This post was originally published on January 23, 2013 and was updated in November, 2017.
One of the many reasons why travelling in Italy is so wonderful is that all 20 regions offer their own unique culinary delights. There are many foods in Rome that you can’t find anywhere else in the country, or when you do find them they just don’t taste as good. The list is long, but we managed to narrow it down to five foods that you must try when in the Eternal City.
Looking for some guidance when seeking out the best food in Rome? Let our tour guides help you! Voted one of the best things to do in Rome, Eating Italy offers both food tours and culinary activities in the Eternal City, where you’ll get to try plenty of things on the list below.
Top 5 best food in Rome during any season! Buon appetito!
1. Pizza Bianca
Literally translated as “white pizza”, this foccacia style pizza bread can be found in all bakeries in Rome. Be sure to head to one of our recommended favorites for pizza bianca that is light, fluffy, crispy and salty! For the best pizza bianca, visit:
- Roscioli Bakery (Centro / Campo)
- La Renella Bakery (Trastevere)
- Antico Forno della Fontana di Trevi (Centro, Via delle Muratte 8)
From baccala (salt cod) to fiori di zucca (zucchini flowers), to seafood to suppli’ (fried rice balls) in Rome fried foods reign supreme. You hear fried and you’re thinking of your heart immediately, but a little every now and then won’t kill you and when they taste oh so good, so just give in….remember you’re on holiday! For the best fried foods in Rome, try:
When Italians think of food in Rome without question the first thing that comes to mind is carbonara; it’s painful to imagine life without it. And so the obvious question is who makes the best carbonara in Rome? Well if you are looking for a heated argument there is no better way to start one that by posing that question. Without starting too much trouble we will offer up three of our favorite restaurants for carbonara in all of Rome. For Rome’s best carbonara, head to:
4. Pizza Roman Style
Pizza in Rome has nothing to do with the kind you find in Naples just 2 hours down the road. In Rome, pizza is thin – really thin. There is no lip to the crust and if it’s done well it has a nice “char” to it. Like with carbonara asking who makes the best pizza is a question that is guaranteed to start an argument. There are many exceptional places in Rome to experience the real thing; just remember they only light up the wood fired ovens at night so reserve your pizza outing for dinner. (Check out our recommendations for best pizza in Trastevere.) For the best pizza in Rome:
5. Quinto Quarto (offal)
Quinto Quarto (the fifth quarter) has its origins in the Testaccio neighbourhood in Rome, which during most of the 20th century housed the largest slaughterhouse in Europe. Slaughterhouse workers were often paid in-kind with the off-cuts of meat and interiors like sheep intestine, tripe and tongue –all of these off-cuts that remained were equal to one quarter of the animal’s weight and so they began referring to them as the Quinto Quarto (the fifth quarter) It didn’t take long for industrious cooks and the workers’ wives to begin creating recipes with these off-cuts.
Over a century later the quinto quarto cuisine is still one of the most popular foods in Rome. Some of our all-time favorite dishes are tripa alla Romana (tripe served with a rich tomato sauce and pecorino cheese), coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stewed for hours in either a tomato sauce or one with a chocolate base) and la pajata (the intestines of unweaned baby calves served usually with a tomato based sauce over rigatoni). For the best offal food in Rome, visit:
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Voted one of the best things to do in Rome, Eating Italy offers both food tours and culinary activities in the Eternal City as well as foodie experiences in Florence!
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