When in Italy: 12 Best Restaurants in Rome to Try Out
The Eternal City is not only the home to historical attractions but is also the place where you can find the best restaurants amongst ETIAS countries, if not the world. From Michelin-starred establishments to highly-recommended trattorias and underrated osterias, choosing where to eat in Rome can be quite overwhelming. But no matter which direction you’d like to try, everything (for the most part) would be delicious!
Ready to dig in? Here is a list of the 12 best restaurants in Rome to try out.
Where to Eat in Rome: 12 Best Restaurants to Visit
Established in 2005, Roscioli has since been a household name. This deli-restaurant located in the heart of Rome is definitely a must-try while you’re in the city. It’s owned by the Roscioli family who has been working in the world of hospitality, food, and wine for at least 4 generations now. This experience and passion truly show in the cuisine they serve in their humble restaurant.
Try their array of cold cuts, fresh cheese, and pickled products that you can get straight from their deli counter. You should also taste their wine selection which is an absolute must when visiting this Rome restaurant.
Tip: Roscioli is one of the restaurants in Rome that’s truly beloved by both locals and travelers alike. It’s best to plan your visit and book a table in advance.
2. La Pergola
La Pergola is the only fine dining restaurant in Rome that has earned three Michelin stars for its gourmet Italian cuisine. Situated inside the 5-star Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel, it offers unparalleled views across the Eternal City. It also has a wide display of rare sculptures, paintings, and tapestries which can make this Rome restaurant double as a museum in itself.
The menu changes regularly but definitely one of the must-tries in this Rome restaurant is its Mediterranean dishes. It’s complemented by a wine cellar containing 53,000 bottles and 29 different kinds of water. For the true Roman dining experience, choose a seat at the alfresco area where you can freely enjoy the gorgeous panorama of the Eternal City.
3. Il Pagliaccio
Il Pagliaccio is one of the best restaurants in Rome and the only one earning two Michelin stars. What makes it so popular is its laidback bare-brick setting which seats only 28 guests—making it intimate and exclusive.
This Rome restaurant specializes in Italian classic cuisine but with a modern twist that you may not recognize them as such. All their dishes also came in very beautiful and delicate presentations which makes it almost a crime to devour such works of art.
Did You Know? Il Pagliaccio is the best restaurant in Rome where you can host a business dinner for 8 to 10 people.
Aroma is a Rome restaurant that probably offers the most magnificent view of the Eternal City—the Colosseum. Like Il Pagliaccio, this Michelin-starred restaurant only caters to a small number of guests which makes it both intimate yet perfectly grandiose.
Aroma’s head chef is Roman-born Di Lorio who has mastered traditional Italian cooking. His main courses, revolving around five different varieties of pasta, are a must-try in this restaurant in Rome. One should also look forward to the appetizers which showcase lesser-known species of fish along with locally produced meat.
Imàgo is another Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome. Located on the 6th floor of the Hotel Hassler Roma, it provides an exceptional panorama view of the ancient city.
This particular Rome restaurant boasts of innovative cuisine, exceptional service, and unparalleled old-world charm. Must-try dishes include the Capellini Aglio with smoked eel and Parmigiano Reggiano made with tuna and edamame. Of course, one shouldn’t miss a glass of wine at Imàgo.
Did You Know? Imàgo was the first rooftop-restaurant in Rome to open in the 1950s.
Bistrot64 prides itself as the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome. It’s not only worth a visit for its excellent value but also for its fun mix of cuisines.
Kotaro Noda, a well-known chef in the Italian and international gastronomic scene, combines Italian flavors with the method of Japanese cooking for an ultimately distinct menu. Aside from scintillating flavor combinations, the presentations of his dishes are masterpieces on their own with color playing an important role.
Must-tries at this Rome restaurant are the blue risotto served with lemon and thyme as well as the purple potatoes mixed with blackberries and mascarpone.
Located opposite the United States Embassy, this Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome is named after New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. It is recognized for its “easy and refined” cuisine made with high-quality ingredients.
Moma actually has two sides—a bistro and a gourmet—which makes it a one-of-a-kind restaurant. Its bistro side is popular amongst Rome’s business crowd who flock to taste the simple food and of course, the coffee bar. The gourmet side, on the other hand, serves artistic dishes and unusual combinations. Look out for the persimmon with blue cheese and walnuts and grilled calamari with strawberries and foie gras mousse.
Located in the historic center of the Eternal City, Giulia is probably the best romantic restaurant in Rome. It offers an uninterrupted view of one of the most fascinating streets in town, thanks to its large glass window displays.
Chef Pierluigi Gallo, born in the Campania region and studied culinary skills in Abruzzo, heads this Rome restaurant and offers a menu that is both rustic yet refined. He reimagines classic Italian comfort food that would delight guests.
If you’re visiting this particular restaurant in Rome, make sure to taste the oxtail with celery and cocoa ketchup as well as the risotto with mandarin and burnt onion.
Pianostrada used to be a literal hole-in-the-wall where people would line up in hopes of snagging a seat in the cramped bar. Today, it has moved to a new location to become one of the hippest restaurants in Rome.
Headed by two mother-daughter duos, you can watch talented ladies cook excellent dishes from the open kitchen. Try out most (if not all the food!) in the menu specializing in gourmet dishes and shareable plates. Special mentions include focaccia appetizers, squid ink burger, and pasta with zucchini flowers.
Did You Know? Pianoestrada has a sister-restaurant in Rome called Pianoalto, which is home to a gorgeous rooftop terrace.
10. Seu Pizza Illuminati
Seu Pizza Illuminati has been widely recognized as the best pizzeria in the Eternal City. Named after its founder—Pier Daniele Seu, this Rome restaurant has a refreshingly contemporary setting that would appeal to all.
Make sure to taste their dozens of mouthwatering Neopolitan pizzas that are baked to perfection. From classic marinara and margherita to creative flavors such as pistachio crumbles and smoked salmon, you’ll surely find a pie that best suits your tastebuds. Lastly, save room for their sweet dessert pizzas in strawberry coulis, fresh mint, or candied almonds.
Tip: Before digging into the main course, it’s best to try the Rome restaurant’s selection of fried starters (fritti) to whet your appetite.
11. Trattoria Pennestri
Trattoria Pennestri quietly opened in 2017 but has since captured the hearts of many food enthusiasts. What makes it one of the best restaurants in Rome is its curated selection of inventive dishes that are both rustic yet refined. This reflects the restaurant’s cozy interiors and warm service.
The menu changes seasonally but look out for the fettuccine with sausage, pici with broccoli rabe, and mint pesto. To accompany your meal, feel free to browse through their wine selection offering more than 60 Italian bottles. Trattoria Pennestri also serves one of the best desserts in Rome so save room for its sweet and salty chocolate mousse. It is served between crunchy layers of Sardinian flatbread and infused with rosemary and sea salt for a distinct version of a traditional dessert.
Established in 1911, Perilli has been serving Roman classics for a century already. This particular restaurant in Rome is simple, quiet, and unpretentious yet has a certain class and elegance that would charm every guest.
With tables that are covered in starch white cloths and jammed with locals, one would feel like they stumbled upon someone else’s secret when visiting Perilli. You should try out their carbonara, which is widely considered to be the best in the Eternal City. Save room for their secondi dishes such as the abbacchio al forno (roast lamb) and coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stew).
Tip: Perilli is one of the most popular restaurants in Rome visited by the locals. It’s recommended to book a table in advance, especially during weekend lunches.
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Considered to be one of the best food cities in the world, figuring out where to eat in Rome can be quite challenging. Fortunately, this list of 12 best restaurants in Rome to try out can help you discover the amazing dishes the Eternal City has to offer.
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