Rome’sTrastevere neighbourhood is a warren of cobbled, Medieval streets with a bohemian buzz. Neighbourhood trattorias have served fine cuisine for generations, and a healthy student population means funky pop-ups and single-slice pizzerias are plentiful, too. So, wander down the winding alleys and discover some of my favorite dining spots in Trastevere.
This no-frills trattoria on a quiet piazza in Trastevere is a blast from the past: don’t expect your server to speak English, but also don’t expect to spend more than €25 per person, including water and wine. They do a fantastic rigatoni cacio e pepe, but the prices are best for their traditional Roman meat dishes: roast pork (€9), ossobuco (€12) and tripe (€7.50). The chairs are plastic and the table-cloths paper, but the food itself is top-notch.
One of the ways they keep costs down is by strictly observing the sacred Roman Food Calendar: gnocchi only on Thursdays, salted cod (baccalà) only on Fridays. Try to come on Tuesday for one of the most affordable plates of calamari in Rome.
Via di San Francesco a Ripa 137 (Trastevere)
One of the most famous Rome’s street food , a supplì is a ball of rice breaded and fried (unlike the Sicilian arancino the rice is mixed with a meat ragu.) The best are called “a telefono”, because the fresh stringy mozzarella at their core stretches out like a telephone cord after your first bite. That’s the way they’re served here, at this eponymous tavola calda (hot counter) in Trastevere. One is a snack, two or three are (delicious but unhealthy) meal. At €1.50 each, they’re the cheapest gourmet bite in Rome.
Piazza Trilussa 46 (Trastevere)
In 2008, local chef Stefano Callegari had the genius idea of splicing the yeast-leavened crunch of pizza with the triangular, white-bread sandwich known as the tramezzino. His marvelous creation, the trapizzino, is Rome’s greatest snack, and, at only €5 each, two can be one of Rome’s cheapest meals. This hybrid creation is the Cronut of Italy, and while you might compare it to pizza, a sandwich or even a pita pocket, there’s really nothing else like it.
The sturdy triangle of pizza is filled with a variety of delicious fillings inspired by Rome’s traditional cuisine: pork & caramelized onion, stracciatella end anchovy, Nonna’s meatballs, and even tripe!
Via di S. Francesco a Ripa, No. 158.
This place has been delighting the inhabitants of Rome and tourists alike for more than 60 years. In fact, it was in the early 1960s that founder Ivo Stefanelli set up his own business in Trastevere, first with desserts and then with pizzas, and thanks to word of mouth it became the trendiest place in the area.
Da Enzo al 29
Via dei Vascellari, No. 29.
Enzo al 29 is a low key joint hidden along a cobbled street by the river in Trastevere. But don’t let its out of the way location fool you: Enzo al 29 is extremely popular, well known and easily one of the best restaurants in Trastevere. As a result, people start lining up outside from around 6:30 p.m. You may have to wait around 30 minutes for a table (they don’t take reservations).
But trust me: it’s worth the wait.
Osteria Der Belli
Piazza di Sant’Apollonia, 11.
If you want to treat yourself and feel like a Roman at a good price, I suggest you go to Osteria Der Belli, a Sardinian restaurant that specialises in simple seafood dishes such as octopus with jacket potatoes, sea bass carpaccio and grilled squid, all at a great price!
Seu Pizza Illuminati – Best Pizzeria in Trastevere
Via Angelo Bargoni, 10 — 18
For a stylish place to tuck into some tasty pizza, head on over to Seu Pizza Illuminati.
Pizzas here run the gamut from traditional margheritas to more unusual combinations. These include pizza topped with cured pig’s cheek and lemon zest, and even red onion and coffee (yes, together). If you’re a keen pizza fan, you should make sure to put this place at the top of your list.
You can pair your pizza with one of their many wines, or even a steady supply of craft beer from Italy and further afield. It’s a really fun place to eat and a good place to come in Rome if you’re with friends. They even do dessert pizzas!
Roman Classics with a twist! For egg lovers, this is an absolute must when visiting Trastevere. Not only are the wait staff incredibly friendly and make a mean Aperol Spritz, but they are also happy to walk you through the menu and make suggestions. We loved this fun and very different Trastevere restaurant.
Don’t forget to make a reservation!