Where to Eat in Rome – What We Did Right and Horribly Wrong in One Day

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I’d love to say we arrived in Rome full of energy and ready to explore but Dave had an awful time on the flight over and couldn’t sleep so he was a zombie when he landed.

I was thankful that I had been to Rome several times so I knew how to take a train in Italy and had a general sense of the city.

I could navigate us through the airport to Termini station and into our hotel.

I also had a general sense of where to eat in Rome.

Because Rome is the starting point for any travel the country, whether you’re exploring for five weeks like us, or a shorter 10 days in Italy itinerary.

The Intercontinental in Rome with lemon trees on the patio is a beautiful hotel but it is in the heart of the tourist zone.
There’s a lemon tree on our balcony at the Intercontinental!

As it was Dave’s first time in Rome I debated where to stay in Rome.

I thought it would be good to stay at the Intercontinental by the Spanish Steps so we’d be central to everything.

I know everyone says to stay in Trastevere but I thought being close to everything would be good…well at least outweigh the bad.

I was wrong.

With jet lag it wasn’t an easy walk there and while we loved the hotel, it was the epicentre of a tourist zone so there were crowds and lots of peddlers trying to sell us everything from flashlights to selfie sticks.

We still had our backpacks on and despite my advice Dave had not learned the art of packing light so on top of jetlag he was tired of walking and carrying a heavy pack.

We were not off to a good start.

We knew we needed to sleep but we were starving so we went for something easy – pizza. Dave and I have a rule that once one of us is hungry we drop everything and immediately find something to eat.

Hanger is real and we don’t allow it to come between us so I knew this was not the time to see if we were close to the best pizza in Rome, we just needed to find pizza – the closest pizza was a block from our hotel.

I figured it would be okay, after all how bad can tourist restaurant pizza be?

Bad pizza in rome. There's a myth that all the food in Italy is amazing but it's false, particularly in Rome. Learn where to eat in Rome, and more importantly where not to eat.

Wrong again.

There’s a myth that all food in Italy is amazing, it’s definitely not true and even more so in Rome.

It was the soggiest, slimiest pizza you can imagine. I actually feel bad that this photo looks even the slightest appetizing because it was inedible.

It was tough because Dave was tired, hangry and now his first meal in Rome was gross.

After a slice we just decided to leave the rest of the food and try to sleep as Dave wasn’t loving Rome the way he should.

But I was about to fix that.

A few weeks back I asked where to eat in Rome on Instagram and overwhelmingly everyone said Roscioli, while the restaurant/salumeria hadn’t returned my email about a reservation the concierge was happy to call to secure us a late night dinner.  

Thank goodness for concierges.

Roscioli in Rome is one of the best places to eat, find out where you should avoid.
Eating in Rome, learn the best restaurant in Rome as well as the ones you need to stay away from.

Roscioli was the perfect restaurant for our first dinner. As we’re on a quest to learn as much as possible about cured meat in Italy – it was great to start our Meataly vacation at a restaurant that has a deli in the front.

We sat at the bar, drank wine and had such an amazing meal – cacio e pepe, burrata and so much cured meat.

Even though we were still tired from jetlag there was the initial thrill of excitement when you begin traveling and have no idea what is ahead of you but you know for sure some of it is going to be amazing.

This is my fourth trip to Italy but I have a feeling this will be the most special as I’m able to share it with someone who just wants to eat.

My kind of traveler.

We ate an awful and amazing meal in Rome on the same day, learn what we did and where to eat in Rome.

Join the Conversation

  1. Andrea Anastasiou says:

    It’s so wonderful to travel with someone who loves food, isn’t it? 🙂 Glad the trip is looking up!

  2. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer says:

    So sad to hear about your pizza experience near the Spanish steps. When I was there, I went to Caffe Leonardo Ristorante Pizzeria which wasn’t too bad and I also ate at Roscioli and it was delicious! The next time I go back to Rome, I will have to go back for a proper meal, I only ate their pizza 😀

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh the pizza at the bakery is amazing, just around the corner is the deli/restaurant. Well worth a trip!

  3. Daniela Andrews says:

    I had a similar experience in Rome a few weeks ago – in four days there I didn’t have one amazing meal, what a disappointment! We did do pizza al taglio a couple of times at Roscioli, which was amazing, but I was bummed not to find a great sit down meal anywhere that knocked my socks off. The rest of the trip (weather, company, and sites) were outstanding so I can’t complain, but I hope your luck is better than mine was! Can’t wait to hear about the delicious spots you discover so I can be sure to return next time 🙂 Buon viaggio!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’ve heard similar stories from so many people. Everyone assumes all the food in Italy will be amazing but it’s really like any other place – you have to know where to go.

  4. Roscioli presents traditional Roman cuisine with just enough added flair to create a truly memorable experience. To start with, the front of the long narrow space is dominated by the hanging meats and cheese cases of the Salumeria part of the operation.

  5. I think I might be headed to Rome in the near future so this was some great information to know! Glad you finally found some delicious food. Hanger, especially on top of the added stressors of travel, is no joke 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Well we have lots to share about Rome and more of Italy too!

  6. If you’re still in Roma, Pizzarium in the Vaticano is very good. You can as the Romans do take it away or as we love to do, devour it on the bench out front.

  7. Foodie Advice says:

    Rome is the capital of incredible and delicious foods. It is just an amazing. All these pizzas, pastas and deserts…

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