Where do Locals Eat in Rome

When it comes to experiencing authentic Roman cuisine, nothing beats the joints where the locals themselves choose to dine. Visitors yearning to sample the delicious flavours the Eternal City has to offer need to venture off the beaten path and explore the places frequented by those who know the city best. From historical piazzas to narrow alleyways, read on to discover where the locals eat in Rome.

The Aromas of Testaccio

Testaccio is the “foodie district” of Biblical fame, serving as the food storage area during ancient Roman times. Today, it is home to an exhilarating range of local eateries that serve everything from finger-licking street food to hearty, traditional meals.

Da Felice a Testaccio

Among the dining spots in Testaccio, Da Felice a Testaccio is particularly esteemed. It is a third-generation family run restaurant that is famous for its Cacio e Pepe. Each serving is prepared table-side, making for a dining experience that is as close to homemade as you can get.


For a delicious, quick bite, locals flock to Trapizzino, the eatery known for creating a twist on the traditional pizza slice. Trapizzino is named after its flagship product, a pizza puff filled with traditional Roman stew recipes, making it a perfect grab-and-go delight.

The Hidden Gem of Pigneto

East of the city centre, in the contrasting beauty of urban murals and Art Nouveau architecture, lies the bohemian neighborhood of Pigneto. This vibrant quarter is packed with endearing eateries that attract a local crowd.

Primo al Pigneto

Primo al Pigneto is regarded as a must-visit spot in the area. Known for embracing the seasonal ingredients, the restaurant strongly emphasizes regional cuisines. Their fresh take on Roman classics will leave you drooling for more.

Necci dal 1924

Opened in 1924, Necci dal 1924 is one of the neighborhood’s long-standing establishments. Famed for its delicious breakfasts, particularly its variety of pastries, Necci is also distinguished for its dinner menu representing the epitome of traditional Italian cuisine.

Prati – The Upmarket Dining

The Prati neighborhood, situated close to the Vatican, is lined with fashionable boutiques and upmarket restaurants. With high-quality establishments, it offers diners a bit of extravagant Rome.

Da Cesare al Casaletto

Local Romans particularly love Da Cesare al Casaletto in Prati. This restaurant, operating since 1961, is known for its excellent execution of Roman classics. The impeccable range of antipasti and pasta dishes has made it a locals’ favorite.

La Zanzara

La Zanzara provides an all-day dining experience and is famed for its creative Italian dishes. With its warm, trendy interior and fantastic food, it’s little wonder Romans regularly pack out this Prati gem.

The Eclectic Trastevere

Renowned for its winding alleys and enjoyable nightlife, Trastevere is also a treasure-trove of local culinary delights. It presents a wealth of eateries serving authentic Italian food.

Roma Sparita

Trastevere’s Roma Sparita is hugely popular among the locals. This restaurant is notoriously known for its Cacio e Pepe, served in a crispy parmesan bowl. Traditional yet innovative- Roma Sparita should be definitely on your dining list.

Da Enzo al 29

Another favored spot by locals is Da Enzo al 29. This place serves traditional Roman dishes in a casual and homey setting. Be ready to experience the best of what Roman cuisine has to offer.

Whether you’re a food connoisseur or a curious traveler, the local hot-spots in Rome will surely fascinate you. As a rule of thumb, always remember the places bustling with locals usually signify the best places to eat. When in Rome, eat as the Romans do!

Immerse Yourself in Local Roman Gastronomy

When it comes to exploring Rome’s food scene, it isn’t just about the landmarks and attractions; it’s also about immersing yourself in the local gastronomy. It’s a pleasure to seek out the neighborhood osterias, ancient bakeries, and popular street food stands treasured by the Romans.

Delight Yourself at Osteria da Fortunata

Begin your Roman culinary adventure at Osteria da Fortunata, a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Known for their hand-rolled pasta, the place is often abuzz with families and friends sharing heaping plates of pasta and glasses of local wine.

Must-Try Dish Description
Pasta Carbonara A creamy sauce featuring pecorino romano cheese and guanciale (Italian cured pork cheek)
Pasta Cacio e Pepe A classic Roman pasta dish with cheese and black pepper

Explore Panificio Bonci for Delicious Roman Baked Goods

Don’t forget to stop by Panificio Bonci, a bakery noted for its mastery of Ancient Roman baking techniques. Try their crispy yet fluffy pizza al taglio (by-the-slice pizza) or the signature focaccia topped with various Italian delicacies. The family-friendly bakery aims to pass on the culinary traditions of Rome to the future generations.

Experience Street Food at Trapizzino

For street food lovers, Trapizzino is a must-visit. Named after its invention, a hybrid of tramezzino (sandwich) and pizza, Trapizzino serves a variety of sumptuous fillings in their signature crispy bread. You can find anything from chicken cacciatore to eggplant parmigiana. This dish has quickly gained popularity among Rome’s locals for its portability and diverse flavors.

Fine Dining at Retrobottega Restaurant

For a more upper-crust dining experience, visit Retrobottega Restaurant. The two Michelin-starred chefs have created a menu that emphasizes high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients paired with an impressive wine list. Another intriguing feature is their open kitchen, where you can observe the chefs at work while you wait for your food.

In conclusion

When in Rome, don’t just eat – eat like the Romans do. Each Rome restaurant will provide a unique experience, whether it’s the traditional pastas at Osteria da Fortunata, the timeless baked goods from Panificio Bonci, the convenient street bites of Trapizzino, or the high-brow dining at Retrobottega Restaurant. Experience the true “Eternal City” through your palate!