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Recommendations for Rome restaurants

We are a group of 4 people planning to visit Rome during the summer and we are looking for good restaurant recommendations. We've been to Rome many times before and we love the food there, this time we want it to be even better.

We travel frequently and everywhere we go we research the restaurant options carefully to be able to make the best decisions. We like a restaurant with good food, nice atmosphere and good service, not too formal, not too informal. We don't like the touristy restaurants and we don't like the pretentious places either or the whole " creative touches" cooking trend (unless the food is exceptional). Money is not an issue.

I want to have a TOP 5 RESTAURANTS OPTIONS list consisting of:

2 restaurants serving traditional Roman cuisine
2 restaurants serving other regional Italian cuisine (Tuscan, Calabrian, Emilia-Romagna, Sicilian etc.)
1 Seafood

I would really appreciate any recommendations anyone may have and as I've already started doing my own research i would really appreciate if you could give me opinions and information on the following restaurants:

La Campana
Matricianella
Eleonora D'Arborea
Colline Emiliane
Il Buco
Hostaria Romana
Il Cantuccio
Ditirambo
Da felice a testaccio
Al Ceppo
La Villetta dal 1940
Antica Pesa - frequented by celebrities but the food is mediocre?
Le Mani in Pasta
Quinzi & Gabrieli
Checchino dal 1887
La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali - Is it a tourist trap now?
Agata e Romeo
Trattoria Monti
Le Maschere
Mirabelle - is it worth the money?
La Pergola - is it worth the money?

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La Campana
Vicolo della Campana, 18, Roma, IT 00186, IT

Trattoria Monti
Via di San Vito,13a, Roma , IT

Matricianella
Via del Leone, 4, Roma , IT

Agata e Romeo
Via Carlo Alberto 45, Rome 00185, IT

Checchino dal 1887
Via di Monte Testaccio, 30, Rome 00153, IT

Al Ceppo
Via Panama, 2, Rome 00198, IT

Ditirambo
Piazza della Cancelleria, 73, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

Colline Emiliane
Via degli Avignonesi, 22, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT

Le Mani in Pasta
Via dei Genovesi, 37, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

Quinzi & Gabrieli
Via delle Coppelle 5, Rome, Lazio 10086, IT

Hostaria Romana
Via del Boccaccio, 1, Rome, Lazio , IT

Taverna dei Fori Imperiali
Via Madonna dei Monti 9, Rome, Lombardia 00184, IT

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  1. Seafood at Quinzi & Gabrieli is very good but very expensive. High class service and good food but you will drop major coin at dinner. If that doesn't faze you, try it. Not that easy to find the place because outside signage is not very large or obvious, but warm inside.

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    Quinzi & Gabrieli
    Via delle Coppelle 5, Rome, Lazio 10086, IT

    1. Many of these places have been discussed repeatedly here and this is a very long list so I have two suggestions - one is to click on the links for each restaurant - that will take you to the Restaurant page for the restaurant, which has info and at the bottom links to recent discussions and any recent discussions of it.

      the next is to say what you are looking for what area, type or cost of food. then maybe people can give you more useful and focussed advice.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jen kalb

        Mainly restaurants in central rome or not very from the centre.

        Mainly. restaurants serving traditional Roman cuisine and restaurants serving other types of Italian cuisine. Specific recommendations for good bucatini all'ammatriciana, abbachio alla romana, florentine steak and other dishes are more than welcome.
        A few options for seafood as well.

        We don't like very modern restaurants with minimalist decorations, we prefer the traditional old-fashioned style.

        Money is not an issue.

      2. I can't comment on each of your restaurants (and have already done so in different threads on this site) But here is my top five for you:
        Roman:
        Perilli
        Flavio Velavevodetto
        Other Regions:
        Trattoria Monti
        L'Asino d'Oro
        Fish:
        La Gensola

        Restaurants to take off your list:
        Antica Pesa
        Checchino dal 1887
        Agata e Romeo

        Yes, La Pergola is worth the money. But if you are looking for high end, I would also suggest All'Oro, which is less costly, and one of the best places in Rome at the moment.

        Hope this helps,
        Elizabeth
        ______
        www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com

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        Trattoria Monti
        Via di San Vito,13a, Roma , IT

        Agata e Romeo
        Via Carlo Alberto 45, Rome 00185, IT

        Checchino dal 1887
        Via di Monte Testaccio, 30, Rome 00153, IT

        Perilli
        Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

        La Gensola
        Piazza della Gensola, 15, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

        L'Asino d'Oro
        Via del Boschetto 73, Rome, Lazio 00184, IT

        All'Oro
        Via Eleonora Duse, 1, Rome, Lazio , IT

        Flavio al Velavevodetto
        Via di Monte Testaccio 97, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

        11 Replies
        1. re: minchilli

          Elizabeth, interesting, this is the first negative voice I hear about checchino (haven't been some months now) - can you please elaborate?

          1. re: vinoroma

            I always feel like Checchino is WAY overpriced for what it is. If you are going to have real Roman food, then I just don't think you have to pay that much. Nor do I like the fact that you are in Testaccio, and the service is so formal and stuffy.
            It just seems like the prices have crept up over the years in direct relation to the amount of times it's written up in American magazines. And no Romans go there.

            1. re: minchilli

              We were last at Checchino in 2009 and found pretty much the opposite of what you are saying. From what I could tell, there were plenty of Romans having lunch at other tables. I thought the food an excellent bargain for the quality and level of service. My Roman host with whom I was dining thought so also.

              To the OP: I would not rule out Checcino based on one dissenter's comments. Many of us on this site think it is wonderful. As they say, different strokes... :)

              1. re: ttoommyy

                I guess I have to go back and try it. I have to admit I haven't been there for a while, so will definitely give it another try. Also, maybe it's a different feeling (and prices?) lunchtime vs. dinner?

          2. re: minchilli

            Can I ask you why you would take off Agata e Romeo too?
            I was there just once but it was a really great dinner.

            -----
            Agata e Romeo
            Via Carlo Alberto 45, Rome 00185, IT

            1. re: tavoleromane

              I"ve been to Agata e Romeo about six times, and have always been extremely underwhelmed. Not bad food, but not outstanding ,certainly pretentious and defintely over priced. I also find the atmosphere sort of funereally somber.

              -----
              Agata e Romeo
              Via Carlo Alberto 45, Rome 00185, IT

              1. re: minchilli

                I don't think you and I should ever go to dinner together in Rome, minchilli! lol I've been to Agata y Romeo and loved it.

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  Call me stodgy, but I love the atmosphere at Agata e Romeo, and Checchino too. And the food at both.

                  -----
                  Agata e Romeo
                  Via Carlo Alberto 45, Rome 00185, IT

                2. re: minchilli

                  Thank you for sharing more details Elizabeth. In this case you have given it many tries! ;-)
                  I have a different opinion, loved also the overall atmosphere and Surrealist wall paintings. By the way does anyhow know if they are still there?

                  1. re: tavoleromane

                    If Agata e Romeo are still there? YES! Franco and I had a fabulous dinner there last week.

                    -----
                    Agata e Romeo
                    Via Carlo Alberto 45, Rome 00185, IT

                    1. re: mbfant

                      Sorry I used "they" incorrectly...I was referring to the paintings...

            2. Some of us have written books that aren't as long as the reply you're asking for would be! On your list, the places I like are Campana, Colline Emiliane, Al Ceppo, Felice, Checchino, Agata e Romeo, and La Pergola (worth it if you can afford it; if you can't, don't give it a second thought). I haven't been to Il Buco in eons, but it was always a reliable, authentically Tuscan old place and it's still there. Never been to Mirabelle, but for the money there are others I would probably choose first. The others I either don't like or haven't been to, mainly the former.

              -----
              Agata e Romeo
              Via Carlo Alberto 45, Rome 00185, IT

              Al Ceppo
              Via Panama, 2, Rome 00198, IT

              Colline Emiliane
              Via degli Avignonesi, 22, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT

              Il Buco
              II Rampa Marina Piccola (Piazza S. Antonino), 5,, Sorrento, Campania 80067, IT

              1. Hi George,
                Expense account dining is not the way I approach Rome. Maybe pick a few neighborhoods, visit the places that appeal to you and go back because the food and the experience will be much better second time around (you'll be a regular). High-end dining, in my experience, is not what the city does best. Others will disagree.
                Just my $0.02.

                2 Replies
                1. re: steve h.

                  The high end covers a lot of territory, but in general what you say used to be true, but the top, broadly interpreted, has enlarged and improved greatly in recent years.

                  1. re: mbfant

                    Recent posts on the Italy Board would seem to confirm what you say. Manhattan, never cheap, has expanded its high-end options, too. San Francisco, on the other hand, has carved out a growing medium/medium-high dining niche.

                    Keep us posted as you see trends develop.