Our three day jaunt in Rome was filled with some serious good eats. I can't think of one thing I ate that was just "meh", everything was rich in flavor and simply put, delicious. Rome had, hands down the best pasta and pizza I have ever eaten. The sheer number of items to sample can be overwhelming to a traveler so I'm going to give you a breakdown of the top 10 foods to try when in Rome!
1) Gelato: You can't come to Rome and not try the gelato. More simply put, icecream. Ranging in flavors from light and fresh fruits to deeply decadent chocolates and caramels, there really is a flavor for everyone. You won't have to search hard, there are shops on nearly every corner. I sampled the raspberry and chocolate and they were absolutely delicious.
2) Corneto: Not to be confused with a croissant (yes they look exactly alike but don't make the faux pas of calling it a croissant!), this flaky pastry is the breakfast item of choice in Rome. Variations on the corneto are many, you can find them filled with chocolate (both dark and white) and cream. I tried them all -don't judge, it was for research (who am I kidding, I just really like a pastry) and I personally preferred the cream one, or corneto crema. Whichever way you order, these things are a must when in Rome.
3) Negroni: This cocktail was recommended by our traveling companion and resident one time bar tender, Stephanie. The negroni is comprised of one part gin, one part vermouth, and one part Campari and garnished with an orange peel. While not everyone was a fan in the group, I personally enjoyed the cool kick this stiff drink offered, especially after a long day of sightseeing.
4) Spaghetti Carbonara: A very traditional Roman dish, this pasta is comprised of egg, cheese, pancetta, and black pepper. Grate a little Parmesan cheese over top and voila, culinary perfection. Filling and scrumptious this was a meal fit for a queen!
5) Mezzmaniche Gricia- Another traditional pasta dish in Rome, this meal is comprised of rigatoni pasta, prosciutto Norcia, and onions. I grated some Parmesan cheese over the dish because, well, you can never have enough cheese! This was my first meal in Rome and definitely set the tone for all the good eats to come.
6) Cacio e Pepe: A very popular Roman dish, our Air BnB host, Helena raved about, insisting that we try it while visiting. Meaning simply, "cheese and pepper", the flavor of this dish is anything but simple. Each bite is cheesy deliciousness. Did I mention it was served in a fried cheese bowl?!
7) Pizza : The amount of options available in all of Rome for pizza are staggering but trust me, pick any and you wont be disappointed. This pizza was made to order with all fresh ingredients, each mouthful an explosion of flavor. I opted for the spicy pepperoni, olives, and tomatoes, and believe me when I say, there was not one scrap of crust left on my plate when we left. Superb!
8) Ravioli- Or as I like to call them, pasta cheese packets. These little suckers are the perfect delivery mechanism for some cheese! Even those are not so adventurous with their eats will love this one. Stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach served with a butter and sage sauce, these ravioli were definitely the best I've ever eaten. They were practically oozing with richness.
9) Trippa alla Romana: Ok now don't let this one scare you off, but trippa is....well...its intestines. I know, I know, it sounds absolutely disgusting, but let me explain. The intestines are cleaned and prepared, then cooked in a tomato based sauce filled with various herbs and spices. I was worried it would have a weird consistency or displeasing taste but was pleasantly surprised at the smoothness of the meat as well as the tasty combinations of spices used to prepare the dish. I would definitely recommend branching out of your food comfort zone to try this one out.
10) Soute di Cozze: Husband and I ordered these yummy mussels as an appetizer on our last night in Rome. Not only did they taste like they just came out of the ocean but whatever sauce they cooked these bad boys in was divine. (Our waitress spoke no English and we spoke no Italian so we weren't really able to get the full gist of what sauce these guys were cooked in). Taking a guess, I imagine it was a tomato based sauce with some garlic? Whatever is was, it was heartstoppingly good.
Well that rounds out my list of top eats in Rome, three days was not nearly enough time in the beautiful country of Italy (I'm already scheming ways to get back for a longer jaunt) but I think we really did Rome justice by packing in so much of the local cuisine in such a short time.
What are some of your favorite dishes in Rome?