When you think of Italy does your mouth start to water? Mine does! But truth be told, I didn’t have the best dining experiences the first time I was in Rome. I ate some rather cardboard-tasting pizza and bland pasta on too many occasions. I left the city a little puzzled about its reputation as a food wonderland. On that first trip I counted only one really good meal. Where was the creamy gelato? The chewy yet airy pizza cooked near a wood fire? Al dente pasta made amatriciana-style with fatty, delicious guanciale? Balls of risotto stuffed with cheese and fried to golden perfection? Sadly, I left with those questions lingering.
Thankfully though, I’ve found great places to eat in Rome. It’s been buon appetito ever since. That first visit may have been a miss, but through careful study of blogs, travel articles, and trip advising websites, I’ve found many wonderful Rome restaurants to share with you.
At first, I thought the problem was that I was staying in the city center. You’re more likely to find Rome restaurants catering to tourists in areas where foreigners tend to congregate than you would if you visited restaurants in areas where locals live, but good culinary experiences can be had in the Centro Storico of Rome and its surrounding areas. Here are some of what I think are the best restaurants in Rome.
Gelato: There are two gelaterias in Rome that compete for my top honor—Giolitti (via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40) and Gelateria del Teatro (via dei Coronari). Both places serve creamy gelato that bursts with flavor. The fresh ingredients used in their gelato shine through. The dark chocolate at Gelateria del Teatro is the bee’s knees. But I also love the dark chocolate (fondente) at Giolitti, too. As an added bonus, the version of it at Giolitti is dairy-free. Caramelized fig is another favorite of mine, as is coffee, caramel, and peach. Giolitti has a great patisserie and coffee shop, so if you would like a pastry with your ice cream I would recommend going there. They serve up sfogliatella that is amazing—light layers of flaky, buttery pastry shaped like a shell and filled with a sweet ricotta mixture. Heaven!
Pizza & baked goods: One way to enjoy pizza Roma is by the slice (al taglio). At some eateries, you will encounter huge rectangular pizzas where you order a segment by weight. You can order 200 grams for a snack or if you’re getting more than one kind; have them whack off more for a meal-sized portion. And…