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May 14, 2010 03:44 PM

Best of Best Rome restaurants

My family of four will be travelling to Rome in late June for 5 nights. I am looking for opinions regarding the 5 best restauarnts in Rome. I am seeking special occasion, "cost is no object" restaurants to visit on this trip. Thank you.

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  1. I guess you will find a lot more when you do a search of the boards, or maybe just read some topics from the last months, but here are a few names to start you out with - all have fans and non-fans, but you can search for these names and find the relevant discusssions:

    La Pergola and Il Pagliaccio are definitely the two top places in Rome for "cost is no object" eating. Then there are Colonna, Agata e Romeo, Il Convivio, La Mantia at Majestic, Baby at Aldrovandi, Imago, Mirabelle.

    Please note that best restaurant/best food are different for everyone and in Rome, or in Italy in general, you will often find "best food" (as in authentic preparations) in restaurants not on this level. But in these restaurants (above) you are likely to find best raw materials and modern, innovative preparations (which is not a bad thing) in beautiful settings with formidable service.

    1. Rome has 1 restaurant on the San Pellegrino 100 Best Restaurants in the World list: and that is "La Pergola".


      What the Romans mean:


      A quite good overview from Roma Gourmet:


      That said, some restaurants with several Michelin stars can be low value, because they are so expensive and the food is good, but not exceptional. If you want exciting food done by a great chef find some reviews that shows you to the right place, not just a stuffy place for rich folks.

      You often get better value going to a place like this:


      A list from Katie Parla's blog:


      A terrifying one:


      1 Reply
      1. re: jostber

        thanks for the shout out jostber. i would like to point out that the link to my "best" restaurants list is over a year old and needs an update. that said, here are some places I would recommend if cost is no object and you want a special dining experience:

        il pagliaccio
        il convivio troiani
        il ceppo
        antico arco
        checchino dal 1887

      2. There are several in this category I've never been to (Imago is next on my list to try), but my five would have to be Pergola, Pagliaccio, Convivio, Agata e Romeo, Colonna. The last three show deeper roots in the local cuisine. I also thought Baby was great the one time I went. It's roots are on the Bay of Naples.

        1. I do not see La Terrazza (Eden Hotel) mentionned anywhere when discussing good restaurants, and we liked this restaurant 12 years ago. Has it declined recently? Also, Agata e Romeo's online menu seems limited, yet it seems to be a popular favorite. For those who have eaten at A e R, which dishes are memorable?

          1 Reply
          1. re: gjrubino

            Yes, I liked it 12 years ago too, but that chef left and it has generally been off the radar and was always in the price ranges where you don't want to take chances. I'd love to hear some recent experiences. The bar should still be a beautiful place for an aperitif.

          2. I join in endorsing

            1. Il Convivio (my favorite for fine dining, with a wine steward who can match perfectly a wine to your meal),
            2. Agata e Romeo, and
            3. Checchino dal 1887 (in Testaccio)

            Four your 4th and 5th choices, I'd seek out restaurants that have typical local cuisine, the kind which you can't get elsewhere on the face of the earth:

            -- another in Testaccio for the tripe (research on the board for suggestions; I liked Trattoria Da Oio a Casa Mia on the Via Galvani; try the lamb organs in sauce or the Spaghetti Carbonara

            -- either Armando al Pantheon, or Vecchia Locanda (between the Pantheon and Piazza Argentina),or La Campana -- and none of these places will break the bank

            -- a place in the Ghetto with the unique Roman Jewish cuisine (I'd suggest Piperno, though I haven't been there in 8 years. I'll let other Chowhounders help)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sid Cundiff

              Sid! The question was the BEST special occasion restaurants, not "a good cross-section of Roman gastronomy"! Armando, Campana, Oio, Vecchia Locanda, Checchino, and Piperno are all good places to go, but they are not in the category the OP asked for.