Looking for the best Trastevere restaurants?
So many places to eat, so little time. Do you want to waste it eating at a touristy place with bad food?
I’m not sure how Trastevere got a reputation for being the best area of Rome to eat in.
First of all, you can find great places to eat all over Rome.
Second of all, Trastevere has more than its share of pretty bad touristy spots.
And they are unfortunately really easy to patronize because they are in the middle of everything, they seem busy (so they must be good right?), and they look "authentic". (I will not be naming them on this page.)
But there are actually many wonderful Trastevere restaurants, if you know where to go. And I do. How do I know?
Thanks to my Roman husband, Alessandro, who grew up going to Trastevere restaurants with his family for Sunday meals, and to my Trastevere pals Max and Walter, born and raised there and who run an amazing website and Facebook page dedicated to Trastevere, I have the inside scoop.
Finally, I eat out in Trastevere restaurants a lot, so I can continue my research. Yes I know, tough job and all that.
So, where to eat in Trastevere? Here are my favourite spots, and why I love them:
I find most people want traditional Roman cuisine when they look for Trastevere restaurants.
Even considering that Trastevere is known for having these "traditional Roman restaurants", they are not all created equal.
There are the classic Trastevere restaurants that seem stuck in another era, serving excellent Cucina Romana (classic Roman cuisine).
Then there are the Trastevere restaurants offering traditional Roman cuisine with a bit of a modern twist. Some places are more "touristy" just because they have gotten a lot of write-ups online, and some are really homey and good but not amazing. (They're on this page too, and I'll tell you which ones they are. Sometimes I love a simple no-frills Roman meal.)
Without further ado, here are some of the best Trastevere restaurants where you can enjoy Roman Cuisine:
Da Teo is one of the first Trastevere restaurants my pal Max told me to try. And I've been going regularly since then.
This family-run spot is tucked away on a little piazza, and serves up some of the best traditional Roman cuisine in the area. You can eat inside or out. It is always packed, so book ahead, even for lunch.
Tavernaccia da Bruno is one of the Trastevere restaurants on this page that is on the outer edges of Trastevere proper, but I include them here because they are worth making the effort to get there.
This is the place for hearty, perfectly prepared, simple Roman fare. They get it right every time.
My Trastevere pal Max told me this is one of his favorite Trastevere restaurants, and, after eating there many times, it's become one of my faves too.
La Gattabuia is one of the Trastevere restaurants that I would call a bit off the beaten path. It's on the quiet side of Trastevere, on a quiet street.
Once you find it, make sure to try all the typical Roman delicacies. Tuck in and enjoy!
I love this fairly no-frills restaurant smack in the busy part of Trastevere, because they always keep it real. It may feel touristy, since it's right in the middle of the tourist path through Trastevere, but if you are looking for simple Roman fare, you will find it here.
And when they make things like risotto alla pescatora (hard to find made really well in Rome), I get it here.
Da Carlone is one of the more old-fashioned Trastevere restaurants. The ambiance is warm and convivial, the service is brisk but friendly, and the portions are pretty huge. I suggest sharing.
Here you will definitely find some of the best fried artichokes, carbonara (old-style, no crispy guanciale here!), gnocchi on Thursdays, etc. They have a fairly cozy outdoor seating area as well.
This simple no-frills traditional Roman restaurant is a perfect place to enjoy a casual, relaxing lunch or dinner. There's nothing fancy or innovative here, just your typical Roman dishes made well.
You can count on perfectly made Roman dishes like fried artichokes, amatriciana, and saltimboca alla romana. I love their homey indoor ambiance.
You can't go wrong with this spot. A Trastevere institution for nearly 25 years, American-born Silvana and her Italian husband Francesco serve up almost every kind of Roman food you could want - seafood, meat, all the traditional Roman pastas (and more), and even pizza.
You can enjoy outdoor dining, or a cozy, old-fashioned homey feel inside.
As a bonus, New Yorker Silvana makes bagels, which you can buy to go, or to eat on site on weekends.
Alle Fratte also offers traditional Canadian/American Thanksgiving dinners (yes! With all the fixins!). Advanced booking is essential.
Checco er Carattiere was the first of the Trastevere restaurants my husband recommended to me.
Checco is a Trastevere tradition, going back to the early 1900's.
The original restaurant used to be the "it" place for movie producers and journalists to eat in Trastevere back in the day of La Dolce Vita (50's and 60's).
It is still today run by the descendants of Checco, the original Carrettiere (which is argot for "tradesman").
When you walk in, you feel the history of the place, and know you've arrived someplace special. (I really love all the garlic hanging from the rafters!)
This may well be one of THE most "touristy" restaurants in Rome. And it's so much fun to eat here! And, the food is good. So am including them on this page.
I get a lot of requests for:
Da Meo Pattaca is perfect for all of those requests.
The live music is called stornelli, or Italian folk songs. It's very lively and they engage the audience/diners, especially if you are with Italians. When I have been with Italians, we all sing along, and the musicians love that even more.
The food is good, although it's a tad on the expensive side and the portions are huge. They don't do half-portions so I suggest sharing.
We used to go to Roma Sparita a lot.
I have not been in recent years only because there are just so many places in Rome I want to try, and some others have become faves, so I kind of lost track of this one.
This restaurant has always been famous for their cacio e pepe, in particular because it comes in a cute and delicious parmesan bowl. At one point Anthony Bourdain talked them up. So it became a little overly-popular and even harder to get into. So you definitely need to reserve.
The food is pretty traditional. As an example, my English friend was aghast when they told her she could not order a side of potatoes because they were not traditional Cucina Romana.
This may be one of the simplest of the Roman trattorias in Trastevere.
There is not much of a menu, but what they do serve is basic, tasty Roman food.
They have tables outside, although it can be a bit cramped. But it's worth it to come enjoy a pleasant, no-frills meal in the heart of Trastevere . . . and one that won't break the bank!
When the pizza does not sit in a dough ball in your stomach after you eat it - that's good pizza.
Osteria der Belli is one of my favourite places to eat seafood in Trastevere if not all of Rome.
It’s really amazing that it’s literally a stone’s throw from one of Trastevere’s most touristy/visited squares, Santa Maria in Trastevere, and yet it’s actually a very local spot.
Sardinian owner Leo is always on hand, keeping a watchful eye on the hive of activity as the waiters (many of whom are his family members) expertly serve a full house and manage to keep it all flowing.
Their outdoor dining area is also one of my favorites, as it’s not on a heavily trafficked street, it’s sitting on a nice sturdy platform, and it’s covered. It’s also huge, which means you can easily bring a large party for a delicious seafood meal.
Le Mani in Pasta is one of those Trastevere restaurants on a lot of lists. The name means "hands in the pasta", presumably denoting the homemade kind.
In any case, that is my favorite thing about coming here - the pasta, which is really excellent. Their seafood is also good but I always go for the pasta (with seafood).
Just know that because it's been written about a lot, you will likely find yourself eating with a lot of other tourists, but don't let that put you off. (If you want to eat without being surrounded by tourists, you will need to book for 9pm or later, and try to eat in some of the Trastevere restaurants further afield.)
La Gensola has long been considered one of the best Trastevere restaurants for seafood.
This Sicilian osteria offers some harder to find products like sea urchin and monkfish cheeks. The ambiance is more serene and relaxing than most typical bustling Trastevere restaurants. You can count on high quality seafood but you should also expect fairly high prices (40-60€ pp without wine.) You will also find some meaty, Roman dishes, but I’d suggest fish as that’s what they are best at.
Litro came on the hipster foodie scene a few years ago as one of the cool places on the block, serving bio foods and natural wines. But it's not all gimmick.
The place is cute, the food is very good, and yes, you can find natural wines (among others).
This is another of the Trastevere restaurants not actually in Trastevere proper. It's high up on the Gianicolo near the American University in Rome, but it's fairly easy to get to on public transportation.
Osteria Fernanda has recently moved to their new location - a bright and cheery spot in the Porta Portese area of Rome.
This puts it just outside the main Trastevere neighborhood. But, t as with the other Trastevere restaurants on this page in this area, I've included it because you should make the effort.
While ambiance is nice, what counts of course is the food. And if you're up for trying truly original things, Chef Davide Del Duca will delight you with his extremely creative dishes. Don't want to get that crazy? You can always get his most famous dish, bucatini all'amatriciana, along with some other classic Roman specialities.
But for me, the whole point of coming to Fernanda is to try something new, something daring and bold. The more adventurous you are, the more choices you have. I personally draw the line at raw meat but supposedly this is one of chef's best dishes.
Even my vegetarian friend Livia was able to enjoy a lot of dishes here, so bring your taste buds and dive in!
I'm including Eggs in the Innovative section of Trastevere restaurants because while they do serve an excellent carbonara, they also serve many variations on the theme, along with a lot of other eggy dishes.
Eggs is NOT a breakfast place (Italians don't tend to eat eggs for breakfast).
You will find a lot of different hearty foods made with some part of the egg, like this fried appetizer sampler, all made with egg or egg yolk.
I love love this adorable little wine bar in the heart of Trastevere. It's very cozy and small, and they have a nice little aperitivo option during happy hour. The perfect spot for drinks before dinner.
I often meet people at VinAllegro before dinner, and then it turns out, this becomes dinner.
First of all, they offer an excellent 10€ aperitivo bar.
But they also have a regular menu too, and since you're already here sipping wine, why not just stay for dinner too?
Freni e Frizioni is THE in place for aperitivo in Trastevere.
They are known for their excellent aperitivo bar (with superb vegetarian options to boot!), and their hip and happening vibe.
This is my personal favorite of the little Tratsevere bars to hang out in. It's small, cozy, comfy, and fun.
And the bar staff are nice. I also love this side of Trastevere so for me, it's the perfect pre-dinner drink spot before heading to La Gattabuia or Da Teo.
This tiny hole in the wall put craft beers on the map in Rome.
It's small so just shove your way in and make your way to the bar to select from hundreds of beers. If you're not sure, let the bartender guide you. You cannot go wrong!
Frankly both of the below bars could also belong in the category above, for places to have a drink. But if you are looking for an ideal breakfast in Trastevere, here's where to go:
Bar San Calisto is simply an institution.
It may be one of the most iconic places to have a coffee in all of Trastevere.
Almost any time of day, you can spot a gathering of local denizens playing cards, usually outside, and usually with one of their dogs by their feet.
The fixtures are certainly from another era, giving you the sensation of stepping back into the "dolce vita" days.
You'll find paraphernalia on the walls of both Rome soccer teams (Lazio and Roma), since one owner supports one and the other owner supports the other of these rival teams.
Can you tell, it's one of my favorite places in Trastevere?
For breakfast, I am of course referring to an Italian-style breakfast - cappuccino + cornetto (Italian version of a croissant), or some other hot drink + bakery item. Buongiorno!
Baylon could also be considered a great place for an aperitivo. Some of my blogging friends hang out there for the excellent free wi-fi, but also for the vibe, which is usually pretty lively.
The reason I put Baylon in the breakfast category is because this is one of the few places in Rome where you can get quality brunch type foods like omelets, pancakes, eggs, etc.
While most people tend to look for casual eating at Trastevere restaurants, there are a few options for upscale dining. Osteria Fernanda (in the section about Innovative Trastevere Restaurants above) could fit into this category too.
Glass was one of the first the Trastevere restaurants I consider upscale. It remains on of my favorites in all of Rome.
We used to go a lot when they first opened, before chef Cristina Bowerman got her (well-deserved) Michelin star. Their prices went up a bit since they got their star, but the food stayed wonderful.
The ambiance is perfect - subdued, warm and inviting. You could also consider it romantic. But of course, with me, it's always about the food. And that is the main reason to come.
Enoteca Ferrara is really three Trastevere restaurants in one.
If you go in from Piazza Trilussa, you can enjoy the wine bar, complete with their fantastic aperitivo spread. I love how they conserve the wine in these ultra-high-tech containers that keep the air and temperature just right, allowing for many options for wines you can try by the glass.
If you go in on via del Moro, you can enjoy fine dining at the restaurant Ferrara, or, chill out a bit at the more casual Osteria Ferrarino. No matter which you choose, you will eat and drink well!
Antico Arco is yet another of the Trastevere restaurants on this page that is just on the edge of the neighborhood. But it's one of the loveliest restaurants in the area, and perfect for a quiet, special, more upscale dining experience.
If you're eating at one of the many Trastevere restaurants on this page, you will easily find typical Roman desserts like tiramisu, panna cotta, and fruit tart (crostata). But if you just want a sweet snack, or if you want to take a walk after your meal in search of a special treat, don't miss these spots:
You can’t come to Trastevere and not visit Valzani. If only just to breathe in the aroma.
Family-owned since 1925 (and with the original fixtures to boot!), this chocolatier is one of the best in Rome (another great choice if you're looking for gifts).
You might be pulled in by the delectable treats on display in the windows.
But once you open that door, and that chocolate aroma wafts over from the laboratory in the back, you will not want to leave.
My favourite thing about Valzani is visiting in fall/winter and getting one of their hot chocolate cups.
If you are a chocoholic, you must add this to your bucket list.
Same goes for Biscottifico Innocenti. It's another Trastevere must.
This is another longtime family-run business, and it’s on the other (quieter) side of Trastevere.
And instead of chocolates, they do cookies. Boy do they do cookies! You can see the cookies from the street, but once inside, and you can see and smell them all, you will feel like you died and went to cookie heaven.
You might be wondering why you should go to a French bakery when you are in Rome, Italy.
Um, because it’s a French bakery. Eclairs. Croque monsieurs. Gallette du Roi in January.
And actual butter croissants. Don’t get me wrong. I am always happy to have a cappuccino e cornetto.
But (sorry not sorry), a buttery, flaky French croissant is more than I can resist!
Strangely enough, the Trastevere gelato scene used to be slim pickings.
The best was Fior di Luna. It’s still good, but now we also have Fatamorgana and Otaleg. Now, you have no excuse not to have a gelato when you are in Trastevere. My motto - a gelato a day keeps the doctor away.
Fatamorgana was one of the first gelaterias in Rome to create truly artisanal gelato, made only with fresh, natural, seasonal ingredients. They also were among the very few that played with unusual flavors like Kentucky tobacco and Seadas (a Sardinian dessert made of cheese, orange peel, and fried dough).
Luckily for all of us, there is a branch in Trastevere. So you can try all the flavors. Like I have. What can I say, it was research.
Otaleg was already in my top 10 gelato spots in Rome. Close to the top in fact. And I used to describe them as a gelateria worth going out of your way for. But no more!
Now they are in Trastevere and I can go as much as I want. Help!
Fior di Luna was once considered THE gelato spot in Trastevere, before Fatamorgana came along (and now Otaleg). It's got a prime location right on via della Lungara, where everyone strolls from the main throroughfare of Viale Trastevere towards the bellybutton of Trastevere, Santa Maria in Trastevere.
But beyond location, Fior di Luna serves up some delicious gelato, in creamy nutty or fruit flavors. The perfect strolling accessory on a hot summer's night.
This gelateria right at the beginning of Viale Trastevere is quite good, but best of all it's in a perfect location for when you need to cross back over the river, grab a taxi (there is a stand right here), or are going to or coming from the summer-fest along the Tiber (June - early September.)
It may not be quite as artisanal as Fatamorgana or Otaleg, but locals seem loyal to it, and I must say I love it too.
While delis may not be considered Trastevere restaurants per se, if you are into food (who isn’t?), you may want to pay a visit to one of these spots. Don’t forget, you CAN take vacuum-sealed hard cheeses back home with you (but you cannot take any meat or soft cheeses. Those, you will just have to eat here.)
Ask any foodie in Rome, and they will tell you, Antica Caciara is THE place to go in Trastevere for a sublime cheese experience. Open since 1920, the founder's grandson Roberto greets his clients every single day, and always with a smile.
I come here often with friends and visitors, and much of the time, people browse, soak up the aromas and the atmosphere, and don't buy anything, and Roberto smiles just the same.
But if you do get some cheese, guanciale, or even just a panino, from this little shop, you'll be transported into food heaven.
This lovely local farmers' market is the perfect place to stock up on ingredients if you're cooking at home.
Or, just take a wander through the stalls, and enjoy the colors and aromas of fruits and vegetables in season.
Run by 3 generations of the Iacozzilli family since the early 1920's, this deli is a Trastevere institution. Stop by and enjoy the sights but more importantly the aromas, and, if you're hungry, don't miss their porchetta sandwiches - to die for!
Are you wondering why some of the internet’s favourite Trastevere restaurants are not on my list?
First of all, there are literally hundreds of Trastevere restaurants and of course I don't know all of them. Many restaurants also come and go - as happens all over the world.
But if we are talking about two Trastevere restaurants that are on many other food bloggers’ lists, well, I don’t engage in restaurant bashing, so I won’t name them here. But I will tell you why they are not here - the owners behaved VERY badly, and I’ll never go there again, nor can I recommend them to you.
Any place I recommend on this website should be a solid place, where the management treats all their guests well, whether they are locals or not, friends of the owners or not. If there is any slight and forgivable variation to that, I’ll let you know.
I am very forgiving of rude, scant, or aloof behavior by staff, as I know that staff can come and go, and also, service standards are different in Italy than they are in some other Anglo-Saxon countries.
But out and out horrible behaviour by owner/management is just something I don’t put up with. If you ever get treated badly someplace I recommend, please let me know.
Here's a map of all the Trastevere Restaurants I listed on this page. (It will open in a new page.)
You can refine your search by using the left-side pop-out to select one or more types of cuisine.
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