What to eat in Rome? Discover the best dishes of the Roman cuisine
In addition to art and history, it is a city with a lot of gastronomy. Still don’t know what to eat in Rome? Discover the Roman Cuisine!
Rome is one of the oldest cities on the European continent. Established in 753 B.C., it has become one of the most relevant points of Western history and culture. Its architectural wonders, monuments, and museums attract millions of tourists annually. But in addition to its historical heritage, it is world famous for its rich and varied gastronomy.
Roman Cuisine is a mixture of Italian traditions and Mediterranean gastronomy, resulting in a range of simple but flavorful dishes. Thus, you will find different appetizers, pasta, pizzas, meat, and desserts in Italian restaurants. With so much on offer, it is difficult to know what to choose, so if you still don’t know what to eat in Rome, read on! In this post, you will find the dishes you can’t miss.
What to eat in Rome first? Maritozzo!
Maritozzo is a bread roll with cream, very famous in Roman Cuisine. It has a round shape and a spongy texture. What’s more, people usually eat it for breakfast with a cappuccino. Although it originated in Rome, its fame has spread throughout the Lazio region.
Its traditional recipe includes flour, water, yeast, salt, eggs, and butter. Once baked, it is cut in half, filled with cream, and sometimes sprinkled with powdered sugar. As you can imagine, it is common to find them in bakeries, pastry shops, and cafeterias.
And if you are looking for the most famous Maritozzo to eat in Rome, Pasticceria Regoli is a must. It is a pastry shop with more than 100 years of history that makes all its products artisanally and with high-quality ingredients. Although it is far from the main tourist attractions, many tourists and locals visit it daily to have breakfast or buy these delicious sweets. In our opinion, it is one of the places you can’t miss during your visit to the city. You won’t find a better breakfast!
Porchetta, a symbol of the Roman Cuisine
Porchetta is a popular dish in the Lazio region, especially in Rome. It is boneless pork seasoned with aromatic herbs and roasted in a wood-fired oven for several hours. In this way, its skin is crispy and golden, while the rest is very tender and juicy. It has an intense flavor with hints of rosemary, garlic, and sage. Depending on the region, it may even have a hint of mint.
Although it was initially considered a typical dish for festivities and celebrations, over the years, its preparation has become so normalized that, nowadays, you can find it in many restaurants and street stalls in the city. It can be served hot or cold, cut into thick slices, and accompanied with baked potatoes. You can also try it as an ingredient in sandwiches or farcita (stuffed) pizza.
Frankly, a pizza stuffed with porchetta is probably some of the best things you can eat in Rome. We visited Il Baccanale to try it, a restaurant located in Campo de’ Fiori. On one of its sides, you will find a bar where you can choose between different fillings and order them to take away. So, if you don’t know what to eat in Rome yet, this is one of the most significant symbols of Roman Cuisine!
Pizza al Taglio, the best fast food to eat in Rome
Pizza al Taglio has become one of the emblems of Italian street food. Not only appreciated for its taste and convenience but also its economic value as it usually has a lower price than other types of pizzas. In addition, its rectangular format makes it perfect for sharing. All these reasons make it one of the best options for those looking for a quick and economical meal. It is popular among tourists and residents.
Unlike the classic pizza, its dough is thick and crispy on the outside but with a spongy interior. That makes it perfect for holding a variety of different toppings. In Rome, pizza al taglio has been perfected over the years, and today, you can find innovative flavors such as potato pizza with mozzarella.
Although it may seem like a strange mix of ingredients, its textures and flavors combine perfectly. Besides, this pizza does not contain any animal products beyond cheese. So it’s a perfect option for vegetarians. Don’t miss the opportunity to try it!
Supplì, Rome’s most famous rice croquette
If you are a croquette lover, you will love this appetizer. We are referring to supplì, one of the most popular antipasti to eat in Rome. It is a delicious rice ball stuffed with mozzarella cheese and other ingredients such as, for example, veal ragu, tomato, and aromatic herbs. It is then breaded with breadcrumbs and fried until crispy on the outside. Doesn’t it sound good?
Its history dates back to the 19th century. Although its popularity has varied since the 1980s, it has become one of the most popular appetizers in Roman Cuisine. Nowadays, it is common in bars, restaurants, and takeaway places. Whether you are looking for a snack to trick your stomach or an appetizer to accompany your drink, supplì are an option to count on. When you try them, you will understand why they have been so popular for generations.
Bucatini all’Amatriciana is part of Roman Cuisine due to its fame throughout the Lazio region as it is a pasta dish from Amatrice. It is served with a thick sauce made from tomatoes, guanciale, pecorino cheese, and black pepper. Although it is an easy recipe to prepare at home, you will find it in practically every restaurant in town. In fact, over the last few years, some chefs have started incorporating other ingredients into the recipe, such as onion, garlic, white wine, or chili peppers, adding a personal touch.
To try it, we visited Trattoria Vecchia Roma, a small restaurant highly rated by locals and tourists away from the tourist hotspots. Its specialization is traditional Roman dishes, and it is famous for preparing one of the best bucatini all’Amatriciana. If you give it a chance, you will discover that it is a dish with an intense flavor and a marked contrast of textures.
On the one hand, it is a combination of salty, smoky, and sweet flavors with a slightly spicy touch that complements each other perfectly. On the other hand, the crunchiness of the guanciale enhances the creaminess of the pasta and the sauce, giving the dish an appealing contrast. In short, if you still don’t know what to eat in Rome, this dish should be at the top of your list.
Spaghetti alla carbonara, the most famous pasta dish to eat in Rome
If we talk about Roman Cuisine, we cannot ignore one of the most famous pasta dishes in the world. We are referring to spaghetti alla carbonara. Its origin is uncertain, though several theories suggest the recipe may have emerged in Lazio during the Second World War. Over the years, it has evolved and has incorporated new ingredients such as cream, onion, and mushrooms in many countries. Fortunately, the original recipe has resurfaced in recent years and is easier to find in its original form. In other words, prepared only with guanciale, eggs, pecorino cheese, and black pepper.
Although it is a simple recipe you can easily prepare at home following these steps, trying it in Rome is worth it. But the most important thing is doing it in a restaurant specializing in Roman Cuisine. As we told you previously, Trattoria Vecchia Roma is probably one of the best places to enjoy a unique spaghetti alla carbonara dish.
If you still haven’t decided what to eat in Rome, this is one of the best options to taste a traditional dish. For us, it was crucial to experience its authentic taste to appreciate the perfect combination of all its ingredients. In short, we loved it!
Spaghetti cacio e pepe, the star pasta dish of Roman Cuisine
Spaghetti cacio e pepe is a traditional dish from Rome, created by shepherds who worked in the hills near the city. In any case, the recipe has been handed down from generation to generation up to the present day. Today, it has become one of the most famous Italian dishes.
Even though the traditional recipe only requires pasta, pecorino cheese and pepper, some cooks add other ingredients to customize it. For example, some use garlic and onion, while others choose different types of cheeses to prepare the sauce. In any case, it is a straightforward preparation in which the quality of the ingredients is the key to achieving a satisfactory result. Being a simple dish does not mean it is not delightful. Indeed, it is considered one of the best examples of how Italian cuisine needs just a few ingredients to create exquisite dishes.
If you are determined to try them, we recommend you visit Ristorante il Tonnarello. It is a cozy restaurant in Trastevere, a historic and picturesque neighborhood of Rome, where you will find a wide range of traditional Roman dishes. These include the famous tonnarelli cacio e pepe, which many people consider the best you can eat in Rome. If you have the opportunity, don’t miss it!
Abbacchio al Forno
Abbacchio al Forno is a popular recipe in Lazio, especially in Rome, served on special occasions. It consists of suckling lamb meat, in other words, a lamb that has not been weaned yet, marinated with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. It is baked for hours until the meat is tender and juicy. Usually, it is garnished with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Besides being the Easter star dish, it has become popular in other celebrations such as baptisms or weddings. Fortunately, it is also possible to find it in many restaurants in the city. In this case, we tried it at Ristorante il Tonnarello. Frankly, we loved the dish even though its high price and reduced quantity do not make it one of the best options to try it. However, don’t miss the chance to enjoy its delicious taste. We are sure you will love it!
Tiramisu, one of the most popular desserts to eat in Rome
Although the history of tiramisu is a bit unclear, many researchers suggest that it originated in northern Italy. Nevertheless, trying it in Rome can be a good experience since it is in this city where you can find some of its best variants. Today there are numerous cafés, restaurants, and specialty shops that offer everything from the classic version to more creative ones made with Nutella, pistachios, red fruits, or limoncello.
To enjoy one of the most famous tiramisus to eat in Rome, you must visit Two Sizes. This small business, located very close to Piazza Navona, has become popular among locals and tourists due to its low prices and the quality of its preparations. They offer tiramisus in two sizes and five different flavors served in plastic cups. We tried the classic and the caramel tiramisu, both of which we found spectacular!
Gelato, the most famous Italian dessert in the world
As we told you in our post dedicated to the traditional food of Bologna, gelato and ice cream are not the same. While cream is the main ingredient in gelato, milk is the principal one in the latter. That makes it a less fatty product with a smaller amount of air. After all, the primary difference between the two is that gelato has a creamier texture and a more intense flavor.
If you wonder why gelato in Rome is so unique, you must know that there are gelaterias in the city that have been open for a few decades. These establishments usually use ancient techniques and recipes which have been perfected over time. Therefore, if you are looking for one of the oldest in Rome, you must visit Giolitti.
It is one of the most emblematic gelaterias in the city. It is famous for its wide variety of flavors. But the experience of visiting it is not only limited to enjoying its products but also immersing yourself in an atmosphere where it seems time has stopped. It is due to its traditional decoration with dark wood furniture and high ceilings. In any case, Giolitti is one of the best options to try what is one of the icons of Roman Cuisine.
Since Ancient Rome, gastronomy has been considered an art in the Eternal City. For this reason, Romans are famous for their ability to create dishes that combine flavors, textures, and colors. Moreover, applying traditional culinary techniques, added to the use of fresh and quality products, results in a cuisine in which pasta, pizza, meat, and sweets are the main protagonists. Then, the next time someone asks you what to eat in Rome, you know what to answer: all these dishes are part of Roman Cuisine!
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