11 excellent places to have lunch in Rome
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While exploring Rome's captivating landmarks this year spare a little thought for the vast and tantalising culinary experiences that also await you. Whether you're wandering on-foot or surveying from the upper deck of one of City Sightseeing Rome's open-top buses, consider a few of the following eateries when your stomach begins to rumble. CityXplora took to twitter and contacted various locals and travel experts to seek their advice on the best places to have lunch in the Eternal City. Our searches and questioning yielded 11 personal favourites that you're sure to enjoy as well.
Bare in mind that although the focus is on lunch most of these restaurants offer a diverse menu that's good for any time of day:
1) Salumeria Roscioli (Via dei Giubbonari, 21 Roma):
This multi-functional centre of Roman gastronomy was recommended by Luca Dresda of '10 Things To Do, Rome'. Not only is Roscioli a restaurant, but a delicatessen and wine bar all rolled into one. This arrangement came about when brothers Alessandro and Pierluigi decided to transform the family grocery into an eatery whose focus was on the quality of its fresh ingredients. Even the layout of the building portends the high standards that are cooked up in Roscioli's kitchens. At the entrance you're presented with stacks of meat, cheese and pasta proudly showcased behind the deli counters and shelves. Then along almost every wall you'll spot a huge variety of wines available to buy and either take away or enjoy with your meal.
Note that the family also have a pizzeria/bakery just up from Salumeria Roscioli on Via dei Chiavari (34). Antico Forno Roscioli is ideal if you're looking to grab a quick and delicious bite.
2) Formula Uno Pizzaria (Via Degli Equi, 13 Roma):
This quirky Formula 1 themed pizzaria was suggested by a local expert at Homestay.com. You can find it by heading over to the bohemian neighbourhood of San Lorenzo- an area east of the city centre noted for its street art and student population. The light brown coloured building looks fairly unassuming, with little to indicate the presence of a restaurant besides a sign reading 'Pizzaria Formula 1', but inside is a pizza lovers paradise. The prices are no more than the average local would pay, service is quick, and the range of toppings on offer is much lauded.
3) Pepper Restaurant (Via Nuoro 17):
The Pepper Restaurant was recommended by Italy Magazine community manager Georgette, aka, @girlinflorence. It's clear from a quick online examination that the staff of this eatery are a passionate bunch who know their craft intimately. The restaurant has its own wine cellar, the prices are very fair given the quality and presentation, and the menu has been praised for innovative combinations and styles. How about lamb chops with pistachio and lemon zest? Or duck breast with carrot cream and honey? With regards to finding the Pepper Restaurant, it lies just a short walk east of Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano. Stroll down Via la Spezia and into Via Nuoro (address above).
Why not check out Georgette's own blog, 'Girl In Florence', which is packed with tips that'll help you enjoy Italy to the full.
4) Ristorante Coromandel (Via di Monte Giordano 60/61):
Coromandel is a little place with a big atmosphere which was recommended by @BrowsingRome and Troy Franco @tfranco817. It lies right at heart of Rome, in one of the city's narrow, ancient streets close to Piazza Navona. We received additional encouragement from TripAdvisor, where people have been praising its breakfasts and brunches. Pictures reveal a warm, rustic interior with antique cutlery and an overarching wood/floral theme.
5) Pinsere Roma (Via Flavia 98, 00187 Roma):
Pinsere was another one recommended by @BrowsingRome and Troy Franco @tfranco817. It's regarded by many to be one of, if not 'the', best pizzeria in Rome. It specialises in a unique ovoid shape which maximises the toppings and really lets you dig in with your hand. The design is almost as old as pizza itself, and was even mentioned by the poet Virgil in his Aeneid as one of the first meals he ate as soon as he landed in Lavinio. This place is especially great if you're trying to pack as much sightseeing into your day as possible, as they offer take-away style meals with a quick turnover.
For more info that'll help you conquer the Eternal City why not check out Browsing Rome's own blog.
6) Cesare (Via Crescenzio, 13 00193 Roma):
Ristorante Cesare was the first of three establishments recommended by @katieparla, Rome-based journalist and a co-author of the Tasting Rome Cookbook. It appears to be a traditional Roman eatery with a dedication to authentic, locally sourced ingredients. Dishes are either cooked in extra virgin oil or fried in high grade peanut oil. Their parmesan is made by a producer who supplies some of Italy's best restaurants. And the mozzarella is strictly non-processed. A few of their specialities include venison and wild boar served with polenta and white truffles with fettuccini or risotto.
7) Flavio (Via di Monte Testaccio 97/99, 00153 Roma):
Katie's second recommendation can be found south of the city centre in the Testaccio neighbourhood. Flavio serves up virtually every kind of Italian dish you can imagine at an extremely reasonable price. There's areas to sit both inside and out, making it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike during the summer days. If you really want to fulfil the timeless saying, 'when in Rome, do as the Roman's do', then you'll give this place a shot at least once.
8) Armando (Piazzale Tiburtino 1-3-5, 00185 Roma):
Katie's last recommendation is another one located centre stage in the San Lorenzo district. Ristorante Armando serves up everything from classic Roman pasta dishes to seafood specialities such as 'Stringozzi with clams and porcini, [and] Tagliolini with prawns'. The establishment also has a good bit of history behind it, having been founded in 1950 from a family run tavern.
9) Enoteca Corsi (Via del Gesù 87/88 Roma):
This one was recommended by local Romans via the 'Like A Local Guide' @likealocal. Enoteca Corsi is a warm and friendly family-run osteria that's not too hard to find given its proximity to key city centre landmarks such as the Pantheon and Sant'Ignazio Church. Its main operating hours are around lunchtime (08:30-13:00) and in the evening (17:00–20:00). Having dinner at Enoteca Corsi requires a reservation, but at midday you can still enjoy a hearty pasta dish and a glass of wine without restriction. There's around 300 top notch labels to choose from, fast service, and a menu that's been drawing in local Romans for nearly 6 decades.
10) Fa-Bìo (Via Germanico 43, 00192 Roma):
Fa-bìo, literally ‘do organic’, was recommended by 'Young In Rome' @YoungInRome. This organic takeaway is the perfect port of call if you start to feel peckish while exploring the Vatican. It lies just a short walk away from St. Peter's Basilica and rustles up a mouthwatering variety of sandwiches, wraps, smoothies and more. Fa-bìo is run by two friends, Fabio and Claudio, both of whom have a foodie background and a passion for fresh ingredients. They claim to have no fixed menu, as they prefer seasonal produce which ensures year-round diversity.
11) La Fraschetta (Via di San Francesco a Ripa, 134):
Our last Roman lunch spot was another one suggested by @YoungInRome. There's a number of La Fraschetta's in Rome, but this one nestled in Trastevere on the western bank of the Tiber is seemingly the most renowned. The restaurant's history dates back to 1976 and it's been it's been going strong ever since. It cooks up all kinds of Roman and Italian specialties from Amatriciana to Pasta alla Gricia, its pizzas are prepared in a wood oven, and the chefs create desserts from their own homemade recipes.