Just steps away from the elegant antique shops on Via dei Coronari, you might not expect to stumble upon such a local and honest spot. Serving everything from Roman classics and wood-fired pizza to a wide range of fresh fish dishes (an anomaly at a casual place in Rome), Ristorante Fiammetta has you covered. It has homey service, great prices and both indoor and outdoor seating. This place is a hidden treasure for a great meal close to all the action.
Armando al Pantheon
Having been mentioned in countless guides, blogs and publications, Armando al Pantheon is no secret. However, lying just a stone’s throw from the Pantheon, it is a great bet for a quality lunch or dinner. This institution, which has been around since 1961, was originally a wine bar that served dishes cooked up by chef Armando Gargioli. It quickly gained a reputation for its food and atmosphere, attracting a slew of local and international celebrities. It has a wood-paneled interior with crisp white tablecloths, yet remains unpretentious and homey.
Retrobottega is the brainchild of chefs Alessandro Miocchi and Giuseppe Lo Iudice. They refined their skills under Michelin-starred chefs and decided to create a novel dining experience in Rome. This food ‘laboratory’ features an open-style kitchen, where the chefs are on view as they prepare meals, with a dozen stools and a communal table. The aim of the restaurant is to prepare food in creative ways, minimizing food waste and focusing on quality ingredients. Try the tasting menu to sample a variety of dishes, each one more beautiful than the last.
This trattoria is charming precisely for its simplicity. Rustic, local and located on one of the loveliest streets of Rome, Da Tonino serves traditional dishes. Locals and tourists flock here for its casual atmosphere, quick service and great prices. The dishes are abundant, well-prepared and the whole place transmits a heartwarming throw-back to the olden days. Try it for a very Roman experience.
A great trattoria and pizzeria in the center, Da Francesco has the good fortune of being situated right in Piazza del Fico, one of the loveliest squares in the city. It has been around since 1957 and has an ample menu, excelling at everything it serves: pastas, grilled meats, pizzas and desserts. As is the trend with traditional trattorie, it is no frills and the focus is on the food. Try the filetto al pepe verde, steak with a creamy green pepper sauce. Or, opt for one of the Roman-style pizzas: perfectly thin, crispy and tasty.
If you’re looking for a refined date night and a change of scenery from the no-frills restaurants in Rome, head to Casa Coppelle for a refined vibe and romantic decor. Styled as a swanky reading room from a different era (albeit a fair bit larger), this restaurant serves Italian-French fusion dishes. You’ll see everything from escargots and foie gras to pastas with lobster, truffles or prawns. With plenty of paintings, mood lighting, velvet curtains and attentive service, the whole experience is supremely decadent.
This colorful restaurant has interesting dishes and a lovely design that sets it apart from other spots in the city. Coromandel is best known for its continental-style brunch, serving up eggs Benedict, pancakes and bacon. However, it also has an ample dinner menu that incorporates plenty of sweet and savory flavors to its cuisine for a special dining experience. It even has a tasting menu that you can kick up a notch with a wine pairing menu to round out your meal.
Etablì is a beautifully styled restaurant/wine-bar with shabby-chic decor and leather armchairs, which occasionally hosts live music in the evenings. Open from early morning until late, it’s a nice place to relax and enjoy international flavors alongside Italian dishes. From chicken nuggets and burgers to sandwiches and curries, it provides plenty of variation in a relaxed setting. Etablì is also great for after-dinner cocktails or a glass of wine to enjoy alongside a cheese plate.
This cozy restaurant is one of the best places to get comfort food in the center of Rome. With its wooden interior and rustic touches, Old Bear resembles a medieval tavern. This makes it a particularly atmospheric spot on winter evenings. The menu is extensive, and also includes some French and Bavarian flavors. Try any of the tantalizing timballo dishes. These oven-baked pastas resemble a lasagna and come in various flavors, including pumpkin with speck, mushrooms and truffles, or eggplant and mozzarella.
Old Bear, Via dei Gigli d’Oro, 3, Rome, Italy, +39 066 821 0009