What To Eat In Rome Besides Pasta And Pizza

Even if you know nothing about Rome, you must be familiar with the popular saying, “Rome was not built in a day,” which demonstrates how large Rome is. You should not, however, visit Rome without sampling the simple, plain, and excellent Roman cuisine.

Rome is home not only to a powerful empire and a rich history but also to a variety of foods other than pizza and pasta.

Bagna Càuda, Cacciucco, Arrosticini, Panelle, Supplì, and Maritozzo are some of the foods you should try when in Rome aside from the pizza and pasta that Italy is famous for.

When you’re in Rome, you act like a Roman, and you also eat like a Roman! So, you may wonder if Rome offers other delectable dishes besides pasta and pizza. This article contains everything you need to know about the other foods available in Rome. Read on for more information.

What To Eat Besides Pasta And Pizza In Rome

Aside from the well-known pasta and pizza, Rome is home to a wide variety of other delicacies that are bursting with aromatic flavors, such as;


Arrosticini is a barbecued morsel that is made of mutton skewers (from sheep, not lamb because mutton has a distinct flavor). It is typically served with bread dipped in olive oil or peperoncino oil.

Bagna Càuda

By Lombroso – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63237900

The classical Roman dish known as Bagna Càuda is prepared with anchovies, garlic, butter, olive oil, and sometimes cream.

The dish is usually eaten with vegetables; however, some people enjoy eating it with peppers as well. Bagna Càuda is an experience you should not pass up if you find yourself in Rome during the wintertime.

Carciofi Alla Romana E Alla Giudia

Roman artichokes, also known as Carciofi Alla Romana, are considered a delicacy and are a staple in many Roman households.

In order to prepare Carciofi Alla Romana, artichokes (an ingredient in ancient roman gastronomy) are braised in a sauce consisting of herbs, garlic, black pepper, mint, olive oil, and wine. This dish is irresistibly delicious!

Aside from Carciofi Alla Romana, there is another type of Roman artichoke called Carciofi alla guida.

This is the Jewish artichoke, prepared by first seasoning it with salt and pepper, then deep-frying it twice in olive oil.

The exterior of these meaty globe artichokes that have been deep-fried takes on the appearance of golden flowers, while the interior is smooth and creamy.

For artichoke enthusiasts who still find these two Roman artichokes confusing, a comparison table is provided below.

Carciofi Alla RomanaCarciofi Alla Guidìa
Roman-style artichokes.Jewish-style artichokes.
Olive oil, garlic, lemon, mint, and black pepper are the seasoning ingredients.Only salt and black pepper are used for seasoning.
It is prepared by extensive boiling for about 30 minutes.It is made by deep frying it twice in olive oil (anything different from olive oil gives a different taste).
It has a succulent, juicy texture.It has a crispy texture on the outside and a creamy one on the inside.
By Popo le Chien – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54688835


Cacciucco is a traditional Roman fish dish. It contains a wide assortment of seafood, such as shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, octopus, calamari, and shellfish. Cacciucco is a must-try Roman dish for any fish lover visiting Rome.

Filetti Di Baccalà

Filetti di Baccalà, translated to cod filets, is a delicious and fancy fish dish prepared from deep-fried salted cod and egg batter for fish lovers visiting Rome.


Maritozzo is an excellent Roman breakfast dish that is best enjoyed when freshly baked and served hot, as cold Maritozzo sulks. It is a sweetened bread bun or pastry baked until golden brown, the signature color of bread buns.

After the bread is baked, it is cut open in the middle and filled with a lot of whipped cream, which gives it a sweet taste. You must try some maritozzo whenever you visit Rome; it tastes like a pastry from heaven.

Pani Ca’ Meusa

Pani ca’ meusa is a sandwich made from animal spleen, which means that it is mostly made of meat.

Just like every other dish discussed in this article, we can guarantee that it is tasty and that you should give it a shot. Pani ca’ meusa is delightful street food in Rome; however, it is not suitable for vegetarians because it contains meat.


Supplì is one of Rome’s best dishes. It is ball-shaped and is stuffed with breadcrumbs, marinara, Risotto rice, ragù, and mozzarella cheese before being fried to a golden color.

The succulent interior of this meal is complemented by the crunchy exterior to create a delicious fried dish.

Even though Supplì is street food in Rome, you can always find it on the menus of most restaurants there, especially places where pizza is sold.


Tripe is a Roman dish made from the upper stomach of a cow that has been filled with honey and then simmered in tomato sauce and smacked with cheese to give it a distinctive flavor.

There are many more dishes that you can enjoy in Rome besides the popular pasta and pizza dishes, like Carne cruda, crostata di ricotta e visciole, polenta con merluzzo, pastiera Napoletana, and panelle, among others.

Fun Fact: Did you know that in ancient Rome, only the wealthy could afford to eat meat? Ordinary people couldn’t afford meat, so they ate grains, legumes, eggs, and cheese instead.

Recipes For Some Roman Dishes Besides Pizza And Pasta

You might be wondering how some of these dishes are made; to quell your curiosity, we’ll walk you through the steps to make artichokes and cacciucco.

Artichokes (Calla Alla Romana)

  • Artichokes
  • Mint
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Step 1

Artichokes are vegetables, so they must be cleaned thoroughly to remove any dirt. Place the artichokes in a bowl filled with cold water and lemon juice.

Step 2

Peel out the tough leaves, leaving only the tender ones.

Step 3

Cut the artichoke in half (and remove the choke) or leave it whole, depending on your preference. Also, trim the stem to a shorter length of 2 to 3 inches.

Step 4

Soak the cleaned artichokes in lemon water to prevent browning and preserve their freshness. Drain the water from it when you’re ready to fry.

Step 5

In a mixing bowl, combine the mint, garlic, oregano, salt, olive oil, and artichokes.

Step 6

Pour the mixture into a frying pan, add oil and water while stirring gently, and cover for 20 minutes, or until the water evaporates and the artichokes are tender.

For Calla Alla Guida, instead of cooking the artichokes, they are deep-fried in olive oil until crispy on the outside.

Cacciucco (Tuscan Fish Stew)

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce 
  • Seafood stock
  • Water
  • Dried oregano
  • Basil
  • Sea salt
  • Red pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Mussels
  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Clams
  • Squid
  • Any other fish of your choice

Step 1

Heat the olive oil in a pan over low heat, then add the onions and allow them to cook for 15 minutes. Continuously stir it to prevent it from browning.

Step 2

Add garlic and stir for two minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients and spices, cover, and let it cook for an hour.

Step 3

Finally, add the shellfish and cook for another 10 minutes. Your cacciucco is now ready to serve with bread.

Wines You Must Not Miss In Rome

Aside from Roman cuisine, there are also Roman wines to sip while you eat. Some of the wines include:

  • Cesanese del Piglio is a flavorful, red wine produced in the southeast of Rome.
  • Frascati wine is a white wine produced in Rome’s eastern region. You can select from a variety of Frascati wines, but we can guarantee that they all taste good.

You can also order champagne or Italian desserts (babà or pastiera Napoletana) to go with your meal.

The Best Restaurants In Rome 

As a city known for its food, Rome has so many restaurants to choose from that you do not want to miss out on. We’ve put together some of the best places to eat in Rome so you can get a real taste of Roman food. 

Armando al Pantheon

One of the most popular restaurants in Rome is Armando al Pantheon, which can be found at Salita de’ Crescenzi, 31, 00186 Roma RM, Italy. This place is known for offering really tasty food at affordable prices.

It is also notable for serving Roman cuisine of quality and high class, such as rigatoni with pajata, as well as mouthwatering desserts for those who love dessert.

Armando al Pantheon is a bustling restaurant, so if you want to eat there, you should make a reservation well in advance.

Felice A Testaccio

Another very well-known restaurant in Testaccio is Felice a Testaccio, Vicolo Delle Bollette, 13, 00187 Roma RM, Italy. Testaccio is famous for its version of the classic Rome pasta dish.

Felice a Testaccio serves a variety of dishes, including Cacio e Pepe, Mindi’s fettuccine, Pasta Amatriciana, Bucatini all’ Amatriciana, and many others.

That being mentioned, Felice a Testaccio has a great menu of assorted Roman cuisine and delicacies you must not miss. However, make a week’s reservation in advance; otherwise, you may not be able to dine there.

Osteria Da Fortunata

Osteria Da Fortunata is distinguished by its use of organic ingredients in the preparation of food. As a result, Osteria Da Fortunata is the best place to purchase delectable Roman foods like cheese ravioli, Campari, creamy tiramisu, and panna cotta.

For foreigners from America who visit Rome, this restaurant is where you can get your American coffee, espresso, and other juices. Vegetarians are not excluded from the menu, as there are vegetarian options available.

Roscioli Salumeria Con Cucina

Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina, at Via Dei Giubbonari, 21, 00186 Roma RM, Italy, is one of the traditional restaurants that serve both Italian and foreign food, especially the Carbonara delicacy. Roscioli makes carbonara in a unique way.

No one who visits Rome should miss out on the seasonings or ingredients, as well as the toppings, which are second to none.

In spite of its reputation for its carbonara, Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina serves up a wide variety of authentic Roman dishes, each of which is notable for its fine preparation and use of high-quality ingredients.

The Roman cuisine served at this restaurant is simply irresistible.

Trattoria Al Moro

The Al Moro classics served here are unlike regular foods because most of their recipes are self-made, giving their foods a distinct flavor and making them stand out from other restaurants. Trattoria Al Moro is located at Vicolo delle Bollette, 13, 00187 Roma RM, Italy.

Some of their classics include Spaghetti Al Moro, porcini, and silky artichokes. You definitely have to visit the restaurant to experience the incredible flavor of their food. Although their meals are quite pricey, they are ultimately worth the cost.

Trattoria Del Pesce

Trattoria del Pesce may not be as luxurious as other Rome restaurants. Nevertheless, their food’s flavors and richness are highly commendable. We guarantee that you will love every bite of your meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Does Roman Cuisine Cost?

In Rome, the cost of a meal can vary widely from restaurant to restaurant; however, you should plan to spend between €37 and €50 on each individual per day. 

2. What Does A Roman Diet Look Like?

Vegetables, legumes, grains, cheeses, eggs, and honey for sweetness round out a Roman diet.  In addition to beef and pork, they occasionally offer fish. A Roman diet may appear to be plain and simple, but it is rich in flavor and aroma.

3. Is It Always Necessary To Make Restaurant Reservations In Rome?

If you choose to dine at one of the best restaurants, you must make a reservation. It is advisable to plan ahead and make reservations before walking into any restaurant to avoid being disappointed, as the majority of eateries are often crowded.

Final Thoughts

Rome has a rich cultural and food heritage. There are other foods to eat besides the famous Roman foods like champ, pasta, and pizza. Panelle, Suppl, Maritozzo, Cacciucco, Carciofi Alla Romana/Alla Guida, Porchetta, and other dishes fall into this category.

We hope you find the above food guide useful in influencing your food choices in Rome.


The website is run by myself Daniel Clarke, I’m lucky enough to have been living in Hervey Bay, for 29 years so I’m classed as a local I have seen many changes over this time.

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