Where and what we ate in Rome
We already know that Italian food is the best and soooo tasty. It is comfort food and Italians somehow made it fancy — guess through the French influences.
It’s all pure carbs — pasta, rice/risotto, gnocchi, pizza, panini — and fat: parmigiano reggiano, mozzarella, gelato — but if I tell that you’re wrong, would you believe me? If not, below are some reasons to do so!
Here are some places we ate at when in Rome.
1. Ombre Rosse – recommended by Calatorii Clandestini.
Good service (and funny waitress to be honest), explaining what options we have on the menu, very helpful and friendly.
The restaurant is located near Vatican City, in Piazza di S. Egidio, Google map here.
The atmosphere is intimate, it’s not as big as I expected but the cosiness makes it even more nicer and a quite relaxing place to enjoy a pasta dish and a glass of red wine.
Prices are average (we paid 10Euro for each pasta dish) and the opening times are 10 am (so you can have breakfast there too) up to 2 am.
2. La taverna dei fori imperiali
A very elegant restaurant, old Italian one, you could see it, smell it and eat “it”!
Good service, explaining the contents of the dishes and nicely, simply decorated. Beware of time openings, they are only open for lunch (from 12:30 pm until 3pm) and dinner (from 7pm until 10.30pm).
By looking on the walls you easily understand that many famous people went out the restaurant’s door with their bellies full of authentic Italian food.
The restaurant is located in Monti neighbourhood — address is Via della Madonna Dei Monti 9, 00184 Rome, Italy, Google map here
The atmosphere is buzzy and busy, you hear Italian language, English, Spanish, French all around you, it makes it lively.
Prices are average (we paid €10.00 for a pasta dish starter and €15.00-20.00 for each main course).
3. Flower burger (vegan burgers)
This place is quite interesting, different and niched. It’s not a restaurant really it’s more a “fast-food” type of place where you go and eat VEGAN burgers only. If you love vegan food or veggie food this is the place for you!
The atmosphere is friendly and great for a group of friends to go or to bring your BFF there for a healthy burger. It’s a fast service, you pay at the till when you arrive and the waiting time for your burgers is about 10 – max 15 minutes.
Flower burger is located near Vatican City at Via Dei Gracchi 87, 00192 Rome, Italy, Google maps here.
The prices are on the lower side (not as low as McDonald’s| though), we paid an average of €10.00 per burger and it comes with wedges. And you feel full afterwards!
4. Ginger (Flavours and Health) — our top favourite!
This place is awesome for healthy, clean eaters. It’s not vegan nor vegetarian, it’s just healthy. They have healthy smoothies (so damn tasty and fulfilling), healthy options of starters, lunch and dinner dishes. But wanna’ hear the best part? Their cocktails are all accompanied by a starter platter which makes you order another cocktail.
The atmosphere is classy but vintage at the same time, image it being suitable for a classy hipster. Now you’ve got it.
Ginger is very close to the Spanish steps in the centre of Rome, address is Via Borgognona, 43-46, 00187 Roma RM, Italy, Google maps here.
One cocktail is about €10.00 on average. The prices overall are maybe just by €1-€2 more expensive but it’s worth it. The smoothies are about €7-8 for a regular size and €9-10 for a large one.
5. Il Margutta Veggie food and Art (vegan, healthy, artistic)
At Margutta we went on our last night in Rome and it definitely turned out to be special. The restaurant is split in two: one half of it is for lunch and brunch in a buffet style and the second half is for a fine dinning experience where you can enjoy a nice dinner.
The atmosphere is intimate, quite romantic I would say and the service is impeccable.
Margutta is located at Via Margutta, 118, 00187 Roma RM, Italy, Google maps here
The prices are on the higher side so be ready to spend at least €50 here for couple of drinks and a main course. But for a one time only treat in Rome, it is worth it.
Now, here is what we ate at those places.
The best pasta I ever had and I will ever have (until I go back) — I am 100% sure of that statement.
Pasta alla pomodoro with tomato and basil
Delicious, Italian flavoured pasta, the tomato and basil sauce was so flavourful and I could taste the actual tomato and the fresh basil. Parmigiano Reggiano grated on top and that was it, you didn’t need anything else on that day. Well, a glass of red wine maybe.
The actual pasta was cooked al dente and was not at all sticky or flavourless, it was a big portion of nicely prepared and cooked pasta and you could tell they boiled the pasta first and spread the strips with olive oil then boiled and then cook in the pan with the tomato and basil sauce. That’s how fresh the dish was.
Pasta Carbonara (with bacon)
Now this was more on the heavy side you might say but it didn’t feel heavy at all. Actually the pasta was al dente cooked, nicely seasoned and flavourful as the pasta alla pomodoro. The sauce for this pasta dish was cheese based and on top some Parmigiano Reggiano was added, Italian’s chef best friend. And when you pair parmesan with bacon in a pasta dish, and you have an Italian chef cook it for you, imagine the taste and flavours, a joy in your mouth.
La Taverna di Fori Imperiali
Pasta starter, cooked fish and zucchini.
The pasta we had in here was truly elevated. If the pasta at Ombre Rosses was resembling Italian tradition and authentic flavours, the pasta dish at La Taverna di Fori Imperiali was brought up a notch: they added capers and olives to the dish and it really elevated it through the salty and even sour taste (I’d say).
And I loved that the parmesan grated on top had longer strips that you could taste better/stronger.
Cod fish dish
The potatoes were awesome in this dish. Really moist, melting in your mouth. The fish so and so, not convinced, it was very well cooked and tender but the taste wasn’t flavourful for me.
Also too much sauce, it looked like a soup. Not convinced I chose the right dish to experience at La Taverna di Fori Impreiali so if you do go there when visiting Rome, I recommend you do not order the fish.
Zucchini in mind and vinegar sauce: delicious!
The zucchini were so delicious. With olive oil that you could actually taste, very bold flavours happening there. I could have easily eaten them cold to be honest.
First, I have to say that everything is homemade. They make everything in their kitchen. Yes, including the buns! It’s quite difficult to find coloured buns by using healthy fresh ingredients and not food colouring.
Vegan burger: Grinch
Best veggie burger I had ever. And I had a few so far. They were vegan but different. Different in taste, combination of ingredients and even colour. I mean…seaweed bun? Spirulina mayo? Who does that?!
The Grinch burger I had contained a seaweed based bun (hence the green), patty made of lentils and basmati rice, tartare sauce made of red onions and a green salsa (salsa verde) made of vinegar, parsley, garlic, onion, olive oil, mustard. And some tomato slices and fresh spinach leaves in between. Can’t get it wrong.
Vegan burger: Cheesy Cecio
The Cheesy Cecio was a black little fellow. The bun was made with squid ink, the patty was a mix of beans and lentils, the cheese was a vegan cheddar (which of course you couldn’t tell its vegan), the sauce was mayo based with a green-ish colour (spirulina mayo).
Oh did I say that the buns we soft like a sponge?
Great place, you won’t notice your burger doesn’t have meat! And the wedges, oven baked, are crunchy, gold colour and you want more, they go so well with the burgers.
Tasters, smoothies and cocktails
This is by far the best restaurant we went to in Rome.
Very nice staff, classy and stylish look and feel inside. We went there initially just to have a drink and so we ordered a glass of light, white wine and a smoothie for me and a cocktail for my husband. They started brining my drinks and some peanut and dried fruits. We said: oh, how nice, they bring snacks that go well with our drinks. But as soon as they brought his cocktail they also put a small platter in front of us with some tasters — comes with the cocktail they said.
And that’s how we got to eat something too. We tasted some octopus, a bit of ricotta cheese, ham and cheese sandwich and other bits. All was delicious!
The smoothie, let me tell you about the smoothies: they are rich (in consistency and flavour), tasty and healthy (freshly made). You can choose from a wide range: from energising smoothies to relaxing ones, depending on your mood.
What is also awesome about this place is that you can see them preparing your drink or starter platter and it’s all fresh and very carefully put together before it lands on your table!
It was the only place we went to twice during our visit in Rome.
Maca smoothie and Mojito cocktail:
Il Margutta vegan food and art
Amuse bouche, Purple cauliflower creme soup and Artichokes lasagna
This was a more fine dining experience we didn’t expect to have in Rome. If you chose to go there please be aware you won’t feel full after the meal but you’re going to go thorough a food experience.
We arrived there at 6.30 pm and the Manager told us the restaurant is open for dinner from 7pm but we can have a drink until then. And so we did. We sat at a 2 persons table in a space that reminded my of Ikea kitchens. After looking carefully at what was around us, I saw that on one side there were some dishes, buffet style, and you could take a plate and eat as much or as little you wanted, the price was €15 per person no matter what you chose to eat. There were a few people who enjoyed a buffet style dinner but we said no, we’re waiting until 7pm to enjoy a proper meal.
Well, 7pm was here and they moved us from the table in the “fine dinning” area of the restaurant. The waiter gave us the menus and I studied that menu for half hour I think, I couldn’t understand anything and it was in English. The only dishes I understood were rice risotto and purple cauliflower cream soup. Not sure what the others contained but I gave up and ordered the purple cauliflower cream soup (with Italian cauliflower, from Sicily) and my husband ordered artichokes lasagna.
Once we ordered our dishes they brought us some freshly home made bread and an amuse bouche, from the house! The amuse bouche was the size of an egg yolk (and looked like one really) with pumpkin cream and halloumi cheese on top.
It was freaking delicious! I wish there was more!
The dishes came after 15-20 minutes wait. And we were both looking at our dishes with a straight face. In a good way. My cauliflower cream soup was smelling amazing and the colour was inviting you to eat it already! My husband’s lasagna was stable until he put the fork inside to eat and with every bit it fell apart. But the taste was interesting.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy about my soup was the salt, it was too salty for me but otherwise, great texture, great flavour, quite good consistency to be honest and my belly was happy. His artichokes had a weird fishy taste to me but he seemed to enjoy it and the texture of it was quite meaty.
Overall, a great experience, different from other places we’ve been too.
Oh, and their wine is … top best I had in Rome! Smooth, earthy, flavourful, like the one my family used to make. And I only drank wine (and smoothies) whilst in Rome.
So there you go. An overview of what we ate and where in Rome, plenty to choose from and experience! To sum up and to give you a recommendation, you should try Ginger for the experience, Ombre Rosse for the pasta and if you are vegan, Flower Burger is your go to joint!
Of course we also tried some gelato, cannelloni, gnocchi and cappuccino! But they were just the snacks and break drinks in between!
Gelato (from Blue Ice is the best in Rome)