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Beyond Pasta: Roman cuisine with a difference

While still deeply attached to tradition, Roman cuisine is embracing the new when it comes to food concepts

Anyone who's ever spent time in, or lived in Italy, will know will know that there are strict food rules you need to adhere to. Diverging from the rules can have dire consequences (apparently) so sticking to tradition is the norm. However, young chefs in Rome are slowly but surely shunning the norm. While strict rules still govern which pasta can be served with which sauce, the Romans are modifying tradition with modern, creative cuisine. Here are a few spots doing it best.


Chef Alba Esteve Ruiz is producing some of the capital city's most eclectic creative cuisine from her glass-fronted kitchen in the elegant Sallustiana neighbourhood. Distinctly Italian, but far from trattoria fare, menu items like the Carbonara 2013 and Risotto with anchovies and candied ginger show real flair. All ingredients are sourced from a selection of Italy’s finest producers. The understated modern dining room is peppered with elegantly dressed locals and Italy's power players.

Related: How to order wine like an Italian



Michelin star, check. Magnificent view of one of Rome’s most iconic sites, check. An evening spent dining at Aroma is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Local Roman specialities and seasonal offerings like artichokes and lamb are creatively melded into something entirely new. Impeccable and attentive service and standout wine cellar only add to the luxury.

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Flavio Al Velavevodetto

flavio-al-velavevodettoFlavio al Velavevodetto

Don’t try to pronounce the tongue-twisting name, just settle in at a table amongst the fragments of ancient pottery shards that are set into the walls of this traditional Roman restaurant in one of Rome’s most traditional districts. Begin with plates of rustic pasta dishes like amatriciana or carbonara and then move on to bold secondi like coda all vaccinara (oxtail stew) or L'Abbacchio a scottadito (grilled lamb chops.)

Related: Discovering Rome's immersive experiences

1 Marzapane
2 Aroma
3 Flavio Al Velavevodetto