Dining and Drinking in Rome







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Dining and Drinking in Rome                                 (Back to Rome main information page)

There is a wide, varied selection as far as gastronomy is concerned in Rome; choices range from an exclusive high level cuisine, developed by some of the most famous chefs on the international scene, to traditional, hearty Romanesca fayre in all its manifold variations, from Jewish cuisine to testaccina recipes, from the specialities of Lazio to superb fish dishes, and ethnic dishes, which can be sampled in the plethora of restaurants that offer delights from the five continents.

The only way to really understand the heart and soul of Rome is by tasting its culinary splendours in a popular restaurant, this allows you to steep yourself in Roman culture while you discover the tastes and flavours of traditional cooking through the ages.

The delicious Roman cuisine stems from a time when people were unable to afford a meal made with a meat, and therefore had to use offal, which at that time was considered less 'prestigious' but definitely more affordable. Over the centuries, traditional dishes like coda alla vaccinara (oxtail cooked with wine, tomatoes and peppers), la pajata, (veal's offal cooked in a tomato sauce), l'abbacchio alla scottadito and la trippa alla romana (tripe), have come to be considered as delicacies and are eaten by even the most refined palates.

Testaccio is one of the areas in which to find traditional restaurants serving the Romanesche specialities, especially in the area surrounding the disused abattoir, places such as Checchino dal 1887. The district of Trastevere is also a great place to find good restaurants (take a trip to Checco il Carrettiere), and inside the Ghetto you'll find Giggetto and Il Portico amongst others, which offer Judeo-Roman cuisine as well as unique variations on traditional themes.

For the gourmets amongst you, in search of high-class food, Rome offers a great choice of quality restaurants. There are elegant restaurants in the more exclusive hotels, such as La Pergola dell'Hotel Hilton, the Terrazza dell'Hotel Eden or La Veranda dell'Hotel Majestic. You can also try the delights of creative haute cuisine in restaurants such as Quinzi e Gabrielli, Alberto Ciarla, and Le Sans Souci and many others besides.

Pizzerias are definitely the most popular places to dine in Rome: informal, economical and with speedy service, they are home to pizza alla romana, pizzas with a thin crust and a crispy edge, as opposed to the soft raised crusts of the Neapolitan pizza. Don't miss the delicious suppl?al telefono, fried rice balls filled with mozzarella, potato croquettes, fried cod fillets, fried pumpkin flowers, and bruschette, (slices of toasted bread with tomato or oil and garlic). You'll find pizzerias in every corner of the city, but Trastevere offers a wider choice of pizza restaurants with wood fuelled ovens (these give the pizza a more intense flavour). Panattoni, Ivo, Dar Poeta, Roma Sparita, San Calisto, are just some of the names from a wide selection of high quality pizza parlours.

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