When you travel to Rome, one of the best experiences you can have is the gastronomical experience. After all, they do serve the tastiest dishes in the world, most of which have found its way to all parts of the world. From pasta to pizza to gelato, there’s really no excuse not to experience an authentic Roman meal when traveling to Rome. After all, food is one of the most famous lure of Roman.
There’s this saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. So when traveling to Rome, eat what Romans do. When traveling, it is world-wise to try the dishes that are famous among the locals. Remember, most dish portions in Rome are good for two to three people so order wisely and make room for dessert. Take note that most servers are slightly grumpy and, unless you’re a local or a celebrity, they won’t tell you anything unless you ask. Insist on good service and you will win the server’s respect.
Do what the Romans do. Enjoy the local dishes with family and friends on an outside table or a large table for groups inside a quaint restaurant. Eat leisurely with good wine and good company. Lastly, don’t hurry. Do what the Romans do—savor your food. Here are some of the best classic restaurants in Rome that guarantee you the best local culinary experience in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The Ristorante Piperno
Dining at Ristorant Piperno is like a scene from a movie. It’s one of those charming little restaurants with outdoor tables wherein you can just dine lazily on Sunday morning and watch people as they go about their day. The restaurant is located on top of a tiny hill at a piazza in the Jewish Ghetto which adds to the place’s allure.
The menu of Ristorante Piperno pays respect to the origins of its neighborhood. The deep-friend artichokes (locally known as carciofi alla giudia) is Ristorante Piperno’s most famous dish. Another interesting dish is called the “Grandfather’s Balls”. Locally known as palle di nonno, “Granfather’s Balls” are deep-fried ricotta balls filled with chocolate. Other best dishes include the deep-fried stuffed zucchini flowers (fiori di zucca ripieni e fritti), cod fillet (filetti di baccalà), and their best antipasti plate of prosciutto and mozzarella.
The Al Pompiere
This restaurant is somewhat hidden from plain view (you need to take a flight of stairs). That’s why only the locals and a lucky few know about it, and makes it special so to say. Its location also adds to it lure as a small, local restaurant. Located in the same area as Ristorante Piperno, Al Pompiere is like your traditional family restaurant where you can dine leisurely amongst the locals.
Their specials include the zucchini flowers that are deep-fried to goodness and the veal chops are grilled to perfection! They also serve one of the oldest dishes in the country, linguine al limone, beef and citron stew, and Roman prochetta, dishes that are almost hard to find elsewhere.
The Al Moro
Al Moro is one of those best-known dining places in Rome, which is located near the Trevi Fountain. It is a famous dining spot for politicians and businessmen. This is place where you can really enjoy a very long lunch and why? Because they serve a variety of the most flavorful dishes in Rome!
Their vignarola, a stew made of peas, artichokes, and fava beans, is one of the local’s favorites. Their pasta all’arrabbiate and osso bucco are two bestsellers as well. Their menu changes with the season but of course, when in Rome, you have to insist on asking the somehow grouchy waiters for information because they won’t tell you anything.
Rest assured, they do have a good selection of wine so ask away. Remember, you win the server’s respect by asking and not being fickle-minded about what you want.
The Ristorante Nino
It remains as an age-old favorite of major international journalist for years. Even famous celebrities have dined here. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes even chose Ristorante Nino as a venue for their rehearsal dinner that was attended by famous Hollywood stars from all over the world. First opened in 1934, this quaint restaurant is Rome’s favorite trattoria (informal restaurant) that serves the best bean soup (locally known as zuppa di fagioli), spinach soufflé (sformato di spinaci), and steak tartare.
Ristorante Nino’s locale fare isn’t the only thing that makes this quaint trattoria a local and international favorite. The restaurant décor is rustic, from the wood engravings to the dried flowers. Nino sticks to the age-old classics, that’s what makes it so irresistible to many. Here’s a trick, if you’re not a local or a celebrity, win the waiter’s respect by insisting on good service.
The Ristorante La Campana
Going back to the 17th century, Ristorante La Campana prides itself as the oldest ristorante in all of Rome. Based on historical record, it probably is. Today, Ristorante La Campana is known for always being full. Their best trademark isn’t just the atmosphere, but also their food. The antipasti is excellent and is displayed on the front door, luring most of the hungry passersby into the ristorante.
Try the saltimbocca, a classic made of prosciutto, sage, and sautéed veal. One should also try the Animelli di abbacchio con funghi, a rich dish made of braised sweet bread and mushrooms. The Monte Bianco is their most famous dessert—made of meringue, whipped cream, and chestnut puree. The serving portions of most dishes at Ristorante La Campana are good for 2 to 3 people, so order wisely. If you’re not used to eating heartily, do order just enough for the main course and save room for dessert.
When in Rome, do what the Romans do—enjoy a full course meal in a leisurely pace. Most lunches stretch for over two hours. So whatever you order, make sure you have full course meal. And do have dessert. When in Rome, do what the Romans do, savor your dessert.
if not, come back tomorrow on journeyetc.com and see what's new :)