Dine like a local with these top six restaurants in Rome for authentic Italian cooking.
A foodie’s paradise, Rome is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, spectacular architectural gems, and delicious cuisine. So, when in Rome you must eat as the Romans do.
From classic trattorias to revered Michelin-starred fine dining, there is a wealth of iconic restaurants in Rome. Carbs will be your best friend as you sift through the culinary gems from the underwhelming tourist hotspots.
Copious amounts of pizza, pasta, and wine? You could do a lot worse.
Indulge like a Roman with these top six best restaurants, where travellers can indulge in the finest flavours of Italy in the Eternal City.
- La Pergola
For a fine dining experience:
Suited to: Sophisticated diners and wine enthusiasts
This three-Michelin star restaurant is one of nine in Italy, and the only one in Rome, making it one of the most luxurious restaurants in Rome. Located at the top of the spectacular Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel, La Pergola offers a unique dining experience with breathtaking panoramic views of the city, including sights like St Peter’s Basilica and the Colosseum.
The restaurant is headed by Chef Heinz Beck, renowned for his modern Italian cooking with innovative twists and global influences. Guests can opt for a tasting menu or let Chef Beck design a customised menu to whatever your heart desires. Dishes like langoustine with lemongrass and grapefruit or foie gras with brioche and fig compote.
And then there’s wine. The 2,500-label wine list showcases some of the world’s rarest and most expensive wines, all carefully chosen from La Pergola’s wine cellar holding over 70,000 rare and costly bottles.
Alas, this all comes at a price, and a pretty hefty one at that. But if you are looking for a sophisticated dining experience in the heart of the Eternal City, it’s worth every penny.
2. Pastificio Guerra
For delicious Italian street food:
Suited to: Families looking for authentic pasta at an affordable price
This small, family-run pasta shop is a hidden gem for those in search for an authentic taste of Rome. Located by the Spanish Steps, Pastificio Guerra doesn’t offer luxury or prestige but will provide a delicious plate of pasta for only €4. In Rome? Almost unheard of.
Visitors have the choice between two kinds of pasta that the chefs decide to make that day, and most often are vegetarian dishes. Pasta is presented in plastic containers with a fork, a napkin, and a plastic cup for water or wine. The atmosphere is cosy and convivial with tourists and locals alike, sharing a meal and a conversation.
It’s not fancy or pretentious, but it is all part of Pastificio Guerra’s charm. Reasonable prices and authentic Italian pasta dishes, make this restaurant one to add to your Rome bucket list.
3. Cesare al Casaletto
For Italian classics perfected:
Suited to: Families and large groups
Roman trattoria, Cesare al Casaletto is far off the well-beaten tourist track but those who make the trip, will make rewarded with traditional pizzas and pastas from the best in the business.
The menu is crafted around classic dishes, with an emphasis on simple, flavourful ingredients. Be sure to try the cacio e pepe, pizza rossa and eggplant croquettes for examples of true Italian cooking.
The décor is rustic and charming, with wooden tables and chairs and vintage posters adorning the walls. This iconic neighbourhood trattoria offers Roman comfort food at very reasonable prices. And the portions? Generous as well, making Cesare al Casaletto a great choice for a casual meal with friends and family.
Cesare al Casaletto embodies the spirit of Rome – warm, welcoming, and of course, delicious. And why else visit Italy than for the iconic pizzas and pastas?
For modern Italian dining at its best:
Suited to: Foodies
A foodie’s paradise, Roscioli is home to traditional Italian delicacies, with an impressive selection of cured meats, fish and cheeses. The menu is designed to showcase the flavours and textures of Rome’s rich culinary heritage, with classics like cacio e pepe and carbonara and creations like smoked swordfish carpaccio and king prawns with burrata and mullet eggs.
A wine shelf totalling almost 3,000 bottles line one side of the wall, positioned above a counter inundated in creamy Italian cheese, cold cuts, and homemade preserves in oil. The Italian dream. Roscioli’s staff, whilst attentive and friendly are renowned for pairing the perfect wine with the perfect dish.
As for the atmosphere, Roscioli has an intimate feel with exposed brick walls and low lighting that creates a warm and inviting ambiance.
Be sure to book ahead as it can be tricky to get a table here without a reservation.
5. Luciano Cucina Italiana
For the perfect carbonara:
Suited to: Couples, small groups, and pasta lovers alike
This colourful, fun and stylish trattoria is known for its quintessentially Roman dishes, particularly the carbonara. With a fresh, inventive twist on traditional classics, Luciano Cucina Italiana sets itself apart from trendy, Roman hotspots.
Pasta, pasta and more pasta, ranging from classics to contemporaries for all pasta lovers. The restaurant sources its ingredients from local farms and producers, ensuring that all dishes are of the highest quality. The carbonara evens comes alongside a recipe card for those brave enough to attempt to recreate at home.
The extensive wine list, whilst commonplace in Rome features both Italian and International wines, with a particular focus on small, family-owned vineyards.
The bistro-stye dining room is simple, informal but chic, with tables set outside in a charming piazza in the historic heart of Rome. As guests enter the trattoria, they are greeted by a three-part photo series of Chef Luciano himself shattering a plate of pasta, a quirky if not relaxed entry to the renowned restaurant.
For creative reinterpretations of Italian fan favourites, Luciano Cucina Italiana is a must visit.
6. Pro Loco Pinciano
For pizza lovers:
Suited to: The young and the hip
An elevated twist on traditional pizzerias, Pro Loco Pinciano is located in the upscale Pinciano neighbourhood, just a short walk from tourist hotspot, Villa Borghese. Yet, the pizzeria is highly regarded as a trendy place, offering well-executed classics, a pleasing, vibrant atmosphere and commendable hospitality.
Picture your rich friend’s Italian holiday house. The rustic, elegant design is cultivated through the European arches, mismatched tables and chairs, and the unmissable prosciutto hanging from the ceiling. All of which seem to attract young and chic guests.
When browsing the drinks menu, guests will be shocked to find that cocktails, particularly the martinis are most popular, garnished with a prosciutto slice. No need to search the wine list.
Pro Loco Pinciano is a popular Roman dining experience for delicious Italian delicacies in a trendy, modern culinary gem.