Plates piled high with pasta are perfect for warming up after a day of sightseeing in the cold. Here we highlight the best in town.
Winter can be a magical time in Rome. With few tourists around, the city’s ancient streets and cultural monuments are a joy to explore. It’s also a great time for food-lovers, as local chefs stock up on fresh produce for their seasonal menus. We recommend some of Rome’s favorite dishes and where to enjoy them.
Tagliolini cacio e pepe at Rimessa Roscioli
Via del Conservatorio 58, Historic Centre
The Roscioli family is a major player in Rome’s restaurant scene. It’s behind several of the city’s top eating spots, including a celebrated deli restaurant, a fabulous bakery, and a chic, modern café. Rimessa Roscioli is its wine bar, a warmly lit space with a 2,800-label wine list and wonderful cucina romana (Roman cuisine). Its kitchen cooks up some excellent Roman staples, including a standout tagliolini cacio e pepe (ribbon pasta coated with tangy pecorino romano cheese and abundant black pepper).
Trapizzino at Il Sorpasso
Via Properzio 31-33, Prati
After a day spent admiring the masterpieces of the Vatican, head to the nearby Prati district for a bite to remember. In the heart of the neighborhood, Il Sorpasso is a casual bar-restaurant loved by local diners, with a white-tiled bar, hanging hams and marble-topped tables. The menu features a wide range of tasty options, from cheese and cured meat platters to seasonal pastas, salads, and simple mains. For an authentic Roman experience, try a trapizzino, a cone of fluffy pizza dough stuffed with a filler like polpette (meatballs) in tomato sauce.
Saltimbocca alla Romana at Hostaria al Boschetto
Via del Boschetto 30, Monti
The bedrock of Rome’s culinary landscape is the old-school trattorias that pepper the city, serving classic Roman comfort food to loyal diners. Hostaria al Boschetto is one of the most popular, located in the bohemian Monti district. Its menu is unapologetically traditional, listing many of Rome’s trademark pasta dishes and hearty mains. Among the secondi (main courses), its saltimbocca alla Romana (veal cutlet seasoned with ham and sage, cooked in wine) is as quintessential a Roman dish as you’ll find anywhere.
Spaghetti alle vongole veraci at Edy Ristorante
Escape the crowds around the Spanish Steps and discover this cozy neighborhood retreat. Hidden down a cobbled side street, its warm, inviting interior of abstract paintings reflects the area’s rich artistic history—Picasso once lived on nearby Via Margutta. Food-wise, go for one of its Roman staples, like spaghetti alle vongole veraci, a popular seafood dish of pasta speckled with plump, juicy clams.
Carbonara di mare at Pierluigi
With its outdoor tables and charming piazza-side setting, Pierluigi is the go-to spot for many visiting celebrities like Tom Hanks, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg, who have all been spotted dining here in recent years. Come during the winter and you’ll find the intimate interior a lovely spot for a luxurious seafood feast. To keep it local, try the seafood version of Rome’s signature carbonara dish, prepared with tuna pancetta and sea urchins.
Amatriciana at Aroma
Palazzo Manfredi, Via Labicana 125, Celio
Stunning views of the Colosseum provide a unique setting at this romantic rooftop restaurant. Located on top of the elegant Palazzo Manfredi hotel, Aroma is run by Roman-born chef Giuseppe Di Iorio, whose successful brand of contemporary Italian cuisine has proved a hit in recent years, earning the restaurant a Michelin star in 2015. Its creative menu showcases prime Italian ingredients, while also paying homage to Rome’s culinary roots in revisited classics like carbonara and amatriciana (pasta paired with cured pork cheek and a chili-spiked tomato sauce).
Pollo alla cacciatora at Imágo
Hotel Hassler Roma, Piazza Trinità dei Monti 6, Historic Centre
The Michelin-starred restaurant of the historic Hotel Hassler Roma boasts one of Rome’s most memorable views. From the sixth floor of the hotel, which enjoys a prime location at the head of the Spanish Steps, you’ll see an ocean of rooftops, domes, and spires beneath you. It’s a sight that deserves the very finest food. Chef Andrea Antonini rises to the challenge with his contemporary take on Italian cuisine. Typical of his innovative style is his gourmet interpretation of pollo alla cacciatora, an autumnal ‘hunter-style’ stew of chicken and peppers.