One of the best things about going on holiday is the opportunity to try new food, whether that’s eating all the Pho in Thailand or all the frites in Belgium.
On our recent trip to Rome it was a little harder to find dishes we hadn’t eaten before. Italian food is a staple part of the British diet, and although Spaghetti Bolognese and a Margherita pizza almost certainly tastes better in Italy, we were keen to try as many Roman dishes as possible.
What to eat in Rome
They say the only food you can live off exclusively is the avocado, which is a real shame because if I had to eat only one dish for the rest of my life the deep fried artichokes I had in Rome would be a serious contender.
The best artichokes I ate in Rome were from a little restaurant in what was the Jewish ghetto. After all, where better to eat carciofi alla giudia than where the dish was invented centuries ago? The fried artichokes were heavily salted and absolutely delicious. Worth the Ryanair fare alone if we’re being honest.
Large enough for two to share, the Tartufo at Tre Scalini is the richest, most decadent thing you’ll eat in Rome – and that’s saying something.
The famed Tartufo was created in 1946 uses 13 varieties of Swiss chocolate. If that’s not rich enough for you, it’s topped with whipped cream and a wafer too. It’s mightily expensive (in fact two coffees and a Tartufo cost more than lunch with wine earlier that day) but if you want something chocolatey this is the place to visit. Plus Tre Scalini is in Piazza Navona so you can tick Bernini’s fountain off the list too…
After a wander through the streets of Rome nothing is quite as refreshing before dinner as an Aperol Spritz. Best enjoyed seated outside a small bar for ample people watching opportunities.
This cocktail isn’t exclusive to Rome although nothing says La Dolce Vita meets the 21st century quite like Aperol and Prosecco topped up with soda.
Pizza is pizza, right? Wrong. Not all pizza is created even, and Pizza Bianca is up there with the greats. Think a foccacia style base sold by the square and crisp on the outside.
I’m sure every Roman has a best Pizza Bianca place, but I bought a great slice from an always busy hole in the wall joint in Trastevere called I Suppli.
Cacio e Pepe
Fresh homemade pasta. Tons of Parmesan. Plenty of black pepper.
The simplest dishes are nearly always the best and Cacio e Pepe would be my go to dish if I lived in Rome. I won’t even attempt to make this at home as it relies on fresh al dente pasta to make it remotely edible.
I had this on our first night in Rome in a little restaurant in Trastevere. It took everything I had not to go back every night just to eat it all again.
These are my favourite foods to eat in Rome – what are yours?