WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK IN ROME’S REGION

What to eat and drink in Rome's region

When in Rome, what to eat and drink in Rome’s region will be your minor concern.

Rome’s long-century food and wine tradition rely on a ”poor” cuisine, but tremendously tasty and rich in flavours and recipes.

Concerning finding a good-for-money restaurant, that’s a different story. Although there are plenty of eating establishments in Rome, stumbling into a quality restaurant, budget-friendly, serving freshly home-made dishes can be really challenging to find sometimes. Below you’ll find more insight about this matter.

Deep-fried vegetables, fish, meat, and rice are the most traditional dishes of Roman cuisine.

Below you can find a breakdown of some of the top popular roman dishes.

Typical Roman Pasta dish What to eat and drink in Rome's region

Bucatini

BUCATINI ALL'AMATRICIANA

Bucatini all’amatriciana (it’s a traditional Italian pasta sauce cooked with tomato slices, pork, pecorino cheese from Amatrice, and guanciale). It is called ”Amatriciana” from the homonym town where this recipe allegedly originates. Amatrice is a town of Northern Lazio, destroyed by a terrible earthquake on 24 August 2016.

Close-up of a typical Roan meat dish What to eat and drink in Rome's region

Saltinbocca

SALTINBOCCA ALLA ROMANA

Saltimbocca Alla Romana: this is one of the most traditional dishes. It’s a veal slowly cooked in a sauce made with ham, sage, white wine, and butter.

A typical Roman dish what to eat and drink in Rome's region

Trippa

TRIPPA ALLA ROMANA

Trastevere tripe or trippa alla romana, in its Italian variant, is a centenary dish originated in one of the most ancient and typical districts of Rome, Trastevere, and mainly served at trattorie, which is the low-cost variant of classic restaurants, awidely spread dish in Rome’s region.

Close-up of a meat based dish from Rome What to eat and drink in Rome's region

Porchetta

PORCHETTA

Porchetta is a typical meat-based product from central Italy and allegedly originated in Ariccia (one of Castelli Romani’s towns, based close by Rome). It’s basically a pork deboned of its interiors.

Prosecco is often internationally associated with Bellini, is a key ingredient of this cocktail.

Red of Frascati, a typical roman wine What to eat and drink in Rome's region

Red of Frascati

RED OF FRASCATI

Rome’s region boasts a very rich wine-making tradition. Some of the best-known wine of this region are:

Aprilia DOC
Aleatico Gradoli
Cannellino di Frascati
Marino DOC

This list of Assovini (The Italian Wines Association) includes a detailed list of wines that are locally produced.

What to eat and drink in Rome's region

Vegetables

Again, you cannot miss the black olives of Gaeta and olive-oil of Sabina countryside.
A typical vegetable dish from the Rome region is Puntarelle Alla Romana. It’s a variant of chicory dressed with garlic and lemon juice.

Fried dishes

Frying cooking practice originates from a century-long Jewish tradition of a well-established community in Rome. Manifest of this long-lasting community is a Jewish Ghetto in Rome and its well-known Synagogue which is its best representative landmark.

Some typical fried dishes are:

Arancini di riso: a fried rise ball refilled with mozzarella and tomato sauce.

Carciofi alla giudia: fried artichokes dish.

Fiori di zucca alla romana: zucchini flowers, floured and fried in the pan, refilled with mozzarella and anchovies.

Baccalà fritto alla romana: baccala is a fish species, floured and fried in the pan.

COOKING
CLASSES

Alfredo Alla Scrofa Restaurant in Rome: Eat Like a Star

If you want to challenge your cooking skills in Italy, don’t miss this unique cooking class experience at one of the most prestigious restaurants in Rome, still for a decent price, Alfredo restaurant. This restaurant is only a 5-minute walk from Piazza Navona. Nestled in the heart of Rome’s ancient city, Alfredo is famous worldwide for its excellent fettuccine-pasta dish.

Pasta Cooking Class in the Kitchen of Mamma

In this cooking class, you are going to buy some fresh food at a local food market in Rome and cook pasta yourself to make your own lunch. An unmissable 4-hour experience where you’ll be guided by professional cooks for a paltry price!

Cooking class in Rome What to eat and drink in Rome's region

Cooking classes

Traditional Cooking Class in the Jewish district

Learn how to cook three main courses of the typical Jewish roman cuisine, inside the historical building of a chef, in the heart of the Jewish district.

What to eat and drink in Rome and nearby

Frascati Wine Route from Rome: Pasta Making and Wine Tasting

That’s my favorite! a tour taking place in Frascati, a fascinating town of Castelli Romani, famous for its excellent red and white wine production.

The staff is friendly and welcoming. The pasta-making tour takes place in a very laid-back environment. The tour starts with a short walk in town and goes on with a cooking class, to conclude with a cozy dinner.

Make sure to leave on time, commuting by public transport in Rome’s region can be tricky.

Other

RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS AND TRATTORIA 

Very common in Italy are rosticceria: rudimentary take-away food places, even if eating inside is allowed, but on low-profile chairs and tables. At this place, one can buy a variety of home-made common first courses (pasta, pizza, rise…) or second courses (meat and vegetables). Overall eating at a rosticceria is a lot cheaper than at restaurants. Unfortunately, lots of tourists to-date don’t know this is a valid budget-savvy alternative.
In the alternative, you can order a pizza al taglio (pizza slices).

BEST VALUE-FOR-PRICE TRATTORIE IN ROME

If you look for more budget eating solutions, you should always be mindful when it comes to choosing a value-for-money restaurant. Italy is scattered with restaurants trying to sell their service twice as the price as other restaurants of the same category, while what you would pay is not really worth the food and service quality.

Be careful as these are typically tourist restaurant traps. You should better follow the advice of locals for a place to eat.

Here is Momondo’s classification of the best value-for-money trattorie in Rome according to many roman bloggers’ recommendations. Unfortunately, English translation for these blog posts is not available.

Rome Food Events or Sagre

Very traditional and recurrent food events in Rome’s region are the so-called sagre. These local promotional events are devoted to raising awareness about a specific product and the historic roots setting behind it.

Many sagre are named after the specific promotional products’ names. For instance, sagra della polenta, sagra della melanzana, sagra del frico and many more. Many sagre in Italy are related to food tradition but can cover  different topics related to sport and other activities.

Here is a list of the most popular sagre celebrated in Rome and nearby.