There are few greater joys in life than eating a plate of pasta in Rome. The ambiance of the small trattorias, the sound of plates and glasses clinking that accompanies the dinner rush, having a nice glass of wine with your meal. I just love the experience of having a meal out with friends, and never feeling rushed because the waiters in Italy will always let you take your time. In a city as big as Rome, it’s important to know where to go to eat, so you aren’t caught in a restaurant that only caters to tourists. After living there, these are a few of my favorite places, located across beautiful Roma.
1. Mimi e Coco
This is actually a restaurant my friends and I stumbled upon for aperitivo (the Italian version of happy hour) on my first trip to Rome. We were staying nearby, right off of Piazza Navona, and fell in love with the warm candlelight and the five euro Aperol Spritzes. Flash forward to when I lived in Rome, and I discovered Mimi e Coco’s other location in Trastevere. Its interiors are just as inviting, with a big light up sign that says TI AMO. I went to Mimi e Coco very often and can attest that all of their pastas are delicious, and you can’t order anything wrong, truly.
2. Buddy Italian Restaurant Cafe
Like Mimi e Coco, Buddy Italian Restaurant Cafe is also located near Piazza Navona. So it’s a great location if you’re doing a lot of sightseeing and need somewhere to stop for lunch or dinner. I honestly love this place for any meal, and it’s a great choice if anyone in your group is vegetarian or vegan. This is probably one of the few places a vegan can eat typical pasta in Rome, like carbonara! I just love its cozy interiors so much, and they even have a great buffet lunch option.
3. Trattoria Da Enzo al 29
There is no place quite as Roman as Da Enzo. It’s a place that locals and visitors alike will stand in line for, and for good reason. I’ve even eaten outside here in the colder months, just to get a table (but don’t worry, the staff is quick to offer a blanket for your lap). When you dine at Da Enzo, you have to start with an artichoke. In Rome artichokes are very well-known, and you’ll soon see why. After that, go for the carbonara or cacio e pepe, and finish off with a tiramisu. Don’t forget a carafe of house wine to go with your meal! You will fall in love with this quiet part of Trastevere and see why it’s one of the best areas of Rome.
4. Armando al Pantheon
When a food icon like Frank Prisinzano, who owns three incredible Italian restaurants in New York City, goes to Armando al Pantheon then you know it’s good. I’ve seen many people who know Italian food well, and especially Roman food, dine here. It’s location in the center right off the breathtaking Pantheon is hard to compete with. Once you’ve had your fill, stroll through the city and marvel at the ancient wonders that have stood the test of time.
5. Urbana 47
While you’re in Rome, you have to check out the hip Monti neighborhood. It is conveniently located just a short walk from the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. If you get hungry while you’re in Monti, then you definitely have to dip into Urbana 47 for a meal! I fell in love with this place the minute I saw it, with its industrial interiors that have that special Italian-designed touch.
If you want to eat pasta in Rome at a spot in the center of all the action, then Aristocampo is perfect for you. It’s right off of Campo dei Fiori, which is by day a wonderful market. At night, when the vendors leave, it turns into one of the best meeting spots in Rome, people filling the square. Aristocampo offers pretty much everything, and the staff is really friendly, too!
7. Da Felice a Testaccio
Da Felice a Testaccio is one of those places that is legendary for pasta in Rome. You know it will be good because of all the incredible reviews! Testaccio is another great neighborhood to explore, too. It’s just across the Tiber River from Trastevere, and is home to one of the best markets in Rome.
8. La Fraschetta di Mastro Giorgio
If Da Felice is full, or if you want a place with more of an under-the-radar vibe, then La Fraschette di Mastro Giorgio is just right for you. Again, it’s one of the best places for pasta in Rome, and I can attest to that after trying three different types of pasta there! I actually visited while I was on a food tour with Devour Tours, and we had the carbonara, the cacio e pepe, and the amatriciana. All three of these are very typical Roman pastas which you must try. If you told me to pick a favorite between the three, I couldn’t! Whatever you choose, just know you will be absolutely charmed by the authenticity and warm interiors at La Fraschetta.
This place ALWAYS has a line. I mean always. And Italians don’t do well with lines, so you know it’s good. Located on a charming street in the heart of Trastevere, it’s hard to miss! Snag a table outside so you can people watch on this busy (with foot traffic) strada.
Located in the charming and very local Piazza di San Calisto, this is one of my favorite spots to sit outside and people watch while I eat, much like Tonnarello. The wait staff is friendly and the portions are perfect. Choose a Roman pasta and get to it! If you have room for dessert, try the chocolate salami. Sounds crazy but it’s amazing.
Are you hungry for a nice big plate of pasta in Rome? I sure am! Comment below if you’re going to try one of these places next time you’re in the Eternal City.
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Images via The Artful Everyday.
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.