Great selection of food and wine at reasonable prices on the top floor of the monument. Outside and inside seating with the very best panoramic views of Rome for free. Relaxing seating and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Location is between Ancient Rome sights and Renaissance museums. There is also a new sky lift (small charge) to the very top, which is worth a look.
Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma, Italy
+39 06 678 0664
Google map: bit.ly/PyWPaU
Chef Riccardo Zanni has been here for six months, and his ambitious and delicious menu is a cause for celebration.
We arrived with no reservation, were warmly welcomed, and the service was the best I can remember in a long time. Over a glass of prosecco we considered the menu (just one dish was not available and we were informed right away). Though artichokes were only listed as a side vegetable, I am fond of them and the chef said they had just come out of the oven and would be great as a starter (and we were only charged the side veg price!). A tiny chef's salad arrived as a bonne bouche and meanwhile we had to choose wine: we enquired about something red, less usual, perhaps a less known region or grape variety. Six(!) bottles were brought to our table for a delightful discussion about the relative merits - and we were told right from the start that none of the bottles cost more than €25. We chose a Lacrima di Morro d'Alba which was terrific.
All courses served were excellent - the amount of tuna served sashimi style was so generous it was hard to finish. So there was no room for dessert, but the chef insisted on presenting his newest creation, an ice-cream of parmigiano cheese and kumquat marmelade, which was extraordinarily delicious. We declined further wine, but were nonetheless served a perfect vino generoso (sticky and dark, served chilled).
None of the extras appeared on the bill, a very reasonable €80 for two. We left a big tip and still felt we had enjoyed a bargain.
Recommended without reservation.
Il Bacaro is an awesome restaurant about five minutes from the Pantheon. Like a lot of places in the area it's not exactly cheap, but it's also not astronomically expensive, and for sure less pretentious than many places in the center. One thing really separates it from the competition; the quality of the food. Prepared fresh daily by skilled, caring personnel, as much love as time and effort go into cooking these fabulous dishes and makes all the difference in taste. Seasonal menus are also a bonus, meaning you only get food REALLY in season at the time. The pumpkin sauce is to die for, the meat delectable, and leaving without dessert may just be a cardinal sin.
They even have a menu on their site. I also have to give props to those who recommended it to me, my apartment rental booking agency, Leisure in Rome. Their English was so good, and they were so helpful and informative, right down to tipping me off about this little gem and others. I'll paste a link to the apartment I stayed in too, a surprisingly quiet place in the heart of Trastevere (lovely) that I absolutely felt at home in: www.leisureinrome.com/_apartments_in_rome-in-trastevere/Trastevere_apartment,S,399.html
Round the corner from the Trevi fountain, a little bit away from the tourist hordes, is the San Crispino gelateria. There's usually a long queue, so you'll know where it is before you get there. The flavours are really inventive - last time I had honey, ginger and cinnamon - and the quality of the gelati is fantastic. Definitely the best gelati in Rome.
Pizzas are a speciality but the menu is great. Rossopomodoro is a chain (Maybe think Pizza Express?) around Italy. This one is in Largo di Torre Argentina, west of Piazza Venezia and three blocks south of the Pantheon. Go upstairs after entering the Tardis-like front door to a large, frantically busy local gem.
Google Map: tinyurl.com/6lwk38
Largo di Torre Argentina
This restaurant can be a bit hard to find but worth the effort. Tiny little place with the tables close to one another. Our waiter was wonderful. He brought the pasta dishes in the pot they were cooked in and sang while he put it on the plate, giving us each a taste of each other's meal. Very reasonably priced for the Pantheon area. Two courses with wine for two people was 55 euros. Reservations are recommended.
Via delle Colonnelle 5, 00186. +39 06 6793842
A massive and excellent eatery in central Rome (two minutes off via del Corso), incorporating a posh restaurant, more homely osteria, wine and cookshop and - the highlight for this family - a pizzeria, which on weekends serves a magnificent brunch.
You take a large tin plate, heap it with food from the buffet, and pay by weight (returning as many times as stomach and wallet permit). The kids loved it - as did the many Italian families queuing for tables. Brilliant.
Piazza Augusto Imperatore
A friend who lives in Rome took us to Alceste, a shudderingly expensive seafood restaurant near the Piazza Navona, recently and the meal was a disaster. In fact it's been ages since we were so thoroughly ripped off.
Though the three of us speak Italian and explained that we wanted to split an assorted antipasto, we were served three full antipasti, which were awful, and charged for all three. The sea bass cooked in salt looked like it had been dropped on the kitchen floor and service was snarly. Best meal of our trip: Trattoria Monti, a superb little place with delicious food, a Roman crowd and charming waiters.
Trattoria Monti, Via San Vito, 13/A, (011 39) 06 446 6573
Gelateria della Palma is a gelateria near the Trevi fountain (and other locations). There is an amazing variety of flavours, all gorgeously displayed. The chocolate gelato with candied orange peel is reason enough to return to Rome.
Gelateria della Palma, Via della Maddelena.
If you are facing the fountain, Della Palma is about two doors down Via della Maddelena, which goes off to your right.
Tre Scalini is a cracking restaurant in Piazza Navona. Famous for one thing really - its scandalously delicious Tartufo Nero. Chocolate desert to die for, I went there on a pilgrimage having sampled the Tartufo at the River Cafe - the real thing takes some beating though, and the rest of the food is light and superbly priced too. Highly recommended for foodies.
This may seem an odd thing to do in Rome, but you can visit here for a pot of English tea and a selection of cakes if the fancy takes you. It’s at the bottom of the Spanish steps and to the left as you face them. The rooms were opened in 1896 by the Babington sisters for homesick English travellers and now days also serves lunch. It’s a little pricey, but fun.
Piazza di Spagna, 23 00187; Tel: +39 06 678 6027
A tradional bar which serves the best authentic home made tartufo ice cream (chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks). One is enough for two.
Piazza Navona 28 Phone: 39 066 880 1996 In the middle on the northern side of the piazza.
Arguably the best pizzeria in the city and always buzzing with more Romans than tourists. Pizzas are huge, light and fluffier than many in Rome. You usually need to leave your name with Marco and then wait for a table. It's always worth the wait.
Vicolo del Bologna in Trastevere
Rome’s rice croquette. Originally conceived as a way to use up leftovers, it consists of a mixture of rice, mozzarella and tomato paste in a crust of deep-fried breadcrumbs. More often found in bars and snack bars than in restaurants. Hard to stop at just one.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com