La Vita Roma’s top picks for pizza, pasta, gelato and desserts in Rome

La Vita Roma’s Rome Eats: My favorite restaurants, bars and foodie spots in Rome

As much as I love going into detail about each and every food discovery I make in Rome, sometimes a quick-and-dirty list is what you need. When there’s no time to do a bunch of research or when you’re absolutely CRAVING a pizza/gelato/plate of pasta and can’t bare to search on TripAdvisor again.

This is my master list of food recommendations in Rome. While it’s something I plan to keep adding to, I have to start somewhere and the places on this list are strong contenders for my favorite in each major Roman food group.

Restaurants (primo/secondo)

AL CANTUCCIO (Quartiere Africano): when you’re looking for a special meal out, this is it. Non-touristy with no menus in sight, al Cantuccio is a mix of delicious home-cooked food and eclectic decor.

FELICE AL TESTACCIO (Testaccio): serving up classic Roman dishes in the traditional neighborhood of Testaccio. Prices are slightly higher but the quality of the food is fantastic. The Cacio e Pepe is a standout dish.

DA DANILO (Piazza Vittorio): great Roman pasta, try the Carbonara with shaved truffles.

OSTERIA AL PEGNO (Historic Center): expansive wine list & prime location near Piazza Navona.

DA ENZO AL 29 (Trastevere): authentic trattoria in Trastevere with a crazy reservation list but traditional Roman dishes.

Al Cantuccio

Al Cantuccio

Da Danilo

Da Danilo

Roman Pizzerias

PIZZERIA AI MARMI (Trastevere): forever one of my favorites, you can get in and out of Ai Marmi with a supplì, fried zucchini flower, margherita pizza, house wine and a mini tiramisu, all in one hour.

PIZZERIA DA REMO (Testaccio): your honest-to-goodness Roman pizzeria where you can find the crispiest, thinnest pizza around.

PIZZERIA EMMA (Campo de’ Fiori): my go-to when I need a great pizza in the historic center, but want my ingredients sourced locally with the slow-risen dough stealing the show. Don’t miss the chocolate fondue for dessert.

SEU PIZZA ILLUMINATI (Trastevere): a great thick-crust option where ingredients are seasonal and the mozzarella isn’t too heavy on the stomach. There are a few vegan options are on the menu as well.

Seu Pizza Illuminati

Seu Pizza Illuminati



OTALEG (Trastevere, EUR): a new favorite but quickly pushing others off my list, the gelato flavors at Otaleg taste like they genuinely managed to liquify and imbue the freshest ingredients into the gelato, while creating unique flavour pairings.

GELATERIA LA ROMANA (Prati, Ostiense, Porta Pia): the chocolate flavors at La Romana reign supreme; their gelato base is super creamy and decadent. Find locations of this Roman institution across the city.


MARIGOLD ROMA (Ostiense): American/International brunch spot where you can either relax over a meal with friends or take advantage of their wifi and great coffee.

SAID DAL 1923 (San Lorenzo): Hot chocolate & desserts from Rome’s oldest chocolate factory.

PASTICCERIA VALENTINI (Montesacro): my neighborhood favorite that serves a mean hot chocolate, small pastries, cornetti and other deliciousness.

DOLCE (Quartiere Africano): fresh, inventive desserts made in-house at this chic dessert-restaurant hybrid.

Pasticceria Valentini

Pasticceria Valentini

Marigold Roma

Marigold Roma


TRAPIZZINO (Testaccio, Ponte Milvio, Termini): the perfect pizza-snack combo to hold you over until dinner

MORDI E VAI (Testaccio): a true Roman institutions serving classic Roman panini at Mercato Testaccio. Fight through the lunch crowd and make sure you try the “Allesso”.

MERCATO CENTRALE (Termini): if you need a place to eat around Termini, Mercato Centrale has everything you could ever need. While prices are a bit higher than the norm, everything is delicious and oh-so convenient.

Panificio Bonci at Mercato Centrale

Panificio Bonci at Mercato Centrale

Special mentions:

FARINAE (Montesacro): gluten-free pizza

SEU PIZZA ILLUMINATI (Trastevere): vegan pizza

MA VA’? (Prati): vegan pasta

ROSCIOLI (Center): Gluten-free pasta

MAMA EAT (Trastevere): Gluten-free pizza