With a world renowned cuisine and longstanding culinary prowess, Italians are raised with an appreciation for high-quality food and ingredients. Many still shop at farmers markets rather than grocery stores and pick up quality cheeses, cured meats and regional treats at their neighborhood delicatessen. The word delicatessen derives from the Latin word ‘delicatus’ which means ‘giving pleasure, delightful, pleasing’, and in Rome you can be sure this is the case. Don’t miss picking up some tasty specialties at the best delis in Rome.
Roscioli is a household name in Rome: the family owns one of Rome’s most lauded restaurants, a deli and bakery, a sleek caffe and a newly-opened wine bar, all within walking distance of Campo de’ Fiori. With quality ingredients, savvy branding and a rustic but contemporary atmosphere, every Roscioli enterprise feels authentic and quintessentially Roman. Opt for a seat at the tightly packed deli-restaurant on Via dei Giubbonari or stop by the Antico Forno Roscioli’ deli-bakery for a quick bite to eat at lunch. This wonderland has dozens of sweet and savory baked goods, some of Rome’s best pizza by the slice and a wide array of freshly prepared hot foods.
Sandwiched in between boutiques along the bustling Via Cola di Rienzo shopping street in Prati lies Franchi, the neighborhood’s go-to delicatessen and casual lunch spot. Opened since 1920, it is a gastronomic paradise that services tantilizing prepared foods such as eggplant parmesan, Roman artichokes, baked salmon and meatballs, as well as selling an array of wines, meats and cheeses from throughout Italy. Franchi has plenty of seating so it’s a nice place to stop by for a plate of pasta at lunch or an aperitivo and cheese plate in the evening.
Cheese afficionados visiting the Eternal City will want to make their way to Antica Caciara Trasteverina, in the heart of the Trastevere neighborhood. This family-opened deli and cheese shop is run by Roberto Polica and his wife Anna who greet customers with friendliness and warmth – whether they are locals who stop by on a daily basis or tourists who wander in in search of specialty cheeses such as creamy Burrata Pugliese or sharp Pecorino di Fossa. It also stocks cured meats, salamis, olive oils and wines.
Salumeria Volpetti is an institution in Testaccio and sells hundreds of diverse products within its packed little space. From meats and cheeses to pastas and baked goods, it has a little bit of everything to tide you over for a quick lunch, afternoon snack or take-away dinner. It’s also a wonderful place to pick up foodstuffs for gifts back home, such as dried mushrooms, vacuum-packed cheeses and an assortment of honeys and balsamic vinegars. The shopkeepers are happy to let you taste samples of products and can advise on what to purchase.
Located in a corner of the famous Campo de’ Fiori piazza, you could easily miss Antica Pizzicheria Ruggeri because it is an understated little place and closes in the early afternoon for lunch and a siesta. This delicatessen and grocer has been around since 1919 making it one of the oldest in the city and is a wonderful ’boutique’ for all your food and wine needs. Like other delis in Rome, it has a bit of everything: a wide range of regional cheeses and cured meats, fresh and dry pastas, tinned and canned goods, oils, vinegars and more. Stop by after a visit to the market in Campo de’ Fiori.
Ercoli, as noted in its name, has been around since 1928, though its original location was in the Prati neighborhood. Today, Ercoli has expanded and opened a second location in the elegant Parioli neighborhood and quickly become a favorite shopping and eating experience with locals. The space is chic, like its clientele, with three rooms and a Vermouth bar. This deli-bistrot serves Instagram-worthy charcuterie plates and makes an excellent cocktail, so it’s a nice place to stop by for an aperitivo or dinner after picking up a few items for your pantry.