The Eternal City offers a huge number of restaurants where visitors can sample the local Roman cuisine, that is characterised by simple dishes that are rich in flavours. Roman food has traditional roots and is based on fresh vegetables (the artichoke in particular), alternative cuts of meat, and deep fried appetizers like filled courgette (zucchini) flowers. As always, its best to avoid the restaurants closest to the major sights, as these will overcharge you. Here is a selection of our favourite spots to dine in Rome.
The local favourite, Al Ceppo, located in the elegant Parioli neighbourhood, has been satisfying diners for over 43 years. It prides itself on its fresh local ingredients available each day at the nearby market. The refined elegance and historical setting is complemented by the restaurant's dark wood furnishings, classic oil paintings, sumptuous fabrics and wonderful flower arrangements. The restaurant also features an old-style grill located in the front room, where guests can watch their meat and fish sizzlying away.
Al Ceppo, Via Panama 2, 00198, Rome, Tel. +39 06 8419 696, www.ristorantealceppo.it
Ill Pagliaccio, a two star Michelin restaurant, located in the heart of Rome's Campo de Fiori, brings a touch of modernity to the heart of Renaissance Rome. Chef Anthony Genovese creates innovative dishes from traditional favourites, and French pastry chef Marion Lichtle is internationally renowned for her unusual desserts. The decor combines tradition with contemporary design touches, its minimalist interior, tiled flooring and beamed ceilings comvine beautifully with modern art installations adding futuristic feel to the place.
Il Pagliaccio: Via dei Bianchi Vecchi 129A, 00186, Rome, Tel: +39 06 6880 9595, www.ristoranteilpagliaccio.com
Antico Arco is located on the Giancolo hill and takes its name from one of those gates of early Medieval Rome. With its whitewashed brick walls, black velvet chairs, subtle lighting and dark floors Antico Arco is warm intimate and contemporary, helmed by chef Parizia Mattei, who offers a slow-food panorama of Italy based on fresh ingredients. Spaghetti all'amatriciana is enriched with guanciale bacone from the Marche region. Main courses include fish and game dishes and the desserts are irresistible.
Antico Arco: Piazzale Aurelio 7, 00152, Rome, Tel. +39 06 5815 274, www.anticoarco.it
Once a favoured lunch place for Federico Fellini, this restaurant has been a Roman institution since 1929. It is located not far from the Fontana di Trevi, Al Moro embodies that Roman spirit which captivates all who visit the city. The friendly waiters will guide you through mouthwatering Roman specialities, including spaghetti all'amatriciana or carbonara, puntarelle alle acciughe, abbacchio (milk-fed lamb) or roast capretto (kid) with rosemary.
Al Moro: Vicolo delle Bollette 13, 00187, Rome, Tel: +39 06 6783 495, www.ristorantealmororoma.eu
Camponeschi is one of Rome's most beautiful and romantic corners for al fresco dining. Tables are impeccably dressed and enjoy views over the magnificent Palazzo Farnese, named after Alexander Farnese - Pope Paul III. A rich menu features regional and international dishes, served with famous wines as well as the Camponeschi family's own wines.
Camponeschi: Piazza Farnese 50, 00186, Rome, Tel. +39 06 6874 927, www.ristorantecamponeschi.it