingredients are fresh out of the oven and hot off the stove.
Avoiding lines at Pizzarium (Via della Meloria) is no easy feat, but if you go before 1230pm, from 4-6, or around 830, you should’t face much of a queue. Of course try all the slices, but IMO, the absolute best is the pizza rossa, a simple tomato sauce pie.
Dinner at L’Arcangelo (Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 59) tends to be busy, so go at lunchtime and order the classic suppli, a rich mixture of rice, tomato sauce, ground meat, chicken innards, and melty mozzarella. The hefty €15 for two suppli is worth every penny and then some.
And of course, the gnocchi at L’Arcangelo are the best in existence.
Claudio Torce’s gelato is the best in Rome and you can find it in 7 different shops all over the city. The newly opened branch (Piazza Monte d’Oro) rarely has lines. Unfortunately with 100 flavors, you can’t get one of everything, but you could try!UPDATE: This location has closed. Try Viale Aventino 59 instead.
Try the Panacea gelato–almond milk, mint and ginseng–at Fatamorgana (Via Bettolo 7) and prepare to be wowed.
Burrata may be the greatest invention. Roscioli (Via dei Giubbonari 21) is the best spot in Rome for it. Booking a table at lunchtime or many days in advance for dinner is the best way to get it.
Stick around for the carbonara which is one of the best in Rome.
Cristina Bowerman’s tagliatelle quasi panna prosciutto e piselli is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. The new dish on her menu at Glass (Vicolo del Cinque 58) is composed of handmade pasta, dehydrated prosciutto, peas, and frozen crème fraiche.