Photograph: Alberto Blasetti

The 23 best restaurants in Rome

Sample pasta, pizza and everything between at these ultimate foodie spots. After all, when in Rome...


Eating well is probably pretty high on your Rome itinerary list. Italians are seriously famous for their recipes, whether it’s traditional Roman pasta (cacio e pepe, carbonara, amatriciana, and alla gricia) or crispy pizza covered in bubbly cheese. 

But like many famous cities, Rome has its fair share of tourist traps, so it’s important to know where to go. Luckily for you, our local writers have tried and tested all the food there is to try in the Italian capital. So don’t waste any time getting overcharged for mediocre pasta: here are the best restaurants in Rome. 

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This guide was recently updated by Rome-based writer Livia Hengel. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines

Best restaurants in Rome

  • Italian

A picturesque little eatery located on a quieter street in Trastevere, Da Enzo is one of the more characteristic trattorias in Rome and draws a crowd for its simple, honest fare and handful of outdoor tables. Eating here feels like a family gathering, with abundant portions expertly prepared. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu – from carbonara and meatballs to braised artichokes and tiramisu – but show up early, or you’re in for a long wait.

  • Pizza

Traditional Roman pizza is served paper-thin with charred edges and fragrant ingredients in the heart of Testaccio. This historic, no-frills pizzeria is Rome in a nutshell; gritty, delicious, brusque but friendly, all at once. It’s only open in the evenings, and it fills up quickly, especially on weekends, so show up early to snag a table. The rice supplì and potato croquettes make for excellent starters.

  • Italian

With its cosy interiors and warm service, Trattoria Pennestri is the kind of restaurant that invites you to linger and enjoy a leisurely meal with good company. Like the ambience, the menu is rustic but refined, with a curated selection of inventive dishes that make the most of the season’s ingredients. The wine list is also wonderful, with an ample selection by the glass. Save room for one of the city’s best desserts: a sweet and salty chocolate mousse served with Sardinian flatbread and infused with rosemary.

4. Da Cesare al Casaletto

Located at the end of the 8 tram that snakes its way through the Trastevere neighbourhood, Cesare al Casaletto’s location outside the city centre hasn’t dampened its popularity among tourists and locals alike. This casual trattoria is the go-to for Rome’s many food writers, bloggers and passionate eaters, thanks to its familial atmosphere and delicious dishes. Order the fried gnocchi served on a melted cacio e pepe sauce, and don't shy away from the minty Roman tripe and oxtail, prepared to perfection.

  • Pizza

This is everyone’s favourite pizzeria, so book ahead for these decadent Neapolitan pies. Seu Pizza Illuminati is refreshingly contemporary, with neon lights and a minimalist décor that will appeal to all, and offers dozens of mouthwatering pies, from classics like Margherita and marinara to more creative varieties featuring ingredients like liqourice, shichimi togarashi and eggnog. The fritti (fried starters), are an excellent way to wet your appetite before digging into the main course.

6. Ristorante Moma

A Michelin star establishment, Moma offers a stellar dining experience with special-occasion prices to match. Named after the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it’s located right in front of the US Embassy and attracts a business crowd that enjoys expertly executed dishes. You’ll find thoughtful re-interpretations of classic dishes alongside modern plates, like ravioli filled with cod and caramelized onions and chestnut flour lasagne with vegetables and cheese, all appropriately plated like works of art.


7. Felice a Testaccio

Testaccio is widely considered the best neighbourhood for Roman cuisine, and this eatery is its unrivalled star. With retro checkered floors, white tablecloths, and a tantalizing array of traditional dishes, the old-school restaurant makes a perfect leisurely weekend lunch with family or a romantic choice for a gourmet dinner. Cacio e pepe is Felice a Testaccio's signature dish; this tangle of spaghetti, melted cheese and black pepper comes freshly tossed at the table for you.

8. Marigold

This micro-bakery café-restaurant brings together the best of Italian seasonal cuisine and minimalist Scandinavian design. Marigold's menu changes daily and features fresh, foraged ingredients prepared in creative ways like stracciatella with artichokes and zucchini with cardoncelli mushrooms and walnut pesto. Stop by on weekends for brunch, which includes avocado toast with poached eggs and fresh cinnamon swirls.


9. Santo Palato

A new wave of traditional Jewish-Roman cuisine reigns at Santo Palato (literally: sacred palate), where abundance is a must. Meat features prominently on the menu of this modern trattoria, and offal is a must-try. The restaurant promises a holistic approach to cooking that refuses waste and is set on lifting and updating authentic central Italian recipes. And if you fancy a vino (why wouldn’t you?), the cantina sports over 800 wines. Make sure to reserve a table in advance for this place.

10. Enoteca La Torre

Set within Anna Venturini Fendi’s magnificent Villa Laetitia, Enoteca La Torre captures the essence of la dolce vita. This high-end restaurant serves artful plates that complement its grand setting: helmed by Domenico Stile, who hails from Campania, you’ll find Southern Italian ingredients like buffalo milk cheeses, Sorrento lemons and fresh fish featured on the menu. For a real treat, opt for the seven-course surprise tasting menu selected by the chef – though, be warned, Enoteca La Torre is for special occasions. Its dishes (and especially its set menus) are rather expensive. 

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