10 Foods You Have To Try In Rome
There are many, many delicious foods to try in Rome; it’s hard to know what to prioritize. Thankfully there are three meals each day and plenty of time for snacking as you’re walking around the Eternal City. Snacking might just be what Romans do best; they will eat anytime, anywhere (as a Roman once told me). A slice of pizza al taglio after a museum tour? Grab a supplì on the corner? Perfect. You might constantly be eating, but you won’t regret any of it!
Start your day in Rome the right way, with a maritozzo. I’m not sure how to describe them except to say that they are basically made of 90% whip cream. If that isn’t enough to convince you, the cream rests between a sweet bun with the most delicious, light taste. Italians typically have something sweet for breakfast, so don’t feel bad indulging in one of these with your morning espresso or cappuccino. Rome’s most famous place to get a maritozzo is probably Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria, near Campo dei Fiori.
2. Pizza al Taglio
The magic of pizza al taglio is that you can choose exactly how much you want, making it the perfect contender for a snack or a meal. I love pizza al taglio so much, it’s one of the things I miss most when I’m not in Rome! You can find these pizza places all over the city. Walk inside, and you’ll see a wide variety of pizza laid out, everything from the classics to inventive combinations, depending on where you are. Just tell them how much you want, then they will cut it for you and warm it up.
If pizza isn’t your thing or you’re in the mood for something different, you can also try pizza bianca with mortadella or prosciutto, like a sandwich. Pizza bianca is a salty, oily bread that they will then slice open and place meat inside. It’s the best snack! Again, you can get a piece cut as big or as small as you’d like.
3. Roman Pizza
So now after I’ve spent all this time talking about pizza, I still have to tell you about one more variety of pizza in Rome. Roman pizza is not like Neapolitan pizza, which has a thicker crust. The Roman pizza has a very thin crust but is just as tasty as its Neapolitan counterpart! One of the most famous places to get this pizza in Rome is near Piazza Navona at Da Baffetto. It’s super old school; the waiter will just write your check out on the table whenever you’re done!
Another “snack” category of foods to try in Rome or something to order if you go out for pizza is Supplì. Which is similar to the Sicilian arancini if you are familiar with those. They are essentially a ball of rice and sauce that’s fried. Originally they were filled with meat; now, they often have a ball of mozzarella inside as well. Depending on how modern the pizzeria is, they may have unique flavors to try, like a cacio e pepe supplì. Whatever kind you decide to try, you’ll become just a little bit more Roman as you indulge in one of their favorite snacks!
Now moving on to the section that many of you have probably been waiting for: pasta. If you’ve traveled to Italy before, you know that the food is very regional. Each area has its own specialties that they are very proud of, which translates to what ingredients are available in their immediate surroundings. Carbonara definitely has to be on your list of foods to try in Rome, as it’s one of the most Roman kinds of pasta there is. Made with eggs, egg yolk, guanciale, and pecorino or parmesan cheese, it is a rich and tasty pasta that is very hard to compete with! Try it at Da Enzo al 29 in the lovely neighborhood of Trastevere.
Continuing with the pasta theme, Amatriciana is another pasta you will only be able to find in Rome. It has a few of the same carbonara ingredients but has a red sauce instead of the Carbonara’s creamy egg and cheese sauce. It’s made with guanciale, pecorino cheese, tomato, and occasionally onion, depending on where you go. It’s definitely one of my favorite kinds of pasta and is such a comfort food!
7. Cacio e Pepe
Another pasta that should be top of your list of foods to try in Rome is cacio e pepe. Again this pasta uses pecorino cheese (can’t complain about this as it’s one of my favorite Italian cheeses) and pepper. It is a very simple pasta, as most Roman dishes are, but the combination is spectacular. Typically the sauce is made by mixing the grated cheese, pepper, and a little water. Once added to the pasta, it makes a very creamy and tasty combination. Try it at Mimi e Coco, with bucatini noodles, for a real Roman experience.
8. Carciofi alla Giudia
Carciofi means artichokes in Italian, and anyone that knows the city knows that it should be on your list of foods to try in Rome. Carciofi alla giudia is one of the most well-known Roman Jewish dishes (giudia means Jew in Roman dialect). The eternal city has a beautiful Jewish Ghetto with a complicated history, and now many bustling restaurants. Head to that quarter to try this carciofo, a fried artichoke that is easiest to find in the spring. Even if you don’t typically like artichokes, trust me when I say that you’ll want to try this one!
9. Saltimbocca alla Romana
One night in Rome, while I was out to dinner with a friend, the most elegant Italian woman was seated next to us dining alone. We struck up a conversation because I was indecisive about the menu, and she offered some suggestions. She had ordered saltimbocca, which is made of veal wrapped with prosciutto and sage. It is marinated in wine, oil, or saltwater, depending on the region. I thought she was so cool to be sitting at a restaurant by herself, eating this serious meat.
10. Porchetta alla Romana
Because obviously, anything labeled “alla Romana” should be included in your foods to try in Rome! Porchetta alla Romana is a large cut of pork wrapped in its rind and flavored with herbs. It is typically cooked on a wooden fire, cut into slices, and served in a crusty panino. Sounds like something I would love to try next time I’m in Rome! Italians always do it right when it comes to food.
I hope you get to try all of these different foods on your next trip to Rome! Share this article with your favorite travel buddy, and start dreaming. Tell us what your favorite food from Rome is in the comments below.
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Maggie is the blogger behind The Artful Everyday, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to living intentionally and finding beauty in the ordinary. She loves the idea that we get to escape our normal lives when we travel, and that it allows us to be more open to the world and its cultures. Maggie lived in Florence while studying abroad, then was an au pair in Rome last fall. She is very passionate about traveling in Europe, especially Italy, and living abroad. Maggie studied Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, but is currently pursuing a career in writing.