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May 21, 2008 10:13 AM

Rome - Must Do Foodie Pilgrimmage Stops?

I'm interested in specialty shops, bakeries, chocolate shops, gelato, pizza, gourmet items, etc - anything to do with food or the kitchen in Rome. What is the best of the best gelato? Coffee? etc?

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  1. One must for any serious foodie in Rome is Volpetti on Via Marmorata in Testaccio. It's a gourmet food specialty shop that has a wide variety of Italian and some foreign foods. Be forewarned, the salesmen have a way of making you buy way more than you intended. Defensive shopping recommended!

    2 Replies
    1. re: bropaul

      Campo di Fiori (Antico Forno etc. Gelato - My fave is Giolitti's...for many it is San Crispino (near Trevi Fountain). Caffe - Tazza d'Oro, and Sant'Eustachio. has lots of great info too (she'll probably respond to this post too!). I couldn't help but enjoy cooling off with essentially an iced coffee from Cremeria Monteforte next to the's an overload of whipped cream. But it was fun to have once.

      1. re: hornvixen

        I'm delighted you find my stuff useful -- an incentive to keep adding. I'm not, however, going to respond to the OP. It would require a book. The OP would be well advised to look at previous posts here, and then return with more specific questions.

    2. I would say PALATIUM (sp) on Via Frattina near piazza di spagna. It is a place that just does food and wine from Lazio. During a short visit in Rome, this enoteca will give you a sampling of the regional food culture. I would advise to book ahead for weekends. I went there the other day for an aperitivo assuming I could have dinner but could not.

      1. My head is spinning with ideas. Here a just a few (all in my favorite neighborhood) to help get you started.
        Campo dei Fiori can't miss spots:
        Antico Forno (for pizza bianca and rossa)
        Il Fornaio (for hand-cut Mortadella from the largest cylinder of cured meat you will ever see (eat it with the pizza bianca- a marriage made in pork heaven)
        Pasticceria Bernasconi (for traditional Italian pastry, especially cream-filled)
        La Vineria Reggio (wine bar-my preferred place for an afternoon merenda of Tiramisu with a glass of Brachetto)

        You would definitely do well to search this board for more finds. Famous spots for coffee, gelato and the like are oft-mentioned, confirmed and repeated.
        If you are staying in an apartment, or will have access to a kitchen, I highly recommend a shopping trip to Volpetti for provisions.
        If you can tell me which neighborhood will be home base, I'd be happy to try and recommend a "regular morning bar" for your cappuccino and cornetto :) I hate to see the tourists lining up at the pretty fancy place when the coffee is better around the corner.

        13 Replies
        1. re: vvvindaloo


          I will be in rome in about three weeks. I will be staying at the Hotel Diplomatic on V. Colonna. I am not sure what part of town that is, but if you could tell me about a regular morning bar nearby, or any other nice spots, I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

          1. re: Scooter22

            Sure. I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a coffee in your immediate neighborhood (Prati), but I know that there is a good bar right in Piazza Cavour, which via V. Colonna will lead you to (it's a block or two NW from your hotel). A little further up, on via G Ferrari (you'd better check out a street map for this one) is Pasticceria Faggiani, which has excellent pastries and coffee for breakfast- they have decent seating, too, IIRC. Castroni, the famous fine foods purveyor, has a nice bar, on via Cola di Rienzo. Also on Cola di Rienzo (which happens to be a lovely shopping/strolling avenue), you'll find some very good gelato at Pellacchia, a large bar/gelateria that is at least 100 years old. I heard a bad bad rumor recently that Pellacchia closed... I hope not. I can't confirm it for myself, as I live in NY.
            Also great in Prati: one of my favorite Roman restaurants, Il Matriciano, is found on via dei Gracchi. They serve the best dish of bucatini alla matriciana in Rome, IMO (this is a very contentious issue, and a somewhat dangerous statement to make, hopefully I'll be able to avoid a debate!). Please, eat around and judge for yourself :)

            1. re: vvvindaloo

              Pellacchia is definitely closed, I'm very sorry to say. There used to be a great bar on the corner of P Cavour and Via V. Colonna, but it's something else now, which I'm blanking on. But there are other bars much closer than Castroni and via Ferrari (though there is that gorgeous one on the corner of via Ferrari and that round piazza. I don't like Il Matriciano, but I know I'm a minority.

              1. re: mbfant

                If the round piazza you are referring to is Piazza Mazzini, then you may be thinking of Faggiani.
                It's really too bad about Pellacchia.
                I think Scooter's best bet will be to walk up to Piazza Cavour ( we must be thinking of the same place), but I can't really picture what his street looks like, so I can't say if he'll find a little "local" bar there or not. I tend to like the coffee best at those places where 99% of the customers live on that street.

                1. re: vvvindaloo

                  Of course it must be Piazza Mazzini. I thought it was called Bar Ferrari, but it must be the one you say. Big, gorgeous bar with tables outside. Vittoria Colonna is just over the bridge and runs between the Tiber and P Cavour. There is a hotel White-something that used to be a pensione and a number of buses. Now that I think of it, there is a famous old bar on the lungotevere just above the beginning of that street.

                  1. re: mbfant

                    Thanks to both of you soo much. Are there any other must see places to eat in the neighborhood? I love the local places.

          2. re: vvvindaloo

            Thank you everyone for all of the great suggestions! It is getting all of us really excited.

            We'll be staying right near the Piazza della Republica... can you think of any nice caffes nearby?

            1. re: alexisbeall

              If I were staying near Piazza Repubblica, I'd probably plan on making Caffe Brasile (I think it has "Antico" in the name, also) on via Serpenti my first stop in the AM, unless I happened to find something that looked better. It's definitely a good coffee, and might be the best in the area. However, I also like two less traditional caffes in that neighborhood: Dagnani (a Sicilian Tavola Calda and Pasticceria in the indoor market off via Nazionale) and Caffe Eliseo, which is a very pretty little Caffe (though not the sort of place where locals would go for their morning cup) inside the Teatro Eliseo.

              1. re: vvvindaloo

                I'd like to add this thread for your perusal, you may find it helpful/interesting for neighborhoods outside of the Repubblica/Termini area:

              2. re: alexisbeall

                not a caffe, but trimani wine bar is near repubblica (V Cernaia 37B). one of my favorite places to hang out, grab a glass of wine and munch on some tasty food.

              3. re: vvvindaloo

                I too would love a coffee and /or patiserie reccomendation for my visit to Rome in June. We will be staying at Hotel 47 on via Petroselli, close to the Boca di Vertia. Thanks for your assistance!

                1. re: JMID

                  I'm afraid there is not much very close to your hotel worth mentioning, you will have to head towards Piazza Venezia or across the river into Trastevere to find anything decent. In Trastevere there is a good pastry shop that features neapolitan style goodies, but I can't remember the name.

                  1. re: JMID

                    If I recall correctly, you can walk quite easily from that area over to Testaccio on a walkway next to the Lungotevere Aventino (the bus back along there will probably take you right near your hotel if you go to Testaccio to shop..Testaccio is a prime shopping destination for its outdoor market square and the shops surrounding it, the Passi bakery on via Maestro Giorgio and above all Volpetti. Particularly good in the morning while the market is on.

                    Some people like La Dolceroma in the Ghetto, which features austrian style treats and carrot cake. We were really underwhelmed, however.

                    Do make sure you get out of the rushing traffic in the Bocca della Verita area - you have the option of walking up to the Aventine, which is beautiful , lush and quiet and has some amazing churches (Santa Sabina from the 5th century foremost) and also, right behind the area you are staying past San Grigorio in Velabro and around Via San Teodoro and up the Capitoline - it is one of the most evocative areas of Rome - there are often stylish weddings going on in the historic small churches there. There are a few restaurants there, but its mostly peaceful.

                2. For Gelato, here is an enthusiastic vote for Gelateria del Teatro on Via Dei Coronari. You can find a nice post about it about near the bottom of this thread, The owner is passionate about making the best ice cream possible using only the best available ingredients. How can you beat that?

                  1. try DaBaffeto at Via del governo vecchio, 114 tel-+3966861617 for terrific, legendary pizza!