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.
Vicolo delle Bollette, 13, Trevi
Tucked into a narrow street just steps from the Trevi Fountain, Al Moro is a completely non-touristy respite nearby. With fresh ingredients collected from local markets each morning, the menu is two-page combination of the classics, seasonal fare (think: snails in an anchovy, chile, and mint sauce, available around the Feast of Saint John the Baptist in June), plus some inventive, off-the-beaten path dishes created over the course of the restaurant’s nearly century-long history. The dining room is fairly formal; definitely make a reservation in advance if you can. There are a few tables outdoors on the narrow patio, and a space to host a private dinner if you need.
Via Garibaldi, 18, Trastevere
The humble entrance on Via Garibaldi doesn’t exactly give it away, but this semi-fine dining restaurant has a solid reputation for being something of a hotspot. Specifically, it’s the private open-air terrace—particularly romantic at sunset— that draws locals and in-the-know tourists for return visits; inside, the walls are almost entirely covered in works by local artists. Food-wise, expect to find a lot of Roman classics (cacio e pepe, tripe, carpaccio), plus the occasional culinary curveball.
Cacio e Pepe
Via Giuseppe Avezzana, 11, Prati
Somewhat removed from the chaos of more touristy parts of Rome’s center, this unassuming restaurant in Prati—which isn’t as warm or charming as other parts of the city, but blessedly calmer—offers excellent, locals-approved classics. You can’t go wrong with any of the pasta on the menu, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t order the restaurant’s namesake dish, which never disappoints. Note: During the week, the area swells with the bustle of workweek foot traffic from nearby business, so nights and weekends are actually a bit more relaxed here.
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.
Da Enzo al 29
Via dei Vascellari, 29, Trastevere
Wonderfully low-key and tucked away on a cobblestone street in Trastevere by the river, this is a great lunch or dinner spot; you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but the fried artichokes and cacio e pepe are pretty hard to pass up. The wait here can get pretty long, but they do accept dinner reservations if you’re able to plan in advance.
Da Felice a Testaccio
Via Mastro Giorgio, 29, Testaccio
Testaccio is a neighborhood known for being friendly with small-town vibes, and this no-fuss Italian spot is no exception. They boast some of the best cacio e pepe in Rome in a large, bright, brick-and-wood-lined dining room. Plus, it’s open seven days a week.
Piazza del Popolo, 1, Flaminio
Right on the corner across from a big, beautiful square, Piazza del Popolo, Dal Bolognese serves traditional Emilian food. This is a great place to get some fancy pasta; the dining room is elegant yet comfortable, with red leather chairs and couches punctuating the brightly lit space. Plus, if you’re looking to sit outdoors, their heated patio is spacious and boasts a view of the nearby square.
Vicolo del Bologna, 45, Trastevere
An institution, for good reason. Dar Poeta's pizza, with its slow-rising crust, slightly tangy cheese, and fresh tomatoes, is one of our favorites in the city.
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