As the saying goes, when in Rome... eat all the Italian food. So that's exactly what I did. During a three night stay at the 5* Baglioni Hotel Regina, I ate my way through the cobbled streets of the old town of Trastevere on a fantastic Rome foodie tour and dined in the fancy Ristorante Ad Hoc, famed for its luxury truffle offerings. I may not have been there for long, but I certainly ate a lot. Here are my Rome restaurant recommendations that I discovered along the way...
The 3 Euro pizza.
Hello awesome pizza. Hello more money to spent on gelato. After the Rome food tour recommendations, we headed to the beautifully traditional Trastevere area to find the most delicious reasonably priced food. The whole meal, with 1 litre of wine to myself which I couldn't finish, came to under €30. Insane right? No toppings required, the margherita was just perfect simplicity.
Ristorante Carlo Menta, 101 Via della Lungaretta.
Somewhere between a coffee and a gelato.
This was a refreshingly naughty drink that I ordered just a stone's throw from the Vatican. In 37 degree heat, this smooth ice cold drink with a caffeine boost was just the ticket. Next door to the cafe is a shop which sells magnets of the Pope. Win win.
Cafe Risorgimento, 63, Piazza Del Risorgimento.
Eat pasta and people watch near the Villa Borgesie.
Head to the Piazza del Popolo and enjoy people watching at one of the restaurants with a street view. We stopped by the Canova opposite the Santa Maria in Montesanto and devoured some ravioli and rigatoni, watching the world go by. Then we walked to the nearby Villa Borgesie gardens to walk it all off.
Canova, 16-17 Piazza del Popolo.
The best pistachio gelato.
A few people had recommended me San Crispino and boy they were right. It doesn't look like much from the outside, and the ice cream is hidden away in basic metal tins. But wow. I also tried honey which was awesome. And no unnatural flavours here either - if the pistachio is bright green then run! I also had some gorgeous pistachio gelato at Campini near the Spanish Stairs - just go to the back of their shop to find it. Yum!
San Crispino, 42 Via della Panetteria.
For a meal to remember.
If you're going to book anywhere for your trip to Rome, I urge it to be Ad Hoc. A few foodies friends, whose opinions I trust, have all been there on separate trips. You only have to glance at Trip Advisor to see hundreds of reviews gushing at how fantastic it is. And I agree. Go book it NOW.
Ad Hoc, 43 Via di Ripetta.
Incredible grub by the Colosseum (which isn't overpriced).
Looking for a restaurant by the Colosseum? Usually I'd say avoid eating near a monument for fear of hitting an expensive tourist trap. On this occasion, step up Angelino ai Fori. Established in 1947, this popular family run restaurant has a traditional feel and a charming outdoor trellis. Expect to wait for a while to be seated, but also expect to only pay around €8-10 for a generous main meal. Their Aperol Spritz game isn't bad either.
Angelino ai Fori, 40-43a Largo Corrado Ricci.
A signature gin basil cocktail.
...and probably any other cocktail you fancy. We stumbled upon Ombre Rosse after our meal in the Trastevere and didn't leave all night. The friendly staff are happy to take on any cocktail challenge - this week the bartender had some basil gin and wouldn't take no for an answer. The walls are lined with various poisons and potions fighting for your attention - and the free olives and appetising bruschetta they brought out were a nice touch. It's not the most fancy bar in Rome and the walls are lined with film and band posters; but a little gem for sure.
Ombre Rosse, 12-13 Piazza di Sant'Egidio.
Ombre Rosse, 12-13 Piazza di Sant'Egidio.
A little travel tip.
We considered getting a €75 each way taxi into Rome from the airport, just for ease. But I honestly can't recommend the Leonardo Express enough. Look out for signs for the train station in the airport and you're away. It costs around €12-14 each, they're very regular and are super fast. Plus air conditioned - bonus!
What are your Rome restaurant recommendations? Have you been to Rome and what were your favourite things to do?