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.”

Editors' Picks

Al Pompiere

A neighborhood favorite in Rome’s Jewish ghetto, Al Pompiere beckons with an old-world atmosphere and classic Roman cuisine.
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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.

restaurant interior with floral chairs


This restaurant, named after the film Babette’s Feast, is recommended by fashion designer Soledad Twombly, who suggests it for lunch when you can get a table in the leafy courtyard.

Biscottificio Innocenti, bakery, Rome

Biscottificio Innocenti

Located on the narrow streets of Trastevere sits Biscottificio Innocenti, a neighborhood staple, run by the Sesto family since the 1920s. Already from the outside, customers are lured in by the irresistible smell of butter and powdered sugar. The interiors look like a throwback in time, especially the charming, pale-yellow oven that has been churning out delicious baked goods since the 1950s. Innocenti is most famous for melt-in-your-mouth biscotti. A box of the baked goods makes a great memento to take home.

Editors' Picks

Bubi's Ristorante

Near the Piazza del Popolo, Bubi’s is a small kitchen and bar with indoor and outdoor dining areas serving traditional Roman dishes, salads, and a few international dishes (including popular burgers). Surrounded by lush greenery on a private road, Bubi’s is a good choice for a relaxing meal with friends or family. Try the gnocchi with clams and basil pesto, crunchy octopus, or beef mille-feuille with artichokes. Recommended by an Indagare insider.

Caffè Capitolino

The terrace of the Caffarelli palace at the Capitoline Museum, is a good spot to know about if you’re touring the Colosseum and are in need of a quiet, calm break for lunch. Separated from the panoramic terrace with sweeping city views by leafy planters, the restaurant serves sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes (it’s decent but you come here for the setting not the food). There is table service until 3 p.m., so you can also come by for a coffee and cake in the early afternoon.

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.

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.

Da Remo

The best place in town for authentic thin-crusted pizza romana, Remo is a Testaccio institution, with a prime location on the district’s main piazza. You can sit at wonky tables balanced on the pavement, or in the cavernous interior, overseen by AS Roma team photos. A park with swings right across the road makes this a great place to eat with kids.

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.

Editors' Picks

Dal Pollarolo 1936

If you are looking for the best thin crust pizza in central Rome, head to Dal Pollarolo. This simple and unpretentious Roman trattoria features a simple, rustic atmosphere, but the pizza is arguably some of the best in the city. If you're more in the mood for pasta, opt for the carbonara, which is top-notch.

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Situated in Rome’s historic center, the uber-cool Emma serves excellent thin-crust Roman style pizzas in a huge, industrial-style space. In addition to pizza, the menu includes a range of fried appetizers and cured meats and cheeses, as well as an ample wine list.

The crowd is a mix of visitors and locals, and has a fun, cool vibe. The interior of the large restaurant is open with a huge skylight, and there is a small outdoor garden that is open in the spring and summer months.

Indagare Tip: Emma is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, making it a great option for Sunday or Monday nights when many other restaurants in Rome are closed.

Editors' Picks
Exterior View - Fior di Luna, Rome, Italy

Fior di Luna

This Travastere gelateria doesn’t look like much, but its smooth, creamy gelato may well be the best the city currently has to offer. A sign on the door explains where the ingredients come from (hazelnuts from Sorrento, coco form Madagascar), and flavors are seasonal and truly memorable (the spicy cioccolata pecorino was particularly delicious during a recent trip). There’s nowhere to sit here, but you can take your cone or cup around the corner to the Tiber.

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.

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Gelateria del Teatro

Tucked in a back of a cozy courtyard, a short stroll—but seemingly miles away—from bustling Piazza Navona, this lovely gelateria is famous for its many original, artisanal flavors, including some made with red wine, others featuring herbs like sage. It’s a great spot to refuel and also enjoy a stroll down one of the historic center’s prettiest streets: Via di San Simone.

Editors' Picks

Gelateria La Romana

Dating back to 1947, Gelateria Romana serves traditional gelato flavors crafted from the original recipes from five locations.
Editors' Picks
outdoor dining against a peach colored wall

Ginger Sapori e Salute

Though just minutes from the Spanish Steps, Ginger, a self-proclaimed Roman “bistro” is a haven from the heat and crowds.
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.

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.

people dining outside on the cobblestones

La Buvette

This cafe within walking distance to the Spanish Steps is a perfect spot to greet the day with a cappuccino and cornetto (Italian croissant). It's equally fun for lunch if you can score one of the tables on the street or just inside the door, so you can watch the comings and goings of locals. The salads are delicious as are the pastries.

Le Mani in Pasta

This tiny eatery in Trastevere is a pitch-perfect Roman dining experience. The no-frills dining room is small, tables are pushed so close together that you have to make friends with your neighbors, and the kitchen is located behind a glass window so that you can watch the graceful dance of the young chef as he prepares each meal to order. The menu here includes such classic Roman pasta options as cacio e pepe and a la carbonara, both dishes that are utterly simple and therefore easy to ruin.

During my recent visit, the plate of steaming spaghetti alla carbonara was a symphony of gooey yellow-orange broken up only by bits of perfectly crisp, dark-red bacon, while the tonnarelli cacio e pepe struck a wonderful balance between spice (black cracked pepper) and smooth (flakes of Pecorino cheese). The meal kicked off with a simple antipasto plate (mozzarella, bresaola, spicy salami, arugula) and finished with a forthy, strong espresso. It was one of those magical meals where the first bite affirms your secret hope that you have found a place just at the right time and your last sip is made with a silent wish that it will stay the same until you can return. Go now before everyone discovers it.

Mordi e Vai

For those in search of delicious street food in Testaccio market, Mordi e Vai does not disappoint. This low-key joint serves some of the best brisket sandwiches in the city.

Neve di Latte

Located near Vatican City, Rome's Neve di Latte implements uber–high-quality ingredients in its artisanal gelato flavors.

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Serving up some of the best gelato in Rome, Otaleg is a cozy spot in Trastevere created by well-known gelataio Marco Radicioni.


Indagare employees walking up stiars

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