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From the Michelin three-star restaurant to traditional trattoria, visitors in the eternal city can savour the creative cuisine of popular chefs or the best versions of traditional recipes – starting with pasta carbonara.
In Italy, you eat well – it’s no secret. But in terms of haute cuisine and internationally renowned chefs, Rome never managed to stand up to its rival city, Milan. But it has finally woken up. Alongside the enduring, traditional trattorie and osterie – which very often serve up mediocre quality – the Capital is now increasingly offering Michelin-starred experiences, contemporary bistros and large restaurants at luxury hotels with an international allure. It’s an eclectic and innovative scene, represented by a group of chefs who get their strength from a combination of cuisines, multiculturalism, and proper, traditional dishes.
Here are our top 10, in no particular order, from Michelin-starred restaurants to the delicatessen offering delicious food:
For over twenty years, the Rome-based German chef Heinz Beck has seen Rome from above… but not only from his three Michelin stars. Atop the capital’s highest hill of Monte Mario, within the luxury Rome Cavalieri Hotel, the perfect dinner is staged against a twinkling city backdrop, wainscoting and tapestries. Let’s not fail to mention the impeccable service, the wonderful wine cellar and the flawless kitchen that somehow retains a soul. Seeing is believing, so go and try “La Pergola” fagottelli carbonara.
It contends with la Pergola for the most beautiful view of the Capital (but we prefer this one, because of the unique glimpse on Trinità dei Monti). In addition to the view, you can climb to the top floor of this historic, luxury hotel to try the most exciting fusion cuisine in town. Michelin-starred Chef Francesco Apreda’s menu encompasses the best of Campania, Rome, India and Japan with dishes like the marinara style risotto with mussels and black lime and the chicken “two cultures”, sweet pepper and teriyaki.
The most famous and celebrated gastronomic name in Rome is the best example of an exclusive mix: a deli, wine bar, restaurant and the recently added café, just next door. Come to shop for the best Italian cheese and sausages but mainly to sit at the small counter or in the lounge, and a pasta alla gricia or cacio e pepe made to perfection. Also note: there’s an enormous wine cellar and just a few steps away is the family’s historic, old bakery.
The polyglot and well-travelled Chef Anthony Genovese offers up a unique and creative cuisine. Choose one of the many tasting menus without passing up the amazing desserts. You can count on high-quality service and original, alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) drinks. The recent remodel has made this elegant location in the heart of Rione Regola even more comfortable. Two Michelin stars.
A few steps from Campo de’ Fiori, not to be confused with any other VIP restaurant in Rome, because this is simply (so to speak) the best seafood restaurant in the Capital. You’ll find a charming setting, a bourgeois crowd and excellent product quality. Start with the cold-cut platter, of course, but don’t miss the spaghetti with sea urchins. Exclusive wine list.
A minimalist room, some tables in the alley and a small conservatory: you feel good at Giulio Terrinoni’s table. You’ll find textured dishes with fine-tuned flair, like his Roman-style monkfish tripe. At lunch, even if you have little time, have fun with “tappi” – the exclusive bites like tapas.
An elegant, contemporary restaurant in the heart of the Parioli district. The cuisine of Colombian chef Roy Caceres plays with the flavours of the world with great technique and soul. The menu features a cod chickpea stew, pork tendons and ginger. The homemade bread is worth the trip.
The new, spacious and elegant restaurant in Corso Vittorio Emanuele is finally in line with the big ambitions of Alessandro Pipero, maître and sommelier (among the best in Italy), who will introduce you to the cuisine of young chef Luciano Monosilio. The carbonara pasta deserves first prize, but try the most daring and contemporary proposals such as linguine oyster and smoked paprika, or scampi, chicken with olive and rosemary.
If you love fusion cuisine, you are in the right place. In this Liberty-style building (which is also a boutique hotel), fusion and mixology go hand in hand. Marco Martini plays on the memory strings, reminding us of Roman tradition in the cornetto all’amatriciana or linguine with sweet peppers, cod and chorizo. The tasting menu is fun and original… and to be savoured with delicious cocktails.
The exception that proves the rule of Trastevere, the nightlife and tourist district, Cristina Bowerman abandons clichés and offers a creative cuisine with no boundaries. In this design environment, for a truly iconic dish, there’s the carbonara glazed cod with soy and honey, accompanied by scorzonera.