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Restaurants in Rome

Loughton,Essex,UK
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Restaurants in Rome

Could someone recommend any good Italian restaurants in Rome and if possible close to Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

Thanks

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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1. Re: Restaurants in Rome

Any restaurant in Italy that calls itself an "Italian restaurant" is aiming at tourists. In Italy, there is no such thing as the "Italian food" that you find in UK. There is Tuscan food, or Lombardy food, and so on: it is all regional.

If you want good authentic Italian cooking, you must first decide what region has the food that interests you.

But there are thousands of restaurants of all kinds in Rome, and they all display their menu with prices. We just walk around until we find one that has interesting food, prices we are prepared to pay, nice aromas coming from the kitchen, and Italian being spoken by diners.

Loughton,Essex,UK
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2. Re: Restaurants in Rome

sydneynick

Thanks for the response mate.

Virginia
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3. Re: Restaurants in Rome

I am far from any expert here... but I disagree with those saying that "italian food doesn't exist. Of course it does. Just as there is a thing as Chinese food or French food or Thai food.

It helps to unify the cuisine of a culture. Of a country. It puts it all (however extensive and different it may be) under one hat.

As is the case with EVERY country, many different regions in that country will typically have it's own flare and own famous dishes that make up their cuisine. That's the case in the United States. That's the case in China. That's the case in France.

You'll find some areas of Italy that are more famous for their Pizza. Others more famous for seafood. Others more famous for Pesto. Others Risotto or Beef. That said, you'll still be able to find a restaurant in Venice serving Rome style Pizza, even though Venice isn't known for pizza. And for most of us, it will still be satisfying. You'll find restaurants in Rome serving Risotto even though that's more famous in the north.

What most of us think of Italian Food, is the food found in Italy collectively. Things like Pasta, Bruchetta, Different Seafood dishes, Pizza, Risotto, The amazing cheeses, and the different wines from each of the different regions. That is just some of what most of us consider Italian Food.

You will have no trouble finding restaurants in Rome serving Italian Food (obviously). And if you do a little research on the different cities and regions you will be in in Italy... you can find out what dishes are famous to that region.... and wines too! There are many here who will suggest that getting dishes typical of Rome while in Rome will be more delicious than getting them in say Milan. I dunno... we had our best "rome style" pizza in Florence. ;-)

I guess Americans can think of getting Lobster in Maine verses getting Lobster in say Arkansas. Getting Barbecue in North Carolina or Barbecue in Colorado. Americans would know chances are which region would have the better of the two because like with food in Italy... it can differ by region. That doesn't mean you can't find a good Barbecue restaurant in Colorado.

I have been a lot of places and I think it's fair to say that is a characteristic of many other countries as well.

Touristy restaurants and those mentioned in guidebooks will feed you well. But I must agree with those who say get a few blocks from the touristy areas and the food will be cheaper and perhaps even better.

To each their own.

And to answer your question - We loved Pizza at Navonna Notte (just past Piazza Navona). It's not near SMM, but the Rome historic center is not large. We loved walking all over to different parts of the city for dinner. Also had a good dinner one night in Trastevere just walking around and checking out menus until we found one we liked.

Have fun on your trip!

Virginia
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4. Re: Restaurants in Rome

BTW - we had some amazing meals at restaurants in Italy where the diners were speaking English. I noticed several restaurants that would put parties and native speakers in the back and tourists up front with the server who was fluent in English. You never know.

We also had a not so great meal at a restaurant with an all Italian menu and several italian speakers around us. You never know. :-)

Don't let someone tell you having a menu option available in both Italian & English will equate to a bad meal. It's completely false. We even picked a small place in Florence with a menu only in Italian and everyone outside had Guidebooks in their hand (it turns out they mentioned the restaurant in the guidebook). It was an awesome meal.

Stereotypes to certain restaurants and certain menus won't always apply. :-D

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Restaurants in Rome

Italy was many separate regions and kingdoms until quite recently historically (1861) so the many different food types still are quite distinct. Yes, you may get pizza in Rome and pasta in Milan, but the area around Milan is known more for its rice dishes, Rome is fond of offal. Each region still believes it has the best food and there is still quite a degree of insularity with regard even to other towns nearby. As well, closer to borders with other countries you are more likely to find a melding of cusines and food tastes that incorporate ideas from nearby.

Restaurants are unlikely to "label" themselves as Italian in the sign over the door though, and you may not know which sort of cuisine they favour until you read the menu. Even then unless you know the different foods of the different regions, you may not realise that this one is Sicilian, this one Tuscan and this one Venetian. I can attest to eating very different food in different areas and I try to order the specialities of the region as much as possible, also with the local cheeses and local wines. I have had incredibly varied and richly different foods.

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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6. Re: Restaurants in Rome

You can't compare the situation in Italy with regard to regional cuisine with that in the US. The US doesn't even have a strong national identity in its cuisine, let alone a strong regional identity. In Italy, both are very strong. You'll see almost nothing but "Italian" restaurants in Italy, but most of them, even in a large fairly heterogeneous city like Rome, will serve mostly regional foods. It's true that you'll see risotto in Rome, and you'll see spaghetti in Milan, but most restaurants in Rome (except those catering mostly to the tourist market) will have a distinctly Roman menu, while most of those in Milan will have a distinctly Milanese menu.

You'll see hardly any French, Greek, Middle Eastern or other ethnic restaurants in Italy. In large cities, you'll see restaurants that specialize in the cuisine of other regions, where they present the cuisine of Sardinia, Campania, Le Marche or other regions almost as if that were a foreign cuisine. In small towns in the provinces, virtually all the restaurants serve almost exclusively the food of that region.

Here's a fairly typical menu of first and second courses in Rome:

www.latavernadegliamici.com/it/ipiatti2.asp…

www.latavernadegliamici.com/it/ipiatti2.asp…

There are a few choices from outside the region, but the bulk of the offerings is typical of Lazio. There are a few risotti,for example, but no lasagne, no ravioli, no tortellini.

The situation in Italy is more similar to that in China, where there are very distinct regional offerings, and where food from other regions is mostly confined to the larger cities, where it's served in restaurants specifically dedicated to food of that region.

Virginia
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7. Re: Restaurants in Rome

bvlenci - I would agree with you. That was the point I was also trying to make.

That there is a such thing as "Italian Food" and within that large cuisine category you will find various regional cuisines and in large cities like Rome or Venice or Milan you'll find a lot of regional cuisine but also others serving both regional and not so regional italian foods. In fact, it was in Florence that 3 locals explained that to me how common it is there for example to see the blend & infusion of different regional italian cuisines into restaurants now. :-)

I don't know where you've been in the US - but I've found where I have lived and where I go to be very regional in food. People growing up in California often have different appetites from those growing up in the deep south or in New England. Californian food is distinct and different from southern just as it is from what you'd get in New England. But unlike italy, it is much easier even in small communities to find restaurants serving different things and different foods. The melting pot has ensured easy access to delicious different cuisines even outside the large metropolises.... but you still find the typical local "american" dishes distinct to the different regions.

:-)

Norwich, United...
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8. Re: Restaurants in Rome

Charl, if any of that has convinced you it's now time to try some genuinely Roman cooking, perhaps this little leaflet will be of interest - a collection 58 restaurants in and around the city that specialise in 'Cucina Romana'...

www.italiantouristoffice.se/sv/docs/71.pdf

But as it's a few years old now, do cross-check opening days and times before travelling too far!

Peter

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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9. Re: Restaurants in Rome

I suppose I have to bow to VTJedi's vast and superior knowledge of Italian cuisine. After all, three locals in Florence can't be wrong.

Chatsworth
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10. Re: Restaurants in Rome

We really loved Girarrosta Fiorentino, went twice in 5 days! And for really good lunch with a beautiful view over the city we enjoyed Casina Valadier. Buon appetito!