Where to Eat in the Historic Center
Ah, Rome. Go for the history. Stay for the food. Like light as a feather pizza al taglio, cut with scissors and sold by weight. Or banana chocolate tiramisu that tastes like heaven. Or espresso with foam so thick you’ll eat it with your spoon.
And don’t even get me started on the pasta! It’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted outside of Italy. I’d even go so far as to say you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted the four Roman classics: bucatini all’ Amatriciana, pasta carbonara, cacio e pepe, and pasta all gricia.
Of course, there’s also plenty of horrible food sold in tourist traps all over the city. Especially near the major sights. To help you steer clear of it, I’ve put together this sample one-day eatinerary.
If you only have one day in Rome, here’s where to find authentic local food, even when you’re right in the middle of the tourist crush.
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Where to Eat Near the Spanish Steps
Start your morning with a cappuccino and pastry at the oldest café in Rome. Founded in 1760, the ornate Antico Caffé Greco was a favored haunt of Keats & Byron.
Don’t skip the pastry. You’ll need the calories to power your way to the top of the longest and widest staircase in Europe, the Spanish Steps.
Via dei Condotti, 86
Where to Eat Near the Trevi Fountain
Fuel up with a porchetta sandwich and glass of wine at Pane e Salame before tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain.
Via Santa Maria in Via, 19
Where to Have an Aperitivo Near Piazza Navona
After a long day of sightseeing, head to the rooftop terrace at the Hotel Raphael for a classic Italian aperitivo, like the Aperol Spritz. The view of the surrounding rooftops and church domes is unforgettable.
Largo Febo, 2
Where to Eat Near the Pantheon
Located 100 feet from Rome’s best-preserved ancient monument, Armando al Pantheon serves traditional Roman fare in an old-school, wood-paneled dining room. Locals love the pasta carbonara, braised oxtail, and puntarelle with anchovy sauce.
Salita dei Crescenzi, 31
For more great places to eat in the Centro Storico check out my self-guided food tour. With just one day in Rome, you’ll maximize your tasting opportunities with stops at five legendary venues where you can sample some of the best food in Rome.