carbo-loading in progress…
WHAT TO EAT
Some general restaurant tips: (1) Try to avoid any restaurants that are directly next to/give a commanding view of any super famous monuments, including the Colloseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and the Vatican City. trust me, good bargains lie just a street or two away – just go find them. (2) Cafe culture is a little different here than in other European cities, as it seems like the Romans have a no fuss mentality with their coffee breaks, preferring to bustle in, stand at the counter to sip their espresso shots before bustling out. Hence, it might be tad difficult to find cafes to sit in, or some cafes charge more if you sit in (sometimes almost twice of thrice the price).
PORTA PIA/ PIAZZA FIUME AND NORTH
La Montecarlo | Via Alessandria 106 | Pizzas | authentic roman joint that serves cheap, decent Pizzas and so far, the best bruschetta I’ve tasted. do watch out for the service though — as with brisk authentic italian joints, service is typically italian. this means the waiters treat you as pals and not customers.
Ristorante Eleonora D’Arborea | Corso Trieste 23 | Seafood | their starter seafood first course is sufficient as an entire meal already, and food here is of a high standard. waiters are attentive but i’m sorry to say.. i felt that it was almost a little too well run and mechanic, and not an establishment that truly celebrates.. food. lol
Anatra Grassa | Via Savoia 68 | Seafood, Fine Dining | cosy, stylish ambience, really good food and superb, attentive service. watch the price though.
I Caruso | Via Collina 13 | Artisanal Gelato | one of the best artisanal gelato places in Rome (for me so far). what sells this for me is the texture of the ice cream – its like cold, melted, gooey deliciousness. get the ciocolate and pistacchio for maximum effect.
La Taverna dei Quaranta | Via Claudia 24 | Roman | decently priced (considering you still can see the colloseum) and semi-decent food. pleasant ambience
Caffe Propaganda |Via Claudia 15-19 | Cafe, French | the interior exudes a chic, cool vibe which goes perfectly with the French pastries (I spied macarons) and coffee.
CAMPO DI FIORI/TRASTEVERE
Ditirambo | Piazza della Cancelleria 75 | Roman Contemporary/Inventive | its more of a French-Italian fusion restaurant with interesting dishes like cheese fonduta with slivers of truffle alongside roman classics like cacio e pepe (goat’s milk and black pepper with tonarelli pasta) make for a menu that satisfies everyone. food is good, not awesome but good enough to deserve all the accolades pasted on its front doors. this place gets crowded so come early or book.
Bir & Fud | Via Benedetta 23, 00153 Rome | Pizza, Artisanal beer | delicious pizzas served on non-traditional fluffy foccacia bread, along with good artisanal beer. this place is a keeper, but come for lunch to avoid crowds.
PIAZZA DEL POPOLO/ UPPER VIA DEL CORSO
‘Gusto | Piazza Augusto Imperatore 9 | Roman Contemporary/Inventive | Not worth it to be honest. But come if you want interesting combinations of pasta and a good tiramisu at a chic, elegant, fuss-free restaurant and don’t mind the (over)price.
Made Creative Bakery | Via dei Coronari 25 | Cupcakes, Pastries | An airy light interior with interior cupcake flavors and other pastries
Giolitti | Via degli Uffici del Vicario 40 | Gelato | Cult-favorite gelato, and be prepared to queue and jostle your way for it. The fragole (strawberry) was to die for. what makes the gelato here so good is that you feel like each scoop truly packs in all the goodness associated with the flavor – hence the fragole is bursting with strawberries whilst the tiramisu can get you drunk. you get the idea.