There is something undeniably old-school about the dining scene in Italy’s capital. Yes, there are some sleek restaurants with minimalist décor and innovative cuisine, but for the most part, travelers should seek out the mom-and-pop trattorias of yesteryear (or, in some cases, yester-century). And, of course, there are a handful of traditional Roman delicacies that every visitor simply must try.
Best Cappuccino in Rome
Sant Eustachio Caffè has Rome’s most famous cappuccino, served at a long, 1930s zinc bar near the Pantheon. Order at the busy counter, and people-watch while you’re drinking this beloved pick-me-up. Afterwards, walk to the nearby church of San Luigi dei Francesi, which has three amazing Caravaggio paintings. Note: Romans only drink coffee with milk before noon.
Best Gelato in Rome
At Giolitti, the wonderfully old-school caffè-cum-gelateria, you must pay for the number of scoops you wish, then, armed with a little white receipt, you can order 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.
Best Pizza in Rome
Situated in Rome’s historic center, the uber-cool Emma serves excellent thin-crust, Roman-style pizzas in a huge, industrial 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. Indagare Tip: Emma is open seven 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.
Best Aperol Spritz in Rome
The Jardin de Russie, a candlelit garden behind the Hotel de Russie, is one of Rome’s most magical settings for an aperitivo, while guests at the trendy hot-spot Salotto 42 can sip innovative cocktails and gaze upon a temple colonnade from the year 145 C.E.