When in Rome, eat like the Romans. Your safest bets are usually any of the places where locals eat. Even at the major tourist spots, stay off the restaurants and al fresco cafes just around them and wander into the bylanes to discover some gems. Areas like Testaccio and Trastevere have some great family run trattorias and pizzerias. So put on your walking shoes, pick up a map and go fooding in Rome. Here are some suggestions from us to help you on your way:
Pizza leads all conversations about Italian cuisine. Unlike the pizza that we are used to in India, in Italy, the toppings are scant, but are guaranteed to melt in the mouth. Also remember that for Italians, pizza is a dinner dish, and so many pizzerias are open only in the evenings.
Pizzeria Da Remo always figures on the lists of the best places to have pizza in Rome. Be ready to wait for a table but the buzz around the place will alert you to the fact that the wait is worth it. Try their scrocchiarella – crispy, thin crust, Roman-style pizza with toppings of your choice. Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice 44
Pizarrium, which isright outside Metro Cipro at the Vatican, is another favourite with tourists. The toppings there can surprise you but they rarely disappoint-think prosciutto, ham, beetroot, onion, peas. Ask for pizza al taglio, i.e. by slice, as the Romans like to eat. Via Della Maloria 43, Metro Cipro, Vatican
For the best pizza bianca (white), just sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary, head to Forno Campo De’ Fiori. Or if your taste borders on the tangy, get the pizza rossa, topped with fresh tomato.
Campo De’Fiori 22
Hostaria La Botticellain the Trastevere area has special local pasta preparations, including the formidable rigatoni allapajata-pasta with calf’s intestines! But fear not, there are other excellent pastas including a spaghetti all’amatriciana with cured pork, pecorino cheese and fresh tomato. Vicolo del Leopardo 39/a, Trastevere
Then there is Trattoria Da Danilo, known to be one of the best family-run trattorias in town and voted as having the best Carbonara-sauce made of eggs, cheese, black pepper, and if you wish, bacon.
Via Petraca 13, Esquilino
If you wish to try another Roman specialty, order suppli–fried croquettes with rice, cheese and meat - at the L’Arcangelo. Their pastas are good but the suppli antipasti is said to be sublime. There is also a tradition of gnocchi (in amatriciana sauce) Thursdays, so look out for that if you happen to visit on that day of the week. Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 59/61, Vatican
For the perfect finish to your Italian meal, dive into some gelato, creamy and delectable as you can find only in Italy. Most gelaterie offer you a choice of two or three flavours in the same cup, depending on your preferred size.
Romans can never agree on the best gelato in their city, but Gelateria Ciampini is generally acknowledged as one of the best. They are known for their chocolate, hazelnut and the rather unusual candied chestnut flavours.
Piazza de San Lorenzo, Lucina 29, between the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps
If you are a fan of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, then go no further than San Crispino near the Trevi Fountain. There is another outlet at Piazza della Maddalena opposite the Pantheon. The subtle honey flavour and the light pistachio flavour will make sure that you never want to eat ice cream anywhere else again. Via Panetteria42, near the Trevi Fountain
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