Best Overall Restaurants:
Hosteria del Moro da Tony aka “Tony’s”
Anyone will tell you this is the ultimate study abroad haven: huge portions, cheap wine, and an owner who loves to pass out free desserts to American students. Free tiramisu anyone? Definitely get the eggplant parmesan- a gooey, oven-baked version that is out of this world- but the chicken parm and penne with vodka sauce are tied for a close second.
If you are looking for a more traditional, upscale Italian meal try La Scala or Checco er Carettiere in Trastevere–a cute little neighborhood across the river. Both feature large menus, but I suggest starting at least one meal off with a Roman-style artichoke.
Or, head to the Anthony-Bourdain-approved restaurant, Roma Sparita, for arguably the best cacio e pepe (an Italian take on mac n’ cheese) in the city.
Dar Poeta wins the hotly-debated title of best pizza in Rome. Tucked away in the backstreets of Trastevere, the restaurant serves up thin-crust pizzas with a variety of toppings, and even features a dessert Nutella calzone (drool).
Rome is also full of great side-street pizza joints where you can cut off any size slice you want and pay by weight. One of my favorites is La Renella, where the toppings are always changing.
Mongiamo is my go-to place for a fresh panini. Located in the Pizza Trilussa, this sandwich and salad place lets you create your own crusty-Italian-bread panini with all fresh ingredients.
The famous Giolitti gelato shop on the Via degli Uffici del Vicario is my fave. Be sure to try Stracciatella at some point- a take on cookies and cream.
Tour guides will point you to Sant’Eustachio as a landmark, but honestly, you can’t really go wrong at any café. Just be sure to do as the Romans do and enjoy your tiny espresso shot while standing at the bar (most cafes charge extra if you sit down!).
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