Tips and advice

Top 10 Things to Eat in Rome

You certainly won’t go hungry on your visit to Rome. It’s a city that loves its food and boasts some of the best pizzerias and gelaterias in Italy. We get a bit excited when we think about local delicacies in Rome, so we decided to put our heads together and pick our top 10 things to eat in Rome. So treat it like a bitesize bucket list of food. From little tomato-y arancini rice balls, to spaghetti alle vongole; chilled sorbets and fried anything – here is our best of the best, in no particular order...

  1. Pizza
Now there’s no doubt that pizza is a bit of a non-mover on anyone’s top 10. A staple on any holiday to Rome, you can get pizza al taglio – which literally means slice – to takeaway with you, or sit down to an orbit of soft dough and all manner of toppings, from savoury to sweet. One of our favourites is a pizza bianca which is without tomato sauce and sometimes just sprinkled with salt.
  1. Arancini
These little rice balls actually originate from Sicily but are a popular snack and served in most pizzerias. They’re a perfect accompaniment to any quick meal and a much healthier ‘fast food’ option when you’re on the go. Oozing with mozzarella and bound together with a breadcrumb outside, they are little balls of tomato rice heaven!
  1. Fritti
The Roman’s love their fried food and will fry even vegetables! This may sound like any healthy-eater’s nightmare but it is delicious. Thanks to the Roman’s affinity with good food and quality olive oils they are never greasy so we recommend you opt for baccala (salt cod) or fiori di zucca (fried zucchini flowers) the next time you’re in a restaurant.
  1. Spaghetti alle vongole
Vongole are little clams and are served as a speciality spaghetti dish in Rome and further south in Campania. Served in the shell, the main flavours in the dish are oil, garlic, parsley and maybe a splash of white wine – or if you opt for the rosso version just add tomatoes and fresh basil. Delicious if you like both pasta and seafood!
  1. Gelato
Now this is an overarching theme in any food bloggers account of Rome. Blessed with some of the mouth-watering gelaterias in Rome, you won’t go short of a sweet creamy gelato, or refreshing sorbet. With flavours like hazelnut and espresso, to mango and kiwi, you can mix and match it all to your palette’s content!
  1. Roman Artichokes
Carciofi (artichokes) are a big deal in Rome. They are such a staple vegetable that they have even been given a protected status by the EU! They are often fried, fritti style, or mixed into dishes like pasta and pizza. You can also indulge in ‘Jewish style artichokes’ which are fried so lightly they melt in your mouth.
  1. Saltimbocca
One of the most popular dishes in Rome for both locals and tourists is saltimbocca, which literally means ‘jumping in the mouth’ – alluding to the pleasant sensations you’ll get whilst eating it! Typically it’s a meat dish, which can vary in chicken, which is its most common for, or, lamb. Garnished with prosciutto, mozzarella, sage and spinach, it’s a winning combination of flavours!
  1. Bucatini all'amatriciana
One of the most Roman of all pasta shapes is the bucatini shape, a thick spaghetti like pasta but with a hollow centre. It’s great for scooping up the delicious cheesy sauces that run through its middle – so not one for those counting calories! It’s often served all’amatriciana, tomatoes, pepperoncino and guanciale (pigs cheek). Delicious!
  1. Coda alla vaccinara
Oxtail soup is a hearty, meaty Roman delicacy that’s not to be missed. Local to the city, specifically from Arenula, the hub of Rome’s slaughterhouses, the butchers would sell their offal to local trattorias who would create dishes out of them – one of them being coda alla vaccinara – which is made by braising the tail of the cow and serving with stewed vegetables, celery, onion and seasonal herbs.
  1. Chicory
Winter chicory, puntarelle, is another popular vegetable in Rome and is often found served on its own with a sprinkling of olive oil, anchovy and salt, served either raw or cooked. It’s a refreshing, bitter crunchy vegetable and a great accompaniment to salads or meatier dishes. One to try at home! image credit: Naotake Murayama - Flickr
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