roman cuisine: discover the must-try dishes

Rome is the city where good taste finds its peace. No matter if you decide to visit the capital of Italy in a calm way, or if you only have one day in Rome, you definitely can’t miss the tasty side of this city.

The typical dishes of Rome come from years, or better, centuries of culinary tradition. Choosing which dishes you must try in the Eternal City is a difficult task.

In this article, however, we try to recommend you some of the typical dishes of Roman cuisine that, in our opinion, represent the local food culture in the best way.


Pasta alla Carbonara

The carbonara sauce is a true and unique symbol of Roman cuisine and one of the most famous Italian dishes in the world.

Its origin is still not certain today. One party traces it back to the end of the Second World War, when bacon brought by American Allies began to appear in the local market.

On the other side there are those who claim that its origin is a local variation of a cheese and egg dish eaten by the charcoal burners of Abruzzo.

Whatever its origin is, one thing is certain: the carbonara sauce is one of the cornerstones of the capital’s gastronomy and one of the dishes to be ordered absolutely once seated at the table in one of the typical trattorias of the city.

roman cuisine pasta carbonara


Pizza romana

This pizza called “scrocchiarella” is the true pizza of Rome. A thin and crunchy dough, with a low and crumbly edge, which is seasoned in different ways, but which is famous above all in its version with mozzarella, anchovies, basil, pecorino cheese and pepper.

It doesn’t matter if you prefer the pizza of Rome or Naples because taste is a matter of personal preference. What is sure is that the “scrocchiarella” is perfect as a quick lunch similar to street – food.

pizza romana



By the way, speaking about street food, what could be better than a nice sandwich stuffed with porchetta from Ariccia?

Ariccia is a municipality in the province of Rome that has a thousand-year tradition of this delicious product.

It seems that the tradition of priests, who dedicated their work to the production of pig meat, destined to be offered in sacrifice at the temple of Jupiter on the Mount Cavo, comes from here.

It also seems that the summer hunting expeditions of the Roman nobility contributed to a large extent to the improvement of the techniques later used by artisans who started producing porchetta. The celebrity of this product, however, dates back to 1950 with the inauguration of the first Porchetta di Ariccia Festival.

porchetta roma


Roman supplì

These delicious long-shaped meatballs prepared with rice, meat sauce, eggs and pecorino cheese, are stuffed with a slice of mozzarella, then breaded in breadcrumbs and finally fried in hot oil.

The supplì must be eaten hot to be tasted “on the phone”: this means that when you bite into it you create the typical long strip of hot cheese going from your mouth to the meatball.

suppli roma


Other dishes of the Roman cuisine that you shouldn’t miss

Now that we have recommended 4 typical dishes that in our opinion you can’t miss, because the really represent Roman cuisine in the world, we can add some other recommendations which might be useful for you.


Pasta alla Gricia

Gricia pasta is probably less famous than Carbonara, but not less tasty. It is also sometimes called “white amatriciana” and it is very similar to the famous “cacio e pepe”, with the addition of bacon.

A simple but delicious dish in which the pasta is seasoned with bacon, pecorino romano and pepper. You must try it!


Gnocchi alla romana

These gnocchi are very different from the typical potato and flour gnocchi to which we are all used: Roman-style gnocchi are semolina disks cooked in milk, mixed with eggs and then gratinated with butter and Parmesan cheese. A simple dish, but really tasty!


Carciofi alla giudìa

We would say that this is one of the most interesting and delicious dishes of Roman cuisine.

The Jewish Artichoke is, as the name implies, a preparation coming from the Judeo-Romanesque tradition that was originated, most likely, in the Jewish ghetto of the capital.

The artichoke mus be of the “Romanesque” variety. After being cleaned and its leaves are spread well, the artichoke is totally immersed in hot oil. That’s why this fried artichoke is so crunchy and tasty.


Coda alla vaccinara

This recipe called cow tail is one of the poorest dishes of Roman cuisine. The name of the dish derives from the “vaccinators”, those who slaued to slaughter animals. The tail was what was left over, while the meat was sold to to wealthy buyers.

The cooking procedure of this dish is long and accurate: only in this way it becomes really tender, which is very important because otherwise it might result stringy.


Abbacchio alla scottadito

The abbacchio alla scottadito is prepared with milk lamb. The ribs are greased with lard and then cooked on the grill. The dish is generally accompanied by potatoes.


Trippa alla romana

Last but not least, another typical dish of the cuisine of the capital that you absolutely must try is the Roman tripe. Like the vaccinara tail, it has very poor origins, but this doesn’t mean it is simple to prepare.

The preparation, in fact, is long and complex and involves the use of multiple ingredients. In the most popular recipes the tripe, pecorino romano, bacon, celery, carrots, onions, white wine, tomato pulp, mint, black pepper and garlic are used.

So, do you feel really hungry now?

If you are planning a trip to Rome and you are interested in discovering Roman cuisine, you should join our walking food tours through Rome: the local experts of Do Eat Better Experience will guide you during this journey of exploration and tasting, you will see the most beautiful monuments and spots of the city while trying the best food.

We have different tours you can try: from the Roman Street Food Tour to the walking Food Tour through Trastevere, there is the right offer for every taste!

rome street food tour

rome street food tour

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Graduated in Literature and Communication and Media Culture, she loves both writing and storytelling. She made her first trip when she was only two and a half months old and hasn't had a break since. Each of her trips is accompanied, of course, by more tastings of the local cuisine! Today she writes about this and more on her blog "Viaggi che Mangi" and in the meantime she also writes for other portals.

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We have created amazing food tours and cooking experiences that will show you how and what local people enjoy eating. Typical dishes, served in different restaurants, will present you the local food culture!



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