Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Italy >
Aug 27, 2011 08:44 AM

Restaurants in Rome in September

I read "Foodie in Rome", and none of the restaurants I was considering were included in the discussions. I would love to hear about:
L'Orso 80; Osteria de Memmo; Ristorante Tema; Babbette; Alla Rampa; Ristorante al Duello; L'Opera Wine Bar; Casa Coppelle.
Thank you so much for any information you can offer. I've checked Zagat also, and found nothing; our trip is coming up soon, and we're trying to plan ahead. Some of these places were recommended to us, but we're not too sure about the source's opinions. We're trying to stay away from the places listed as "VE" or "$$$$$$".

L'Orso 80
Via dell'Orso,80, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Are you aware you can go to the upper right hand corner of this page and do a search for each of the restaurants you are asking about? Some of them have been discussed here before and there is already information here available for you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      I looked in the "upper right hand corner" and the restaurants I want to know about are not discussed in much detail. I understand that I am relying on more "Americanized" or touristy sites for recommendations. Didn't know that I would insult Zerlina by requesting local info on restaurants discovered that way. Sorry. Chowhound in the US is more accommodating to requests like this, even if they are saying they don't like the particular least they say why, and recommend something else.

      1. re: mninj

        Be sure to take a look at Maureen Fant's website for info on dining in Rome.

    2. Foodie in Rome's list was put together from recommendations in this forum, primarily from Rome residents. Your list seems to have been put together by tourists in Rome using standard sources such as the most popular guidebooks and TripAdvisor.

      1. here are links to the restaurants you mentioned. They do seem to be mentioned primarily on english language tourist websites at present which doesnt mean that they ae bad, only that they are not frequented by Italian foodies.Several have been discussed on chowhound however, Babette I think for its brunch, for example. I think Zerlina is merely commenting that there is a different between the recommendations you will find here and in the guidebook tripadvisot sources. Hopefully you will get additional comments on your restaurant picks, but if you dont, there are a lot of other Rome threads here as well as hundreds of restaurants in Rome.

        ps you need to consider where you will be in Rome when you want to eat, also the day of the week - a lot of the restaurants in the Center are closed on Sunday, for example. Enjoy your visit and hope you report back.

        the online website infor for L'Opera seems to relate to a restaurant in Manila, the Philippines, not helpful and puzzling.

        Via Margutta, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT

        Alla Rampa
        Piazza Mignanelli,18, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT

        Ristorante Tema
        Via Panisperna,Viminal Hill,98, Rome, Lazio 00184, IT

        Ristorante al Duello
        Vicolo della Vaccarella,11/a, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

        Via del Teatro Pace, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

        Osteria de Memmo
        Via dei Soldati,22/23, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

        1. I love L'Orso 80, even though many on this forum do not. I often send visitors there and encorage them to order the antipasto for the entire table. This is a series of about 15-20 small plates including the greatest hits of Italian antipasto (my favorite are the meatballs). Everyone I send there loves it, and it's particularly good for bigger groups, since they have a few largish rooms

          I an not a fan of Babbettes, although many iike it for it's lunch time buffet, which is very affordable. I think it kind of tastes bland and isn't very Roman.

          Your other places are touristy, and not worth considering.

          L'Orso 80
          Via dell'Orso,80, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

          2 Replies
          1. re: minchilli

            Thank you for your kind response, and for your honesty. We are making an effort to avoid the "touristy" places, and expected that Babbette would be so, given its location. "Touristy" doesn't always mean bad food, though, just more tourists. I have places at home that only locals go to, but some of the popular (where vacationers go) places offer excellent food and pleasant service. I'm trying for a balance.
            Thanks again for your kindness.

            1. re: mninj

              DavidT is quite right. mbfant saved me from many a misstep in Rome.

          2. Babette has a lunch buffet that is quite good and a real bargain. I've never been in the evening, but the place is charming. Orso 80 is to be avoided unless it has changed radically recently. The famous tons of antipasti are tasteless, service is awful. I have heard not bad things about Alla Rampa, but nothing has ever inspired me to try it. I've never been to da Memmo. And I've never heard of the others.I think it's a pretty weak list.

            Alla Rampa
            Piazza Mignanelli,18, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT

            16 Replies
            1. re: mbfant

              I appreciate your critique of my list of "possibles". I would really like to see restaurants that you would recommend. We like good food, and are willing to use taxis if necessary. We prefer not to be with all the other tourists. Thanks for your help.

              1. re: mninj

                If you go to, as I suggested above, you will find a list of her recommended restaurants, trattorias, etc. Ms. Fant has also made many, many comments on dining in Rome here on prior threads.

                1. re: DavidT

                  I read the "quick list" of restaurants, and I honestly haven't ever heard anyone sound so disinterested in the topic. I understand that these are names she's throwing out, and I should go to their sites and see what people think of them, but really...she sounds so discouraging about all of them, I couldn't get up the enthusiasm. She says of one that the seats are uncomfortable and she doesn't go there. Why, then, was she suggesting it? Sorry.

                  1. re: mninj

                    Maybe you didnt see this list?

                    words like "excellent", "super" and "voluptuous" are not expressions that people who are uninterested use. Maureen is an expert in the cuisine of Rome and cares very much about it - even the best places can have minor drawbacks or are not perfect for everyone. the fact that she does not gush is just her style - and It would me mine, too, if I was fielding requests year in and year out. The kind of gush I see on unmoderated sites like tripadvisor makes me suspicious - so much can be manipulated by restauranteurs and friends and family - chowhound is moderated to eliminate this and what reports there are will be objective, and will usually be provided by people to whom good eating is a real priority.

                    I would not look to restaurant websites for reliable reviews - not many provide these anyway and those that there are are very suspect.

                    Look, you can get very good meals or very average meals in rome - it is a challenging environment because it is so tourist impacted, especially in the center. We find it very enjoyable, usually eating at trattoria level rather than luxury restaurants and usually drinking house wines or more inexpensive bottles Having first, some truly good recomendations and second,finding out what dishes are worth ordering can increase your percentages of enjoying the experience. If you try some of the restaurants you have been recommended on this Board or that you see on other threads, you are likely to have very good Roman food and a good experience.

                    you could also check out katie parla's website for additional choices and more color on the roman cuisine.

                    I hope you get more enthusiatic about your trip - Im sure you will have a lovely time.

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      I don't know if I am too late to weigh in here, but I hope in the future people who are directed solely to mbfant for Rome recommendations will be allowed to express their reaction without being made to feel that somehow they are at fault for having that reaction. I have no reactions to mbfant's advice about where to eat in Rome because I don't think I've ever eaten in any of the restaurants she yays or nays without ever bothering to explain her criteria. But I do want to say that mbfant's writing style certainly strikes me as unique for a self-avowed food lover, if not for a paid restaurant reviewer. I've read a great many people who are experts on Roman food who don't come across like mbfant.

                      Since the credibility of other websites was rightly brought up, I'll be frank and say I think it is hurting the credibility of Chowhound's Italy board that a wider range of experts on Roman food are not cited and referred to. There are other fine sources for what does and doesn't constitute authentic Roman cooking, dishes and menus. There are several very good food writers out there who like Roman eateries that mbfant doesn't. She may be the perfect guru for some people. For others, no. And that is not because they don't know what they are talking about. It's because people have different tastes and pleasures when it comes to dining out.

                      1. re: barberinibee

                        Most people write differently in print and online.

                        Is an OP who lists five (of eight) places from the top 40 Rome restaurants on TripAdvisor going to buy David Downie's Food Wine Rome or plough through the reviews on Katie Parla's, Elizabeth Minchilli's and Tavole Romane's Web sites or look up (mostly outdated) reviews at Travel & Leisure or CN Traveler? I don't think so, not when the OP has evidently not even gone through some excellent Rome lists here on which Mbfant, Minchilli, Katieparla, Vinoroma and Tavoleromane (NB: the only Roman among the regular posters) have weighed in. None of them, I might add, at food-critic length and often expressing differing opinions. The OP has already voiced frustration about reviews that contradict each other.

                        Mbfant's list is short and to the point; it is a *list*, not a collection of restaurant reviews. It does not hurt chowhound's credibility to direct the OP to it nor to point out Mbfant's credentials. The OP would certainly eat better at restaurants listed there than at those drawn from TA's top 40.

                        1. re: barberinibee

                          The reason I referred the OP to Maureen Fant's website is that she is a regular participant on this chat board. Katie Parla and Elizabeth Minchilli are two other participants on the Italy board who also maintain their own websites/blogs. As they are kind enough to often share their opinions with us, I think we owe them the courtesy of directing some inquiries, where appropriate, to their websites.

                          I am sure there are many, many other sources of information on dining in Italy. You are very welcome to broaden our horizons any time you wish.

                          1. re: barberinibee

                            (when i posted it, this comment came up out of order and therefore made no sense, so I'm deleting it.)

                            1. re: barberinibee

                              There is certainly a diversity of views on this Board. Search the recommended restaurants and it is evident that chowhounds, including Rome residents, do not all agree in every case. but the point of this Board is to have those discussions about food, not about personalities.

                              In this case the OP wanted some reliable names of restaurants. She got some names, from several people. Here is a link to Katie Parla's site where there are additional reccomendations, as well as other useful info.

                              Not everyone is going to take it the next step and figure out what it might be a good idea to order; thats a major frustration since as you know folks can walk into a very good restaurant, order the wrong dishes and have a disappointing meal. But at least starting with some good suggestions is a beginning of the road.

                              There is plenty of info about Roman food on some of the linked blogs, as well as on this site; here for example is a two year old thread about classic roman dishes


                          2. re: mninj

                            Hi, just want to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th others' recommendations for Maureen and her knowledge of Roma and food, whether shopped for, prepared at home or eaten out. She's a long time resident and knows her stuff, you really can't go wrong (how many books has she written on the subject?). Experts rarely gush (or use phrases like "hidden gem") -- but draw on broader, more multidimensional experience for balanced and reliable suggestions.

                            Fiditi (have faith), and buon appetito. :)

                            1. re: livingvenice

                              Livingvenice and Jen Kalb, THANK YOU. You have told me what I hoped for, that the local folks dine more simply, drink the house wines, and don't splurge for everyday dining at the "gourmet" places. I understand the lack of "gush"; we use the same for our favorite everyday places, only expanding for the "special event" places, or to contradict a negative review, if we thing the negative was unjustified. We are re-visiting the recommendations given previously, and so will make (hopefully) good choices. Sorry if I seemed snippy; I have seen so many contradictory reviews of all the places, I'll admit to becoming frustrated.
                              We look forward to a lovely visit in Rome.

                              1. re: mninj

                                just to clarify Im not a Rome local like some of the others - I think wine in particular is a very personal choice - some people like us are generally happy enough with the house wines for our daily meals, others will be more selective - wine is a great bargain in Italy compared to North America. Asking for a recommendation in your preferred price range is also a good way to proceed - weve tasted a lot of good bottles that way over the years.

                                1. re: mninj

                                  Rarely local foodies drink house wine, except in few well known places. Wine by the glass is the favorite choice if you are 1-2 people and can't drink an entire bottle.
                                  Sorry I can't be helpful about the restaurants you mentioned, I've never been there.
                                  Enjoy your visit in Rome!

                                  1. re: tavoleromane

                                    Like I said, wine choice is vey personal - some will be more selective or exploratory and will want to pay more than others for wine - others will not.

                                    We agree that wine by the glass can be a good choice, however you may not have had the experience we had on our last Rome visit of getting pours that were significantly less than adjacent regulars - , which made the by the glass purchase less attractive to us than buying a full bottle - ! but thats a topic for another thread as is perhaps the question of which restaurants in Rome offer better house wines!

                          3. re: mninj

                            In the middle range (which is pretty wide and not always so cheap), I like Grano, Nerone, Checchino, Felice, La Campana (I think; I haven't been there in a long while), Fortunato al Pantheon, Vino e Camino, Da Gino e Antonio, Monti. A bit higher I like Achilli, Al Ceppo, All'Oro, Antico Arco (no, not all Roman restaurants begin with A), Piperno (there! a P). A bit lower would be pizza, much discussed here. Also the very quirky Filetti di BaccalĂ . There are others. I'm really not up to date on low-end trattorias, a category I find a poor substitute for home cooking, and frankly I will only go out researching them systematically if I'm paid to do so. I would, of course, feel differently if I were in a hotel instead of home.

                            Antico Arco
                            Piazzale Aurelio, 7, Roma 00151, IT

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

                            Al Ceppo
                            Via Panama, 2, Rome 00198, IT

                            Fortunato al Pantheon
                            Via del Pantheon, 55, Rome 00186, IT

                            Monte de' Cenci, 9, Rome, Lazio , IT

                            Da Gino
                            Piazza Generale Dalla Chiesa,4, Trapani, Sicily , IT

                            Piazza Rondanini, 53, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

                            Via Eleonora Duse, 1, Rome, Lazio , IT

                            Vino e Camino
                            piazza dell’Oro 6, Rome, Lazio , IT

                            1. re: mbfant


                              Hopefully, if have managed to enter a link to my May 18th posting on a week of dining in Rome. If you read it, you will see that my wife and I enjoyed virtually all of our meals in Rome, as we usually do when we carefully prepare for a trip abroad by doing our legwork on Chowhound.

                              Here are our methods: First, we check the advice of experts, local food lovers, and comments of tourists who sound knowledgeable about what they experienced in dining at particular restaurants. Where such posters disagree--and they often do--we filter out the comments that don't seem to apply to our tastes.

                              Second, we choose restaurants located conveniently for our hotel and/or our planned touring destinations. For example, when we toured the Forum in the morning, we chose a restaurant in Monti for our late-lunch main meal, rather than one in Trastevere, where we toured and dined on another day.

                              Third, when we think we are homing in on restaurant choices, we check for useful photos on flickr. If the food looks good to us, we usually end up enjoying it; if it looks unappealing it comes off our list. Ms. Parla and Ms. Minchilli have provided loads of informative photos on their websites.

                              Fourth, when we we are enticed to go to a restaurant by descriptions or pictures of particular dishes, those are the dishes we order. We didn't go to Checchino for fish and we didn't go to La Gensola for meat. When we went to L'Arcangelo on Ms. Parla's recomendation we got pastas carbonara and amatriciana exactly as she described (delicious but a little underdone for some tastes, but not ours or hers).

                              A word on Ms. Fant's advice. She flatly warns her reader where she travels frequently to dine in the city and where she rarely goes. She spends a lot of time in Monti, where she lives, and in Testaccio where she shops. She apparently is a more occasional visitor to Prati. We took that into account. She is careful to warn that regular patrons may well get better treatment than one-time visitors at some places. We also took that into account. Bottom line: When and if we get back to Rome we owe her a fine meal for the very helpful advice we got from her postings at no cost to us. Thanks again, Maureen! And thanks to Katie, Elizabeth, vinoroma, jen kalb and others. We had a grand visit.

                              Via G. G. Belli 59/61, Rome, Lazio 00193, IT

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