3 Restaurants in Centro Storico that will steal your heart

June 16, 2020

This week I am featuring my new friends at Carpe Diem Tours in Rome. Enjoy their suggestions for excellent food experiences in their post, THREE RESTAURANTS IN ROMA, CENTRO STORICO. NOTE: when my clients book through me, there are often special offerings. Let me know how I can assist you.

Carpe Diem Rome’s tours are crafted to ensure you get the most out of Rome’s rich history. British born, but now based in Rome, our friendly, expert guides will provide all of the incredible facts and captivating stories which made Rome the centre of the ancient world.

Everyone comes to Rome with high expectations about the food, and rightly so, but how do you find the best places to eat in Rome? How do you pick a good one rather than a tourist trap?!

Read on.

Everyone comes to Rome with high expectations about the food, and rightly so, but how do you find the best places to eat in Rome? How do you pick a good one rather than a tourist trap?! Well, rather than taking conventional tours of the Colosseum and the Vatican when in Rome you could try the Rome Food Tour. Or you can go armed with a few recommendations from a tour guide of Rome. I’ve lived in Rome for 6 years now and in this post I am going to share 3 of my favourite restaurants in Centro Storico with you!



Piazza delle Coppelle, 44, 00186 Roma RM, Italy


Nestled in the back alleys of the Centro Storico, located just a stone’s throw away from the Pantheon is where you’ll find this authentic ristorante. Maccheroni chose its name to honour the thin tubey pasta which features in many of their dishes. Though they specialise in pasta, the menu also contains magnificent antipasti, traditional meat courses, and deserts! The top-notch food is complemented by the experience of traditional dining in a rustic setting, not to mention the friendly staff that pull out all the stops.



When it comes to starters there is a lot to choose from but there are two that I favour. The antipasti platters are mouth-watering – all the meats and cheese are sourced from local farms in the region of Lazio. For those salt and sweet I lovers I highly recommend you to sample the Pecorino cheese with honey and walnuts… it’s a particular recipe that you won’t find in many Italian restaurants. It’s amazing!



With such a diverse range of pasta on the menu it can be tricky to choose the right one. Especially when they are all so appetizing. If you prefer red sauce then try the Amatriciana, a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale (pigs cheeks), pecorino cheese. If you prefer white sauce then then opt for Maccheroni Alla Gricia, similar to carbonara but using Roman Pecorino rather than Parmigiano. My real weak spot has to be the Ravioli Fior Di Zucca, freshly made pasta parcels containing cheese and zucchini flowers. 


Broccoletti €€€€

Via Urbana 104, Rione de Monti, 104, 00184 Roma RM, Italy


The adorable restaurant Broccoletti may be small, but it’s intimate dining area and tiny kitchen packs a punch. It is situated close to the Colosseum in the quaint cobbled alleys of the hip and trendy neighborhood of Monti. This restaurant boasts an exquisite seasonal menu that fuses tradition with passion in a tantalizing way, putting a modern twist on the Italian classics

What's in the name? The owner Fabrizio loves Roman style Broccoli and chooses it to complement most dishes they serve, hence Broccoletti. The simplicity of the name resonates in the food as well. The dishes use simple ingredients that are cooked to perfection, with a strong focus on meat and fish. No pizza here, but they do make a beautiful focaccia! Each dish is sprinkled with a dash of creativity, but as Fabrizio says, “non troppo” or “not too much”. 



What makes everything on the menu exceptional are the seasonal ingredients which are served only when they are ripe. All the ingredients are organic and sourced from regions of Italy which specialise in the particular ingredient. This also means that some of the dishes I’ve included pictures of may not necessarily be on the menu when you go!



Last time I ate there we tucked into the Verdura Mista, or Mixed Vegetables. The colourful arrangement tastes as good as it looks. Not to mention the mussels from the nearby seaside town of Ostia served in a sauce of Lazio white wine, or the sizzling filet steak.


Emma €€€

Via del Monte della Farina, 28, 00186 Roma RM, Italy



You’ve probably got this far and wondered why I haven't mentioned Pizza yet. Well that’s where Emma comes into play. Situated just a short walk away from the enchanting hotspot of Campo Di Fiori you can experience gourmet pizza that’s created by one of Italy’s most famous and creative pizza chefs Pier Luigi Roscioli. Despite the fact that Rome has a pizzeria on practically every corner, his pizza base and restaurant has won multiple awards and is truly a cut above the rest.


Going to the pizzeria as an Italian is usually a laid-back affair but Emma puts more of an emphasis on the fine dining experience than most. The menu is designed around the traditional styles of either pizza bianca, white pizza without tomato sauce, or pizza rossa, red pizza with tomato sauce. However, there is a specials section which features fresh ideas and new combinations that push the boundaries of traditional. It’s safe to say that all the ingredients are organic and selected carefully to ensure they make it into the kitchen. I usually opt for the quattro stagioni, or fours seasons, a pizza topped with Artichokes, tomatoes, basil, prosciutto, ham, mushrooms, and olives!



It would be a crime to pay a visit to Emma and not start with the Bruschetta. I know, every restaurant in Italy serves Bruschetta, but Emma’s is exceptional - in particular the buffalo mozzarella served here is so juicy and fresh. Another Roman favourite that Emma finesse is the Fritti, or fried foods, in particular the Fior Di Zucca is a sublime choice! Mozzarella, flower of zucchini, and anchovies deep fried…. Thank me later!


Written by Russell Hammond, Co-Founder and Tour Guide of Carpe Diem Rome Tours

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