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Rome Restaurants guide.

"...with advice from your site and the Rome restaurants guide we managed to avoid the tourist traps and enjoy some authentic local cuisine!"

Roman life revolves around Rome restaurants. Economies may be suffering, interest rates could be high, and National debt even higher but seldom will you find Restaurants in Rome empty. Eating out is part of the Italian culture, and their DNA.

Outdoor dining is preferred (weather permitting) and thoroughly enjoyed. Romans spend many hours 'people watching' and their hope is to also be watched (and admired) themselves.

In fact outdoor dining in Rome is so popular that it's quite common to see people dining outdoors in winter too. Of course this is usually in the company of large gas burning heaters warming up the immediate ambient.


Restaurants line the Piazza di Campo dè Fiori at night.

Rome restaurants: Where to eat.

Eating out in Rome is great anywhere, a bad meal is really the exception, and you don't have to visit expensive restaurants to sample the best Roman food (sometimes the opposite is true).

rome restaurants trastevere

My favorite areas are the charming cobbled alleys and squares of the Trastevere, Pantheon and Campo dè Fiori. These areas have it all: beauty, history, a variety of restaurants catering for different tastes, relaxing atmosphere (and more up tempo if you like), great food, interesting people and "La Bella Figura", what more could you want?

Of course you also find exceptional restaurants in areas like Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Spagna and Via Veneto, and lots of variety in the immigrant areas of Esquilino (close to Termini Station).

Rome restaurants: Ristorante, Trattoria or Pizzeria?

Rome restaurants: Pizzeria

rome restaurants pantheon
A Pizzeria is usually a less formal affair, but that's not so say you can expect belching and elbows on the table! Romans and Italians in general are very proud of appearances (minus the graffiti) and even though some pizzerias may opt for paper table cloths you will find smart customers and efficient friendly staff.

The food is usually great (I have only ever eaten fantastic at a pizzeria) and inexpensive, with prices ranging between 5 and 10 Euros for pizza or pasta. If you think you know what a great Pizza is, I can assure you you will change your mind after visiting Rome.

Tradition calls for wood burning Pizza ovens (forno a legna) they make All the difference and the electric pizza warming gadgets are frowned upon.

Rome restaurants: Trattoria (plural - trattorie)

A Trattoria is one step down from a Restaurant and basically a restaurant without the frills. In "Ristorante" (Rome restaurants) you will usually be charged an extra service fee for the privilege of having a linen table cloth, napkins etc.

If you think you're going to eat any worse in a trattoria then think again. Trattorie are known for their authentic local and regional specialties. Many are family run and the pride of the family name is at stake.

Most Trattorie will not have a menu but will nonetheless be more diverse than most Pizzerias. There will be more meat and vegetable dishes, but prices for pizzas and pastas (some may not offer pizzas) will be more or less the same.
We enjoy ordering a "caraffa" (jug) of the house wine (vino della casa) to accompany the meal. The quality and price is usually good.

The origin of the word "Trattoria" stems from Ancient Rome. Officials of the Roman Republic would be given a document called "Littera tractoria" to receive free food, accommodation and use of all state possessions from businesses that were bound with the republic. These businesses later acquired the name of "Tractoria" and then "Trattoria". "Trattorie" were situated along main regional roads which later became known as "Tratturia".

rome restaurants ristorante

Rome restaurants: Ristorante

The "ristorante" (restaurant) will be more elegant with emphasis on the complete dining experience. The lush decorations, atmosphere and experience alone can be worth the price of the meal (which can sometimes pays for some of the decorations!)

Rome restaurants: Opening hours and bookings.

Restaurants in Rome usually open from 12:00Pm to 3:00Pm and then 7:00Pm to 11:00Pm, however in Rome center it's common that restaurants will stay open a little longer. If you haven't reserved a table it may be worthwhile getting to the restaurant before 8:30Pm.

For more info about reading the menu and table etiquette see my Rome restaurants section in Italian culture tradition and customs. Go from Restaurants in Rome to Rome Italy home page.

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