Via della Croce, 39, Campo Marzio
This family-owned restaurant, located near the Spanish steps—but not at all touristy—is a great spot for handmade seafood pasta, and the artichokes and meatloaf are pretty phenomenal, too. The local favorite can book up pretty quickly, so call in or email for a reservation in advance; a handwritten placard will mark your table when you arrive.
Piazza Nicosia, 24, Campo Marzio
If you’re spending an afternoon strolling the banks of the Tiber, pop into this traditional Roman restaurant for a seafood-centric dinner: If you can’t decide between fish and pasta—both excellent options here—the pro move is to order the linguine with lobster or spaghetti with clams to get the best of both worlds. There are two dining rooms inside, though since the restaurant takes up a lovely corner overlooking the Piazza Nicosia, the best seat in the house is on the outdoor patio— perfect for observing your fellow diners (mostly locals) in their natural habitat.
Via del Babuino, 9, Campo Marzio
Many locals would agree that the leafy terrace at the Hotel De Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel is one of the best bars in town, weather permitting—otherwise head inside. It’s definitely a scene, meaning that the people-watching is top-notch, though the cocktail menu—a dozen or so martini options, all the classics (sidecar, old fashioned, etc.), and the signature Stravinskij Spritz (don’t be fooled, it packs a punch)—totally carries its weight. Food-wise, there are fancy sandwiches, classic salads, and of course, pasta.
Piazza della Trinità dei Monti, 6, Campo Marzio
Technically, this is a hotel bar—many would agree, one of the most beautiful in the world—though its tufted-leather banquettes, gilded interior, and just-right mood lighting make it a worthy standalone destination. And the same can be said of the cocktail menu, which includes several signature cocktails like the pomegranate Veruschka and their own special spin on the spritz. The Hassler hotel has been sitting at the top of the Spanish Steps since the ‘40s, and the views from the outdoor areas can’t be beat. Note: The bar is only open during the winter.
Piazza di Spagna, 26, Campo Marzio
Taking up the top floor of a townhouse at the foot of the Spanish Steps, this teeny museum and its vast collection of artifacts and books is a love letter to English Romanticism. The main draw here is the room where poet John Keats lived until his untimely death at 25, which has been kept virtually unchanged save for the furniture that had to be burned to prevent the spread of tuberculosis. It may all sound a little creepy at first, but it's well-worth the entrance fee and makes for a nice stop while exploring the Piazza do Spagna.
Piazza Augusto Imperatore 9, Campo Marzio
It's hard to differentiate some of the eateries in this city given that there's so many gems, but 'Gusto stands apart for its ingenuity. More of a market-osteria-restaurant-bar hybrid, this warehouse, industrial-style space boasts some of the best provisions in the city, all under one roof. Owners Alessandra Marino and her husband, Alessandro Tudini, founded the space in the late 1990s, to offer patrons a place to grab a drink, a meal, a quick pizza, or some kitchen essentials. Since 'Gusto has grown to become sort of a culinary emporium. Do not come here expecting good service, but rather a bustling environment and exceptional dishes.
Via di Ripetta, 43, Campo Marzio
With its fresh, al dente pasta, robust wine cellar, and romantic interiors, this restaurant is classic Rome. Pasta is made in house, while seafood is brought in daily–and with almost every dish, the truffle reigns. We particularly love how the waitstaff is so patient and friendly, always willing to help you pair the best wine for your meal. You'll inevitably leave full, so take a stroll through the city's center after.
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