Looking for the best restaurants in Rome? You lucky thing!
Let’s be clear, there’s no shortage of incredible eateries in the Eternal City. The land of pasta and pizza is constantly impressing visitors and locals alike, but not all meals are created equal, far from it!
I’ve visited Rome 4 times so far and recently returned for a month-long stay (I can’t get enough of this incredible city). As such, I wanted to share my personal list of the best restaurants in Rome for those planning a visit.
Tips for dining at restaurants in Rome
Meals are a very long (and slow) affair
Italians love life and their daily habits reflect that. Meals are not merely a chore to check off a list, but a moment to be savored fully. As such, dinner typically lasts a minimum of 3 hours and lunches around 2 hours. I strongly encourage going with the flow while visiting (when in Rome, right?) and follow suit.
The servizo (service charge) is not a tourist scam
While dining in Rome it won’t take long for you to notice a “servizo” on your bill. It’s common to assume that they charged you the servizo because you’re a tourist, but that’s not the case. Charging for servizo is normal practice for restaurants in Rome (and Italy for that matter).
However, the coperto (cover charge) which covers bread and olives has been banned in Rome. So you shouldn’t be seeing that anymore, and if you do feel free to contest it.
Do you need to tip at restaurants in Rome?
The million dollar question, should I tip at a restaurant in Rome? The answer is yes, but tipping culture in Italy is nothing like the US. My rule of thumb is 1 euro per person for dinner and 1 euro per couple for lunch.
However, if a restaurant adds the servizo to my bill, I consider it a tip.
As restaurants in Rome, you’ll need to ask for the bill
We enjoyed a lot of meals at many can’t-miss restaurants in Rome and although the meals were slightly different, one thing remained the same: we always asked for a bill. I’m guessing Romans considered it rude to rush a meal, so they won’t shove a bill on the table. Rather, you’ll need to politely flag your waiter and say “il conto” (eel kon-toe).
Learning basic Italian phrases goes a long way
If you make an effort to greet folks in their native language (while visiting their country) your experience will be so much better. The proof is in the pudding, folks. Italians are some of the kindest people on the country and will greet you with a “bonjourno” and “ciao” whenever eye contact is made. We returned the favor by learning basic greetings, numbers and ordering at restaurants.
Best Restaurants in Rome, Italy
Highly recommended by a personal friend, the truffle past at Ristorante Dillà ended up being the best meal we had in Italy. Hell, my husband proclaimed it as the single best dish he’s had in his life.
This restaurant in Rome bills itself as a chic, classically inspired venue serving re-imagined Roman dishes. Beautifully said, even more beautifully delivered though. Everything we ordered came out perfectly presented and the taste was out of this world. This turned into a very memorable meal in Rome and I plan to return during my next visit.
Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina
Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina needs no introduction. Opened in 2004, this is arguably one of the best restaurants in Rome and it’s not hard to see why.
The originally bakery this restaurant is named after (Antico Forno Roscioli ) dates back to the 1970s. It garnered a devote following of locals and tourists for delicious traditional baked goods. Likewise, Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina grew to become one of the most popular restaurants in Rome shortly after opening.
The well curated menu offers a bit of everything, but the pasta is where it shines. Folks claim this Rome restaurant has the best carbonara in town. Naturally, I had to order it and can confidently tell you — I haven’t had a better carbonara yet.
Worth mention: we were so tired after our meal at Roscioli Salumeria that we went back to our hotel and napped for two hours. I’ve never had that happen to be before! The dishes were so delicious and rich, they put us right out.
More so than any other restaurant in Rome, Tonnarello deserves a visit. We visited more than 5 times during our month-long stay. But not without reason! With pasta dishes averaging $9, this is one of the most affordable restaurants in Rome.
But don’t just take my word for it. Pass by during the dinner hour and you’ll be wading through a long of people eager to get a table. Thankfully the line moves quickly, so don’t be discouraged.
I stuck with my usual order of cacio e pepe (there’s nothing better on earth) while my husband opted for the x. On our first visit we ordered the traditional friend artichoke dish as an appetizer. While delicious, was a tad too rich for our palate. I suggest ordering it though, it seems to be a popular dish and all the tables around us ordered it as well.
Also, don’t sleep on the house wine. Super inexpensive and super drinkable. All told, this is one of my favorite restaurants in Rome and I recommend it highly to family and friends. I think you’ll enjoy it too.
Option B: Nannarella
If you love Tonnarello, you’ll love Nannarella just as much. Why? Because they’re actually the same exact restaurant. I have no idea why (the way of the Romans has alluded me for years), but it is what it is. Much like Tonnarello, the lines are super long but they move quickly.
The menu is identical to Tonnarello in both dishes and prices (apart from the restaurant name, of course) and you can expect the same good quality. Honestly, it’s the great prices of these top-notch pasta dishes that keep me coming back!
These two spots are definitely some of the most affordable restaurants in Rome and shouldn’t be missed.
Osteria da Fortunata
Osteria da Fortunata was located right under our Airbnb. When booking, we had no idea that we’d be living above one of the most popular restaurants in Rome. But alas, a quick google search revealed that no list of best restaurants in Rome is complete without this gem.
The first thing you’ll notice are the folks rolling pasta dough by hand in the window. This is a very nice touch, definitely adds something to the authenticity factor.
The second thing you’ll notice are the inevitably long lines that seem to stretch for miles. Unless you show up a few minutes before opening time, prepare to spend an hour watching other people eat delicious plates of thick, Italian pasta dishes.
The third thing you’ll notice is a second restaurant called Osteria da Fortunata the next block over. What gives? Well, this is one of the best restaurants in Rome, so they opened a second (and now third) location to keep up with the long lines.
Both Rome restaurants are identical, so pick the one with the shorter line! As for service, it leaves something to be desired, but who cares? The pasta is worth an perceived sass (and heck yeah they’ll see me again!).
Trattoria Da Enzo al 29
Getting a table at Trattoria Da Enzo al 29 requires nothing short of a miracle. Heck, we tried to get in three times before finally getting a table. At that point I would have offered a liver to cut the line, but thankfully we just had to show up early enough.
This simple, tucked away restaurant is unassuming to the untrained eye, but any return visitor will tell you: look again. This is one of the best restaurants in Rome for classic roman dishes like pasta and fried artichoke. Boasting an exciting wine menu to boot, this is the place to be on a sunny summer day.
But heads up: The line for this popular Rome restaurant starts forming 30 minutes – 1 hour before opening. So come early if you’re serious about dining here.
Borghiciana Pastificio Artigianale
We visited Borghiciana Pastificio Artigianale while exploring the Vatican and were ill prepared for the great meal in store for us. within seconds of my first bite I realized this was one of the best restaurants in Rome. What a hidden gem!
The restaurant is tiny, one of the smallest restaurants in Rome we visited. But, it’s the perfect stop for lunch (especially if you’re exploring St. Peter’s Basilica that day). My in-laws were visiting, so we each ordered a dish.
Every dish was cooked to perfection, it felt like an authentic Italian meal. Appetizers, main course, deserts, everything was top notch.
Extra bonus points for the kind staff and great service. Eating at this restaurant in Rome felt like a treat and was a memorable experience. I plan to go back during my next visit to Rome (which can’t come soon enough!).
La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali
We can’t talk about the best restaurants in Rome La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali doesn’t grace the list. This traditional restaurant is best known for creative twists on beloved classics. Pasta and grilled dishes is where they shine, although let’s get real — everything churning out of the kitchen is cooked to perfection.
These were some of the best pasta dishes we had in Rome. We enjoyed them so much we went back a second time during our trip. I highly recommend this restaurant in Rome for anyone in search of a memorable meal.
Mimi e Coco
Mimi e Coco came recommended by a Roman gal I met in Oregon. Small world! But she was visiting the Oregon coast for her birthday and I mentioned my plans to visit Rome the following month. She suggested I visit Mimi e Coco because it’s her favorite restaurant in Rome.
Not hard to see why. Every night we passed by the place was packed with stylish folks nursing bottles of wine and devouring tantalizing pasta dishes. We decided to join in on the fun and after a fairly short wait, were seated at a table.
The dishes were delicious! The prices were very reasonable and the overall vibe was easy-going. We had such a great time that we actually returned three times during our stay. Can you blame us?
No list outlining the best restaurants in Rome is complete without mentioning a pizza joint. And if you’re in the mood for traditional Roman pie, make a beeline for La Montecarlo. We were staying nearby and visited a handful of times during our stay.
But fair warning: Roman pies are nothing like the pizza Americans grow up with. Think hard, cracker-like crust topped with minimal (albeit high quality) ingredients, baked quickly at a high temp and viola! You have the masterpiece that is a traditional Roman pie, char and all.
You know the drill: It’d be a crime not to order a beer or some wine, so follow suit. When in Rome, right?
Rome Best Restaurants (Post Summary)
- Ristorante Dillà
- Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina
- Trattoria Da Enzo al 29
- Osteria da Fortunata
- Borghiciana Pastificio Artigianale
- La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali
- Mimi e Coco
- La Montecarlo
Map of the best restaurants in Rome, Italy