Traditional Roman cuisine: a simple indulgence

Traditional Roman cuisine is the cuisine of the Italian city of Rome. Roman cuisine is based on fresh ingredients prepared in a simple way. Can I invite you to know the true Roman cuisine? Grab a chair and get comfy …

Traditional Roman cuisine: a close up


The traditional Roman cuisine, in its essence and veracity, is limited to some authentic dishes, simple and delicious, an hardly savorable experience outside of the Lazio Region. The first courses that mainly attract the tourists are pasta alla carbonara, pasta alla amatriciana, pasta all’arrabbiata, pasta cacio e pepe and pasta alla grigia characterized by a profusion of guanciale (unsmoked bacon prepared with pig’s jowl or cheeks). As for the traditional side dishes, the Roman cuisine widely uses offal, resulting in dishes like the entrail-based pajata rigatoni with sauce and oxtail. Iconic of the Lazio region are the Pecorino Romano (pasteurised, with a hard and very crumbly texture and an aging time of 5 months or more), the porchetta (savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast), the Frascati wine and the artichokes.

Traditional Roman cuisine: the dishes


Traditional Roman appetizers

Anchovy pie and endive
Ricotta and pecorino
Similar to the jerky, generally made with pork. Coppiette are seasoned with red pepper and fennel seeds.

Traditional Roman main dishes


Spaghetti/Rigatoni alla carbonara
Pasta dish with a sauce made with whipped eggs, and topped with Italian bacon, pepper and grated Pecorino Romano.

Bucatini all’amatriciana
Pasta dish with a sauce made of tomato, guanciale, and grated Pecorino Romano.

Rigatoni con la pajata
Pasta dish with a sauce made with ringed intestines of a milk-fed veal and pecorino cheese.


Gnocchi romani
Thick, soft pasta  made from semolina.

Spaghetti alla gricia
In common with the amatriciana recipe there is the use of guanciale, the pecorino cheese and pepper, differentiates instead for the tomato, absent in the gricia.


Traditional Roman side dishes

Green broccoli
Carciofi alla romana
Whole artichokes filled with minced garlic and parsley and cooked in olive oil.

Carciofi alla giudia
(Jewish style artichokes) Whole artichokes filled with chili peppers and deep fried.

Salt cod

Trippa alla romana
Tripe cooked with tomato sauce and wild mint, and topped with pecorino cheese is an ancient Roman tradition.

Coda alla vaccinara
Oxtail stew, cooked with tomato sauce, celery, clove and bitter chocolate.

Porchetta is a savoury, fatty, and wet boneless  roast pork of Italian cookery tradition. The body of the pig is gutted, deboned, organized rigorously with layers of meat rolled and roasted, traditionally over wood. Porchetta is traditionally preserved with garlic, rosemary, fennel, or different herbs, often wild.

Puntarelle (a sort of endive)

Traditional Roman sweets

Angel wings are a traditional sweet crisp pastry created out of dough that has been formed into skinny twisted ribbons, cooked and sprinkled with granulated sugar.

Maritozzi con la panna
Enriched buns filled with whipped cream.

Traditional Roman snacks

Pizza Bianca
Fried rice croquettes which are stuffed with beef ragout and mozzarella.


Traditional Roman cuisine: my selection of trattorie

Termini / Viminale area

Er Buchetto
Via del Viminale 2 F
One of the most typical “street food restaurants” near the station, here we meet with friends and passers-by, you may have a glass of wine and enjoy the porketta served in the famous Roman “cirioletta”, a bread of small cut, shaped vaguely like a rugby ball and full of crumbs.


Ristorante Terme di Diocleziano
Via del Viminale, 3/A

Esquilino area

Trattoria la Vecchia Roma dal 1916
Via Ferruccio, 12b/c
Fantastic amatriciana flambé, the signature dish, where the pasta is whipped into a form of Pecorino Romano cheese. Equally good are the spaghetti with cheese and pepper and the gricia bucatini, excellent all the other dishes.

Trattoria Monti
Via di San Vito, 13/a

Historic centre

Osteria del Pegno (Piazza Navona)
Vicolo di Montevecchio, 8

Trattoria Dal Cavalier Gino (Campo Marzio)
Vicolo Rosini, 4

Da Armando al Pantheon (Pantheon)
Salita de’ Crescenzi, 31

Matricianella (Corso / historic centre)
Via Del Leone 3

Borgo / San Pietro area

Borgo Pio 186

Ristorante Tre Pupazzi
Borgo Pio 183

Angrypig Birretta e Porchetta
Via Tunisi 38
Street food / Sandwiches with porchetta of Ariccia

Trastevere area

Al Fontanone
Piazza Trilussa 46

Taverna Trilussa
Via del Politeama 23

Garbatella area

Tanto pe Magna
Via Giustino de Jacobis, 9/15

One of the best ways to eat abroad is to enjoy a meal at a local’s home. Therefore, I am super excited to hear about Bonappetour (! They connect travelers with talented hosts who can whip up delicious and authentic local dishes in over 50 cities Worldwide.