When in Rome, you must eat.
My timing for visiting the city of Rome to eat could not have been any worse. I happened to be traveling to the city during the month of August, which is the season of Ferragosto. I was completely unaware that during this time period, most of Rome leaves the city to go holiday by the sea, which meant that most of the restaurants I wanted to try would be closed.
Nevertheless, I made the most out of my short stay in the city by visiting restaurants that I found online and ate my heart out.
Caffe Leonardo Ristorante Pizzeria
I ended up at Caffe Leonardo after finding out that a nearby restaurant that I originally intended to visit was closed.
When I arrived to Caffe Leonardo, there were a large number of people seated at tables that poured out on to the sidewalk. Due to its proximity to the Spanish Steps, my original assumption was that it was a restaurant that catered to tourist. When I went on Foursquare to check the reviews it ranked pretty highly, so I decided to give it a chance.
I ordered the Leonardo Pizza, which consisted of mozzarella, tomatoes, rucola, and smoked cheese. I paired it with a wine from Villa Thalia in Sicily called the Nero d’Avola and it was delicious!
Address: Piazza Mignanelli, 21/a
Cost: Leonardo Pizza + Wine = €13,50
Stumbling upon the famous ice cream shop Giolitti also happened by chance. After being beaten to near death by the hot Roman sun, I was looking for a place to get a nice gelato and cool off, so I turned to FourSquare to find something near where I was.
When the name Giolitti popped up, I was unaware of how famous it place was. Not only was it packed outside and inside, but it is also famous for being visited by famous people including: The Obamas, Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, and John Travolta (just to name a few).
Here is a little tip for visiting that will save you time:
- When you enter the shop, head straight to the pay desk and pay for the size you want and you will be given a ticket
- Next, take your ticket and wait on the line. When you reach the ice cream counter, hand your ticket to the ice cream scooper and order the two flavors that you want.
Address: Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, Sant’Eustachio
Obicà Mozzarella Bar
In search of yet another restaurant (which I actually could not find), I stumbled across Obicà Mozzarella Bar, and in true foodie fashion, I checked the Foursquare reviews. Since the bar seemed to pretty good reviews, I settled on eating there.
I asked the waiter for a suggestion of what to eat and I settled on the Paestum Mozzarelle, Acciughe e Pomodori Secchi (anchovies and sun-dried tomatoes), and Focaccia con Sale di Trapani e Rosmarino (Homemade focaccia with rosemary and salt from Trapani). I paired my meal with a glass of red wine called Serrata Maremma Toscana, which I highly recommend trying during your stay.
Address: Via dei Prefetti 26a (Piazza Firenze)
Cost: Meal + Wine = € 24,00
After reading about the pizzeria Pizzarium in travel blogger Cacinda’s (Points and Travel) post about the ‘Top Secrets of Rome, Italy Revealed‘, I was prompted to add the pizzeria to the list of food places that I had to try while I was in Rome.
Little did I know just that this little pizzeria was very famous and was featured in publications such as The Guardian and Travel & Leisure. Despite it being Ferragosto, Luckily for me, they were open despite it being a high travel season for Italians.
Located in a residential neighborhood near the Vatican (and directly around the corner from metro stop ‘Cipro’), Pizzarium serves numerous (primarily) vegetarian-style pizzas. You choose the size that you want and then the pizza is cut and measured by weight.
I ordered the provolone and onion pizza which was quite tasty. If I wasn’t on a mission to try to squeeze in a couple of food places on my list before leaving Rome, I would have sampled more of their appealing flavors.
Address: Via della Meloria, 43
Antico Forno Marco Roscioli
I don’t recall how I found out about Roscioli, but somehow it ended up starred on my map of the city and I decided to make it a priority to visit before I departed from Rome.
Located on a little side street not far from the Roman Forum, Roscioli serves up both delicious pizza and a wide range of fresh baked breads and wines.
I found Roscioli’s pizza to be pretty delicious, and very similar to thin-crust oven baked pizzas I have eaten in New York.
Address: Via Dei Giubbonari, 21
Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè
I had to try an espresso when I was in Rome, so I headed over to Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè, a post-war cafe located near the Pantheon that has been around since the 1930’s and is known for having some of the best coffee in town.
When you enter the cafe, head straight to the cashier and pay. Next, you will get a ticket, and then head over to the coffee bar where you hand your ticket to a barista, receive your drink, and sip away.
Address: Via Dei Giubbonari, 21