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Feb 17, 2012 09:33 PM

10 days in Rome... where should we eat?

My husband and I are traveling to rome in May for10 days. We've traveled extensively throughout Italy, but want to settle into Rome for awhile. We are foodies and enjoy local and organic cuisine. We've had the privilege of dining at amazing restaurants around the world and need your help finding some of the best Italian food in Roma.

Thanks in advance!!

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  1. I'd suggest you search the recent boards on Rome. We've all made lots of suggestions regarding our favorites and what's new. Then, once you've had a look, and work up some sort of short list, I'd be happy to advise. But with 10 days, you'll have lots of time to try almost all of our suggestions!

    1 Reply
    1. re: minchilli

      Thank you Elizabeth! I will do that now.

    2. You have a proper amount of time in Rome. Explore your neighborhood. Think local and be a repeat customer at places that work for you. Figuring out the basics should be fast and easy. Since you're both intrepid travelers, you'll have no problem fitting in. Tell the board members here a bit about your neighborhood and good recommendations will follow.

      1. In addition to doing a search of this board for past threads on dining in Rome (search box in upper right-hand corner of this page), you should also take a look a Maureen Fant's website. Ms. Fant does post here from time to time as well.

        10 Replies
        1. re: DavidT

          We will be staying near Piazza del Popolo, just steps away from Piazza di Spagna and the Flaminio Metro stop. Via del Vantaggio, 14 - 00186 Roma

          Thoughts on the following list of restaurants would be greatly appreciated. SHould I take any off my list of options? Any additional ones that I should add before building an itinerary? Which ones should I do for lunch and which for dinner? Any sensational gelateria stops we should make that aren't on my list? I have a huge sweet tooth ;).

          My preliminary list for lunch/dinner includes the following places:
          Al Ceppo
          Al Moro
          Dar Poeta
          Antica Pesa
          La Pergola
          Taverna dei Fori Imperiali
          L’ASINO D’ORO
          ALL ‘ ORO – PARIOLI
          ANTICO ARCO
          DA FELICE
          Dal Cavalier Gino
          il pagliaccio
          LA CAMPANA
          Trattoria Monti

          Gelato/sweet options:

          Ciampini – Gelato
          l Gelato di San Crispino
          Gelateria del Teatro
          Cristalli di ZuccheroGelateria dei Gracchi

          Look forward to hearing what your thoughts are!!

          1. re: drjlc

            Also any good recommendations for farmers markets inRome?

            1. re: drjlc

              Your list is a list of places that have been discussed here in the past 6 months. You will find detailed info and opinions on all of them. Beware of the typos, though: cadorna, metamorfosi, (most probably) palatium. Add il gelato (very close to you) and neve di latte to your gelato places. If you will be cooking and eat meat, some of the best can be found steps away from you at the historic butcher shop Annibale. Markets close-ish to you are campo dei fiori (scenic, but not good, and expensive) and trionfale. The two farmers' markets discussed here are very good, but a bit further away from you.

              1. re: drjlc

                For us, buying Katie Parla's and Elizabeth Minchilli's apps were invaluable planning tools. Each provides extensive information and objective discussion on restaurants, chafes, wine bars, markets, gelaterias, etc.

                1. re: Nancy S.

                  Thank you Vinoroma and Nancy. I purchased EAT Rome this evening. Thanks for the suggestion.

              2. re: drjlc

                I think the only places I would strike from your list are Antica Pesa, La Sella del Diavolo and Rinaldi. As Vinoroma points out, you're missing Il Gelato di Claudio Torce, one of best gelaterie in town.
                Hard to say what to do for lunch, and what dinner. L'Asino d'oro has a great 12 euro lunch menu, but you definitely have to reserve.
                You are also missing Pizzarium, which is great for lunch (stand up pizza by the slice)
                And while we're on the subject, you don't have any serious pizza going on. Leoncino is great, but for a more modern take on things: Gatta Mangiona and Sforno.


                ps thanks Nancy S.!

                1. re: minchilli


                  I took off the restaurants you recommended and added the II gelato, Pizzarium and Sforno, I was hesitant on Pizzarium due to the mixed reviews, but I definitely trust your opinion! ;) Crazy that I didn't have any pizza on the list since its hands down my favorite food on the planet!! Sforno looks like a perfect stop for me. Would you lunch here? From what I can see it looks like a place to grab and go.

                  1. re: drjlc

                    I think you are confusing sforno with something else. It is not open for lunch, and it is definitely not grab & go. Closest to that would be pizzarium, but even that is not grab & go, rather grab & eat there standing & go :)

                    1. re: vinoroma

                      Sforno is located at Via Statilio Ottato, 110 in the outskirts of Rome (near Cinecitta)
                      Its closed Sunday

                      Via Statilio Ottato, 110, Rome, Lazio , IT

                2. re: drjlc

                  Il Pagliaccio is a must. My visit last year was a meal I'll never forget. World class.

                  Il Forno del Campo de Fiori is great for breads - just get a plain loaf. The pizze bianca and rossa are very good as well, but it's the plain bread that is a standout. La Renella I was a bit disappointed by. Roscioli I was severely disappointed by.

                  You can complement the bread with some HunDok ham from Volpetti. This is an awe-inspiring San Daniele ham which is completely in a different category of excellence from other hams (at prices, be forewarned, that are equally on another level)

                  Le Mani in Pasta in Trastevere is very good, and will provide an agreeable budget contrast with Il Pagliaccio! It's a good place to go for lunch.

                  A humble option that I always find reliable is Da Francesco. They do pizza, but also a full range of Roman standards, to a pleasing, basic level.

                  Cristalli di Zucchero is the ONLY place in Rome you should get your morning cornetto from. They eclipse the competition. My experience is with the one on Via di Val Tellina - a good way out from the city centre, but easily accessed via the #8 tram.

                  Ice cream: Gelateria del Teatro was extremely disappointing. Il Gelato di San Crispino gets many plaudits for some reason but are merely above average. They tend to be a bit too sweet and dense - veering towards American-style "super-premium" a la Ben and Jerry's. Far better, and in my view still the best, is Giolitti. A lot of people want to knock them down - in part, possibly because of frustration over the crowd crush, which really does have to be endured and is much more of a madhouse than you expect, but the ice cream is truly exceptional. Claudio Torce does good a good chocolate but actually Giolitti's cioccolato fondente is better (you need to get the darker one, usually hidden on the far left in the corner).

              3. With 10 days in Rome, you could easily skip the smog and traffic of Rome for a day and take the train up the Castelli Romani for some hearty Osteria food, or you could visit a Frascati winery. The train to Frascati stops right in town and there are great places to eat in town. In fact the best carciofi alla giudia I have ever had was NOT in Rome but in Frascati at Ristorante Belvedere 1933 - Frascati

                They have a great wine list too.

                1. As foodies who recently returned from trip to Rome we found helpful Elizabeth's Eat Rome app, especially for directing the cab driver using the map as most speak no English. Keep in mind most reservations are only taken by phone. If you will be using a tour guide or staying in a hotel they should be able to help you with this. On your list we we were disappointed with Roscioli, loved L'Asino D'Oro. Lunch at Hosteria 'Gusto was fantastic. 4 hour dining experience at Ad Hoc was wonderful, though some dishes a bit bland. Consider taking cooking class/dinner with Culinary Loft ( Asia and Gaia cooked a delicious meal in their loft apartment as part of a cooking class where you learn to make pasta by hand. Highly recommended. Another option would be a food tour with A Real Taste of Rome. 3-4 hours wandering through Testaccio visiting local market and sampling local dishes. Also highly recommended.