The Eternal City is one of the best places to visit, not just for the ruins. Rome has a vibrant food and beverage scene, a fine compliment to your Vatican or Colosseum tour. The city is an indisputable food capital and the honorable home of carbonara. Plus, it has quite the wine scene with places locals love to venture for the perfect glass of vino.
Only have a weekend or a few days to spend in Rome? You are in luck - we have the go-to places to eat, drink, and sleep well in Italy’s largest city that will keep your appetite curious and your stomach satisfied.
Where to Eat
There are two lunch staples to know in Rome: pizza e mortazza and pizza al taglio. Antico Forno Roscioli makes both just right since 1972. Sure, it is an institution that fosters quite a line, especially on weekends. However, it is worth it. Roscioli is consistent.
What is pizza al taglio? Pizza by the slice, baked in long rectangular trays and sold by the kilo. The toppings range. Our suggestion is to order one pizza e mortazza (mortadella sandwich on pizza bianca) and choose one of the fresh pizza al taglio on display that catches your eye!
Nothing beats a classic Roman pizzeria serving the city’s iconic cracker-thin personal pies. Ivo Trastevere is a reliable spot where locals head for a casual beer and pizza (yes, Romans drink beer over wine with their pizza!) The style differs from Neapolitan - Roman pizza is simple and the dough ultra-thin. You’ll find Ivo in the beloved Trastevere neighborhood, home to multiple fabulous restaurants, shops, and bars.
Pro-tip: get a supplì (Roman rice ball) to start. They are delicious. And, trust us - you will have room!
When in Rome, you must visit the Jewish Quarter. This neighborhood is the birthplace of many iconic Roman dishes (like carciofi alla giudea or fried artichokes). It’s also home to this incredible restaurant. Located on the second floor (or primo piano - first floor in Italy!) Al Pompiere feels like a big secret. Locals venture here for long weekend lunches to savor all the Roman classics - bucatini all’amatriciana, abbacchio, and fresh seasonal greens, like puntarelle. The must-try dish is Al Pompiere's taglioni al limone - it’s their signature pasta.
You must know where to find good seafood in Rome (remember - one bad oyster is all it takes!) In Trastevere, this Sardinian seafood spot makes some of the best seafood in town. It’s a family-run joint, and it's evident in all the love they put into their dishes. Their spaghetti alle vongole cannot be missed - it makes you feel like you are dining right by the sea, especially with der Belli’s spacious outdoor seating.
For classics with a hip edge, you can’t miss Pennestri. This trattoria offers all the Roman staple dishes - from carbonara to coniglio alla cacciatora - with innovative twists. The trattoria is in the northern part of Ostiense, a neighborhood filled with many new cool businesses by young Italians. The staff is so warm and their wine list is fun and funky. Plus, their spaghetti alla gricia with mint is life-changing.
Where to Drink
When in Rome, you must visit Il Goccetto. It's a benchmark Roman wine bar with a fantastic by-the-glass list, making it easy to try multiple fabulous wines. It’s also conveniently located in the center and is an excellent post-Vatican visit destination (particularly on those hot Roman summer days). Don't be shy to chat with any of their staff - they all know their (wine) stuff!
Trastevere is quite a bustling neighborhood, and Latteria is your secret to escaping the crowds. Tucked away on Vicolo della Scala, Latteria is a reliable wine bar with a lovely outdoor patio and local vibes. It is more of a natural wine bar, with a lengthy list of wines highlighting producers all over the Italian peninsula. Still, it is a place that pleases all - they also offer solid cocktails and delicious bites to pair with whatever you drink.
In the food-centric Testaccio neighborhood is a wine bar that doubles as an alimentari (or a deli.) It's small but mighty - inside is a versatile selection of wines that will convince you to stay for a while on their street patio. While this is a terrific spot for aperitivo before a meal at one of Testaccio’s restaurants, MASTO is also fabulous for dinner. Yes, we really meant small but mighty. This spot serves delicious lunch and dinner, too.
The latest installation from the Jerry Thomas team (Rome’s famous speakeasy,) Latta brings everything everyone loves under one roof: cocktails, wines, beer, and some seriously good food. Other spots may play on the old Roman charm, but Latta is the new age joint, highlighting another side of Rome's history. It's in an old warehouse building in Ostiense - a neighborhood once home to many factories. Latta has the Brooklyn feel but with all the Roman energy. Their dinner menu is also seasonal and exciting, and their eclectic bar bites are available late. You can't miss their chicken wings - they might be the best in Rome.
Short on time or want some guidance on eating and drinking around the Eternal City? Do not miss these tours, led by locals who are experts on all things Roman.
This mother-daughter duo has taken social media by storm with their knowledge and charm of Rome, Umbria, and Puglia. They host incredible food tours of the Eternal City, bringing you to unique local spots to eat the best bites, see epic sites, and even meet some of the most charming locals around.
A force in the Roman food scene, Katie Parla is a food journalist, educator, blogger, and everything that falls in between. She also runs incredible culinary tours - giving visitors immersive walking tours of multiple Roman neighborhoods with irresistible things to eat all along the way.
Located just a few steps from Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, this boutique hotel is a real hidden gem. The hotel has everything you need - cozy, spacious rooms, fabulous complimentary breakfast, and a warm staff. The nightly rates are also affordable for a weekend getaway. From Damaso, it is easy to get to the sites and great eats by foot, whether to the Forum, Pantheon, or Roscioli for an afternoon snack.
The latest hotel opening is anything but casual. The Six Senses is where Roman Senators would surely lay their heads if teleported to our time. This hotel channels the hedonism of the Eternal City into a hotel. With sleek marble and contemporary furnishings, it's a modern Roman oasis. Its location makes it effortless to explore the sites if you wish (it's around the corner from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.) And, rumor has it its spa might be the next best in Rome.
Venturing near the gorgeous Villa Borghese - Rome’s 'Central Park' - you’ll discover one of the city's hippest hotels. With locations in some of the world’s coolest neighborhoods, the Hoxton is urban chic in the most relaxed way. The hotel is located in the Salario neighborhood - a residential and elegant area that is a lovely little escape from the madness of the center. What we love is there is always something happening at the Hoxton. Their lobby doubles as an extension of their cocktail bar and lounge at night. There is often live music, pop-ups, and many new friends to make!
Feeling ready for your next trip to Rome? With this guide on where to eat, drink, and stay, it's hard to go wrong. Each option helps you maximize your hours in the Eternal City, making memories that will only have you planning your next trip back for more.
Big Hammer Wines
The wine experts at Big Hammer Wines taste thousands of wines every year from around the globe, looking for quality and value. This special offer reflects the passion we have for our clients.