Our last visit to Rome was the quick cooks tour. But the way I roll, I do my food homework, so I must admit, we ate at a few great places in such a short time. Many worthy of a return visit.
It would be very uncharacteristic of me to just visit all the same places that we ate last time, especially since my favorite part of discovering new cultures, and just traveling in general, is to eat my way through a city.
There are a few special places we liked that we will be returning to, but many new places we will add to the list.
My Roman favorites that we will be returning to once more are:
Cul de Sac. A Roman gem, tucked into a square off the Piazza Navona, called Piazza Pasquino, is a tiny enoteca. A spot outside is prime real estate, but inside you have a selection of wine and delicious food like none other. This is the spot to come to taste top quality wines by the glass that you couldn't otherwise afford or find back home. We loved it there and will go back every chance we get!
Caffe Sant'Eustachio. Steps from the Pantheon, this caffe makes excellent coffee, but they take it very seriously. Screens afixed to the coffee machines prevent stealing the ancient secret recipe and technique. I am really looking forward to scarfing down an espresso soaked granita topped with fresh whipped cream. Yum!
Caffè della Pace. One of my favorite, albiet pricey, Italian caffès is one with a distinct Parisian flare. Also steps from the Piazza Navona-the location is the reason to come here. And you must sit outside! Tiny tables set atop cobblestones, surrounded by old architecture every imaginable shade of coral. Come here to be part of the Roman nitelife, to be and be seen like the locals and to bask in the glow of the beautiful Santa Maria della Pace in the background. It's a magical, romantic setting few can replicate. This is la dolce vita.
And a few of the new places we will be exploring:
Ai Marmi. They call it "the morgue" because of the marble slab tables, but make no mistake- this Pizzeria in Trastevere has excellent Roman Pizza made in a traditional wood-burning oven. As a bonus, if you're walking around Trastevere, late at night- stop for a midnite snack- they are open late!
Obikà. Rome's first mozzerella bar. That serves wine. Two locations- take your pick. Campo dei Fiori or Piazza di Firenze. Yep, it's a chain, but if I can get a selection of creamy mozzarella and wine- at a good price- I'll make an exception!
da Felice. A local joint, located in the Testacchio neighborhood, which is built on a mound of old italian ceramics, the service might be gruff, but the place has been serving the same Roman trattoria food for 40 years. And they toss the cacio e pepe tableside.
Antico Forno. For the best Pizza Bianco. Grab a slab by-the-pound and walk around the Campo dei Fiori market. Nuff said.
Armando al Pantheon. Smack dab in the Centro Storica (historic center), near the Pantheon, this place has been serving classic Roman dishes at decent prices since 1961. Looking forward to trying the Abbacchio Scottadito, Ossobucco or the Roman artichokes, if they are still in season. And if can stomach it, gulp, the serve tripe (pun intented)!
Of course, this isn't my entire list. A girl's gotta keep some secret places up her sleeve. But this is a pretty darn good selection to start.
Next time we talk about Rome, we will cover Roman Sites- Then and Now. I'll tell you what we did, what we'll do again and what new sights we'll be seeing this time.
But in the meantime, why don't you tell me about your Roman dining experiences?!
Have you been anywhere on the list? What would like to try in Rome? Have you ever had a favorite place you disovered through travel that you ret
urn to again and again?
urn to again and again?
Photo: Trattoria located in San Gimignano, Italy, taken by the author.