Trastevere is one of the oldest districts of this ancient city, lying along the Tiber river across from the centre of Rome. It exudes old world charm with its centuries old architecture and narrow winding cobblestone streets, disorienting to even the most directionally able. Once a working class neighbourhood on the outskirts of Rome, Trastevere has seen an influx of artists and creatively-inclined Romans over the past several decades, which has evolved into a trendiness that’s difficult to ignore.

But what makes Trastevere so unique is how it fuses the old and the new of Rome so beautifully. Medieval churches and multi-generational Roman restaurants are intermixed between craft beer bars and chic lounges serving creative cocktails. It was described quite accurately to me on my first trip to Rome as “the spot where all the local Romans hang out.”

This has inevitably drawn attention to the area though, particularly from travelers seeking an authentically Roman experience, which has unfortunately led to an abundance of tourist traps. While there are a ton of food options in Trastevere, not all are created equal. There’s a wide range of quality and service to be found, so best to be ready with a list of bonafide bets before you cross the river. Here are a few of my personal favourites.

Rome Food Guide - Where to eat in Trastevere Artichoke

Da Enzo Al 29, which we were first introduced to on the fabulous Eating Italy tour of Trastevere, is a tiny local favourite offering some of the best authentic Roman cuisine this side of the Tiber. Carciofi (deep fried artichoke) is a must try in Rome and Da Enzo’s does it the best. The eatery also excels at another Roman favourite, Pasta Carbonara, a deceivingly simple dish incorporating peccorino cheese and guanciale (cured pig cheek). Space is limited at Da Enzo so book in advance or arrive early and enjoy a glass of Roman wine while you wait.

La Tavernaccia da Bruno is an institution in Trastevere, serving delicious Roman dishes to locals since 1968. Tucked away on a residential backstreet of Trastevere, La Tavernaccia sits indiscriminately on a corner without the flash typical of other restaurants in the neighbourhood. The menu is written out daily, highlighting the enthusiastic chef’s dishes for the day with a focus on fresh and local ingredients. House favourites include a trio of bruschettas, rigatoni amatriciana, and maialino arrosto (roast suckling pig). Despite its recent international accolades, La Tavernaccia has maintained its humble roots and continues to provide excellent service to hungry locals and non Romans alike, something that is no longer the norm in Trastevere.

Rome Where To Eat In Trastevere Suppli

If you want to sample an array of authentic Roman foods, you can forgo the traditional restaurant experience altogether and stop in at the many local food shops scattered throughout the neighbourhood. Indulge in heavenly desserts at Pasticceria Valzani, devour as much pizza a taglio (pizza by the slice) as your stomach can handle at beloved La Renella, and save room for suppli, a bite sized deep fried rice snack, at I suppli, a hole-in-the-wall often bustling with locals wanting a quick and easy eat. Top off your food frenzy with a cup of some of the city’s most delicious, and most creative, gelato from Fior di Luna.

Rome Guide Where To Eat In Trastevere

A trip to Trastevere isn’t complete without a trek up Janiculum hill for the stunning panoramas of Rome. Burning off some of the excess calories you may have consumed thus far is an added benefit. Enjoy a pleasant afternoon at the top of the hill taking in the sights of the city with a picnic of treats gathered from around the neighbourhood. Before your hike, nip into a local cheese and meat shop such as the marvelous Antica Caciara for some pecorino romano and salumi, purchase an assortment of cookies fresh out of the oven at Biscottificio Innocenti, and grab a bottle of local wine from Da Biagio Vini e Oli and you’ve got all the motivation you’ll need to make it up that hill.

Biscottificio Innocenti - Rome Food Guide Trastevere

Once your back on level ground, head to Piazza di Santa Maria, the hub of Trastevere. There’s a fountain in the centre of the piazza believed to be the oldest in all of Rome where you can sit and watch all of the activity in the square. Venture inside the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, which dates back to the 4th century, and take in the stunning mosaics, brilliantly illuminated by the sun shining through the windows.

After stuffing yourself silly with will all of Trastevere’s goodies and seeing some of the sights, be sure to stick around as the fun is just beginning. Rome is experiencing a beer awakening and Trastevere is leading the charge. Ma che siete venuti a fà is a particular favourite craft beer spot in all of Rome, where thirsty Romans and tourists alike can sample the rotating taps featuring local microbreweries. Another favourite spot to enjoy a late drink is Freni e Frizioni, an epically situated bar overlooking the river that’s saturated with social locals.

Trastevere Food Guide Mercato di Piazza San Cosimato

If you plan on sticking around Trastevere till the morning, piazza San Cosimato is transformed into a venerable market bright and early every day but Sunday. Head there early to shop amongst neighbourhood locals for the best picks; in season fruits and vegetables grown near Rome; delectably cured meats; and the freshest fish.

Have any other top picks for food in Trastevere? Leave us your favourites in the comments.


Photos courtesy of Lauren Barth, JP Bervoets, and Flickr, YT Blue (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0); Lorena Suárez (CC BY-SA 2.0).

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Lauren Barth

Lauren Barth

Lauren Barth co-founded Departful in 2012 and is the Managing Director of Departful Media. Since then she has worked between North America and Europe and has published content in partnership with a variety of tourism boards and businesses based around the world. Lauren is currently based in Toronto, Canada.

Departful is a travel magazine that provides accessible, relevant, and thoughtful travel tips and ideas to inspire people to explore the world around them. We feature travel articles, travel tips, and photography based on our own experiences from over 100 countries covering all things adventure, culture, food and drink, technology, and gear. Made with ❤ in Toronto.

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