La Casetta a Monti
Via della Madonna dei Monti, 62, Monti
La Casetta a Monti occupies the first floor of a gorgeous old ivy-colored house, making it possibly one of the most beautiful cafes in the city.
Via di Monti Giordano, 60/61, Centro Storico
This quirky little brunch spot is famous for baked goods and incredible pancakes, which come with layers of strawberries and bananas in between the stacks.
Via San Sebastianello, 7/a, Campo Marzio
This sweet little spot near the Borghese gardens has great, fresh vegetable dishes and a perfect, concise wine list, so it's easy to tuck into before an afternoon tour.
Via della Stelletta, 4, Centro Storico
This cool, experimental little restaurant is casual from head to toe—you'll serve your own wine and even set your own place, with utensils and napkins from drawers on the underside of the bar—which is actually a big part of the appeal in a city where meals are usually a big to-do. The menu changes daily, serving Italian dishes with modern twists to foodies and Rome's younger set. There's a big table in the back where you can make a reservation and share a family-style meal, but if you're with a small party, it's first-come, first-serve. Sit at the bar, where you can look in on the big open kitchen.
Via delle Rose 54, Centocelle
The ten-seat restaurant is run by Francesca Barreca and Marco Baccanelli, who started their business doing inventive catering and creative pop-ups.
Settimio al Pellegrino
Via del Pellegrino, 117, Centro Storico
The menu changes daily based on whatever Teresa's making, but she relies on old-school dishes like polpette (meatballs) and homemade pasta, and if you show up on a Friday, definitely be prepared for fish.
La Taverna degli Amici
Piazza Margana 37, Ancient City
While the home-cooked food at La Taverna degli Amici is everything you'd want from a Roman trattoria (including an especially standout pizza menu), this place is all about the atmosphere.
Piazza Sforza Cesarini 40, Centro Storico
It's the kind of place you should come for classic Roman dishes, like spaghetti puttanesca, grilled artichokes, and cacio e pepe.
Via delle Zoccolette 22, Centro Storico
The menu leans on crazy-fresh ingredients sourced from the farms around Rome, and every category, from fritti to pasta, is gorgeously executed.
Osteria degli Amici
Via Nicola Zabaglia, 25, Testaccio
Long-time friends, Claudio and Alessandro wanted to open a traditional Roman tavern in the Testaccio neighborhood and serve the food their grandmothers used to feed them.