5 Bites of Rome

Where to eat and drink, straight from a local

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Rome is a city with multiple personalities. It is at once the capital of the Italian dolce vita and also an epicenter of tourism. With ruins at every turn, and the multicultural queues that spring from them, it can be hard to see the real Rome beneath the surface; the city that’s much more than just an ancient Italian version of Disneyland. These are five bites straight from a former resident of the Eternal City, giving you a chance to experience life as a modern day Roman. — Nicole Campoy-Leffler

Breakfast: Ombre Rosse (Piazza di Sant'Egidio, 12 — Trastevere) is a great cafe just off the main piazza in Trastevere that looks onto the facade of a Renaissance church. Sit outside and enjoy a wonderful morning of leisurely reading and local passerby watching (while tourists are distracted by the central piazza's fountain and basilica). Stop by the local market in Piazza San Cosimato afterwards before heading up the Gianicolo for a nice giro in Villa Doria Pamphili. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/boccallupo)

Lunch: Roscioli (Via dei Giubbonari, 21) — boasts delicious salumi, cheeses, olives, smoked salmon, and other delicious culinary accoutrements with a wine selection to die for. Great for taking out to enjoy a picnic on a bench outside Piazza Farnese or in the bustling Campo de' Fiori. You should also check out their forno (bakery) just around the corner on Via dei Chiavari, 34.

Dinner: Antico Arco (Piazzale Aurelio, 7) — I love this more modern presentation of classic cuisine atop the Gianicolo hill. They serve some of Rome's best contemporary dishes in a chic, but warm environment. Enjoy the view of the Eternal City's domed skyline after a delectable dinner from the Fontanone just steps below the restaurant. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Atilla2008)

Drinks: Il Goccetto (Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14) — This is the best wine bar in Rome with impeccable antipasti (their stuffed peppers are unforgettable). For more classic alcolici (cocktails) try Bar della Pace (Via della Pace, 5) off of Piazza Navona.

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Local Treasure: Da Felice (Via Mastro Giorgio, 29) — Hands down, best cacio e pepe in Rome. Reservations recommended. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/brunauto[busy...])