Yes! Well, no! Not only but one of my favourite parts of travelling is food. Obviously visiting the sights, the museum is a part of travelling as well but as my best friend said: “If I want to see the Colosseo I can just open Google Maps!”. Ok ok, it is not the same standing in front of it or just seeing a picture but his point was that he’d rather experience the culture and the people. Which means i.e. if the locals eat there you should definitely eat there as well (this does apply to all countries) and who wants to pay the tourist price and get shitty food if there is the real Italian food just around the corner?!
Colazione. Starting the day the Roman way, you might have guessed it .. right! caffè e dolci. For me, that would be cappuccino and a cornetto when in a bar. Nope, not the one you get alcohol but kind of a “to eat & drink while standing in front of the counter” bar. That’s a bar in Italy. Usually, Romans don’t sit down to have their coffee as it is gown in a few seconds anyway. If you order a caffè you will get an espresso, this is what people drink here all day and night. Seriously, having un caffè at 4 am is not a rare thing, you actually won’t be alone at the bar ..most of the time. Please please do me the favour and try it, caffè / espresso in Rome is not comparable to Italian espresso in other countries as it often tastes bitter. If you tried and still don’t like it no worries they do have “normal coffee” as Americano with a loooot of water (che schifo).
For the coffee lovers or those who want to become one Sant’ Eustachio Il Caffè is your place. Sometimes still quite crowded but less touristy than the well known La Casa del Caffè Tazza d’Or just next to the Pantheon. They sell coffee beans and grounded coffee as well, whenever I am in Rome I try to get myself a kilo of coffee there (your whole flat will have a lovely coffee smell when preparing it -> Italian feeling at home).
Aperitivo. I had my first Aperitivo without even realizing it. It was my second day at work and I was just in need of a drink (the trouble of growing up). So my friend Curly and I ended up in a random bar near my place. Shame on me I never had an Aperol Spritz in my life before, so this is what we got. Before even getting the drink we found crips, sandwiches and loads of other stuff on our tinny table. Just imagine our faces, barely speaking Italian and not really knowing what is happening. After a while, we got it and LOVED IT. Aperitivo is the perfect excuse to start having drinks way too early and snaking while chatting with friends. Where to go? Any random bar will do! Check out around Gasometro during summer they have loads of bars outside. (Don’t ask me how we ended up there, I don’t know).
Ps: Go to Tiramisu Pompi, Via Albalonga, 7, near the metro station Re Di Roma and have Aperetivo and try one of their Tiramisú as well. They are heaven, my friend Curly loved them so much, when she left Rome she wanted to buy loads and bring them back on the plane. They open the bar at 6 pm and the Kir Royal is deliciousssss.
Dolci, dolci, piú di dolce
Dolce for breakfast, lunch, during the day, dinner ..you name it I could eat sweets all day! Needless to say that Italy is gelato heaven for that as you will find a gelateria around every corner. I have to disappoint you, I didn’t eat quite that much gelato as I should have. So don’t be like me or be my younger me who visited Rome for the first time (back in 2003) and ate gelato every day, sometimes even twice a day;). Try the Tiramisú gelato at Il Gelato Bistrò where I’d go after work or go to Gelateria Giolitti which is located in the centre. Ps: Try coconut gelato one of my favourite ones!
Ristoranti, if someone sees me eating and still loves me I’ll keep him. A lovely little restaurant near the metro Cavour is Sciué Sciué. When you like little cosy places with a lot of character and good food, this is your place to go. Another kind of hidden restaurant near Piazza Navona is Old Bear, so hidden I went there once and then never managed to find it again.
And my all-time favourite restaurant for which I’d totally fly back to Rome and even get its coordinates tattooed on my leg (One of my addictions) is Porto Fluviale Ristorante Pizzeria located about a 10 min walk away from the metro Piramide. Verdure fritti, Bruschetta di pomodorini e mozzarella di buffalla, arancini, followed by pizza, their amazing cheesecake (I don’t even like cheesecake) and to finish everything off un caffè. We once finished our food in no time, once it was on the table we stopped talking and stuffed our faces. At a certain point I had food on my plate and in both my hands, the waiters looked at us like they’d never seen something like this before and about 10 min later the spectacle was over. What I want to say by that? Even though it is not in the centre this restaurant is worth a visit. Honestly, you can thank me later!
Rome might not be famous for its nightlife but there is still always something happening, at least I never got bored. You might find busy nights on a Wednesday and a Saturday is dead, I still did not figure out how this works.
If in Trastevere stop by at Mr Brown Pub and say ‘ciao!’ to Lorenzo, Frank or Sissi. It may seem small and innocent but they are gold at least to me! More than one crazy night did start or end there. Plus the drinks are cheap and you will always find someone for a nice chat.
You will find loads of bars around Campo de’ Fiori, like The Drunken Ship, Giganti della Notte, Sloppy Sam’s for drinks or Maranega and Obicà for food as well.
Alright, Rome might not be THE place for THE Italian food not as good as the Emilia-Romagna region, Naples for its pizza or Sicily but if you don’t stop at the most touristy places and look a bit around you can find some decent food. Try pizza al taglio where you pay by weight. Like VIP Very Italian Pizza just next to Campo de’ Fiori. How often did I go there late at night not hungry but hungry for pizza + they are open until late at night, the perfect way to end a night out.
I hope this was a little help and I didn’t miss out on something. If so, please let me know 🙂 Find out about the food around Palermo in Oh Sicily, your food is heaven! or Cambodian food in The food isn’t that bad here – Cambodia and Ecuadorian food in Lets talk food Ecuador