Non-Touristy Restaurants in Rome, Italy (+ Reddit & Twitter Opinions)

Nadia Podrabinek Nadia Podrabinek

Written by Nadia Podrabinek

Best Non-Touristy Restaurants in Rome, Italy

I am frequently asked to recommend a non-touristy restaurant in Rome (because many people are tired of tourist traps, haha), and each time it takes a substantial amount of time to offer them comprehensive suggestions.

Therefore, I’ve decided to compile a comprehensive list of the best eateries in the Eternal City, incorporating recommendations from Reddit and Twitter.

So, sit back and enjoy as I endeavor to minimize your agony of choice.

Helpful tip Don’t forget to try the dishes that Rome is renowned for. I’m referring to authentic Italian pasta such as cacio e pepe (pasta with cheese and peppers), carbonara, and rigatoni in sauce. I strongly recommend trying the same dish in multiple establishments to truly savor its authentic flavors.

Key takeaways

  • Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world. Book restaurants in advance, and where that is not possible, be prepared for lines. I warned you!
  • Best Overall: Luciano Cucina Italiana, Salumeria Roscioli con Cucina, Taverna Trilussa, and Osteria da Fortunata
  • Best Roman-style Pizza: 180grammi, Bonci Pizzarium (takeaway), and Pizzeria Da Baffetto
  • Pasta: Pasta in Corso, Osteria da Fortunata
  • Best Guarded Secret: Santa Cristina al Quirinale

What people say on Reddit

This was my #1 goal when I went to Rome and my fiance and I were OBSESSED with a place called Restaurant Edy. It was amazing, very well priced, tucked away, family owned and I just can’t say enough good things. We dined outside both times. Please go here!!


Velavevodetto in Testaccio was the best meal I had in Rome and seemed to be mostly locals. Tavernaccia Da Bruno was a pretty close second and also not touristy at all.


Roscioli is almost all locals when you go at lunch end of November through end of February (the only time I attempt to eat there) and no reservations are needed. But I avoid it the rest of the year because it’s too nutty. And I’d never attempt it for dinner ever.


Dar Bruttone and Tira e Molla – not so near Termini, but the closest metro station would be Re di Roma, therefore it would be like 20 mins total. Nice trattorie, reasonable prices (tip for Dar Bruttone: try to avoid antipasti, they charge on them).



Best Restaurants in Rome for Locals

If you’re in Rome and seeking a restaurant with outstanding food, preferably loved by locals and not overcrowded with tourists, here is the list of best spots

Le Tavernelle

If you are going to try cacio e pepe pasta, this is your best bet. Cacio e pepe means “cheese and pepper.” 

Luciano Cucina Italiana

Modern Roman cuisine. You have to go to eat carbonara at Luciano Monosilio’s restaurant: it is a work of art.

  • What people say on Google: 4.2 stars, 1,768 reviews
  • Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo, 18, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • +390651531465
  • See on the map

Trattoria Da Enzo al 29

This is a humble, hidden gem of a restaurant offering outdoor sidewalk seating, where you can enjoy classic Roman dishes, including fried artichoke.


A charming sandwich shop located close to the bus terminal for Colosseum tours, offers sandwiches featuring meat coupled with fruit. It’s not designed for those seeking a large meal, but rather provides light and wonderful food.

Instagram Review

La Fata Turchina

This restaurant is situated in a working-class neighborhood where English is not spoken. The cook seems to be the 70-year-old father of the owner. Instead of bothering with ordering from the menu, it is recommended to simply request to be fed by the staff.

Salumeria Roscioli con Cucina

You can only go by reservation. Try their carbonara, “La Gricia” Di Stefano, ravioli stuffed with Roman oxtail, and pecorino with a foie gras sauce and fig syrup drizzle!

Felice a Testaccio (timeless!)

This is a local trattoria that serves one of the best cacio e pepe pasta you will likely ever taste. In fact, this restaurant is featured on many “Best in Rome” lists, yet it remains non-touristy.

Taverna Trilussa (timeless again!)

Their cuisine, particularly the pasta and rice dishes, is extraordinary. Securing a reservation can be challenging, so I recommend you to plan in advance. For a delightful experience, visit the restaurant at night and take a stroll around the neighborhood, crossing either the Ponte Garibaldi or the Ponte Sisto.


This restaurant is nestled in a less tourist-frequented part of Rome, amidst the local residents. Its menu is a fusion of tradition and modernity, crafted by a rising chef. They also put a hipster twist on classic Roman dishes. For antipasti (starters), consider trying the bruschetta, a frittata with chicken livers, beef heart carpaccio, and an oxtail polpetta adorned with peanuts and pistachios.

180grammi Pizzeria Romana

This is an essential spot to try Roman-style pizza, which many consider among the top five worldwide. The pizzeria specializes in paper-thin bases topped with a well-balanced selection ingredients, ensuring the pizza is neither overloaded nor overwhelming.

“Trattoria Monti”. Known for their warm service and exceptional Italian cuisine, it’s a gem among Romans. Trattoria Monti is located in the Esquilino neighborhood, a bit outside the major tourist zones which makes it a favorite among locals Nannarella, Osteria, Roma Trastevere! They had my favorite cacio y pepe & also tiramisu desert is spectacular.


A wine bar. Go for the great selection of Italian wines and pasta with duck and star anise ragu.

Pasta in Corso

A small and unpretentious place, truly authentic. Best focaccia bread in Rome!

  • What people say on Google: 4.4 stars, 1,908 reviews
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 273-275, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • +390668807786
  • See on the map

Osteria da Fortunata

I would visit Rome for the chance to dine here again, you can’t go wrong with this place! It is quite close to very close to Campo de Fiori but not touristy inside!

Sample their freshly-made pasta and amazing pork cheek ragu. A piece of advice: consider arriving early, around 6 pm, or making a reservation. Although the service may be a bit lacking due to the high patron to waiter ratio, the food is just amazing!

If you'll look at Osteria da Fortunata on Google Maps, you might be confused by the 4-star rating. This is due to thousands of reviews. In my experience, the more reviews there are, the lower the rating tends to be. It's as if something is wrong with the formula, which doesn't seem to work well with tens of thousands of opinions.

Enoteca e Taverna Capranica

For lasagna and potatoes!

Old bear

Spanish + Italian cuisine + Seafood. If you go anywhere else, you will have missed out. Across the river from Castel Sant’Angelo.

Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto

Ride the number 8 tram to its last stop to reach this place. Try carbonara and the fried starters known as “fritti”. If you are not into pasta, try the oxtail dish, also known as “coda alla vaccinara.”

Ristorante Santa Cristina al Quirinale

This place is the best-kept secret among many locals. Now, there will be more tourists. Perhaps I shouldn’t have told you about it. Or should I have?

Bonci Pizzarium

For a delightful lunchtime takeaway pizza, a visit to Bonci Pizzarium is a must. Although it’s often bustling, it’s predominantly with locals.

Pizzeria Da Baffetto

Another great spot for pizza in Rome. The daily lines of locals speak for themselves.

  • What people say on Google: 4.0 stars, 7,427 reviews
  • Via del Governo Vecchio, 114, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
  • +39066861617
  • See on the map

Er Buchetto

Very tiny but iconic Porchetta spot (sandwiches with roasted pork & herbs). They just serve Porchetta and white and red wine “alla spina”. Fabulous!

Marco Martini Roma

If you’re looking for fine dining experience in Rome.

Trattoria Vecchia Roma

Make a reservation, try Tonnarelli Cacio e pepe and Bucatini with tomato sauce, bacon and pecorino cheese.

Useful Video

Other noteworthy places

Here is the list of other great spots, including some affordable restaurants in Rome:

Best Restaurants in Rome for LocalsPrice RangeMy opinion
Stazione di Posta$$$A little fancy but good tasting menu. Order wine separately
Casina Valadier$$$Unbeatable location at Piazza del Popolo
Enoteca Ferrara$$$For the solid drinking night out
Glass Hostaria$$Sleek looking and fancy af. Should be more ‘Italian’ than ‘Roman’
Bistrot 64$$Italian-Japanese hybrid. Interesting but maybe not for everyone
Ottavio$$$Great seafood at Porta Maggiore (Larger Gate)
Il Sardegna$$$Another great seafood spot
Felice a Testaccio$$Very authentic, great food
Osteria dei Pazzi$$$Tagliatelle with white truffle is out of this world here. Also, nice wine list
Duke’s$$$A fancy spot with great steaks
La Pergola$$$Great view, fancy as well
Il Duca in Trastevere$$Great for classic Roman cuisine
La Gatabuia$$Same as Il Duca in Trastevere, but more antique + picturesque
Trattoria da Teo$$Try deep fried calamari
Grazia e Graziella$$No-frills great Roman cuisine, really authentic
Antica Trattoria da Carlone$$Gricia’ and ‘coda all vaccinara’ are the things you should try here
Impiccetta$$Good wine + focus on pasta and lots of meat
Cajo e Gajo$$Really good carbonara. Vintage vibes
Da Franco$$Another good choice for the seafood
La Tavernaccia$$Very authentic / savory / rustic vibes
Flaminio$$Great deep fried antipasti
Acquolina$$For the seafood
Flavio al Velavevodetto$$Have I told you about best carbonara spots? Forget it. This is the best place for carbonara in Rome
Nonna Betta$$If you want to try carciofi alla giudia (a deep-fried artichoke). The dish originated in the Jewish community of Rome
Retrobottega$$Phenomenal beef tartare
Trattoria Monti$$Ravioli stuffed with raw egg yolk. Yummy!

Helpful vocabulary

Here are some phrases and vocabulary that could be helpful when eating out in Rome:

  • Please – Per favore
  • Thank you – Grazie
  • Yes – Sì
  • No – No
  • Good day – Buongiorno
  • Good evening – Buonasera
  • Good night – Buonanotte
  • Hello/Hi – Ciao
  • Goodbye – Arrivederci
  • Excuse me – Scusa/Scusi
  • I would like – Vorrei
  • Do you have…? – Avete…?
  • The bill, please – Il conto, per favore
  • Water – Acqua
  • Wine – Vino
  • Beer – Birra
  • Coffee – Caffè
  • Menu – Menù
  • Napkin – Tovagliolo
  • Table – Tavolo
  • Restroom/Toilet – Bagno
  • Breakfast – Colazione
  • Lunch – Pranzo
  • Dinner – Cena

Lesser-known dishes:

  • Saltimbocca -A dish of veal lined or wrapped with prosciutto and sage
  • Bucatini all’Amatriciana – Pasta with spicy tomato and pork cheek sauce
  • Coda alla Vaccinara – Oxtail stew
  • Supplì – Fried rice balls similar to Sicilian arancini
  • Pecorino Romano – A type of cheese made from sheep’s milk
  • Porchetta – Roast pork
  • Carciofi alla Romana – Roman-style Artichokes
  • Trippa alla Romana – Tripe in a tomato sauce with mint and Pecorino Romano cheese

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Rome called “The Eternal City”?

Rome is called the Eternal City due to its enduring significance and longevity throughout history. The term “Eternal City” (Urbs Aeterna in Latin) was first used by the poet Tibullus and later popularized by writers such as Virgil and Ovid. It reflects the belief held by Romans that their city was timeless, destined to last through the ages. Also, this title refers to the city’s ancient origins, dating back thousands of years to its legendary founding by Romulus and Remus. Furthermore, Rome’s significance has transcended different eras, surviving the rise and fall of empires. It has witnessed countless transformations, yet its impact and prominence have endured.

What does “trattoria” mean?

A “trattoria” is a type of Italian restaurant that is usually informal and family-owned, offering a cozy, rustic ambiance and traditional, regional dishes. Trattorias can be found in cities, towns, and countryside locations throughout Italy. They tend to be less formal and less expensive than ristorantes but more formal and diverse in offerings than an osteria or a pizzeria. The term “trattoria” is derived from the Italian verb “trattare,” which means “to treat.” In a historical context, it refers to a place where the host treats guests to their specialties, which are often based on the local cuisine.

What is “porchetta”?

Porchetta is a savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition. The body of the pig is gutted, deboned, arranged carefully with layers of stuffing, meat, fat, and skin, then rolled, spitted, and roasted, traditionally over wood. The stuffing often includes garlic, rosemary, fennel, or other herbs, often wild. Porchetta is usually heavily salted in addition to being stuffed with herbs.

What is “bucatini”?

Bucatini is a type of pasta that is long, like spaghetti, but has a narrow hole running through the center, which gives it its name — “bucato” means “pierced” in Italian. This distinctive shape allows the pasta to hold sauce both inside and outside, which makes it ideal for rich, hearty sauces. Bucatini is particularly popular in Rome, where it’s traditionally served with Amatriciana sauce, a spicy tomato sauce made with guanciale (pork cheek) and Pecorino Romano cheese.

What does serving “alla spina” in Italy mean?

The term “alla spina” in Italy refers to serving drinks, most commonly beer, directly from a keg or a cask. The phrase literally translates to “on tap.” Hence, when you order a beer “alla spina,” you’re ordering draft beer, which is often fresher and better preserved than bottled or canned beer. However, the term can also be applied to other beverages served in a similar manner, like wine.


So, that is it for now. I hope you now have a better understanding where are you heading for lucnh or dinner in Rome! Good luck and “Buon appetito!”

Drop your comment below if you want to share some other decent non-touristy restaurants in Rome, Italy!

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