16 International Restaurants in Rome for Exotic Experience

Are you tired of pasta, pizza and coda alla vaccinara? Fret not, I have prepared a mouthwatering list of ethnic restaurants in Rome where you can take a delicious break from the local food.

Even though Roman and Italian gastronomy, whether sticking to tradition or drifting towards a more New-Age twist, is still the star of the show, there are plenty of fantastic international restaurants in Rome. From Latin American specialties to hearty Greek dishes to delicate Japanese bites, you are sure to find all types of spices and flavors.

Are you ready to discover the exotic flavors of Rome’s international food scene? Let’s dive in!

Image: Stuffed pita from Grekos Greek restaurant in Rome.

Grekos, Greek restauranti in Prati

We recently visited this lovely Greek restaurant in Prati, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Rome, and loved it. They offer pita stuffed with typical Greek bites, a large selection of mains such as pork skewers, grilled meat, and beef patties, fantastic starters, and traditional sweets.

Even though quite heavy on meat options, there are also dishes for vegetarians in both the stuffed pitas and mains lists.

This is one of our favorite restaurants in Prati for many reasons. Even though it’s best to make a reservation because it’s quite crowded, the type of offer makes it quite fast so it’s unlikely that you won’t find a table or that you have to wait for too long. Prices are also very reasonable and in the end, you will have enjoyed a hearty meal of generous portions

  • Where: Via dei Gracchi 282.
  • When: Every day 12-3.30 pm and 6-11 pm.
  • Website.
Image: Sahara Ethiopian restaurant in Rome.

Sahara, Ethiopian restaurant in Rome

This is one of our favorite places for eating out in Rome. It’s been there for decades and it’s always very popular. Open only for dinner, you definitely need to reserve your table (or mesob) in advance.

The menu is very traditional so it includes mainly meat-based dishes but there are many vegetarian and plant-based options. You can either order a single dish or a mixed platter with a taste of all the dishes laid out on the typical Ethiopian injera bread. I usually order the mixed platter so I have a bite of everything and it tastes amazing.

  • Where: Viale Ippocrate 43.
  • When: Monday to Saturday 7.30 pm-12 am. Closed on Sunday.
  • Website.

Inka Chicken, Peruvian cuisine in Rome

This is a very basic and no-frill Peruvian restaurant in Rome that has quickly gained so much traction that from the first venue opened in 2012, they have already four locations in total spread out across Rome’s territory.

You can find the tasty dishes of Inka Chicken in Castro Pretorio near Termini Station, in Testaccio, in Centocelle, and in Selva Candida north of Rome. Their menu offers starters, mains, chifa from the Chinese-Peruvian fusion tradition, fish, BBQ, and also salads and desserts.

  • Where: Via Palestro 32/A, Via di Monte Testaccio 39, Via delle Palme 5, Via Usseglio 2.
  • When: Wednesday to Sunday 12-10.30 pm. Closed on Tuesday, in Via Palestro, closed on Monday.
Image: Mezé bistrot ethnic restaurant in Rome.

Mezé Bistrot, Middle-Eastern cuisine in Rome

Of the two locations of Mezé Bistrot, we have tried and loved their restaurant in Prati. Middle-Eastern dishes contaminated by Sri Lankan flavors give the customers a rich sensory experience.

Spicy but not too much and a diverse menu of meat, fish, and veggie fares caters to any type of preference and dietary needs.

The location in Prati is also quite unbeatable because it’s close to the Vatican but not in a touristy area so you are going to see mainly locals. Their other restaurant is located in the beautiful Monteverde area not too far from Trastevere train station, close to the San Camillo Forlanini hospital.

  • Where: Via Properzio 30, Via di Monteverde 9B.
  • When: in Prati Tuesday to Sunday 12-3 pm and 6-11 pm, closed on Monday. In Monteverde open every day 6.30-11 and Saturday and Sunday also for lunch 12.30-3 pm.
  • Website.
Image: IGIO Korean restaurant in Trastevere one of the popular international restaurants in Rome.

IGIO Korean restaurant in Trastevere

We have been to IGIO Korean restaurant in Rome’s Trastevere a few times and every time was a success. Also when my son was 1 year old and just starting to appreciate real food vs milk, this was one of the places he enjoyed the most.

Apart from their famous fermented hot chili Kimchi, most dishes are mild even though very flavorful. We tried several courses to share from starters such as yace rolls and kimbap to their delicious pancakes such as the veggie yacegion to their mains such as japce noodles.

  • Where: Via Roma Libera 26.
  • When: Tuesday to Sunday 12-3 pm and 6.30-10 pm. Closed on Monday.
  • Website.
Image: De Zhuang hotpot Chinese restaurant in Rome.

De Zhuang Hotpot Chinese restaurant

Opened in October 2021 a few steps from Piazza Vittorio, it was and still is among the first proponents of the authentic hotpot of true Chinese culinary tradition. Giorgia Chen is the hostess. The daughter of Chinese restaurateurs, she grew up in Italy while traveling and savoring different cultures that have made her cuisine unique. Hers is an offer aiming at bringing the essence of Chinatowns from all over the world to Rome.

The Hotpot is a pot of boiling broth placed in the center of the table. Among its most essential features is the pot used and here, it must be chosen first, followed by 1 or 2 flavors (spicy and/or sweet) or 9 grills to preserve the separation of the flavors of animal entrails. You will then choose the broth: tomato and porcini mushrooms, spicy or otherwise.

And this is the real gem of this international restaurant in Rome: the 6 degrees of spiciness up to a maximum of 75 degrees. Finally, the sauce – satai, sesame, oyster, peanut, soy and finally, for those who are new to hotpot, only at De Zhuang is the universal sauce. The undisputed star, however, is the meat – sakura – of lamb or beef, offal but also fish, vegetables, soy noodles, and dumplings with Chinese red potatoes. Ping gu mushrooms, Chinese cauliflower, seaweed, chicken and duck feet, duck tongue, fine tripe but also king crab claws and smoked tofu.

  • Where: Via di San Vito 15/16.
  • When: Every day lunch and dinner. Closed on Tuesday.
Image: Lunch at Bibliothè Ayurveda and Indian-inspired vegan restaurant in Rome.

Bibliothè vegan Indian restaurant in Rome’s city center

Bibliothè was founded in 2000 as a tea room where you could enjoy your drink while reading one of the many books available to be borrowed. Soon, however, due to the increased demand, they also started offering some dishes from the Indian tradition.

The place is nice and cozy and the food is great. They give you the option to pick a single dish or order a mixed platter if you want to taste different bites.

If you are following a plant-based diet and are having issues finding variety, peruse our guide to the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Rome for more options.

  • Where: Via Celsa 5.
  • When: Monday to Saturday 12.30-10.30 pm. Closed on Sunday.

Nakai, Japanese restaurant near the Vatican

Are you craving Japanese food and find yourself near the Vatican? Nakai might just be your best bet. Named after its founder, the Japan-born chef Koji Nakai, the restaurant has quickly become a reference for Japanese gastronomy connoisseurs and Asian fusion cuisine enthusiasts.

This is not an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant, this is a gourmet experience where all the ingredients are carefully selected and paired. Starting from the appetizers, the menu offers an enticing contamination between Roman and Chinese culinary traditions. So you will have unusual fares such as carbonara Japanese style and noodles on Japanese ragout, but also a revisited coda alla vaccinara and the chef’s take on the famous Indonesian dish nasi goreng.

  • Where: Via di Santa Maria alle Fornaci 14
  • When: Every day 12-3 pm and 7-11 pm.
  • Website.
Image: Tako sushi restaurant in Rome.

Tako sushi restaurant in Rome

This Japanese-style restaurant in Ostiense is the second opening of Tako as the first one is located in the Nomentana/Talenti area. At Tako’s, the sushi is taken to the next level and becomes a gourmet experience.

Surrounded by an Instagrammable décor worthy of Alice in Wonderland, you can enjoy delicacies with raw prawns, tempura zucchini flower, ceviche, and plenty of homemade sauces. Along with the menu à la carte, they also offer the AYCE formula for both lunch and dinner (dinner is slightly more expensive).

They also offer a tasting menu, Tako Tasting, where you can try different types of sushi in a mignon style strongly influenced by the season so frequently changing. If you want to enjoy a nice aperitif, you can order one of their cocktails at the bar counter and taste some of their sushi bites.

  • Where: Via Ostiense 97.
  • When: Every day 12.30-3 pm and 7.30 pm-12 am.
  • Website.

Kohaku Japanese restaurant near Villa Borghese

Very close to the winding Via Veneto and Villa Borghese, one of Rome’s most famous parks, Kohaku serves the specialties of the Kaiseki tradition, the highest point of Japanese cuisine.

The high-quality ingredients and a deep study of the original techniques deliver a rich experience rooted in ancient rituals.

  • Where: Via Marche 66.
  • When: Monday to Saturday 12.30-3 pm and 7.30-10.30 pm.
  • Website.

Jaipur Indian restaurant in Trastevere

Jaipur Indian restaurant is conveniently located in the heart of the lively Trastevere neighborhood and serves typical northern Indian food. In a feast of spices and herbs, its customers enjoy a delicious culinary experience.

Head there if you are craving tandoori, malai tikka, curries, naan, and rice in all its declinations.

  • Where: Via di San Francesco a Ripa 56.
  • When: Every day 12-2.45 pm and 7 pm-12 am. On Monday only 7 pm-12 am.
  • Website.
Image: Temakinho Brazilian sushi restaurant in Rome.

Temakinho Brazilian sushi fusion in Rome

Temakinho is a popular Brazilian restaurant in Rome counting several locations. We have recently been to their cozy venue in Ponte Milvio and enjoyed both the food and the laid-back vibe.

Rather than a typical Brazilian churrascaria, Temakinho offers a successful even though quite unusual formula of Rio de Janeiro Carnival-style sushi. Come here if you want to enjoy tasty sushi and poke bowls in a colorful environment.

  • Where: Borgo Angelico 30, Via dei Serpenti 16, Piazzale di Ponte Milvio 9.
  • When: Every day 12-3.30 pm and 7-11 pm.
  • Website.

Baires Argentinian restaurant in the city center

Its position might lead you to think it’s an overly commercial restaurant but Baires is actually a historical Argentinian haven in Rome’s Centro Storico right next to Piazza Navona.

Their forte is the Angus steak coming from Argentina itself but their menu is much larger. In a rustic Argentinian-style décor, you can order Latin American specialties such as stuffed pork filet, empanadas, locro, and chipa guazù. The nostalgic don’t need to worry, they will find also the evergreen dulce de leche.

  • Where: Corso del Rinascimento 1.
  • When: Every day 12-3 pm and 7-11 pm.
  • Website.

El Pueblo Mexican restaurant in Rome

At El Pueblo, they claim their loyalty to the Mexican culinary tradition. So here you are sure to find popular dishes like guacamole, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, and frijoles negros refritos as well as largely used ingredients such as corn and huitlacoche.

  • Where: Via Sebastiano Zani 58.
  • When: Every day 6-11 pm, Saturday and Sunday also 12-3 pm.
  • Website.
Image: Smor Scandi street food in Rome
Alberto Blasetti / www.albertoblasetti.com

Smor Scandinavian street food in Rome

Smor has been one of our go-to street food places in Rome. All their quick-to-consume nibbles reek of Scandi style and are fulfilling and easy to eat on the go. A perfect compromise if you want to eat something very tasty and original but don’t want to spend too much time sitting at a restaurant.

Smoked salmon, beef carpaccio, steamed prawns and more northern European treats served on rye bread or their typical piadina-style flatbread or handy bowls are some of the fares you can order.

Smor is located in the elegant Nomentano/Trieste neighborhood and is a perfect choice if you are exploring an off-path side of Rome with a visit to the charming Villa Torlonia and the complex of Santa’Agnese Fuori le Mura.

  • Where: Via Cesare Paoletti 23.
  • When: Monday to Friday 10 am-5 pm, Saturday 10 am-2.30 pm. Closed on Sunday.

Queen Makeda, international fusion cuisine in Ostiense

Last but not least is Queen Makeda, an international restaurant in the Ostiense neighborhood that serves specialties and dishes from any country. So if you are craving just ethnic food, it’s quite likely you will find it here.

On the menu, are specialties like stuffed jalapeno, pyazu, gyros, gulash, BBQ ribs, and chicken curry to please a very diverse clientele. Here, you can also enjoy an aperitif with one drink of your choice and 6 nibbles for 13€.

  • Where: Via Francesco Negri 9.
  • When: Tuesday to Sunday 12.30-4 pm and 6 pm-12.30 am (Friday and Saturday until 1 am). Closed on Monday.
  • Website.


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About The Author: Angela Corrias

Hi, my name is Angela Corrias! I am an Italian journalist, photographer, and blogger living in Rome. After over ten years of living abroad, I finally came to the conclusion that in order to better organize my future adventures, I needed a base. Since I know and love Rome so much, I moved back to the Eternal City. This is how Rome Actually was born. Here, I cover everything about Rome, from the local food to the culture to Roman history.

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