Home Travel Where to Eat Like a Local in Rome: A Foodie’s Journey

Where to Eat Like a Local in Rome: A Foodie’s Journey


Rome, with its cobblestone streets, historic ruins, and vibrant piazzas, is a feast for the senses. And when I mean senses, I mean all of them.

There is so much to do in Rome—from the main tourist attractions to the hidden gems. It’s a great place for a sporty lifestyle or for more relaxed and cultural travels. But even though I like to set myself as a writer and a traveler who thinks beyond food, when it comes to Rome, I think about Pizza and then Pasta. And then, of course, the rest of the things.

I guess this is why to truly experience the city, you must dine as the locals do.

The heart of Rome’s culinary scene lies in its local trattorias, bustling markets, and hidden gems that offer an authentic taste of Roman life.

Join us on an odyssey in Rome, from the Vatican’s shadow to the colorful alleys of Trastevere, where we can discover culinary experiences that will give this extra star to your trip, guaranteed one you will not forget (and tell all your friends).

It’s hard to choose, but let’s consider the top recommendations for eating like a local in Rome while journeying between the city’s hot spots.

Check out our guide for Where To Stay In Rome

Eat Like a Local, With a Local

The best way to find the most delicious and authentic local food in Rome, is from the locals themselves. So, why not join a food tour, cooking class, or even an at-home dinner experience with a Roman family?

Check out the local hosts on EatWith to find the perfect foodie experience. You (and your stomach) won’t regret it!

Book your Rome foodie experience now!

Where to Eat Like a Local in Rome

If you want the best food, you need to eat like a local in Rome. Walk past the popular tourist restaurants, turn down small alleys, and sniff out the secret spots packed with locals.

Here are our top tips for finding the best local eats in Rome.

Vatican City: A Spiritual Haven and Hidden Gems

The Vatican City was always a great mystery. It represented, at least for me, a great connection between the old and modern times, showcasing how incredible culture and history can be. It’s quite amazing to think how important this place is and that ‘normal’ locals still live next to it. 

Close to the shadows of Vatican City, I was always wondering where and if you can actually enjoy a local experience. Knowing these cities’ attractions, it could be a bit difficult to find. But once you do—it’s a special one! I truly believe that having local food around a place like this is something unique and definitely that extra star for the visit.

This is why I was curious to find a food tour that goes around the Vatican neighborhood, as I was sure this is the best way to explore the area. Within any architecture and unique historical piece lies also a great hidden gem. With one food tour, you can explore those tiny streets, listen to stories, learn about the history, and eat local, delicious food (and lots of it!).

Check out these local food tours around the Vatican:

Vatican market food tour and shopping (late morning)

Trionfale market stands as one of Rome’s most historic food markets boasting over 273 stalls. Let’s explore this vibrant hub together, meeting skilled vendors and market enthusiasts who will share their stories and offer traditional delights.

Prepare for a culinary adventure with around 7 delectable stops on the tasting menu. Indulge in pizza with mortadella, supplì, zesty orange coppa, flavorful olives, succulent Porchetta di Ariccia, tangy Pecorino Cheese, crunchy dried fruit and toasted almonds, fresh seasonal fruits, and the finest oil from the Lazio region.

Meet your host, Sabrina: “A proud Roman native, I’ve always cherished my city. Living near Trionfale market, I’m excited to guide you through a quintessential Roman experience, unveiling the market’s hidden gems.”

Price: €64 per guest
Start time: 11:30AM (1.5 hours)
Wine, coffee or cappuccino and water are included.

Why you’ll adore this experience:

  • Savor complimentary wine, coffee, or cappuccino, and stay refreshed with water.
  • Immerse yourself in a leisurely stroll led by a knowledgeable local guide.

Book this food tour in Vatican City!

Food tasting during the Vatican market food tour.

Experience a one-of-a-kind Roman culinary adventure with archaeologists

Embark on a delightful journey through Rome, uncovering over 20 varieties of local delicacies at charming, off-the-beaten-path locations.

This unique food tour is not just about flavors; it’s a treasure trove of historical and archaeological wonders waiting to be discovered.

Indulge in a mouthwatering array of treats, from cornetto and mozzarella to prosciutto, aged cheeses, suppli, olive oil, pizza, pasta, tiramisù, and gelato, all in the Pope’s preferred haunt. You’ll even have the chance to craft your very own bruschetta! Immerse yourself in the art of coffee-making at a local café before savoring regional wines at an Apulian street food joint.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there – you’ll wander through Rome’s hidden culinary gems on foot, culminating in a visit to the city’s largest market.

Meet your host, Selene: “I’m Selene, a Roman through and through, and the co-creator of ‘Roma Eat Food Experience’. We’re a team of archaeologists, certified guides, and culinary connoisseurs, united by our passion for good food and great company. Our mission is simple: to embody the kind of hosts we’d love to meet on our own travels – enthusiastic, upbeat, inquisitive, and ready to connect!”

Price: €91/ guest
Start time: 09:30am (3 hours)

Why you will love this experience:

  • Each tasting comes with a side of captivating stories about Rome, its rich history, and its hidden archaeological treasures.
  • Join a small group of up to 12 fellow food enthusiasts for a communal culinary exploration.
  • Your host is a seasoned tour guide, ensuring a seamless and informative experience.

Book this food tour!

Roman culinary adventure with archaeologists.
Roman culinary adventure with archaeologists.

Janiculum Hill: Where History Meets Culinary and Art 

Standing atop Janiculum Hill, a site celebrated for its pivotal role in defending Rome and the setting for the battle where Garibaldi repelled French troops, you’re surrounded by sculptures of heroes like Giuseppe Garibaldi himself. For me, this is a great sneak peek into how special and historic this city is—and how important it is for the history and traditions we all know.

The location of all that with superb views of the city is just making it a must-visit. 

After walking around heroes, you would look for food without missing the great views, right? So how about going as local as you can get and joining a cooking class, lunch, and local hospitality in a Roman home with a spectacular view? Going from the most traditional to the more modern, you can learn how to make Pasta from scratch, and then end up with the perfect sweetness of Tiramisu. 

This mix of experiences is a great way to take an attraction and upgrade the surrounding day with delicious food while learning a lot (!) both about cooking and the Roman lifestyle.

Join This Traditional Roman Cooking Class with a Sunset View in the Old Jewish Quarter

Join this cooking class in Rome’s historic Jewish quarter and unlock the secrets of traditional Roman cuisine! Whether you prefer hands-on learning or simply observing with a glass of wine in hand, our classes cater to all.

Learn from expert chefs how to make homemade pasta, peel artichokes for a classic Jewish-style dish, or prepare zucchini flowers for the authentic “fritto romano.” Finish off by indulging in a delicious ricotta cheesecake, a beloved local dessert. Embrace the flavors of Rome in this enriching culinary experience!

Price: €85 per guest

Start time: 5pm

Wine included!

Book this cooking class experience!

Preparing pasta at a traditional Roman cooking class.
Preparing pasta at a traditional Roman cooking class.

Trastevere: The Heart of Rome’s Bohemian Life

Let me start this paragraph with a small confession—I always thought Trastevere was actually called Tasteverse (as in—taste universe). I don’t know if it’s because of my foodie thoughts or my creative mind, but I know it’s for a good reason!

Trastevere’s narrow lanes and colorful bars and restaurants lead to some of the most flavorful and authentic local eateries in Rome. It’s funky, it’s alive, well—it’s just cool. Clinging back to centuries ago, its working-class roots are now the place for cool bars, local eateries, craft beers, artisan shops, and both traditional and innovative trattorias. 

Eating in Trastevere is to experience the soul of Rome; it’s lively, noisy, and deliciously unforgettable. And since we are here to answer the question of eating like a local in Rome, it’s time to talk about a local host that makes it all that was mentioned just great. A food tour in the Trastevere is the way to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by the endless gems while also enjoying them for the fullest!

Enjoy fashion, pottery, market food, and then – go back to the host’s home for one-in-a-lifetime lunch! If you are looking to spend your evening in the neighborhood, stay a bit longer, have some drinks and find the local recommendations (or – stay at the same host for a celebratory Trastevere dinner).

Food, fashion, stylish pottery & everything you need at Campo de Fiori market!

Get your day started right by exploring a charming Roman food market in the morning, then swing by their apartment in the evening for a delectable dinner paired with fine wine.

Why you are going to love experiencing this:

Indulge in 3 classic Italian courses

Sip on complimentary red wine

Enjoy a cozy communal meal

Meet your hosts, Federica & Barbara: “At our home, we pride ourselves on welcoming guests with warmth and a deep passion for art and culture. Our friends often say we’re incredibly hospitable! Dive into the world of exquisite Italian wines and unlock the secrets of Rome’s culinary treasures for an unforgettable experience.”

Price: €155/ guest
Start time: 11:30 am (2 hours)

In the morning you will meet at 11:30 at the Campo de’ Fiori market.
Then you will meet again at 8pm for dinner at Federica’s and Barbara’s apartment in the heart of the Trastevere neighborhood!

Book this food tour now!

Food tour in Trastevere, Rome, Italy

Eat Like a Local in Rome

Rome is not just a city to visit, but a city to taste. From the sacred walls of Vatican City to the bohemian charm of Trastevere, each corner of Rome tells a story and offers a new, probably delicious, bite.

The Eternal City, with its blend of history, art, and culinary excellence, offers an array of experiences that cater to the adventurer, the dreamer, and the food lover in all of us. 

To eat like a local in Rome is to open up to the warmth of Italian hospitality, to savor each moment, and to immerse oneself in the rich taste of Roman life. Joining a tour, a cooking class or just a home-hosted dinner, is probably my favorite tip to each and every traveler. Spend your time with a local, and eat with one! 

Buon appetito!

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