restaurant terrace view over rome at dusk

7th Floor Terrace, Hotel Hassler

With one of the most panoramic terraces in Rome, the 7th floor of the Hotel Hassler Roma is a serene spot for lunch, dinner or aperitivo.

tables with white tablecloths on a cobblestoned street

Al Moro

In a hidden location, on a narrow cobblestone street near the Trevi fountain, this authentic trattoria is one a favorite of Alberto Moncanda, the owner of three boutique hotels. “Al Moro, is a well-known trattoria; well-known for its delicious food and grumpy owners. Film director Federico Fellini, an Al Moro regular, gave the elder Moro a part in his film Satyricon...My favorite dishes are the pasta al Moro ( a light version of carbonara) and scampi al Moro, which is also very light and delicious. I prefer this restaurant for dinner.”

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Al Pompiere

A neighborhood favorite in Rome’s Jewish ghetto, Al Pompiere beckons with an old-world atmosphere and classic Roman cuisine.
yellow sign saying Antica Pesa and dal 1922 beneat that on a building in italy at night

Antica Pesa

Located in the heart of Trastevere, this elegant trattoria has been a favorite of local foodies and visitors for nearly a century. The chic candlelit dining room with fresco-adorned walls opens to a leafy terrace that’s lovely for al fresco dining. With a menu of trattoria classics like grilled octopus and homemade tagliolini, the restaurant also boasts a superb wine list.

sign on glass window of restaurant saying Antico Arco with view of dining area in background

Antico Arco

With a magical setting, especially for a warm summer night, Antico Arco is perched high up in Trastevere’s Janiculum Hill. The menu is creative Italian, and dishes are based on local ingredients mamma might have used, with a more contemporary flair. The menu is seasonal, but lightness is a consistent theme. Wine aficionados will love the robust wine list, but for those less familiar the restaurant is equipped with a knowledgeable sommelier.

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Arancio d’Oro

You won’t find many tourists at this casual trattoria located in a quiet side street in Rome’s Historic District. All pasta is handmade, and gluten-free options are available. The staff is also unpretentious and friendly.

pasta with cheese

Armando al Pantheon

At this excellent trattoria near the Pantheon, the traditional Roman cuisine is always fantastic and due to its reputation and proximity to popular attractions, book well in advance for lunch or dinner. A recent renovation has left the space more beautiful than ever.

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outdoor dining on the cobblestones in Rome


As Paris has Café de Flore and London has the Wolseley, so Rome has Canova. A grand, historic watering hole in a prime location for watching the world stroll by and to enjoy a cup of coffee, morning pastry, sandwich or light meal. It draws the loyal locals as well as the well-heeled travelers staying at the nearby Hotel de Russie. You can choose to sit outside at tables facing Piazza del Popolo or inside, which has spiffed up interiors, but pays homage to the past with photos of past celebs who frequently visited like Fellini.

Cesare al Casaletto

This trattoria is the passion project of a local foodie couple and has become one of the city’s best classic eateries, as well as a favorite of Indagare Insider Katie Parla (read more of her Rome favorites in our Q&A). Standout dishes include fried seafood, homemade pasta and pizza.

Checchino Dal 1887

Those craving traditional Roman offal (oxtail, brains, and the like) should make a reservation at this old-world favorite in a hidden corner of Testaccio. As the name implies, the place is deeply historical and dates back to the era when Rome’s slaughterhouse was active across the street, hence the offal-heavy menu.

terrace with red and white furniture

Cielo Terrace & Restaurant, Hotel de la Ville

Hotel guests and non-hotel guests alike come for the quintessential view of Rome, from Saint Peter's dome to the distant hills.

Da Fortunato

Open since 1975, Da Fortunato has long been a Rome favorite thanks its old-world atmosphere, terrace that offers views of the Pantheon and Roman fare.
tables with white tablecloths beneath a beige awning

Dal Bolognese

A favorite of Rome’s jet set, Dal Bolognese has an unbeatable view right onto Piazza del Popolo, so it comes as no surprise that the restaurant is always booked. Arrive early (8:15pm is their first reservation) to get a table. Diners at this restaurant are here more for the VIP scene and people watching than for the food. When ordering, remember simplicity is key; go for veal cutlets or the tagliatelle alla Bolognese, the signature dish. Expect a chic scene of everyone from politicians to young actors and lithe models vying for one of the few sidewalk tables. Note: reservations must be made far in advance.

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Felice a Testaccio

Foodies have long argued whether the cucina romana is better at Felice or Checchino. In truth both places serve excellent traditional fare, though the dining room at Felice is slightly more updated, which is a plus for some and a major detraction for others. Come here for pasta cacio e pepe (in a simple sauce of crushed pepper, finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and—controversially—olive oil) and abbacchio al forno (lamb baked in the oven). Ever since it was featured in The New York Times as “the best trattoria in Rome,” Felice is less of a find, but loyal visitors report that the quality of the food and atmosphere remain high. Deep in Testaccio, Felice is best-reached via taxi.

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Exterior View - Flavio Al Velavevodetto, Rome, Italy

Flavio Al Velavevodetto

In-the-know locals flock to Flavio for some of the best Roman specialties to be had. The simple white stucco façade buzzes with families and couples, spread over two outdoor spaces and two cozy interior rooms. The menu is available only in Italian, but the effusive young waiters will do their best to guide you along (not many tourists discover this gem so their patience hasn’t been spent). Begin with the prosciutto, don’t miss the spaghetti carbonara, (the best I’ve ever had) and the cacio e pepe, continue for their house specialty of breaded and fried lamb chops, and persevere to dessert where a creamy tiramisu is worth every calorie. The meatballs too, have earned legendary status. In lieu of a wine list, diners are lead to an arched corridor with bottles lined on shelves, shop-style. You may want to include Flavio early in your itinerary, in case you opt to return again.

glass counter with colorful gelato


At this wonderfully old-school caffè-cum-gelateria, you first pay for however many scoops you wish, then, armed with a little white receipt, you can order at the delicious homemade gelato. Don’t try it the other way around; you will simply be ignored. Besides a large selection of flavorful, creamy gelato, there are also myriad pastries and cookies on sale. This is a great place for a break after seeing the Pantheon (come here after a lunch at nearby Al Moro).

Girarrosto Fiorentino

If classic and old-world is what you're seeking for your meals in Rome, do not miss this elegant restaurant located in the center of the city, just a few minutes stroll from the Borghese Gardens. The wood paneled dining room plays host to a well-heeled local clientele who come to enjoy attentive service and reliably delicious food including some of city's best bistecca fiorentina.

Hostaria da Pietro

Only a short walk from some of Rome's top shops and the Hotel de Russie, Hostaria da Pietro is a casual trattoria that draws high-profile guests with its excellent pasta and fish. Tucked into an alleyway and decorated year-round with twinkling lights, the beloved eatery makes a great spot for a romantic date night in a truly Roman setting.

sunlight restaurant with large windows

Il Giardino Ristorante at Hotel Eden

Located on the top floor of the Hotel Eden, Il Giardino offers a more relaxed and refined dining experience.

Il Matriciano

For a less touristy (and less pricey) alternative to Piazza del Popolo’s Dal Bolognese, head across the Tiber to Il Matriciano for al fresco dining and old fashioned Roman cuisine. A few blocks north of the Vatican, the restaurant is in the residential Prati district. Though some warn that the institution is getting a bit inflated because of its great reputation, the restaurant nevertheless has a loyal, local following, mostly after their signature dish: bucatini alla matriciana. Closed Wednesday.

La Pergola

In a city that is mostly about casual, trattoria-type dining, the three-Michelin-star restaurant—the city’s only such honored restaurant—stands out. Considered one of the great chefs not only in Italy but in all of Europe, Heinz Beck prepares exquisite food that is made all the more pleasurable by the views from the top of Monte Mario overlooking all of Rome. This is the place to splurge for a special meal. The menu, which changes with the season, combines Mediterranean ingredients with Beck’s creative spin. Reservations are recommended well in advance. ~Elizabeth Helman Minchilli

Pasticceria Boccione

In Rome’s Jewish Ghetto, it may not look like much on the outside but this is where local Romans enjoy crostata and ricotta e visciole.
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outdoor dining with white tablecloths in Rome


On a quiet side street near Campo de’ Fiori, Pierluigi is a great casual restaurant that serves delicious salads, pastas and grilled fish.
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Exterior View : Ristorante Nino, Rome, Italy - Photo Courtesy : Giulio Thuburn

Ristorante Nino

No longer a secret address, Nino continues to serve reliable Tuscan specialties. The scene is slightly more upscale than your average Roman trattoria and service can be hit-or-miss. Indagare Tip: It's best to ask your concierge to book your table unless your Italian is pitch-perfect. It's a good choice for both lunch and dinner and ordering classics like ribollita, crostini and pappardelle with wild game ragu.

dining room with shelves of wine bottles


This salumeria, wine bar and tiny restaurant specializes in such gourmet treats as artisanal meats and cheeses. The counter up front is always packed with customers sampling from the hundreds of options. (The staff is well-prepared for visitors from abroad: I didn’t have to mime “vacuum pack” for long before they assured me they would expertly package my slice of Parmigiano Reggiano.) The cozy back—dark and lined with shelves of fine wines—is a great spot for lunch, especially if it’s a rainy or colder day where you don’t mind being inside. The menu is full of Roman specialties and, of course you don’t want to skip the heaping platters of charcuterie and formaggio. Roscioli is in walking distance to the Campo de’ Fiori. Some locals warn that the spot is getting so popular, it's at risk for becoming overhyped.

Tip: This is an excellent place to find souvenirs to bring home to your pantry.

Sciuè Sciuè Cucina

Roman locals head to this restaurant for simple, high-quality Italian cuisine with changing daily menus in a contemporary setting.
Food at Settimio all’Arancio, Rome, Italy

Settimio all’Arancio

When nonna is out of town and well-heeled Romans are missing old-school regional fare, they head to this family-owned spot (one brother is the chef, the other the manager) close to the Spanish Steps. Crispy fried artichokes and homemade tiramisu are among the classics.


Indagare employees walking up stiars

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