Eat Local In Rome
For me, Rome is easily one of the most fantastic cities in the world, the history is simply breath taking, it is so accessible and you cannot forget it with ruins all over the city. As you stroll between the sites it just keeps on giving, stunning churches pop up with beautiful interiors, water fountains blessed with intricate details and historical ruins lay bare amongst the hustle and bustle of the cobbled streets. The locals are friendly and welcoming giving the city a lovely vibe.
The food is something else, it is affordable, local and simply delicious. The pizza, pasta and ice cream will never fail to impress and you do not need to find expensive places to enjoy the best fare. Eating local in Monti I was spoilt for choice, the simplicity of the cooking and ingredients means it is unintimidating and enjoyable. Often leaving me so full I could barely shuffle home, it is the quality of the pasta or pizza that keeps you munching.
1: Primi Course; La Carbonarra, Monti
Despite visiting La Carbonarra on the first day, I kept on thinking back to this incredible pasta dish. With a queue out the door at 12:30 the expectation was high and it really did make an impression! It is an award winning yet affordable restaurant which encourages you to write on the walls giving it a relaxed vibe, adding to the family feel is the lovely touch of having the owner, who must have been in her 80’s, pottering around clearing tables and checking you enjoyed your meal.
Enjoying a Burratta ahead of my pasta, both washed down with their house red wine meant I really was in heaven. The Rigatoni was (of course) perfectly cooked and the bacon fat had softly melted into the sauce, this mixed with the wonderful Parmesan meant it really was divine. It really was incredible, at the time each bite was so delicious I couldn’t help but say it and I cannot stop thinking about it since! Anyone going to Rome…this restaurant is a must.
Best Bit: Bacon & Chilli Rigatoni with Parmesan
Via Panisperna, 214, 00184 Roma
2: Pizzeria ; Alle Carrette, Monti
Tucked away on a side street of Monti this brilliant pizzeria comes with good recommendation from the locals, predictably there was a queue, however after putting down my name we waited close to half an hour but that only added to the charm of it. With three chefs manning the pizza oven and waiters whizzing past at speed to keep up with the turning tables it wasn’t long before we were tucking in.
The menu was simple, starting with a stack of Tempura Zuncini which was delicious, the perfectly light batter teamed with just enough salt meant it was a perfect starter. I opted for a Margherita Pizza with Rocket. As you can imagine a thin, crisp stone baked pizza in Rome is always going to taste great and it did.
Best Bit: Tempura Zuncini
Via della Madonna dei Monti, 95, 00184 Roma
3: Local Coffee; Bar La Licata
This café was just brilliant; full of Italians getting their morning coffee hit. The coffee was first class and croissants delicious but the best part of it was the buzz, lots of locals catching up, popping in and out, greeting each other and enjoying a Saturday morning. Whilst enjoying a coffee and croissant it was fun to watch the slick dynamics of the well trained team as they managed to serve pastries and make coffee at impressive speed! I loved the streams of scratch cards and cigarettes on offer which added to the classic setting.
Best Bit: Espresso
Via dei Serpenti, 165, 00184 Roma
4: Tiramisu; Ristorante Ai Spaghettari, Trastevere
This restaurant was so local that as we walked in the staff were almost surprised to see us! A local taxi driver had recommended it to us and it didn’t fail to impress. With a wheel of Parmesan on the side that was being hollowed with each pasta order and a leg of ham we knew it was going to be delicious! The red wine was a local grape from just outside Rome and perfectly suited the melt in your mouth ham, for main I opted for a simple Tomato, Pecorino and Parmesan pasta which was divine.
I am a huge fan of Tiramisu and wanted to enjoy it at the end of at least one meal while in Rome so there was a lot of pressure for the Tiramisu to impress! It did….covered in coco, the biscuits oozed coffee but were not too soft and with the perfectly balanced the sweetness of the cream. I got my hit, and, like with everything was left wanting more!
Best Bit: Tiramisu
64 Piazza di S. Cosimato
5: Roof Top Bar; Hotel Forum, Monti
This hotel is home to a great spot to watch the sun setting whilst enjoying a drink. As the name suggests, this classic hotel overlooks the Roman Forum. It is a small terrace called with a peaceful view, you can see the coliseum to the left and the Roman forum straight ahead. A glass of Prosecco and the view will ease you nicely into the evening.
Best Bit: Glass of Prosecco!
Via Tor de’ Conti, 25-30, 00184 Roma