Rome, you can love it or hate it but you can never call boring. We partnered up with Expedia Canada to highlight some of the great food spots we recently discovered in this bustling city.
We opted to hang out near Termini and the funky neighbourhood of Monti, rather than the better known areas near Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain.
Come il Latte
After dropping off our bags at our favourite budget hotel, we headed out to grab a bite to eat. Walking down via dei Mille, passed via Settembre and onto via Silvio Spaventa, just off of via Quintino Sella we stopped at what has since become our favourite place for gelato.
Come il Latte, a gelateria run by owner Nicoletta who says she took a gelato making course but went on to learn much more by experimenting on her own. Her gelato is silky and decadent with flavours like gorgonzola, sambuco e bruscolini and classics like pistachio and stracciatella.
Filled with delicious gelato we headed west, stopping here and there to take photos. One of those stops was at the church of Santa Pudenziana. It’s below street level so you have to walk down a staircase to get to its courtyard. It’s another one of those beautiful Italian churches worth a glance to see some amazing artwork.
Pizza al taglio
We finally arrived in the neighbourhood of Monti around 3:30 pm, starving and a bit too early for aperitivo, we decided to grab some pizza al taglio. It wasn’t the best we’ve had but it filled us enough to continue exploring Monti for a few more hours.
The weather was perfect, the sun was out and warm enough that you didn’t need a winter jacket. People were milling about in the streets and sitting around on benches and stairs sharing a glass of wine, a perfect Roman day.
Al Vino Al Vino
We searched out a wine bar that had been recommended for its wide variety of wines and sharing plates. Al Vino Al Vino is quaint and comfortable with wine bottles filling up a whole wall. We were the first to arrive at 6pm and were seated in the large window.
We ordered a couple of glasses of a full bodied Sangiovese and shared a plate of their amazing caponata. So delicious was the caponata that Tim asked for the recipe and they proudly gave it to him, explaining exactly how they make it.
Ai Tre Scallini
Heading back towards Termini we spotted Ai Tre Scallini, a funky and laid back restaurant bar filled with young customers. We decided to check it out. We ordered a couple of beers, which came with aperitivo snacks, and people watched.
The crowd was young and hip and the servers, all very nice, were eager to please with big smiles and plenty of drink suggestions.
About an hour later we continued on our way and decided to have dinner close to the hotel. Ristorante Regina on via dei Mille is an old school, family run restaurant popular with the locals. The food isn’t Michelin star quality but it is good and consistent. We enjoyed a couple of plates of spaghetti carbonara & cheese tortellini and a jug of red wine that was headache inducing but still quite enjoyable. The opposite of hip and laid back with lighting as bright as a classroom and an owner who ordered her waiter around, monitoring her dinners so closely it made us nervous.
The next day, after coffee at the Beehive Café, we set out to buy a gift for our friends and ended up at Grezzo, a raw chocolate shop. They use raw chocolate and only the highest quality organic ingredients in every product they offer, from truffles to decadent cakes to tasty smoothies.
Grezzo opened in 2014 and quickly became everyone’s favourite chocolate shop and we realized why when we tasted their product, a hot chili truffle for Tim and pistachio truffle for me. Both were silky smooth chocolate heaven.
Dropping off our purchases at the hotel, we decided to spend the day walking and people watching. But first we needed to take care of our hunger pangs and nipped into Er Buchetto a 5th generation porchetta maker a few blocks from the train station.
It’s a tiny hole in the wall with three communal tables, two taps offer white or red wine and a glass case near the door holds the day’s porchetta. It’s obvious the owner has been doing this for years as he cuts the meat just perfectly and piles it high on a crusty bun with pieces of crispy crackling interspersed amongst the meaty pieces.
Al Forno della Soffitta
That evening we decided to go out for pizza. We did a little research and found Al Forno della Soffitta, it’s walking distance from Termini and gets great reviews. Their pizza oven is their crown jewel, made of teal mosaic, it’s the first thing you see as you enter.
The restaurant was full but they were able to squeeze us in at a table for two in a comfortable corner. We ordered a salad of radicchio, walnuts and pecorino, a margarita pizza for me and guanciale, olive and artichoke pizza for Tim and enjoyed a couple of beers.
We ended the meal with the dessert of the day, what they called a pistachio stuffed muffin. We weren’t sure what to expect but when it arrived at the table that’s exactly what it was, a muffin with a pistachio cream filling, sitting in a pistachio sauce. It was a perfect end to our time in Rome.