Eating in Rome {Pasta - Five Favorite Places}

Best Pasta in Rome

Best Pasta in Rome

We are the perfect family.  Well, at least in the pasta department that is.

I am an amatriciana gal. The Teenager loves carbonara with crunchy guianciale, and the Husband orders cacio e pepe. Every. Single. Time.

A little background on my husband's love of this simple Roman pasta dish. When I met my husband I was living in Niger. This was in the days when we read physical newspapers and calls on landlines cost a breathtaking $7 a minute. Yes. a minute. Mark had a very fancy contract with the US government that afforded him many many privileges that I, working for an NGO, did not have. Most dramatically, his electricity bill was paid by his employer   which meant he had air-conditioning. This mattered because it was often 35+ degrees in Niger. He also had this storeroom filled with food shipped in from America once a year.  There was one shelf filled from ceiling to floor with kraft macaroni and cheese. He claims that Cacio e Pepe is really just the Italian version of mac & cheese.

These are our five favorite places for a plate of traditional roman pasta and a dish of cicoria

Taverna Fori Imperiali
Via della Madonna dei Monti, 9 

I was going back through old posts looking for what I had written about Taverna Fori Imperiali. I was surprised to discover nothing. Not one word on this blog about one of the places we eat most regularly. This incredibly popular place has managed to walk the line between beloved local haunt and tourist treasure. It’s got the trattoria traditional checkered tablecloths and has marginally earlier dining hours than many Roman restaurants and is loved by locals too.  

The menu is filled with twists on the classics like cacio e pepe with earthy slivers of truffles on top and ravioli filled with luscious burrata instead of the standard ricotta. Visiting celebrities are usually in on the secret and you just might find yourself gazing at McDreamy or whatever band is in town instead of your dinner date.

Trattoria Romana
Via della Madonna dei Monti, 79
+39 06 474 5325

We moved to Monti in the same week that this beloved neighborhood restaurant changed hands. For us, we didn't have an experience with the old place to mourn and it quickly became our regular place, particularly in those first weeks in a new apartment with no kitchen installed.

Now I wave to Lucia, the former owner, from my office window when she is chatting on the phone at at her window and am often buying vegetables at the same times as the cooks from our local fruit and vegetable shop. 

This place is no secret and the lines outside every night can get long.  You can make a reservation for an early dinner at 7:30 or late after 9:00pm or get there early and get in the front of the line.

Flavio al Velavevodetto
Via di Monte Testaccio, 97
+39 06 5744194

This is often the pick when Mark has to plan dinner for a group old friends in town for some United Nations conference. Flavio never fails to impress. With it's ancient (literally ancient) decor, classic Roman menu and what might be the best tiramisu in town. 

Via Portico d'Ottavia 21/a
+39 06 686 1105

Giggetto is always open and always busy. There are room and rooms of tables. But even though it is large, the service is swift and the feel is homey. This is one of my (and other in-the-know experts) go-to picks for hearty classic roman pastas, and it serves up a terrific plate of my favorite side dish of cicoria.

Armando al Pantheon
Salita dei Crescenzi 31Closed Saturday for dinner and all day Sunday

Rustic Roman dishes are served in this very elegant space just steps from the Pantheon. Have a visitor you would like to impress? Armando al Pantheon is the place to take them. 

Best Pasta in Rome

Best Pasta in Rome

Best Pasta in Rome

Best Pasta in Rome

Best Pasta in Rome


  1. Hoping to go to Rome next year, thanks for sharing! Definitely pinning for future reference :)


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