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12 Foods You Must Try in Rome

Rome is a great destination for foodies and here you can try amazing dishes, including Roman ones and those from the rest of Italy.

This includes loads of pizza, amazing pasta, vegetable and meat dishes and addictive sweets.

In the text below, we compiled a list of must-try food while in Rome.

If you need some help finding places serving these dishes, be sure to book one of guided food tours, where professional tour guides will take you through the streets of Rome to sample the best quality foods. You won't regret it!

1. Pizza al taglio

Pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) is Roman style pizza that features pizza dough baked on a rectangular sheet pan with slightly thicker crust. It is sold by weight.

Pizza is usually cut with a knife or scissors into small portions then heated. Both local Romans and tourists adore this delicious (and not too pricey; you'll pay €2-€3 for medium-size slice) snack. You can grab this tasty pizza on every corner in Rome.

When it comes to toppings, they are really versatile and mostly seasonal. Pizza toppings features combination of following ingredients: fresh mozzarella, slices of mortadella, smoked ham or prosciutto, zucchini flowers, potato, sausages, artichokes, cherry tomatoes... (the list is endless).

Want to taste a loads of tasty food? Join this morning food tour of Prati and find out where to find the best pizza in the city and much more!

2. Porchetta

Porchetta

Porchetta is deboned, slow-roasted pig and it includes belly seasoned with spices and herbs and then slowly baked. At food markets, you'll find a stall selling porchetta by slice (ideal for pairing with freshly baked focaccia). Or buy ready-made sandwich from a food place.

For a truly delicious porchetta, visit Panificio Bonci near Vatican and order slices of pork sandwiched between two slices of pizza bianca.

3. Spaghetti Carbonara

A plate of spaghetti Carbonara

One of the most popular Italian pasta in general and it's made with spaghetti or rigatoni, guanciale or pancetta, egg, Pecorino Romano and black pepper. The eggs are gently heated to create a thickened sauce, which should cling to the pasta for a silky and non-scrambled effect.

The best places to try these pasta are local trattorias in Rome.

4. Cacio e pepe

Another iconic Roman pasta is cacio e peppe made Pecorino Romano (salty aged sheep's milk cheese) and black pepper. These two ingredients are combined with cooked pasta and some cooking water, then stirred vigorously to create a smooth sauce. 

Enjoy this simple sauce with pasta at local trattorias that locals visit. That's always the best choice.

5. Supplí

Supplí - popular Roman street food

Supplí are rice balls enriched with rich tomato sauce containing a mozzarella heart, coated into breadcrumbs. They are deep-fried, resulting in a snack that's crunchy on the outside but gooey on the inside. 

Popular as a starter before pizza or as a satisfying street food snack, supplì are a staple of Roman cuisine. Suppli are served in any tavole calde and pizza places across Rome.

6. Jewish-style artichokes (Carciofi alla giudia)

Carciofi alla giudia - deep-fried artichokes

Carciofi alla giudia are among the most popular Roman dish. This is a dish made of crispy double-deep-fried artichokes served with lemon. This food comes from Jewish Ghetto part of Rome.

The classic Roman artichokes preparation, carciofi alla Romana, is slowly cooked with ample garlic and aromatic herbs.

Find out where to eat the best carciofi alla giudia by joining this night food tour of Jewish Ghetto (you won't regreat!).

7. Pinsa - Roman-style pizza

Pinsa - Roman-style pizza

Pinsa is oval-shaped, thin and light Roman pizza usually made with a mix of flours, from standard wheat to spelt, oat and others. It's topped with variety of toppings, mostly seasonal one.

One of the very best places in Rome is Pinsa Mpò, a small eatery near Vatican (Via dei Gracchi 7) offering a range of delicious pinsa plus other snacks. There are a few seats to eat there or you can take away. You'll pay €5 - €6 for one pinsa.

8. Gnocchi alla Romana

Roman gnocchi, Gnocchi alla romana: perfect recipe for Roman style gnocchi, meat-free comfort food from the Eternal City.

Roman gnocchi (Gnocchi alla Romana, lit. Roman style gnocchi) are one of the easiest Rome specialties to replicate at home and of the few meet-free dishes from the capital.

Unlike ‘gnocchi’ as understood in other parts of Italy, Roman style gnocchi are made with semolina, a durum wheat flour, and they are made on the hob and then the oven, to then be served on a large tray, a little more like polenta than a pasta dish (they are very much not pasta!)

They have a delicate yet very pleasant taste that usually the whole family loves and they are made with only a few key ingredients: semolina, milk, butter, eggs, salt and parmesan.

This is the traditional Gnocchi Alla Romana recipe and the easy steps to follow to make them at home.

9. Fiori di zucca ripieni alla romana

This is a delicious starter always present on Rome’s menus but only when in season, so from late spring all through the summer. Fiori di zucca is the zucchini flowers, and Romans love them. Fiori di zucca ripieni means that the zucchini flowers are stuffed with anchovies and mozzarella curd cheese.

10. Maritozzi

Maritozzi - Roman breakfast buns

Romans love maritozzi, incredibly light, soft buns, cut in the middle and filled with loads of perfectly whipped cream. 

You will find maritozzi in cafés and bakeries, mainly in the morning. If you come after 11am you might miss them. These delicious buns are enjoyed for breakfast with coffee and the price is very reasonable, around €2.

11. Cannoli

Cannoli - the most popular Sicilian sweets

Cannoli are pastries consisting of shell of fried dough filled with sweet and creamy ricotta filling. These are typical Sicilian sweet, but you can find them in many cafés and pastry shops (pasticceria) in Rome.

Once you try them, you will come for more. Cannoli filling can be plain or chocolatey or pistachio, lemon or orange flavoured.

Go to I dolci di Nona Vicenza to have a cappuccino and one of their delicious cannoli (or choose from other yummy pastries and cakes in their offer).


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