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Oct 11, 2007 12:10 AM

Rome Recs for Under 10 Euros?

I have been reading this board in advance of my 2 week trip to Rome. I'll be staying in Trastevere beginning Wed. Oct. 17th. We are there because my wife is on an academic grant to collaborate on an Italian play she is translating. We do not have much money at all and we have a 3-month-old baby with us, too. I do really appreciate good simple food wherever I can get it (and whatever it is), however, and I do not require any atmosphere.
Though in the minority, some posters on Rome here have seemed to mentioned that they would like to stick within a budget. When they get specific, however, that budget tends to be around 30 Euros/person. My question is, what if I wanted to stay under 10 Euros/person? This is probably a economic zone occupied by primis, pizzas and perhaps some ethnic food, but if you reccomend it I will try it. I will have plenty of time and an ample sense of adventure, just not much disposable income.

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  1. One possibility: take-out. Well under 10 Euro per person and convenient with a baby. I don't know the places in Trastevere, but these two come recommended in my Access Rome guide book that I have generally found reliable:

    Panificio Arnese, Via del Moro 15: pizza bianca with fillings.

    Pizzeria (no other name, it would seem): Via di San Francesco a Ripa 137: pizza and herb-stuffed roast chickens (over 10 Euro, probably, but good for more than one meal).

    1. I don't recommend it as a steady diet, but sandwiches of pizza bianca at Frontoni, on viale Trastevere, are completely delish, and bar and tavola calda food can be quite acceptable. For sustained nourishment, you'll want to cook in. There's a fine market in Piazza San Cosimato surrounded by excellent food shops for meat and bread. There are still some very economical trattorias in Trastevere (Augusto in Piazza dei Renzi is one, but there are others). I don't go to them not so much because I am too snooty but because I live here and can cook at home, and that sort of place is a substitute for home cooking. You should walk around near where you live reading the menus posted outside, then try to establish a relationship with the likeliest prospect by going three times in a row and asking lots of questions. Baby will help break the ice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mbfant

        What are some of the food markets you recommend? There seem to be a lot and of varying quality. Haven't really found any sort of bakery that is much better than my local alimentari. Still trying to find a pasticceria above the restof them too. A place with a large variety of cheeses would be nice. And is there a real butcher in the area? I have been going to testaccio for most of these things but I was whoping i could find them closer. Thanks.

        1. re: mbfant

          I second the recommendation of Augusto. Went there a few days ago and had a respectable meal of buccatini all'amatriciana and rabbit with roasted potatoes. All the other dishes coming out of the kitchen looked good too. It seems to be open just about every day, serving lunch and dinner. Dinner service begins at 8 and it gets crowded. Almost all the other patrons the evening I was there were locals.

        2. Here are a few possibilities. 1. Inasalta Ricci. I've only been to the original on Largo Chiavari (just off the Corso VE). It has a vast selections of salads and some pasta dishes among other things on the menu. 2. In the same vein as Frontoni, over by the Piazza Navona there is Lo Zozoco (on Teatro Pace next to Hotel Teatro Pace33). Get a couple of made to order sandwiches on pizza bianca -- which are really, really good -- and go over to a bench on the piazza. 3. Miscellanea (on via d. Paste, just north of the Pantheon) which also has reasonably priced salads and pasta. 4. Find a pizzeria in your neigborhood that has more than just pizza. For instance on Piazza Fico just west of the P. Navona there is Da Francesco where you could get a plate of antipasti from the antipasti bar and order a pizza.

          8 Replies
          1. re: NWPeter

            Insalata Ricca is good for cheap, fortifying salads. I am a student and ate there a lot when I was in Rome studying. Not fancy, but some interesting combos (I like the one w/tuna, potatoes, and hard boiled eggs--I think it's called l'altra). Lots of bread too. The forno in the campo dei fiori (near the insalata ricca of the corso VE) has awesome pizza bianca (get in quick though--it disappears fast) and there are quite a few pizza and sandwich shops in the campo. If in doubt, ask one of the american students milling about--they will know what's cheap! The university of Washington (where I go) has a center in the camp so there are always lots of students around and restaurants that cater to them. The campo is about a 10 minute or so walk from the piazza santa maria in trastevere--walk over the ponte sisto.

            1. re: roma_girl

              There is a poster below who has a much different view, but we found Insalita Ricca (we went to the one in Trastevere) simply dreadful.. .. down to the poor quality of the olive oil. I dont remember for sure what salad I ordered - I think it was some kind of composed thing that theoretically sounded good but it scanted on the expensive ingredient (maybe shrimp) and was tasteless - the pizza was mediocre and most importantly the wine was thin and terrible. You can eat much better than this if you have a place to cook by buying your salad stuff in the market and making it yourself!!!!!

              1. re: jen kalb

                oh, that does sound horrible. I think they tend to vary pretty heavily by location- I've heard the one just off the piazza with the talking statue has terrible service. Were you there recently? Perhaps they're better with seasonal produce? Can't say I tried the seafood ones, the pizza or the wine, to be honest- allergic to the first, why bother with the second, and not a fan of the third. I definitely can't argue with the make it yourself approach although I was a fan precisely because I was out and about with relatives and also, lacking a kitchen.

                I'll be sad if it really was only a decent one-off thing, it seemed like such a refreshing break from nonstop pasta!

                1. re: chocolatstiletto

                  As far as Insalata Ricca goes, yes, location does matter. I always ate at the one off of Vittorio Emmanuel, near the Piazza st. Andrea del valle....something like that! (it's been a while) and I never tried the shrimp there, I tended to stick with the vegetarian options. And the salads were always so good that I never got around to trying the pizzas. As far as wine went, well, I was a student so I stuck with house wine everywhere I went and I learned to enjoy it, so I can't comment on their selection. I particularly feel bad that you had bad quality olive oil on your visit, because the olive oil there is one reason I loved it so much! I haven't been since last May, but I recommend the location I frequented.

            2. re: NWPeter

              I studied in Rome last semester and practically LIVED at Insalata Ricca! It's delicious and about 7 euros per salad (and you get a lot) and it includes bread! Remember that when you eat in any restaurant the price goes up a few euros so taking it to-go is a great option (they include the bread at Insalata Ricca when you get it to go).

              Miscellanea, which I unfortunately did not discover until the very end of my stay in Rome, is pretty much exactly like Insalata Ricca but even cheaper, and you get the same amount! You basically pick whatever ingredients you want in your salad and they'll make it.

              Aristo Campo, which is mentioned in a post below, has a location in Campo de Fiori as well. Yummy and cheap! Enjoy your stay in Rome and report back!

              1. re: Jess321

                oooh, and this Miscellanea place is located....?

                1. re: chocolatstiletto

                  it's mentioned in the post above mine, but it's near the pantheon on via d. Paste...from what i remember, if you're in front of the pantheon, face away and take the main street thats runs to the right of the pantheon. turn right at the second (?) alley and take it a few blocks down and then you'll make a right into a small alley (man, all the good restaurants in rome seem to be in small alleyways!) and it will be on your right, across from another restaurant. It's not well-marked, but there's usually a sign up on an easel type thing that lists specials. Sorry that i'm not much help, but if you ask around the locals might be of some help!

                2. re: Jess321

                  Ha ha--I ate at insalata ricca at LEAST once a week (sometimes more..). I still crave it intensely. I think part of it comes from eating SO much pasta that you need something different! It is good though, and so filling.

              2. A couple more ideas -

                Forno La Renella.
                Bread and pizza bakery located on Via del Moro (near the English Bookstore) Many different pizza, from the classic red sauce Marguerite to the sauceless bianco, (an “etto” or 100 grams is a good serving for one)

                Snack Bar
                Yes, that’s the name! On Via San Francesco a Ripa just metres before Viale Trastevere (it’s right after the side door to Oviesse/Standa on the right). We were only ever there around the lunch hour – takeaway pasta (changes daily), pizza, arancini (stuffed rice balls), roasted chicken – delicious!

                Aristo Campo
                Trastevere – Piazza della Scala (take away – there’s another one by the same name in Trastevere that’s sit down with a very different menu – assume it’s the same people)
                DELICIOUS panini sandwiches – about 2 dozen suggestions (in Italian and English) or you can make your own. Like an upscale Subway sandwich store – the ingredients are wonderful (arugula, porchetta, hot peppers, buffalo mozzarella, etc) – if you choose one of the suggestions you can always add to it (I can’t turn down arugula!). They assemble your panini to order and then grill it – about 5 €

                Also - some of the antipasti buffets can be very reasonable - and a meal - here's a link to a review of ours of a restaurant near the Spanish Steps that has a wonderful antipasti buffet for 9E (well, that was 2 years ago)


                We spent two months in Trastevere in Jan/Feb 2005 and loved it - have a great time!

                1. You may also need supermarket info - here are a few

                  Supermarkets/Food shops

                  There are four supermarkets in the immediate area, all with their own specialities:
                  Standa has entrances from Viale Trastevere and Via San Francesco a Ripa, you go in through the department store Oviesse into the basement. Oviesse address is Via della Trastevere 60
                  Very nice selection of meat, produce and bread and wine– a little pricey but good quality.
                  Open daily from 8:30am to 8:00pm – Open Sunday 9:30am to 1:30pm and then 4:30pm til 7:30pm (maybe 8:00pm
                  Todis is a smaller discount supermarket on Via Natale del Grande 23, ideal for buying staples.
                  Panella, is also on on Via Natale del Grande, just a few doors along from Todis.
                  Above 2 places are open 8:00am til 8:00am Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday – not the quality of Standa but probably better prices for staples like toilet paper, etc.
                  Volpetti on Via Cinque – I think the number is 45 – it’s between Via Moro and Via Della Scala
                  Small grocery store with a surprisingly good selection – somehow they cram most of what you would need for a week into a small space! 5 litre jugs of wine for 8 Euro – you can learn to like it!
                  Open daily from 9:00am til 8:00pm but closed from 1:30pm – 4:30pm and closed all day Sunday
                  Antica Caciara Via S. Francesco a Ripa 140
                  A wonderful cheese shop (and some salamis, etc) – the shopkeeper (Roberto) is lovely and helpful…..we don’t speak Italian and he doesn’t speak English – but we had no trouble communicating about cheese!
                  Be sure to try Burrata - A cow's milk cheese and mozzarella variety, Burrata has a thin spun casing and a soft and buttery center, which is made from fresh cream and unspun mozzarella curds. Wrapped in the protective blades of local Pugliese asfodelo (an herb-like plant similar to leeks), Burrata is an incurably creamy cheese with a delicate hint of sweetness in its flavour
                  Minimal hours – not open Sunday and always closed between 1:00pm and 4:30pm