With its narrow alleys and little squares, the picturesque district of Trastevere represents one of the most evocative and best preserved corners of the Italian
capital. Trastevere is where the veracious Roman essence is revealed in a multitude of restaurants and taverns. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the food scene.
Antica Trattoria da Carlone
Dating back to the 19th century, this tavern is located to the east of Trastevere and offers one of the best kind of pasta in the world, ‘pasta alla carbonara’; spaghetti with eggs, goat’s cheese, pepper, olive oil, and pork cheeks. At Antica Trattoria da Carlone the classic pasta dishes are of a high quality and come in huge portions, and guests can enjoy their meal in a cozy environment surrounded by live music.
Address: Antica Trattoria da Carlone, 5 Via della Luce, Rome, Italy
Cencio La Parolaccia
If you get offended quite easily, it’s probably best not to go to Cencio La Parolaccia. Established in 1941, this dining experience is a little different to others; in addition to food it offers nightly entertainment based on bawdy Roman folk music. While eating exquisite traditional dishes, you’ll also be starring in the restaurant’s cabaret show. Let the ‘insults’ and jokes flow freely.
Opening hours: 7.30 – 11 pm
Address & telephone number: Cencio La Parolaccia, 3 Vicolo del Cinque, Rome, Italy, +39 06 580 3633
Giggetto al Portico d’Ottavia
This old tavern was established in 1923 and became famous for its Frascati wine and for its carefully prepared special dishes, one of which is the talk of the town; the Jewish style artichokes. This deep fried artichoke is a Roman Ghetto specialty. Giggetto’s wine cellar, derived from the foundations of the Portico d’Ottavia, is of great historical and archaeological significance, especially since discoveries from the Roman period are visible within it.
Watch out for: the wine cellar
Address & telephone number: Giggetto, 21 Via del Portico d’Ottavia, Rome, Italy, +39 06 686 1105
Did you know that ancient Romans invented pizza? Their original version was the ‘pinsa’ – a meal very similar to pizza but with lighter ingredients to form the dough (a mix of wheat, soy and rice flour). This dish is the main course at Convivium, a recently established pinseria in Trastevere. In this cozy little haunt, eating pinsa allows you to travel back in time and indulge in a healthy, natural, low-calorie meal with a great taste.
Opening hours: Mon 10 am – 5 pm, Tue-Fri 10 am – 10.30 pm, Sat 4 pm – 12 am, Sun 4 – 10.30 pm
Address & telephone number: 12 Via Cardinale Marmaggi, Rome, Italy, +39 06 8660 5560
If you love carpaccio this is a must-visit place. ‘Carpaccio’ is usually a term associated with raw meat or fish, but at Claro the whole menu is a no-cook zone, and they also serve raw vegetables and fruits. The goal of this restaurant is to let diners appreciate the original taste of high quality food. Particular attention is paid to the drinks as well; Claro offers a wide range of wines, whisky, ron and grappa. The environment is cozy and the chef is willing to recommend dishes to those struggling to decide what to get.
Opening hours: 12 pm – 2 am
Address & telephone number: Claro Carpacceria, 61 Via Goffredo Mameli, Rome, Italy, +39 06 9020 5157
This is one of the very first Indonesian-themed restaurants established in Rome. Bali is the creation of a great traveler who fell in love with the small island on the Indonesian archipelago as well as with the taste of its traditional cuisine. Once back in Rome, he decided to fuse these exotic charms and set up a place where one could go to enjoy Indonesian, Vietnamese and Thai specialties, a great choice of cocktails made with fresh tropical fruits and a large selection of teas, including Ayurvedic herbal ones, to taste with a selection of different cakes.
Opening hours: 8 pm – 2 am
Address & telephone number: Bali Bar & Restaurant, 29 Via del Mattonato, Rome, Italy, +39 06 589 6089
Recently opened, Banana Trash is small but very cozy. The kitchen reveals the identity of the owner: half Japanese and half Brazilian. The fusion of these two culinary cultures produces amazing and unique flavors, in particular, delicious temaki and nanorolls. Although the recipes are exotic, the ingredients are mostly from Italy. The menu also offers a variety of vegetarian dishes, excellent smoothies and juices prepared instantly. Here even the takeaway packages are unique.
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10 am – 4 pm, 6 pm -12 am, Monday closed
Address: Banana Trash, 62 Via Luciano Manara, Rome, Italy, +39 366 4034 002
Cajo e Gajo
If you want to try home-made pasta, wander down to this restaurant, because ‘Tonnarelli cacio e pepe’ (pasta with cheese and pepper) is the right dish to taste at Cajo e Gajo. There is plenty more worth trying here, namely most of the traditional Roman dishes. Weather permitting, it is possible to sit outside the establishment, at Piazza San Calisto in the heart of Trastevere, and revel in the atmosphere of this corner of Rome.
Address & telephone number: Cajo e Gajo, 10 Piazza San Callisto, Rome, Italy, +39 06 581 8256
Grazia e Graziella
A strong background in tradition and creativity is the key to this restaurant’s success. ‘Smile!’ is the motto of Grazia and Graziella, whose name derives from Grazia, the name of the owner’s grandmother (who is also to thank for the unique recipes) and from Graziella, the traditional Italian bicycle. This vintage-style restaurant pays homage to the 60s and 70s, with delicious food and a warm welcome.
Opening hours: 8 am – 2 am
Address & telephone number: Grazia e Graziella, 5 L.go M.d. Fumasoni Biondi, Rome, Italy, +39 06 588 0398
Hosteria dei Numeri Primi
Elegance and refined taste is the combination that makes Hosteria dei Numeri Primi one of the best dining spots in Trastevere. The fish dishes are excellent; carbonara with tuna, octopus with cream of chickpea, prawns and black truffle and swordfish with artichokes are just some delicious suggestions from the plentiful menu. The range of wines available is extremely varied and last but not least, the desserts are sublime. Located in Piazza Trilussa, this sophisticated place is absolutely worth a visit.
Opening hours: 7.30 pm – 12 am
Address & telephone number: Hosteria dei Numeri Primi, 8 Via del Politeama, Rome, Italy, +39 06 6456 2693