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Self-Guided Food Tour of Rome

Updated: July 21, 2022

This is a self-guided food tour of Rome. Pasta, pizza, gelato.... oh my! There's plenty to ingest in the Eternal City, and sometimes it's hard to decide where to spend each precious mealtime. 

Discover some of Rome's best eats, Rome's best gelato, and Rome's best wine. The walk itself takes a little over an hour—perfect time to walk off some of those carbs.

The longest leg of the tour takes you to the last stop, gelato.

If you find yourself too stuffed to go on, try checking out a food tour of Rome. Tour guides will offer you manageable plenty of good advice for where to eat after your tour.

Volpetti – Best Cheese in Rome

In Rome, Cheese is everywhere. You can't walk two feet without stumbling over some great pecorino, parmesan or burrata—soft mozzarella.

One of the best places in Rome to sample cheeses is Volpetti.

This salumeria has been open for over 40 years and has been run by the Volpetti family, starting with brothers Emilio and Claudio before being passed down to Alessandro.

You could lose hours in this shop, so ask the staff what's good that day. They also have a large selection of meats and balsamic vinegars—the perfect accompaniment to any Italian cheese.

Da Felice a Testaccio – Best Cacio e Pepe in Rome

One of Rome's most famous dishes, cacio e pepe, is also one of its most simple ones.

Simply translated into cheese and pepper, long strands of bucatini or spaghetti are doused in piles of shaved cheese and generously sprinkled with pepper.

Opened in 1936, Da Felice a Testaccio has an old-world feel. The floors are covered in black-and-white tiles, and the walls are made of exposed brick.

The restaurant has gotten some press over the past decade, so prices have increased due to popular demand. The quality and intimate space have mostly stayed the same.

Da Remo – Best Pizza in Rome

One of the must-eats in Rome includes pizza, which is good because there's plenty of it.

You'll find a large array of pizza in the city, from old-world style to grandma style to hyped-up fancy pies. Da Remo is one of the best old-world pizzerias in Rome.

The crust is thin and chewy with a little char around the edges. The dough is topped with a thin layer of sauce and rustic slices of mozzarella. You can get thin slices of salami on top or shaved mushrooms and sausage.

Head across the Tiber to the Trastevere, a trendy neighborhood that's famous for its restaurants, art, and fashion.

I Supplì - Best Suppli in Rome

When in Sicily, eat arancini; when in Rome, devour as many suppli as you can get your paws on. Suppli is the cousin to arancini, little balls of fried risotto and cheese.

Suppli gets its name because it’s a suped-up version of arancini. Just kidding. But no, really. They usually add yumminess like tomato sauce to these little fried treats. Gooey mozzarella oozes out of the center.

This place was opened by former stock brokers, who left their high-powered jobs in search of a more humble existence—and never looked back.

La Norcineria Lacozzilli – Best Porchetta in Rome

Three generations of Romans work side-by-side at this popular spot to grab a porchetta sandwich.

This crumbly, tender, juicy pork can be eaten atop a soft bun or devoured on a white pizza. If you're a purist, order a few slices to nosh on your way to your next slice of pizza.

Ai Marmi - Best Roman-Style Pizza in Rome

Okay, okay, so you can't just have one best pizza in Rome. Ai Marmi offers rustic pizzas with traditional ingredients.

Here, try the sausage and zucchini blossom pizza that will set you back a whopping €8. If you're feeling a need for a veggie, you can get a cheese pizza topped with greens here, too.

Eat out on the street, so you can people watch as you devour your second pizza of the day.

Cross back over the Tiber to the Jewish Quarter.

Giggetto al Portico D’Ottavia - Best Fried Artichoke in Rome

Italians are lauded for a variety of foods; pasta, seafood, and desserts especially to come to mind. Two foods the Romans know best are artichokes and fried foods. Why not have the best of both worlds?

The Jewish quarter churns out some of the best food in the city, and they've perfected the fried artichoke at Giggetto al Portico D'Ottavia.

Not a lot of travellers know the origins of their favorite Roman foods and that a lot of it comes from Jewish cuisine.

This Jewish eatery has been open since 1923 and is famous for more than its artichoke. Their carbonara (another Roman favorite!) is favored by both tourists and locals.

Yet it is the fried artichoke that shines here. Both smooth and crunchy at the same time, fried artichokes go great with a Peroni or glass of Pinot grigio.

ZUM Roma - Best Tiramisu in Rome

In Rome, do don't eat just one dessert. That's why we're encouraging you to eat a few on this tour. If you want to try some of Rome's best tiramisu (layered cream, Gentilini biscuits, and chocolate), head 10 minutes northwest.

Tiramisu comes in an array of flavors here, including berry, pistachio, and rum. The Gentilini biscuits are a little bit of a detour from the traditional lady fingers, but the results are magical.

Il Piccolo - Best Wine Bar in Rome

Four minutes north of ZUM is our first wine stop. It probably goes without saying that you can't take a trip to Rome without enjoying some wine.

This place makes our list because you can taste some really fantastic Italian wines here—and it has an old-world, of-the-beaten-path feel to it.

One lone café table sits outside if you're the people-watching type. Inside, the tasting room is covered in wine bottles and is dotted with a few simple wooden tables.

The wines by the glass menu is small, but you can buy any of the bottles on the wall to share with a friend (or keep all to yourself).

Canova Tadolini - Best Coffee in Rome

If you're in a carb coma by now, you can duck out. But if you've been saving room for (more) dessert, head north to the Spanish Steps. There's some great coffee and people watching up there.

Café Canova is the quintessential Italian café. Umbrellaed tables line the streets. The inside is a menagerie of statues, busts, and paintings. Gold velour couches offer the perfect place to visit with friends or nurse an espresso alone.

For Rome's best gelato, you'll need to head across the Tiber.

Gelateria dei Gracchi - Best Gelato in Rome

This intimate shop serves up some of Rome's best gelato. All flavors are made with fresh ingredients, which means there's plenty of seasonal flavors.

We recommend trying the ricotta and the pistachio. Even Anthony Bourdain found this place to be one of the best in Rome and featured it on his show, "The Layover".

Smooth and creamy, this gelato is so good, you'll want to order two: One for now and another for the road.

Tracking down some of the best food in Rome isn't easy. You can find even more good eats on a Rome food tour.

Most guides can give you the scoop on these stops and recommend a few of their own. Check out our favorite Rome food tours here.

About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Follow On Instagram | I'm a historian & tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. I have written for HuffPost Travel and have been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. I've also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. I am the producer of the podcast, Tour Guide Tell All. I am an authority on D.C. history, and have led tours in the city since 2011. I currently resides in DC, but have also lived in London and South Korea, and have traveled to over 28 countries and every US State but Hawaii. I homeschool my 2 children by exploring the plethora of museums in DC. Read More...
Updated: July 21st, 2022
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