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Rome - Is this a good mix?

we will be having three lunches and three dinners in rome and after extensive research, i have come up with the following:

lunches - (can't imagine having two big meals a day so want to keep lunches light)
picnic supplies from antica salumeria
possible picnic from via andrea doria market on vatican day
pizza/sandwiches from la zozzone

dinners -
la taverna dei monti
la taverna dei fori
glass hostaria

are there any that aren't worth it or should be switched for something else? any wonderful things that should be ordered at any of the above and what are your experiences with the costs of dinners at the above? i know glass hostaria will be the splurge but want to be prepared for how much?

we also plan on gelato from a variety of places (so many to choose from) plus coffee/pastries from tazza d'oro and san eustachio - any more recs?

thanks!

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  1. I just spent a month in Rome studying, and I can definitely endorse Tazza d'Oro. Best coffee for sure. And the apple croissants at San Eustachio were a huge hit with all my friends. However, they do tend to run out rather early in the mornings.

    As for gelato, I recommend Frigidarium near Piazza Navona. Everybody else says San Crispino has the best gelato, but I didn't think it was all that special. Plus, it was more expensive than most everywhere else and just oozed pretentiousness.

    As for actual meals, I don't know about the places you listed, but if you're in the mood for pizza nothing beats Pizzeria da Baffetto, which is right next door to Frigidarium. At around 8 or 8:30, a line starts forming outside, so get there early or you'll be waiting a while. Seriously, they don't make pizza like that in the US (or elsewhere in Rome, from my own experience).

    3 Replies
    1. re: paperairplanes

      I agree with the "pass" on San Crispino. We were there twice in May - gelato was terrible. Tossed two cups away of the tasteless goop. Much much better options elsewhere in the centro storico.

      1. re: wristband

        I agree also with paperairplanes and wristband on the shortcomings of San Crispino, though I caution readers that I was last there 2006. The Mecca, the El Dorado, and Holy Grail of ice cream, at least in Rome: Giolitti, via Uffici del Vicario 40 daily until 2am.

        1. re: Sid Cundiff

          I must disagree. We loved San Crispino and had a bad experience at Giolitti. They were rude, and the gelato itself was not as creamy as at San Crispino.

    2. You've picked two of the best places for coffee in Rome though I've never experienced bad coffee in Italy. Tazza d'Oro has no table seating other than a couple of small benches; also no pastries except it has the best granita di caffe. As for Sant Eustachio, if you don't want sugar or very little in your coffee, let them know before they pull your drink, otherwise, they automatically put a good amount of sugar on the bottom of the cup.

      1. Am not too happy with your lunch choices :-)

        On Vatican day, do stroll around the Andrea Doria market (official name trionfale) and maybe buy veg and fruit there but for cheese and salumi go to Salmonetta right next to the market. Consider a porchetta panini from them, too. Or, ditch the picnic and go for the best pizza al taglio at Pizzarium,close-ish to the Vatican Museum entrance.

        Zozzone is not good to be made a destination. If you just happen to be there bcs. you are having a coffee at St. Eustachio afterwards, fine. I hate St. Eustachio's coffee, by the way. I also don't like sugar in my cafe and asked to have it without which they refused. Don't know if it works for you.

        Prices for glass can be found on their menu: http://www.glass-hostaria.com/menuweb... (they are good).

        At tazza d'oro have their granita di cafe (and do not make the false decision to skip panna here - it is crucial

        )

        For very good pastries, esp. if you are on your way to the Vatican, make a stop at Antonini (Ponte Cavour).

        Very good ice cream (on Vatican day) on via Gracchi at gelateria Gracchi.

        Buon appetito!

        5 Replies
        1. re: vinoroma

          funny how different opinions can be, the last time we were in Rome I really disliked the panna on tazza d'oro's granita di cafe - it had a greasy texture, maybe ultrapasteurized, anyway it seemed to have gone downhill from my memories. Liked St. Eustachio better. I do like sugar. would like to hear more recent reports.

          1. re: jen kalb

            de gustibus... ;-) to clarify: not that I like the panna by itself, but the granita di caffe is so strong/bitter that you need the panna to set it off, is what I really mean. A friend was trying to diet (what a wrong idea in Italy) and ordered it without the panna and couldn't eat her granita....
            Eustachio, as I said, I didn't like but because I was forced to drink it with sugar, and I never drink my coffee with sugar, I just don't like it, so didn't like this one either. Could be that if I got to taste the Eustachio coffee without the sugar I will like it, too, but I am in no hurry to go there again after the treatment I got.

            1. re: vinoroma

              I thought you could ask for coffee non zuccherato at Sant'Eustachio. I like it sweet, so it never bothered me that the default position was sugared.

              Agree about the panna, which I never have, but on the granita it works.

              1. re: mbfant

                has a change been made to the panna served in such situations?
                I remember many years ago fresh whipped cream - most recently what I was served did not seem like that - have italians switched over to ultrapasteurized products?

                1. re: mbfant

                  I've always asked for no sugar or very little at Sant'Eustachio and it has never been a problem. Just have to let them know before they start pulling the shot.

          2. Agree with other poster about Pizzarium! Also, I like I Franchi for lunch near Vatican- no place to sit though- you can stand at tables-but food is good!

            For dinners,

            If you mean La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali- then YES, I highly recommend that one.

            If you'll be in/near Monti- also try La Piazzetta and Cavour 313- an excellent wine bar that serves great food!