With such a longstanding culinary tradition, Rome is undoubtedly a haven for foodies who flock to the city to sample classic dishes such as cacio e pepe and carbonara. However – like just about anywhere around the world – not every restaurant is created equal, so it pays to do your homework. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite trattorias, all of which showcase fresh, seasonal produce and serve up delicious, mostly traditional, fare.
Da Enzo al 29
This family-run restaurant tucked away on a Trastevere side-street is well known among both locals and tourists for its wholesome cucina romana. There are a handful of tables on the street and just a few more inside this tiny eatery so be sure to book (only the 7.30pm slot is available) or expect a long wait. Da Enzo prides itself on its local specialities such as carciofi alla guidia (Jewish style fried artichokes), amatriciana (rigatoni pasta in a smooth tomato sauce with salty guanciale), and cacio e pepe (tonnarelli noodles in a pecorino cheese and black pepper sauce). Their meat-based secondi, such as meatballs and oxtail stew, are also excellent.
Just a few steps from the Spanish Steps (and our gorgeous Spanish Steps Terrace) is the picturesque Via Margutta and Osteria Margutta has been feeding the residents of this charming street (and beyond) since 1965. Pull up a chair – not forgetting to look for the plaques that testify to the high-profile names who’ve dined here previously – and take in the vintage knick-knacks, theatrical memorabilia and other artistic treasures that decorate the walls. Typical Roman fare is on the menu but some of the more inventive and unusual dishes are well worth sampling. We like the fusilli al ragù, an old family recipe, spiked with a hint of cinnamon for a unique flavor profile.
In a city so rightly proud of its culinary heritage, finding a restaurant that offers food from a different Italian region can be tricky. Happily, Colline Emiliane has been cooking up dishes typical of Emilia-Romagna since 1931 – and doing it well. The region is famous for its top-quality ingredients, such as balsamic vinegar, prosciutto di Parma, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and you’ll find them here in delicious dishes like tagliatelle alla Bolognese, pumpkin tortelli, and braised beef meatballs. The perfect place for a lazy Sunday lunch, especially if your apartment is within staggering distance.
Helmed by the Camerucci family, Trattoria Monti is a favorite among those in the know for its specialities from Le Marche, on Italy’s Adriatic coast. Remember to book in advance and you’ll be rewarded with refined yet satisfying dishes such as the mezze maniche pasta with pecorino, sausage and black pepper or the tortello al rosso d’uovo; a large raviolo with spinach, ricotta, and runny egg yolk. Second courses range from the meat-heavy (think roast rabbit with truffle) to the vegetarian friendly (fresh vegetable tarts and flans). Take a look at our Apollo Terrace Apartment in the same neighborhood.
True to the Barberini area, well known for its dolce vita mood, Osteria Barberini is elegant without being stuffy (just like our nearby Barberini Terrace). The compact restaurant is better suited to couples or small groups so larger parties should book in advance to avoid disappointment. The kitchen rustles up Roman classics like amatriciana and pasta e fagioli (a traditional bean and pasta soup) but is most proud of its truffle offerings. There’s white truffle tagliolini pasta, risotto with white truffle and prosecco, and scrambled eggs with black truffle and pecorino cheese, to name just a few of the dishes on the menu.