I am in heaven when I visit Italy and especially Rome.  If you are a foodie there is so much to enjoy and this is where my ultimate foodie guide to Rome can help you.  The prosecco is always flowing, the pasta is al dente and the gelato is to die for! As if that is not enough add pizza and an aperitivo into the mix and it has to be the perfect destination.

A great reason to travel to Italy for foodies is that each of the 20 regions has their own unique culinary treats. There are numerous dishes in Rome that you will not find anywhere else in Italy. You might find a dish with the same name in another city, but you can be certain that it will not taste the same as it does in Rome. I

 

 

Gourmet goodies in Rome
Gourmet goodies

 

My Ultimate Foodie Guide to Rome

Where do I start?

 

Obviously pizza and pasta feature on the list, but there is a host of other delicious things to try as well. If you expect to find a pizza with pineapple or banana toppings then you will be hopelessly disappointed. Italian food revolves around the seasons. What could be better than fresh local ingredients?

I always seem to be hungry when I am in Rome, even if I have just eaten. There is so much to try, but here are a few of the dishes I have to eat when I am in Rome.

 

Filetti di baccalà

 

This is always what my husband and I like to call our “first-night” dinner. The cod fillets are dipped in batter, deep fried and incredibly succulent when you bite into them. One portion is never enough. This is a cheap and delicious meal, simply served in a paper serviette, with the minimum of fuss.

 

Filetti di baccalà Rome
Filetti di baccalà

 

 

Spaghetti alla carbonara

 

Spaghetti is the only thing that there is in common with the creamy dish you are probably more familiar with. Don’t confuse that with this version. In Rome, the spaghetti is dressed in raw egg, black pepper, grated Pecorino Romano and guanciale (a type of Italian cured pork made from the cheeks of a pig). Sometime pancetta replaces the guanciale and the pasta could be vermicello or rigatoni. However it is served, it is yummy!

 

Bucatini all’amatriciana

 

Bucatini is a thick spaghetti that looks like a tube. The hole through the pasta is the perfect vehicle to trap the sauce. L’amatriciana is made of tomatoes, pepperoncini, guanciale and grated Pecorino Romano and is my perfect comfort food.

 

 Spaghetti cacio e pepe

 

This is just about as simple as it gets when it comes to pasta. The sauce is made with Pecorino Romano cheese (cacio), black pepper (pepe), and leftover pasta water. Everything is stirred into the hot pasta and creates a plate of cheesy, spicy deliciousness.

 

Spaghetti cacio e pepe Rome
Spaghetti cacio e pepe

 

Carciofi

 

The artichoke (il carciofo) is one of my favourite dishes. There are 2 ways of preparing it, Alla Romana (Roman style) or Alla Giudea (Jewish-style). The Roman version is stuffed with breadcrumbs, parsley, mint and garlic and braised slowly in olive oil and water. I prefer the Jewish style artichokes that are deep fried to crispy perfection and look like a flower on the plate, but I love artichokes so anything goes.

 

Fried Artichoke Jewish style
Fried Artichoke

 

 

Quinto Quarto

 

Quinto Quarto (the fifth quarter) is eaten all over Rome. It originates in the Testaccio area where the slaughterhouse was located from 1890-1975.  The carcass was divided in a specific way, one quarter for the nobility, the second quarter to the clergy, third quarter to the bourgeoisie and fourth to soldiers. Workers were often paid with the offal which was left and this soon became known as quinto quarto or the fifth quarter.

 

Romans love tripa alla Romana (tripe served with a rich tomato sauce and pecorino cheese) and coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stewed for hours in either a tomato sauce or one with a chocolate base). I enjoy the oxtail stew although I must confess that I prefer eating this in winter because I find it quite a heavy dish.

 

 

Pizza

 

Pizza Bianca

 

The direct translation literally means “white pizza”. This focaccia style bread can be found throughout Rome. It is a light, crisp and fluffy, lightly salted delicious snack and you can find these at bakeries all over the city. It is, in fact, the ultimate street food.

 

Roman style Pizza

 

Pizza differs throughout Italy. In Rome, the pizza is extremely thin and the base is slightly charred. Call me a snob, but I only eat pizza from a wood fired oven. The wood fire adds an extra dimension to the flavour and tastes totally different to pizza baked in an electric oven.

“Pizza al taglio” is baked in advance and is the perfect fast food option. Large trays of pizza are prepared and cut into slices. It is quick and easy to choose the topping, the size of slice you want and pay for it.

 

Roman Pizza
Roman Pizza

 

 

Gelato

 

You have to gelato when you are in Rome. It is totally divine and no doubt my favourite dessert in Italy. To understand the difference between the good and the bad my guide to finding the perfect gelato comes to the rescue. There is also a recommendation for what is, in my opinion, the best gelateria in Rome.

 

Take my ultimate foodie guide to Rome with you on your next visit to make the most of the fabulous food available. Enjoy! Buono appetito! 

 

Italian gelato
Italian gelato

 

 

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Foodie Guide to Rome
Ultimate foodie guide to Rome

 

 

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Rome the Ultimate Foodie Guide

 

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26 COMMENTS

  1. You present the Italy the way I think of it; the home of pizzas and sausages. There seems to be a wide variety of foods. I know I would like the way the way the cod is served in batter.

    • The cod is delicious, and you really are spoilt for choice. There is something for everyone in Rome. You won’t go hungry!

  2. Wow! 20 regions and 20 cuisines…Italian food is surely for the soul 🙂

    What I love the most about Italian food are the vegetarian options…we never go hungry in Italy 🙂

  3. As an Indian, my idea of Italian food is Pasta, Pizza and gelato! Now I know how far from the truth I’m. WOuld love the plethora of cheese on offer there!
    Grazie Janine!

    • You’re welcome! You are so spoilt for choice it is really difficult to make a decision, so you have to eat as much as possible and go on a diet when you get home 🙂

  4. Oh, when I hear food and Italy, I immediately think – parmigiano, and gelato! 😛 I mean, come on, walking around and having such a rich choice of gelato tastes at almost every corner is just surreal! It’s hard to forget about it, ever. 😀

    • I agree with you! I have a gelato addition when I am in Italy and naturally I brought a couple of HUGE chunks of parmesan home with me. How could I resist?

  5. What a variety of food. I was all mouth opened reading your post. Italy/Rome should be referred to home of food. I just hope there are gyms around ’cause I must have a taste of all these foods.

    • The food is amazing. I am not sure how many gyms are around, but I know that people walk a lot, so maybe that’s the solution 🙂

  6. STOP! I’m salivating!! In my opinion you can’t ever have too much pizza and gelato – but I’m willing to take time out to try the Filleti de Baccala, Spaghetti cacio e pepe (sounds almost TOO simple) and Artichoke alla Romana!

    • I am glad to see that you are daring! So many people are not prepared to step out of their comfort zone.

  7. Despite the cold we went for gelato hunting in Rome. It was so good and an absolute must, feels like it makes the italian experience better

    • I know the feeling! When I look at the pics I am back in Rome, enjoying the delicious food again.

  8. I am a foodie who loves Italian food and yet have not been to Rome. I really should get myself there (especially seeing as I live in London and could get there easily!). Your post is making me very hungry just thinking about all the delicious food in Rome waiting to be eaten.

    • I would be on the next plane in a heartbeat. I wish that I lived so much closer. I hope that you get to visit and enjoy some of the delicious food around.

  9. I’ve visited Rome few years ago during New Years Eve and from that time I feel I have to go back there as soon as possible 🙂

    • I was also there on a New Year’s eve a while ago. Rome keeps drawing me back! The food is divine.

  10. I loved my time in Rome, and Pizza and Gelato featured heavily in my diet during my time here! There were always so many options for pizza to choose from too! Agree with you though that Pizza differs throughout Italy – we visited many different regions, and did notice it was done differently from town to town.

    • I adore the artichokes. They are divine! There is a huge choice for vegetarians as well especially as the food revolves around the seasons.

    • Thanks so much! The food is stunning and so much choice as well it is difficult ot decide what to eat.

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