Montesacro/Talenti Neighborhood Guide
Let me try to convince you to make the trip up to the Montesacro/Talenti neighborhood in the north of Rome, where the food is cheap, the tourists scarce and the true “vita romana” is in full swing.
Whenever I tell people about where I live in Rome, I have to preface it by saying that it’s way, way up there. We’re at the end of the B1 line on the metro (stops Conca d’Oro or Jonio) which means you have to wait for the specific metro trains that say Jonio on the front and hope they come more often than every 15 minutes. But once you do get all the way up in the north of Rome, you’re in a truly local part of the city that has amazing food and nightlife, without the crazy prices of the historic center and surrounding areas.
For my adventurous friends who are willing to take the leap, here are some of my favorite off-the-beaten-path spots that I truly visit on the regular.
Great coffee, decent pastries and a barista who will ask you all sorts of questions about your life and makes you feel right at home. This is a local favorite and I probably come here 2-3x a week to grab a quick coffee and cornetto. [more info here]
When I’m feeling adventurous, Valentini is where I go for the BEST pastries, coffee, desserts and hot chocolate in Rome. I’m always satisfied 100% and everyone who works there is a sweetheart. Be prepared for the 10 am rush on the weekends of everyone picking up their desserts to take to lunch. [more info here]
Favorite Neighborhood Market
Where I do all my shopping during the week and convince unsuspecting fruit vendors to give me free pieces of fruit. The stall all the way on the left side of the market in the back corner is where I buy all fruits and veggies, not because they’re better than at the other stalls but they’re just so NICE. Every single time I go there they treat me like royalty and always try to throw something extra into my bag. This market also has amazing butchers and fish mongers, with one fish shop selling fritti like calamari to eat at the nearby tables. [more info here]
My perfect morning involves going to Edy Bar for breakfast and then swinging by the market on the way home to do my daily shopping.
A new favorite but one that’s definitely worthwhile. Sugo is a classic Roman trattoria with Roman pastas and secondi, including a great Carbonara (Edoardo never orders anything else), an amazing polpette al sugo (meatballs in sauce) antipasto which I’ve doubled to eat as a main, and decent steaks as well (try the Fiorentina!) It’s always full of neighborhood locals who don’t want to cook but do want delicious food. [more info here]
Also in Ponte Milvio.
A great pizzeria that does gluten-free pizza well?? Sign me up. Farinae makes a thick-crust pizza that’s good with or without gluten and also has hamburgers on the menu so what more could you ask for? [more info here]
If you haven’t ever been to a rundown Roman pizzeria in the city, I’m advocating for it. Huge flatscreens on the wall for the football matches, Peroni on tap, and great thin-crust Roman pizza is a combo that can’t be beat. [more info here]
Remote Work Spaces
My hidden work spot that serves up coffee, sweets, fresh juices and many other things on their menu to people looking to socialize or work on their laptop. The garden area outside is perfect to work from in the warmer months and they never both me if I’m camping out for hours after ordering 1 thing so that’s a win in my book! [more info here]
A more gourmet type of pastry and coffee shop with wifi and tables to work at with a busier atmosphere compared to Picnic. [more info here]
If you try one place on this list make it this one: a wine, cheese and meat shop that’s been open since 1956 and offers aperitivo with abundant meat and cheese boards. I need nothing else in life. It’s part enoteca, part shop, with seating in and outdoors and the best prices I’ve found for meat and cheese in Rome. Run, don’t walk, to get your tagliere fix! [more info here]
When you want to hang out with the rest of Montesacro, you should check out Ponte Tazio, an outdoor bar serving up drinks, beer and wine from 5:30 to 2 am every single night. It’s where you go when you want to grab a quick drink with a friend and a true neighborhood institution. [more info here]
One of Rome’s best vintage shops, with affordable prices and an online store. Antonio has a wide selection of menswear, dresses, vintage Levis and leather jackets. [more info here]
The kind of vintage store that has one-of-a-kind pieces that you’d never find anywhere else, with the loviest shop owner who will help you find that special something. They have vintage designer pieces from the 60s, 70s and 80s that are in great condition. [more info here]
My favorite market in Rome for vintage clothes and antiques! I share more about it in my Rome market roundup here!
Special mentions (Quartiere Africano)
Serving up fresh, inventive desserts made in-house at this chic dessert-restaurant hybrid. [more info here]
One of the best restaurants I’ve tried in Rome, perfect for special occasions or celebrating for no reason. If you’re willing to make the trip out I highly recommend! [more info here]