13 Best Restaurants in Rome’s City Center

For us locals, demanding and in-the-know, finding great restaurants in Rome’s city center is always challenging. Let’s face it, along with the Vatican, the Centro Storico is where most tourists (and tourist menus) gather.

But since I’m a local, and I’m Italian, I don’t eat bad food, and at least in my country (and my city) I don’t settle for anything less than great.

If you are visiting Italy for the first time, you might not be familiar with real Italian food, but since I don’t want you to go back home without trying it, I made it a point to suggest great places to eat in Rome’s city center. All places that I have personally tried and loved because I think no one better than a local can recommend where to eat in Rome.

Restaurants like Da Armando near the Pantheon, the lovely Colline Emiliane near Barberini, and Il Piccolo Buco near the Trevi Fountain deserve a mention as some of the best restaurants in Rome’s historic center. Thankfully, they are not the only ones. So read on and take note, because you are likely to spend most of your holiday in the neighborhood!

Image: Main from Ninù restaurant in Rome city center.

Da Armando, famous restaurant near the Pantheon,

As I said, I don’t want you to go back home without tasting real Italian food, so trust the Gargioli family to serve you a tempting menu of traditional Roman dishes. They’ve been doing so since 1961 and they don’t show any sign of cooling.

It all started with Armando, the founder, who took over an old restaurant and established a wine cellar with food that soon became Armando al Pantheon. A stellar spaghetti cacio e pepe, a hearty rigatoni all’amatriciana, and great mains such as coda alla vaccinara oxtail and saltimbocca alla romana are some of the dishes you can expect to find on Armando’s menu.

  • Where: Salita de’ Crescenzi 31.

Per Me, one of the high-end restaurants in Rome’s city center

Founded by chef Giulio Terrinoni, Per Me is one of the best seafood restaurants in Rome city center. Creative and daring, the dishes of this young chef are modern yet winking at the Italian tradition.

In a minimalist and elegant décor, Terrinoni offers his guests a sophisticated experience with an à la carte menu of fish, seafood, game dishes, and a few tasting menu options.

  • Where: Vicolo del Malpasso 9.
Image: pizza from Piccolo Buco restaurant near Fontana di Trevi

Il Piccolo Buco pizza place in Rome’s city center

This is a great pizzeria in Rome serving this famous Italian dish with a contemporary twist and the personal take of chef Luca Issa, born and bred right in the Trevi quarter where he opened his restaurant.

With 48 hours of slow rising and the employment of high-quality ingredients, the result is gourmet pizza served for both lunch and dinner. On the menu, also cheese and cold cuts platters as starters and salads as sides.

This is a very small restaurant and seats are limited. They used to take reservations but they don’t anymore. They suggest to just show up and try your luck! It’s closed on Monday.

  • Where: Via del Lavatore 91.

Il Pagliaccio, Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome city center

This is the very much acclaimed restaurant of chef Anthony Genovese awarded with 2 Michelin stars. Closed to tradition but very original and creative, the menu of one of the most famous high-end restaurants in Rome city center is diverse and superb.

Apart from the à la carte offer, the chef also proposes a selection of tasting menus promising a vibrant experience of international contaminations from the Mediterranean to Asia.

Sleek and elegant décor, the restaurant is open only for dinner except on Saturday when it also opens for lunch. It’s closed on Sunday and Monday and reservation is required.

  • Where: Via dei Banchi Vecchi 129a
Image: Via Giulia one of the most famous streets in Rome

I Sofà Bar Restaurant in the city center

This is one of the best restaurants in Rome’s city center located inside one of the city’s top luxury 5-star hotels, Indigo Rome – St. George. Open every day for breakfast, aperitif and dinner, I Sofà Bar Restaurant remains loyal to the Roman tradition.

Set on the ground floor all year, guests are welcome to enjoy their meals in the internal courtyard and sip their drinks on the panoramic rooftop when the good season approaches.

  • Where: Via Giulia 62

Osteria Giulia cozy restaurant in the city center

Cozy and fine dining, Osteria Giulia is one of the comforting restaurants in Rome city center where you can sit, relax, and enjoy your meal. Even though the name osteria and the vintage décor evoke basic and rustic eats, Osteria Giulia serves traditional fares with a fresh twist.

And for a sip during the aperitif, for after dinner, or just waiting for your table, you can sit at the counter of the cocktail bar and enjoy an experiential blend.

  • Where: Lungotevere dei Tebaldi 4a
Image: Baccano restaurant near the Trevi Fountain in Rome

Baccano, great eatery near the Trevi Fountain

Baccano is a large restaurant near the Trevi Fountain and one we suggest because they serve different types of dishes and the quality is great. They recommend reserving your seat because even if they have a large space both indoor and outdoor, due to the location, it gets crowded quickly.

From starters to oysters to first courses, mains, and fantastic desserts, at Baccano, you can enjoy a traditional Roman and Italian meal with some international influences and the personal twist of the chef.

  • Where: Via delle Muratte 23

Colline Emiliane, one of the favorite restaurants in Rome city center

As the name suggests, Colline Emiliane specializes in recipes from the Emilia-Romagna region. Think anything between tortellini, lasagne, Parma ham, mortadella, squacquerone fresh cheese, tagliatelle, and everything that makes the region and its capital Bologna a favorite destination for foodies in Italy.

Located in a backstreet between Barberini and the Trevi Fountain, it gets full quickly and booking is highly recommended.

  • Where: Via degli Avignonesi 22

Verve Restaurant in the city center

I told you about Via Giulia in my article about Rome’s coolest streets. There is something about Via Giulia that just keeps attracting me. It’s in the heart of the city yet it conveys this sense of calm that lures you in when you need to escape the crowds.

Verve Restaurant fits perfectly in this environment cozy and chic. The food served here is creative where great attention is paid to the ingredients, strictly selected from the best Italian and regional farms.

In-house is also the baked goods that populate the breakfast, from croissants to cakes but also with savory options dished out from the kitchen to complete the international offer.

  • Where: Via Giulia 131
Image: Spaghetti from Ninù restaurant in Rome city center.

Ninù seafood restaurant in Rome’s city center

Ninù was a recent discovery for us and a very pleasant one. It’s located in the heart of Centro Storico and since it’s not easy to find authentic food in the area, we will be going back there for sure.

We ordered a mix of seafood and meat-based courses and all were delicious, including some desserts and the coffee.

The place itself is nicely decorated with a part used as a tearoom and library where you can enjoy the books on display. Ninù opened in July 2023 mainly as a seafood restaurant and unlike many tourist eateries in the area, they have chosen not to put their waiters on the streets to drag passers-by in.

While it’s not a cheap eat, for their offer of fish and seafood dishes, it’s affordable. Even though it’s quite large and features seating indoors and outdoors, I suggest reserving in advance.

  • Where: Via della Frezza 43
Image: Ginger one of the restaurants near Piazza Navona in Rome.

Ginger healthy casual bistrot in Rome

This is a great restaurant if you are looking for casual and healthy eating. They offer a large menu and serve dishes including whole-grain rice, steamed salmon, burgers, balanced bowls, and drinks such as juices, smoothies, and a selection of coffees and teas.

They are near the Spanish Steps and near the Pantheon, they have tables indoors and outdoors, and they are open from breakfast through dinner, so you can even stop for brunch, aperitif, or a quick bite any time of the day.

We also went when my son was very small and I remember they have a changing table for babies in the bathroom so it’s one of the restaurants I suggest going to with babies and toddlers.

  • Where: Piazza Sant’Eustachio 54, Via Borgognona 43-46
Image: Street food from Supplizio restaurant in Rome's city center.

Supplizio street food near Campo de’ Fiori

Can street food and gourmet go hand in hand? At Supplizio they can! This street food place founded by chef Arcangelo Dandini has been a success from the beginning. Here, you can find all types of Roman street food and Italian quick bites for a perfect meal on the go.

They also have a few seats including a couch so if you are lucky enough to find it empty, you can enjoy your supplì, veggie or fish patties, and light salads sitting inside.

  • Where: Via dei Banchi Vecchi 143

If you like the style, check out our guide to the best street food places in Rome

image: salmon pancake at Coromandel restaurant near Piazza Navona in Rome city center

Coromandel, breakfast and brunch in Rome city center

This has been one of our favorite breakfast places in Rome. If you are looking for a hearty first meal of the day or brunch, Coromandel is your restaurant. It’s located right behind Piazza Navona so it can’t be more central than that.

Hearty pancakes are served in sweet options such as banana and berries, or savory like the delicious one with salmon and crème fraiche. If you are into a lighter and healthy breakfast, you can order one of their porridge options or their yogurt with granola. But those looking for a hearty savory breakfast will be spoiled for choice with a wide array of eggs prepared in different ways, hamburgers, bagels, scrambled tofu, and more.

  • Where: Via di Monte Giordano 60/61

We took a self-guided Rome tour! Watch our video!


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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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