Historical attractions aside, Rome is also very rich with characteristic places where you’ll find good regional dishes or just good food. The streets in the city center offer plenty of “Osterie” and “street food” bars to choose from without having to spend a fortune. How to recognize them? Well, going into one is a little like walking into “Grandma’s” place. You’ll be welcomed by friendly staff as you’re enveloped by gorgeous aromas coming from the kitchen. These are genuine places probably handed down from generation to generation where you’ll feel at home as you experience real home cooking.
Do such places still exist you might ask? Thankfully they still do and usually offer very good value for money, we’ve selected a few for you.
They’ll come in alphabetical order since “quality” is subjective and we don’t want to show any preferences.
1. FELICE A TESTACCIO
We have to go back more than eighty years to when this trattoria was first opened by Felice Trivelloni in 1936 as “Felice a Testaccio”. Testaccio being an area of Rome. The next generation captained by his son Franco took up the established family tradition maintaining the quality of the typical dishes served. Their “Cacio e Pepe” pasta dish is not to be missed (a characteristically Roman cheese and pepper pasta).
Address: Via Mastro Giorgio, 29, 00153 Roma RM
Telephone: +39 06 574 6800
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/oK3nzdGB5Ao
2. OSTERIA DA FORTUNATA
Osteria Fortunata is set in the heart of Campo de’ Fiori (once flower market hence its name) and prides itself in making its own homemade pasta every day. How’s that for tradition? Portions are generous and the food is fresh to the best of Roman tradition. The desert “Tiramisù” is described as divine by those fortunate enough to taste it.
Address: Via del Pellegrino, 11/12, 00186 Roma RM
Telephone: +39 06 6066 7391
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/KzZLuqfPJ9t
3. OSTERIA BONELLI
Osteria Bonelli is a classic Roman “Osteria” that transmits tradition as of the first impact when booking. The day’s menu is presented on small “black-boards” that are passed from table to table. There is no paper and prices are not indicated. You have to trust your stars or, more simply, entrust.
The ambiance has a family feeling and the staff is always smiling. The dish is most famed for is the “Tonnarelli alla Gricia”. ( a roundish spaghetti with a creamy and crunchy bacon flavoured sauce).
Address: Viale dell’Acquedotto Alessandrino, 172/174, 00176 Roma RM
Telephone: +39 329 863 3077
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/5PJ9sWjPVaT2
4. TRATTORIA SORA LELLA
Trattoria Sora Lella is set in the unique scenario of Tiber Island serving traditional dishes since the late 1940s. It strives to keep with the times and offers a vegetarian menu and gluten-free meals as well as renewed recipes. The premises are on two floors with windows through which one may admire the flowing waters of the Tiber below. The staff is impeccable. A must for dessert is “Torta di Ricotta Romana Dop con Composta di Visciole di Cantiano” (Roman ricotta and redcurrants of Cantiano cake).
Address: Via di Ponte Quattro Capi, 16, 00186 Roma RM
Telephone: +39 06 686 1601
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/N7ZQ1MBALQq
5. DA FRANCESCO
Da Francesco was founded in 1957 as an Osteria right up to 1987 when it changed into a pizzeria. It still continues to renew itself without betraying its well-rooted origins. The “Fettucine alla Gricia” is a must (flat wide pasta with a creamy-crunchy bacon flavor).
Address: Piazza del Fico, 29, 00186 Roma RM
Telephone : +39 06 686 4009
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/7hyaiNUyhGB2
6. IL GIRASOLE
Outside the city center and “last but not least”
Il Girasole is in the heart of the area of Rome known as the Garbatella and has a cosy ‘times past’ atmosphere about it. Thanks to the variety of dishes on offer and the pleasantness of their staff, it is a favorite place for many Romans and the better-informed tourists. We suggest you the Pasta alla Carbonara, recognized by Romans as the best Carbonara in the world.
A good dish doesn’t just let you taste it, it beckons you to do so through its presentation and wistful aroma. A good dish is made of history and passion that is passed on across the centuries so that its touch of magic doesn’t waver in time, a good dish never ends.
Address: Via Rosa Raimondi Garibaldi, 26/28, 00145 Roma RM
Telephone: +39 06 511 0408
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/kgUjvmgH7fm
In our next article we’ll go into the history behind the typical Roman dishes, so don’t miss it!