Are you looking to find the best pasta restaurant in Rome, but just don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. We get it. You’re in one of the food capitals of the world, and the streets of Rome
are a wonderland of trattorias serving delicious plates of scrummy pasta. Sometimes too much choice just complicates everything! So, we’re here to give you a helping hand. To serve as your pasta compass and guide you to the best pasta of your life.
Forks at the ready? Let’s go! (Scroll down to see the map)
Tavernaccia da Bruno
Via Giovanni da Castel Bolognese, 63
Located in the Trastevere area of Rome
, Tavernaccia di Bruno
is the first contender on this list for the best pasta restaurant in Rome. This family-run joint
is a friendly, fun little place that has been going strong for about five decades. And, you know what they say, if somewhere can stand the test of time, then things are definitely being done right.
Tavernaccia di Bruno boasts a wood burning fire that crisps up their delicious pizzas. But, the show stealer is, without a doubt, the place’s stunning pasta. Give the Spaghetti alla Gricia a go. For those unfamiliar, this dish is simple and simple in Italy guarantees great. Four ingredients tie this Roman pasta dish together. Spaghetti, hunks of fatty guanciale (pork jowl), grated pecorino cheese and the water the spaghetti’s cooked in. Licking your lips yet?
Pasta Fact: The word pasta comes from the Greek and Latin languages. In Greek, it translates literally to “barley porridge” and Latin “dough pastry cake.”
Flavio al Velavevodetto
Via di Monte Testaccio, 97
The head chef at Flavio al Velavevodetto
, Flavio de Maio
, used to work in the tech industry before shifting his focus to food. And, thank Great Chef in the sky he did. Not because de Maio was terrible in tech, but because he’s great in a kitchen. Here, go for the Cacio e Pepe, the pinnacle of Roman Cuisine
. De Maio perfected the recipe at Felice a Testaccio
, one of the best restaurants in Rome under the tutelage of the head chef himself, Felice. Cacio e Pepe is another great example of a simple Roman pasta, pecorino, parmesan, pasta water, and pepper. No more, no less. Perfection.
Pasta Fact: The first documented recipe for pasta appeared around the year 1000 AD in Martino Corno’s cookbook The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli.
Armando al Pantheon
Salita dei Crescenzi, 31
As you may already and guessed, the Armando al Pantheon
is within shouting distance of Rome’s magnificent Pantheon
. So, after a good gander at the stunning ancient structure when you’re feet are a little sore, and you’re looking for a feed, head here. Like all the best places, this trattoria is a family run establishment
Housed in a traditional, but modernized single room expect classic Roman cuisine of the likes of Spaghetti alla Carbonara. This is the king of all pasta. Similar to Spaghetti alla Gricia, Carbonara also makes use of guanciale and pecorino cheese but throws beaten eggs into the mix, elevating everything. Or, browse the menu and find a suitable alternative. But, you’ll be missing out.
Pasta Fact: If pasta is cooked properly it should stick to a wall.
Via del Gesù, 87-88
Pretty much smack, bang in the middle between Piazza Venezia and the Pantheon is Enoteca Corsi
. The Italophiles amongst you will recognize the Enoteca
and be thinking, but that's a wine cellar,
not a restaurant. And, you’re completely right. In the mornings and afternoons, Enoteca Corsi is a traditional wine shop
. But at lunchtime and in the evenings on Thursdays and Fridays this turns into a little trattoria
that packs out with locals and tourists alike. Dive into fantastic dishes like Pasta e Ceci. Different from those previously mentioned, this is a soupy pasta served with chickpeas and sometimes anchovies.
Pasta Fact: First eaten in China, legend has it that the explorer Marco Polo introduced Pasta to Italy.
If you’re a vegetarian and looking for a pasta fix, then you’re definitely still wondering where to eat in Rome. But, hold up, this next one’s for you.
Via Margutta, 118
For those who abstain from the consuming animal products, you’re going to want to pull up a seat here. Il Margutta
is, by all accounts, an upmarket vegetarian restaurant
. Come here over the weekend when the menu is a la carte
, and you can pick from an extensive menu. Dishes include a range of things, but the veggie-friendly pasta is what to seek out. Everything is made from fresh, organic vegetables
and on Sunday’s there is a live jazz band. Prices here are a little higher than your standard trattoria, but the atmosphere more than makes up for it.
Pasta Fact: Before Cortez, the Spanish explorer, introduced tomatoes to Europe, pasta had been eaten for thousands of years without a tomato sauce!
Via degli Avignonesi, 22
, nestled away in an unassuming corner near the Trevi fountain
, is the second contender for the best pasta restaurant in Rome
. Run by a Latini family who originally hails from Emilia-Romagna, Colline Emiliane first opened its doors in 1967
. All the pasta served here is made by hand with the family spending hours a day rolling it themselves.
Here you can expect rich dishes and the pasta to go for is Tortelli di Zucca. Tortelli comes in many shapes, sometimes square like ravioli. Essentially, it's delicious envelopes of pasta stuffed with equally delicious fillings. In the case of this dish in particular, Tortelli di Zucca is stuffed with pumpkin and then finished with butter and sage. The sweet kick of the pumpkin and the savory, herbal kick of the butter and sage make for a heavenly union.
Pasta Fact: October is National Pasta Month.
Vicolo della Campana, 18
or “The Bell” has been serving up traditional Roman cuisine for 500 years. So, if our suggestions haven’t quite piqued your interest and you’re still wondering where to eat in Rome, go here. Simple as that. La Campana is a timeless trattoria that celebrates tradition
, in its decor, refined food and service.
Pasta and seafood go together like, well, pasta and seafood and the chefs in the kitchen here make a fierce Spaghetti con le Cozze. A simple sauce made from white wine, garlic, and parsley compliment fresh mussels in this fabulous dish. When you hear the disappointing “clink” of your fork hitting an empty plate, throw dignity out the window and lick the plate clean. You might draw a few funny looks, but hey, it’ll be worth it.
Pasta Fact: There are over 600 different types of pasta shapes in the world!
Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli, 59
Up in Rome’s Prati neighborhood
, known for its European charm and wide, sweeping avenues, you’ll find L’Archangelo
. Here, the gnocchi is what it’s all about
. Gnocchi is a popular dish all across Italy, but despite its perceived simplicity, it's difficult to get right. And, often a plate of the potato dumplings are gluey and chewy. L’Archangelo gets them right. They are beautifully pillowy.
Interestingly, for a long time gnocchi was only eaten on Thursdays. This tradition stems from the Catholic church, the old Italian proverb going, “Thursday gnocchi, Friday fish, Saturday tripe.” Don’t worry though, at L’Archangelo you can order up a plate of Gnocchi alla Matriciana any day of the week. Tomato sauce, guanciale, and pecorino bring this dish to life.
Pasta Fact: If all the pasta Italians ate were magically transformed into spaghetti (the long thin kind) it would wrap around the world 15,000 times!
Via San Vito, 13a
The third and final contender for the best pasta restaurant in Rome is Trattoria Monti
. This small, cozy little joint, with mum in the kitchen and sons running the floor, gets everything right. There's a warmth to the place, and the food is phenomenal. The menu takes its inspiration from the Marche region of Italy
, and the winning dish is definitely the Tortello al Rosso d’Uovo. This is ravioli stuffed with spinach, ricotta and egg yolk served in a beautiful tomato sauce.
Pasta Fact: After Italy, Venezuela and Tunisia are the next two countries who consume the most pasta. Who’d have thunk it?
Via Petrarca, 13
Another mother and son cooking combo
bring this excellent trattoria to life. Here Roman classics
are very much the order of the day. Da Danilo
serves up a superb Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara
, but if you’ve already had those turn your attention to the Strozzapreti al Lard di Colonnata e Pecorino di Fossa. Don’t be put off this dish on account of its frighteningly long and difficult to pronounce the name, because it’s out of this world. A light tomato sauce is paired with softened, cured strips of fatback and mixed into the twisted, flour and water pasta, that is Strozzapreti.
Pasta Fact: Pasta spread across the globe like wildfire when its production was mechanized, making it easier for everyone to make.
That’s it, folks. Ten answers to the question of where to eat in Rome. So, what are you waiting for? All you have to do now is pick your preferred pasta palace and bring an appetite. But, before we go, here’s one more Pasta Fact. Thomas Jefferson popularised pasta in America when he served it at a state dinner in 1802. Buon appetito!