10 Best Food And Drinks To Try On Your Visit To Rome

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I am one of the millions who have always dreamt of going to Rome. The eternal city that has had a past of thousands of years, served as the capital of the empire that once ruled the world, leaving its mark on thousands of other cities and towns. The rich culture that patronised art and fine living is evident, even today.

As you walk past the beautiful structure that are easily a thousand years old, you can’t help but be amazed at the city’s vibrant, diverse and rich architecture, culture and heritage. 

And what makes Rome so quintessentially Roman, is its undying vibe. Speaking of which, we land on the vibe given away by the Italian food served in Rome. 

Petite cafes dot the cobbled-streets with cute table settings and warm locals inviting you in, with a smile. You can smell the fresh coffee being brewed ready to be served with a hot meal, glasses clinging as people savour fine drinks and wood-fired ovens heating up, as you pass by. 

There is so much love that is served with the Italian food, that it is hard to not like the goodness. Apart from the fact that Italian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines across the world, what makes food in Rome special is that presents authentic recipes amalgamated with an international touch, to suit the palate of everyone who comes here.

There’s so much to Italian food, that it is difficult to handpick the best! How did I manage to sort out this list in the disorienting richness of the Roman cuisine? My secret was- Withlocals

Withlocals is a great concept that can guide you through a foreign city. A community of locals and travellers around the world, Withlocals offers you an insight to the inner vibe of the city and makes you a traveller, not just a tourist! 

Here’s my personal guide to the best Rome food & drinks: 

1. Pizza Bianca

Looking for a quick yet delicious dish for breakfast? Pizza Bianca is what you should try. Freshly prepared every morning, this simple breakfast item is an Italian flatbread, with crispy edges. Seasoned with sea-salt and olive oil, Pizza Bianca is the one of the most minimalistic breakfast Roman breakfasts. 

2. Fritti

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This is a savoury snack, available both in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The main ingredient is marinated in olive oil, dipped in egg-flour batter and deep fried is the base of this recipe. The main ingredient is generally Calamari, baccala (salt cod), zucchini or something as simple as rice balls! 

3. Pizza

When in Rome, do it as Romans do. Pizza in Italy is a very personal, intimate affair. Travel a few kilometres and you’ll be served a different style of pizza. While the birthplace of Pizza, Naples is to south of Rome, Roma has its own version of this world-famous food. The pizza in Rome is paper thin with absolutely no edges and charred crust. Toppings are, well, everything under the sun! 

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4. Carciofi alla Romana

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A dish so popular and so native to Rome, Carciofi alla Romana or Roman-style artichokes are a must-try in Rome. Each household and restaurant has a different recipe for it and farm-fresh artichoke is the star of the dish. Seasoned with herbs and white wine, this gently cooked dish is packed with flavours! 

5. Cacio e Pepe

Image Source: Allagash Brewing/Flickr

Think minimalism, think Cacio e Pepe. A classic Roman pasta dish, Cacio e Pepe has just a couple of ingredients, but those, can rock your world! Black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese and starchy water drained from boiled pasta, that’s all that goes in. But served hot on a cosy evening in a restaurant in Trastevere, that’s all you really need! 

6. Rigatoni alla Pagliata

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You have to hunt down a classic trattoria in Rome to taste this dish. One of the integral recipes of the Roman Cuisine, this dish calls for a calf meat, a calf who has only been fed with its mother’s milk. Thin strips of the calf are cut and after few complex treatments, a creamy residue is born. Served with rich tomato sauce, it is indeed, a meat-lover’s delight! 

7. Carbonara

No culinary experience in Rome can be complete without this fantastic dish that has been savoured by foodies all across the world. Made with simple ingredients like hard cheese, pepper and eggs, the real king of this dish is the bacon! The dish is fairly new to Rome, going back only a 100 years ago. 

8. White Wine

Before a meal, after a meal, or in between, nothing goes so well with Roman food as White Wine does. Frascati and Castelli Romani are the best kinds offered in Rome, but being the Mecca of White Wine, there’s no bad choice really. The delicate taste of the wine brings out the subtle flavours of the food. 

9. Italian Coffee

Warm, strong, freshly brewed; this is the go-to drink in Rome. And while you can have a milky for breakfast, local recommend having it only before noon. For the rest of the time, your dose of caffeine can be the other variations of coffee like Caffè lungo, Caffè ristretto or Caffè corretto that comes with a dash of alcohol!

10. Gelato 

Just like pizza, Roman Gelato might not be the best one you’ll taste in Italy. But hey, it is perhaps better and of course, more authentic than the rest of the world. There are plenty of Gelato places in the city that serve variety of flavours of this rich desert. When in Rome, make sure you try the fruit and nut flavoured ones!  

This list, is of course, my personal recommendations on what to eat in Rome. To experience the extravagant culinary affair of Rome, you can opt for an awesome local guide & host who can introduce you not just to the local food, but also the culture of the city!

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