What are the Dishes you Must Try to Eat Like a Local in Rome?


Traveling to Italy’s capital and not enjoying Rome’s typical food should be considered illegal and punishable by deportation. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, like someone who had the best Rome food tour. But the truth is that Roman cuisine is delicious, despite its simplicity: its ingredients are fundamental every day.


Roman gastronomy has peasant origins, and, as is known, the lifestyle of the peasants of the previous years has little to do with that of the average person of the 21st century. Although everyone deserves a good carbonara after a long walk through Rome, right?


Summarizing the typical cuisine of Rome in a few dishes is difficult and does not do it justice. I apologize to the experts and know that I will leave many in the inkwell and that it is simply a brushstroke; I will try it. We start with our favorite typical Roman dishes and then add other well-known ones.


The most iconic dishes of the cuisine of Rome, many of which are famous throughout the world, are pasta, but there are also recipes based on offal. The latter have not crossed borders for the most part and have remained more for the locals.


Spaghetti carbonara is the most international dish of Roman cuisine and one of the most mistreated abroad, where its recipe has been distorted to unsuspected limits. Come on; it seldom has anything to do with the original. Yes, I’m sorry, carbonara doesn’t have cream! No bacon, mushrooms, grated imitation Parmigiano cheese, or weird spices. The sauce’s ingredients are simply: raw, beaten eggs –some say only the yolk, others say the whole egg–, guanciale –pork skin cured with black pepper–, pecorino romano –cured sheep cheese from the area – and pepper. Simple but exquisite.


The bacon and Parmigiano Reggiano thing – but a perfect one and grated at the moment – ​​I can forgive you if you can’t find guanciale and pecorino. But the cream thing, never! Well, a Roman would forgive you nothing. When you try them in Rome, you will understand the difference from what you thought carbonara was.


Bucatini all’amatriciana is a recipe from a town called Amatrice, in the region of Rome –Lazio–, hence its name. Before we talk about the sauce, let’s talk about its pasta because bucatini is not widely known outside Italy. They are fat and pierced spaghetti – buco in Italian means hole. The sauce has tomato, guanciale, pecorino Romano cheese, and pepper.


The cacio e pepe tonnarelli, if they are well done – like those of Felice al Testaccio, for example is an experience of pure pleasure. Let’s start, again, with the pasta: the tonnarelli are similar to what is called spaghetti alla chitarra in the rest of Italy, a rough and thick fresh egg pasta spaghetti. Cacio y pepe means cheese and pepper. And it is that the sauce has just that: pecorino cheese and freshly ground black pepper. The secret? Finding the right creaminess in the sauce, in which the cheese is mixed with the pasta cooking water. It seems simple, but it is not.


The porchetta is a typical dish from all over central Italy: from the region of Rome, Lazio, as well as from Tuscany, Umbria, and the Marches. But it seems to have its origin in Ariccia, a town near Rome – or, at least, the one it is very famous. And the truth is that in the Italian capital, it is very common. What is? From the name, you probably guessed it – pig. In particular, a whole pig, emptied, boned, and stuffed with aromatic herbs, salt, and pepper, roasted in the oven. It is eaten sliced. It is not very common to find it in restaurants: eating it in sandwiches at street stalls and fairs is the most typical—street food of a lifetime.


You can get a taste of these yummy dishes with a food tour in Rome. Since it is a great experience and relaxation tour in Rome, you will love to get the food taste and feeling also. Thus, if you’re looking to get away and have fun to restore your mind from the busy months, the best Rome tours to check include the food.

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