Where to Eat In Rome: 5 Trattorias You Can’t Miss

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

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.

© Osteria Margutta

Osteria Margutta

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.

© Colline Emiliane

Colline Emiliane

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.

View of Colosseum from Monti

Trattoria Monti

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.

© Osteria Barberini

Osteria Barberini

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.

Where to Stay in Rome: Neighborhood Guide

Choosing the location of holiday accommodation can truly make or break a trip. While social butterflies often flourish in a lively part of town, those who plan for a more peaceful retreat might not enjoy staying in a party hotspot. It’s personal. Figure out which Rome neighborhood is right for you with this handy guide.

Trastevere

Though Trastevere has now been well and truly discovered by tourists – don’t trust guidebooks that still describe it as ‘off the beaten path’ – this ivy-clad neighborhood remains one of Rome’s most charming places to stay. Make our Trastevere Terrace your base and spend some time people watching in the piazza and getting lost among the maze of vicoli. Wandering these narrow streets without a care is a great way to get a feel for local life and discover the area’s shops, cafes, and markets at your own pace. Don’t miss the intricate Byzantine mosaics at the Basilica of Santa Maria or Raphael’s frescoes at Villa Farnesina. Plenty of bars and restaurants make this an excellent location for drinks, dinner, or both.

See more of our favorite places in Trastevere here.

Spanish Steps

Heaps of serious cash is dropped every day in Piazza di Spagna and beyond, as brands like Gucci, Prada, and Bulgari have all opened luxurious boutiques here. The undisputed focal point of the area though, is the grandiose Spanish Steps. The 174-step monumental staircase takes its name from the nearby Spanish Embassy to the Holy See but is more famous for its starring role alongside Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Close proximity and easy access to almost all of Rome’s main attractions make it a convenient neighborhood to stay in while the views can be really special here if you find the right spot (like at our Spanish Steps Terrace apartment). If shopping ‘til you drop isn’t your thing, cultural institutions the Keats-Shelley House and Babington’s Tea Room might just appeal.

Trevi Fountain

This busy part of town is popular with those who want to be in the heart of the action and within walking distance of the city’s most famous attractions. Crowds inevitably gather at the beautifully Baroque Trevi Fountain but choosing an apartment nearby (like our luxurious Grazia Family Home) means you can easily stop by early morning or late at night when the hordes have left. A new addition to the area is the multi-storey Rinascente department store, offering designer goods, a gourmet food court, rooftop bar, and, most interestingly, an ancient aqueduct in the basement.

Side street in Monti © Fiammetta Bruni/Flickr

Monti

Monti is a small but perfectly formed neighborhood next to the Colosseum. Once a red-light district, it now occupies prime real estate and is frequented by the bohemian crowd who love its cocktail bars, alternative fashion boutiques, and range of dining options. It’s often referred to as hipster, but Monti has both style and substance, and has retained its village-like feel in the face of gentrification. Two of our favorite spots are Urbana47, for contemporary dishes made with local ingredients, and Fatamorgana, for inventive and artisanal gelato. Our Apollo Terrace property is the ideal jumping-off point to explore everything on offer here.

Fontana del Tritone © Rodney/Flickr

Piazza Barberini

Much of Piazza Barberini’s appeal as a place to stay lies in its tourist-friendly location in close proximity to Termini station and the historic center – plus, it has its own metro stop so heading further afield is a cinch – but the area itself has a lot going for it too. (For starters, there’s our stunning Barberini Terrace.) Bernini’s Fontana del Tritone, which depicts the powerful sea god Triton, is an arresting centerpiece for a neighborhood known for its 1960’s dolce vita vibes. At the end of Via Veneto (the setting of Fellini’s classic movie) Villa Borghese is a verdant refuge from the chaos of the city while art buffs should book tickets to the park’s galleria to see more of Bernini’s mastery of marble.