Roman cuisine is renowned for its simplicity, renowned as ‘poor cuisine’, and traditionally it was made up of dishes cooked with entrails which today add that special taste. How many traditional Roman dishes can you name? Amatriciana, Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, Coda alla Vaccinara, Carciofo alla Romana, Rigatoni alla Pajata, Trippa, Saltimbocca alla Romana is to name a few. No days would be enough to try each and every dish (it’s a challenge, we dare you), but during your trip to Rome we can help you tick off a few. Here we have narrowed down our favourite restaurants where you’ll find authentic cuisine, excellent house wine and an honest bill at the end of it.
As the name would suggest, Bucatini all’Amatriciana is perhaps the ‘piatto forte’ of this old-world trattoria. Located in the historic quarter of Rome, Matricianella has been cooking authentic, roman cuisine since 1957. As they like to say, Italian “Cuisine is like becoming children again, rediscovering childhood tastes and smells, simple sauces and unique flavours of grandmothers and mothers’ dishes.” – so if you’re searching for that true, nonna’s touch, you may want to book this restaurant on your next trip to the city. WEBSITE
If you’re looking for somewhere to try a great Gricia then look no further: Da Emilio proposes simple yet authentic dishes and offers a great quality/price rapport. WEBSITE
Located near the Gianicolo, Hostaria da Settimio is your classic neighbourhood trattoria with traditional roman dishes on the menu. Bruschettine with lard and carciofo alla giudia are to name a few of the antipasti on the menu. Continue with you favourite choice of primo or maybe try the cotoletta, known to be delicious. If you still have space, order the tiramisù – a classic and after lunch? take a walk around the Gianicolo park, over to the best views in Rome. WEBSITE
Felice a Testaccio is a historical restaurant that today has expanded but the original location is right here, in the Testaccio district of Rome. Felice opened his restaurant in 1936, and today it is his son Franco who runs the business and who has added a slight contemporary touch – yet the cuisine remains up to the same hearty standard as in the past. Here, the cacio e pepe is renowned, and each meal is prepared with meticulous attention to raw ingredients. WEBSITE
Trattoria Lilli is a modest, family run eatery located just across Castel Sant’Angelo. The restaurant in itself is very simple – what you would expect from your typical roman trattoria and the cuisine is just as simple yet bursting with flavour – the amatriciana and gricia are exquisite. WEBSITE
Located behind The Pantheon, Armando al Pantheon is another icon of the city. Opened since 1961 by the Gargioli family, this restaurant has been serving one of the best carbonaras in the city. The family still runs the restaurant adding a pleasant ‘host’ situation in which the restaurant is their home and they welcome you with open arms, and their cuisine remains true to the roots: traditional, hearty and filled with flavour. WEBSITE