Rome recommended food stops [moved from Ontario board]
My BF and I are going to Rome for a week next summer to eat (we may check out the Colloseum if it's on the route) -- do you have a list of recommended food stops -- street food, trattorias, michelin-rated -- anything that really stood out for you?
To be honest, I can't recall any particular restaurant. This is partly because I didn't plan any of our meals, and partly because wine was very cheap. That being said, I can offer general tips. I made a game for myself to try and find a bad meal. I succeeded only once, and it was shawarma, so I don't think that counts.
Don't eat in the tourist areas.. Food in tourist areas is generally good, but very pricey. Walk 10 minutes outside of the tourist areas and look down side streets.. This is where you will find the family restaurants. You didn't mention how you are getting there. If you are driving within Italy, definitely make a foodstop at the Autogrills. They are little convenience stores/cafes alongside the Autoroute that area surprisingly good.
Try and learn a little bit of Italian. I did, and it went a long way as to how I was treated by people.
Try the Roman specialties! The cuisine really does vary depending upon where you are, and as you can see, it is hard to find regional Italian food in Toronto. The dishes in my original post are a good start, but check out this website for a great list: http://www.liveinrome.com/cuisine.htm
We like "Cavour 313," a wine bar with good food. Be sure to take a lot of money, though. Eating in Rome is VERY expensive.
This could be a very long answer. But the short of it is, pick your spots and time to sit down to an expensive\elegant meal becasue some of the best food in Rome can be had for cheap.
The street food is incredible. Pick something up and have a picnic and Villa Borghese or the little known but absolutely amazing Villa Pamphili. Stop into a salumeria (Antico Caciara Trasteverina, via san francesco a Ripa 156ish) for a sandwich with the best cheeses and meats imaginable for 3 euro. The owner, Roberto, is the nicest man in Rome. Go to lo zozzone near piazza navona for a sandwich made on pizza bread (Pizza Bianca - a Roman specialty.) And try any of the pizza rustica places you see that look good. Every corner has a little pizza place that no matter how full you are might draw you in. Eat a porchetta (whole roast pig with garlic and herbs) sandwich from a vendor. Also - stop at a market and buy a peach and some other fresh fruit.
Rome is known for pizza so have a pizza. The best is Da Baffetto #1 on Via Governo Vecchio - it runs adjacent to Via Vittorio Emanuelle and is near Navonna. A close second in Pizzeria Ivo in Trastevere.
One of the Roman specialties is Jewish Style Artichokes - deep fried artichokes. I like them at Da Giggetto which is in the Jewish Ghetto. It is also a nice restaurant to sample traditional roman food.
If you have time, the best meals are found in the towns (castelli) in the Roman hills. Take a day trip to Frascati and stay for dinner. Find any little place without a menu and let them start bringing you whatever they made that day. It will be inexpensive\delicious\memorable. Also in the castelli is Castel Gandolfo, Marino, and Ariccia. In Ariccia you can find a traditional roman style restaurant called a Freschetteria. Inexpensive, abundant, good food.
I second everything ilmangiatore just wrote, especially about the porchetta. Most places that sell "Pizza al taglio" will also sell another Roman specialty - suppli' - little fried rice croquettes with mozzarella inside. To die for! For breakfast, look for a caffe' that advertizes "maritozzi con panna". They are a sweet bread, a bit like a hot cross bun, that is split and filled with fresh whipped cream. I could go on, but it just makes me miss Rome too much . . .
one thing that I forgot. If a you are up and in the neighborhood...between midnight and 10:00am is a bakery open that serves a sorchetta doppio schizzo. I won't complete the translation, but the second half stands for a "double load." The sorchetta is a flaky/chewy pastry and the double load is fudge sauce and whipped cream. It is amazing. It is also an after the club type of place so there's a good chance you will make some friends.
It's just a 5 or 10 minute walk from piazza repubblica on via cernaia 47. It is also very close to Trimani Wine bar/shop. A very famous and great wine bar/shop. If you happen to go out and want a late night roman snack I promise you will not regret it. Or, if you have a late dinner at Trimani and stick around until it opens you will have a great dessert.