The “At Home in Rome” Food Week: Restaurants to Try In & Around Rome


I’ve slowly been finding more and more blogs written by expats in Italy, and I’m adding many of them to the list of blogs I check in with every day. One that stands out lately is Shelley’s “At Home in Rome” blog. Shelley is, as you might be clever enough to divine from the name of her blog, living in Rome. What I like best about her blog is that she not only writes about things that anyone visiting Rome might be interested in reading, she also writes about things most tourists would never think about. For instance, recently she wrote a post about the amount of graffiti around her neighborhood, and about the kind of celebrity-watching that’s going to happen when you live in the capital city. (Of course, it helps if you know Italian celebrities.) She also wrote a great and funny list of six weird things about Rome.

Gearing up for World Nutella Day, however, Shelley’s taken to a week of food-related postings. I’m particularly excited about these because even though Italy is (in my humble opinion) an amazingly food-oriented country, it’s still possible to get a bad meal – especially in a touristy city. So I’m going to keep track of Shelley’s recommendations for places to eat in Rome, and I suggest you do, as well. Here they are:

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  • Rome Sweet Rome – It looks like there are some decadent sweets to be had from La Dolceroma, an Austrian bakery in the area known as the Jewish Ghetto, just across from Tiber Island.
  • Chronicle of an Abruzzese Dinner – This one isn’t in Rome, but in the nearby Abruzzo region; but the pictures might make you want to take a side trip. The restaurant is Ristorante Plistia in the town of Pescasseroli.
  • Tea Time at Zeno – For a country so focused on espresso, it’s nice to hear about a haven for tea-lovers, too. Zeno is in Rome, and not far from the Vatican Museum (so perfect for a rest after trekking through the entire museum just to see the Sistine Chapel).
  • Ahò, e daje! Magna a Taverna de’ Mercanti! – The restaurant in this entry “wins hands-down for Rome’s most fun and authentic period building and atmosphere to dine in.” If you see the picture of the entryway, you’ll see why. Taverna de’ Mercanti is on Piazza de’ Mercanti in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood.
  • Desire Taken by the Tail – Even though this place is near Piazza Navona (and therefore near touristy spots of the city), it’s “tucked away in a good hiding spot” (and therefore probably devoid of tourists).
  • Blue Ice, Ice Baby – When in Rome, as they say, do as the Romans do. In this case, that means eating gelato (though that’s just something that should be done all over Italy, once per day). This review is of a chain of gelato establishments called Blue Ice which can apparently be found all over the city.

Now that I’m hungry, I’d really like to figure out when my next trip to Rome is going to be.

Photo by: Flávio Cruvinel Brandão