Eating Out in Rome, Italy

The budget traveller must abide by one rule if he/she wants eating out in the Italian capital to be a painless experience which is this: check to see if the restaurant you wish to feast in forces any extra charges, namely cover charges and service charges. Before you bury your nose into the menu with enticing pizzas and pastas and order, ask the waiter, especially if you are on your own.

Surprisingly, some Italian restaurants in the heart of the tourist centres where red-checked table clothes swing from tables and waiters try to lure you in with their version of charm are extremely good value. Via del Latore beside the Trevi Fountain has a number of such eateries. Across the River Tiber around the Vatican museum and St Peters Basilica, hawkers prey on tourists in queues, shaking leaflets with details of their ‘coke and pizza for €5’ deals. Some can turn out to be real finds.

Restaurants in Rome are pretty much confined to those of the native variety. And, while you will find establishments serving Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Thai food, the standard is not as high as other major world cities. This shouldn’t be a problem, however, as once you have eaten in any of the traditional Italian restaurants you simply won’t even want to try anything else.

The aroma of food fills many streets, but not from the restaurants. Instead this is provided by the many pizza stalls and shops where a slice of pizza should cost no more than €2. They suffice when you are down to your last euros but should otherwise be avoided. Instead put that €2 to better use in one of Rome’s omnipresent gelaterias (ice cream parlours).

Restaurants in Rome

  • Al Picchio

    40, Via del Lavatore, Rome, Italy

    Located just one minute from the Trevi Fountain, Al Picchio is extremely good value for its location. Staff are friendly and there is a nice atmosphere, particularly in the cavern-style part of this eatery downstairs. Pick bruschetta to start, risotto for your main, and you’ll get a full meal for less than €10.

    Open daily from 9.30am-3.30pm and from 6pm-10.30pm.

  • Bar Gelateria

    Piazza di Trevi 90, Rome, Italy

    It might call itself a 'gellateria', but you can get a pizza in this 'gellateria' for just €6. Its location is second to none - you can hear the bellowing water from the Trevi Fountain which is just around the corner as you eat. Marvellous!

    Open daily from 7am-1am.

  • American Bar

    Borgo Angelico, Rome, Italy

    With many combo-deals such as 1 coke+1 pizza for €5, or 1 sandwich+1 coke for €4, you can do worse than a quick snack from American Bar. Handy if you are peckish before or after a trip to the Vatican Museum or St Peter's Basilica.

    Open daily from 10am-5pm.

  • La Caravella

    32 Via Degli Scipioni, Rome, Italy

    If you fancy pushing the boat out a little and spending more than €10 when eating out, La Caravella does combo-menus for €11. Choose from a wide variety of first and second courses, while potatoes and salad are included also. Drinks may hike up your bill a bit though.

    Open daily from 11am-4pm and from 6pm-11pm, closed Thursdays.

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