Was there ever a country on earth more inviting to visit than Italy? We highly doubt that. It’s rich history, strong cultural identity and extremely welcoming populace has long made it one of the go-to destinations for travelers all over the world.
And what place better encapsulates the Italian spirit than the capital city of Rome? One of oldest and most pristine places in the world, it is famous for many things, however, cuisine should definitely be considered top of the list.
If you’re planning a trip to Italy and its capital city some time soon, we reckon it would be useful to know some of the most famous restaurants and cafes in the city, in order to truly experience what the place has to offer.
So, here are our 5 picks for the best restaurants and cafes in the city.
Being one of the oldest surviving restaurants in the city, “La Matriciana” has plenty of cuisine options for keen travelers. Located right next to the Roman Opera House, one can expect a classy, yet cozy atmosphere, highest quality of food and reception.
When you enter the building, the first thing that will greet you is a classically inspired architecture of the building, interior décor and a welcoming mood.
Despite being one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Rome, it doesn’t come off as preachy or too pompous, as the goal remains to serve clients with the best possible means and ensure them a pleasant time.
A glance at the menu will not only give you the dishes, but also the name of the head chef, butcher, greengrocer and so on.
It’s impossible to say which dish here is the best, but your best bet would be going for some local classics like bucatini and other pasta dishes, roasted fish or meats and so on.
Sciascia il Caffe
If you’re looking for a quick stop at a café instead of a full restaurant experience, then “Sciascia il Caffe” is your best bet.
Located just north of the city of Vatican, in the neighborhood of Prati, this coffee shop will showcase you what real Italian coffee is all about.
With over 100 years of successful operation, the café is still the go-to spot for locals to enjoy some of the best hot beverages in Rome, be it traditional coffee or something more suitable for a sweet tooth.
The obvious choice is of course to go for an espresso here. Since the shop brews everything on the spot, we’re sure that you’ll taste a true Italian espresso like never before.
As mentioned before, sweet coffee lovers won’t be disappointed as well.
The café offers a special beverage made from black coffee rolled in a cup made from dark chocolate. As the chocolate starts to melt, it adds sweetness to the coffee, enhancing the experience even further.
For lovers of pizza, there is no better choice than the legendary “Panificio Bonci” in Rome, famous for its Pizza al Taglio. Located north of Vatican City, it may take some time to reach on foot, however, it's more than worth it.
After your tour of the Vatican, make sure to pay the place a visit for a quick, tasty, yet hefty meal.
An interesting fact to know about the restaurant is the fact that it doesn't refer to itself as a pizzeria or anything in that regard, but rather a bread shop. This is due to the fact that Italians have a different understanding than the rest of us of what to consider pizza.
For many locals, the term pizza simply refers to a well-prepared bread dough and not always one that’s topped with many usual pizza toppings. Obviously, there are some delicious bread you can buy for yourself, as well as other pastries.
Another obvious choice is La Pergola, considered to be a pristine institution in Italian dining. At three Michelin stars, it’s name is often mentioned among the top restaurants in the world, period.
While certainly not for everyone’s budget, “La Pergola” could serve as a place for a special occasion or perhaps just a fancy night out.
Don’t forget to bring your best attire and of course an empty stomach. It’s okay to have your hopes up and expect a lot when you’re visiting the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome!
Expect a wide selection of Mediterranean, as well as Italian cuisine, tasteful starters and everything else from the highest class of restaurants.
Another café on this list, the place is particularly famous for its astonishing deserts and as the name suggests, tiramisu.
If you already had your lunch, or are simply passing by the area, pay Pompi a visit, and you won’t be disappointed, guaranteed.
To go along with your dessert, there will be a wide selection of locally-brewed coffee to choose from, whether it's espresso or cappuccino that you want.
What else is there to do in Italy?
While Rome is special in its own right, it’s impossible to fit everything worth visiting about Italy into a single article.
There are historical places, museums and even separate regional cultures worth exploring in the country, some of which you may have never heard of before.
To learn more about these places we recommend reading an article penned by the people from ExploreWithErin, a firm dedicated to helping keen travelers find the best travel destinations across the globe.
You can find it here:
Run by an eager thrill-seeker named Erin, the website is sure to help you find the best travel tips and guides from all across the globe.
All in all
Today, we’ve talked about 5 of some of the best cafes and restaurants in Rome. The capital city has plenty of things to offer in terms of cuisine, and these dining places will show a clear picture of what it's like to dine in Italy.