Food Tasting Walking Tour, Rome

Food Tasting Walking Tour (Self Guided), Rome

Whether it’s a long lunch or a stop-off for an ice cream on an evening stroll, eating in Rome is a very social activity. Culinary traditions run deep here, and it may well be one of Italy’s most pleasurable cities in which to eat. Deli shops, prosciutterias, pizzerias, fornos (bakeries) and caffès are also very popular and offer a great alternative to a restaurant meal.

On this self-guided walk, you'll get to explore some of the most treasured eating and drinking places in the city's historical center, most of which have developed a cult following throughout Rome, Italy, and beyond.

Start with Forno Campo de' Fiori, which sells pizzas, sandwiches, and assorted small dishes from two small storefronts off the bustling Campo de' Fiori. What's distinctive about their fare is how well everything comes together: the dough, the brush of olive oil, the accent of wood smoke, the freshness of the greens, and the quality of the ingredients. You can grab something to eat in the market, seeing first-hand the short distance that simple food has to travel before becoming great cuisine. For a bit of fancy dining, the nearby Roscioli Salumeria will require an advance reservation because they usually book up quickly.

As you walk up toward Via Barberini, make sure to stop by the many other of the hidden and not-so-hidden gems on our itinerary – including the family-owned Antico Forno Roscioli bakery, Angelo Feroci’s butcher shop serving many delicious specialties, or Sacro e Profano, if you’re looking for a great meal in a fresco-filled archway haven.

On this self-guided foodie tour, not only will you enjoy delicious food and beverages, but also learn a lot about Italian cuisine and lifestyle. Highly recommended and a great way to enjoy your visit to Rome!

Getting to Sight #1. The first tour stop (Campo de' Fiori Market) is a short walk from Rrevi Fountain or can be reached by Bus: 30, 64, 87; Train: FL3, FL5; Metro: A, B; Tram: 8
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Food Tasting Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Food Tasting Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Rome (See other walking tours in Rome)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: clare
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Campo de' Fiori Market
  • Forno Campo de Fiori
  • Antica Norcineria Viola
  • Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina
  • Antico Forno Rascioli
  • Sant' Eustachio Il Caffe
  • Macelleria Angelo Feroci
  • Alfredo alla Scrofa Restaurant
  • Giolitti
  • Sacro e Profano - Trevi
  • Prosciutteria Cantina dei Papi - Trevi
  • Gelato di San Crispino
Campo de' Fiori Market

1) Campo de' Fiori Market

In the morning and noon hours, head to one of the most beautiful and colorful open-air markets in Rome – the main attraction of the Campo de' Fiori area. This market is primarily for fresh fruit and vegetables, but you will also find other goodies such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, vegetable pâté (pesto, artichoke, etc.), liquors, spices, cheeses, flowers, souvenirs, and flea-market-type things. Some vendors sell small products you can take home, and also give free samples, so this can be a pleasant way to try local specialties. With so much fresh fruit, some will happily make most of it into a juice for you – try the pomegranate for some intense goodness!

There also are many great restaurants and cafés laying around, with a view on the market, so you can try some handmade pizza or some carbonara if you're peckish. In the late afternoon and evening, the square turns into terraces for the restaurants and cafés, gradually becoming a nightlife hotspot with lots of street artists and performers who entertain the crowds.

Please follow European tradition and don't touch the produce unless vendors tell you to "pick". They're happy to give advice and share recipes but, as anywhere in Rome, don't really bargain much (unless you're buying more than one of somethings at a time).
Forno Campo de Fiori

2) Forno Campo de Fiori

The pizza and baked goods at this small bakery are outstanding. As you enter, be prepared for a lineup, and on your right, you'll find a display of mouthwatering pizzas. They offer a variety of toppings such as potatoes, mushrooms, and shredded zucchini. The unique part is that you get to choose the size of your slice, which is then cut, wrapped in paper, weighed, and handed to you along with a receipt (cash only, to be paid at the register).

Their "pizza bianca" is particularly famous and has achieved legendary status. It is a flatbread made with a no-knead dough that is incredibly soft and seasoned with sea salt and olive oil. The secret to its extraordinary taste lies in the long fermentation process. Another delicious option is the "pizza rossa," a thin-crusted pizza topped with red tomato sauce. Both varieties are served fresh and crispy, usually available in the late morning and during lunchtime. Try them – you will lick your fingers. A big square stuck in your bag is the perfect packed lunch (ask for napkins at the food counter), and is good all day long – but you could also eat it while perching yourself on the fountain out front and observing the bustling outdoor market.

The bakery also uses the same delightful dough to make their tasty and reasonably priced Mortadella sandwiches. Alternatively, you can explore their freshly-baked selection of cakes and biscuits (make sure to try a mix of the almond and hazelnut biscotti!).

If you're not in the mood for pasta or a sit-down lunch, Forno Campo de' Fiori comes highly recommended. The fact that many local working people frequent this bakery is always a positive sign of its quality and popularity!
Antica Norcineria Viola

3) Antica Norcineria Viola

This historic shop, established since 1890, is an absolute must-visit for meat lovers exploring Rome. It is a haven for all things related to cured meats, particularly pork. Here, you will find an extensive selection of prosciutto, salami, and guanciale in various shapes and sizes, sourced from different regions of Italy, including the northern part. The service is highly personalized, and the staff speaks enough English to assist you.

The products offered are of exceptional quality, and it is common for the shop to provide a tasting plate, allowing visitors to sample as many varieties as they desire before making their purchase. It is highly recommended to venture beyond the standard salami and try some new items. For instance, you can experience the exquisite dark sausages made with pork liver, which are a true masterpiece of Roman cuisine and are best enjoyed spread on bread without any cooking. Another delicacy to savor is the soft "ciauscolo" salami, also meant to be spread without cooking, or the delectable "coppa", a cold cut made with a blend of seasoned pork meats and savory jelly.

You have the option to buy these exceptional products in bulk or request custom slicing according to your preference. The shop also offers vacuum sealing for easy transportation, or if you prefer, you can simply purchase fresh bread from a nearby store and create your own mouthwatering sandwiches.
Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina

4) Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina

There are plenty of reasonable restaurants in the tourist hub that is Rome, but one gem stands out in the Campo di Fiori neighborhood. This family-run establishment, which combines a deli and a restaurant, has garnered rave reviews for its authentic produce, impeccably executed classic dishes (such as the Sicilian "pasta con le sarde" or the crunchy, mouth-watering Roman carbonara), and innovative culinary creations that incorporate gourmet ingredients sourced from beyond Italy.

As you step inside, your senses are immediately captivated by a display of cured meats and all the components necessary for the most exceptional antipasto you can imagine. In the midst of all this, you'll find closely placed tables that offer better lighting than your typical trattoria. Booking a table here will keep you close to the action and the atmosphere, but there are other rooms as well, including the cellar which is a good choice for a bit more privacy and a cooler, quieter environment, surrounded by an impressive selection of wines, whiskeys, and gins.

For starters, indulge in their selection of meats and antipasti, and then explore the menu for pasta dishes or any other enticing options. When it comes to selecting the perfect wine to complement your meal, don't hesitate to seek assistance from the knowledgeable waitstaff. They will bring you a curated selection to try, introducing you to fantastic wines you may have never encountered before.

The place remains open until midnight, six nights a week, and even then, they reluctantly turn away guests as they close their doors. If you're seeking an experience that goes beyond the usual restaurant visit, if you crave an adventure and an educational culinary journey, it's advisable to book early (online reservations are convenient). Settle down near the counter, savor the delightful ambiance, and congratulate yourself on making an excellent choice.
Antico Forno Rascioli

5) Antico Forno Rascioli

As part of the esteemed Roscioli family's culinary empire, this bakery churns out amazing baked goods for 13 hours a day, with the inviting aroma of freshly baked bread permeating Via dei Chiavari from the early morning hours. It is the go-to place for indulging in traditional breakfast pastries to kick-start your day or savoring the finest slices of "pizza rossa" – a rivalry only challenged by the nearby Forno Campo de' Fiori – at any other time.

The pizza crafted here follows the classic Roman style, boasting an irresistibly crispy and thin crust that is delicately adorned with a sprinkle of cheese, crushed ripe tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil. Additional toppings are exclusively available during traditional lunch hours, while in the evenings, only the plain crust topped with tomatoes is offered (which, although delicious, may not satisfy the expectations of traditional pizza enthusiasts).

The lines here tend to form quickly, particularly during peak meal times, and it's important to brace yourself for the Italian approach to queuing, which may lack the concept of orderliness. Elbow up to the bar and place your order at the pizza counter (be prepared with your selection to avoid any gruff encounters). After your order is weighed and a receipt is provided, proceed to the register to make your payment, and then return to the pizza counter with the paid receipt to collect your food. To ensure convenient takeout, the slices will be wrapped in paper, as seating within the bakery is quite limited.

In addition to their delectable pizza, the bakers also offer a variety of bread options, including the homestyle "casareccio" made with white flour, the flavorsome "pane di Lariano," and the robust "pane di segale bio" crafted from organic rye. Furthermore, you can find an array of fresh sandwiches available in the smaller alcove on the left side of the bakery.
Sant' Eustachio Il Caffe

6) Sant' Eustachio Il Caffe

The secret to success at this celebrated espresso bar appears to lie in the water, sourced from a 2,000-year-old aqueduct, and the wood-roasted Sant'Eustachio coffee blends. Established in 1938, it continues to be a popular meeting place for locals in Rome, where they can be certain of enjoying a great cup of coffee in an atmosphere that still echoes its glorious past when it frequently made headlines, even worldwide.

Although unassuming, this place tends to get busy, so expect to wait in line. However, the queue usually moves swiftly, and the service is efficient. Like most caffès in Italy, you place your order at the register, hand in your receipt (if it's busy, you can try leaving your receipt on the counter with a coin tip on top), and then savor your coffee and pastry while standing at the counter (the recommended and traditional way) or sit at a table (though these tend to fill up and may incur an additional fee).

You can't go wrong with any type of coffee creation here, whether it's the classic cappuccino, shots of espresso, the delightful "gran caffè" (which combines the best of both worlds), or the heavenly "granita" (a frozen coffee treat with layers of whipped cream) and "monachella" (espresso, coffee, and cream).

Each espresso shot is pulled behind a metal partition, so the secret to the extra-thick, flavorful "crema" remains a mystery.

Sugar is added to the coffee beforehand so make sure that you ask for "senza zucchero" (no sugar) before ordering if you don't want any.
Macelleria Angelo Feroci

7) Macelleria Angelo Feroci

Located in the heart of Rome, between the Pantheon and the Parliament, this exceptional butcher shop, treasured since 1885, offers a fantastic selection of gourmet food as well. While it leans towards the pricey side, the cost is justified by the fact that it doesn't just provide sustenance, but rather culinary masterpieces.

The shop boasts an impressive display and impeccable quality, presenting beautifully cut meats—a rarity in Rome. Additionally, there is an extensive range of pre-made portions available, with the server even offering guidance on reheating instructions. Among these offerings, one can find numerous Roman specialties, including Polpette alla Romana (Roman-style meatballs) and Polpettone (a larger version of a meatball) stuffed with truffles, chestnuts, artichokes, ham, mozzarella, apples, prunes, and more. For vegetarians, the spinach burgers are a delightful option, as is the assortment of antipasti (appetizers), with dishes such as broccoli pie, grilled eggplants or zucchini stuffed expertly with prosciutto, olives, mozzarella, and other tantalizing ingredients. The only thing seemingly missing is a selection of desserts!

Bottom line, if you're in search of delectable fare for a picnic or takeaway lunch, this is an excellent establishment to visit. Pair your food with the high-quality produce available at the nearby small market in Piazza delle Coppelle, and you're all set for a truly remarkable meal!
Alfredo alla Scrofa Restaurant

8) Alfredo alla Scrofa Restaurant

If you're a fan of homemade Italian pasta, you simply must dine at Alfredo alla Scrofa in the heart of Rome's historical center. Fettuccine Alfredo is their hundred-years-old signature dish, loved and celebrated all over the world; an historical, artisanal and unique technique that employs high-quality raw materials like authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano (dating back to the Middle Ages) and fine butter, along with the daily-prepared pasta (so thin that it cooks in less than 30 seconds). While seated, it's nice to witness the waiter dramatically prepare the dish right in front of you.

You have the option to choose from a lunch, a complete dinner, or even indulge in a pasta cooking class accompanied by a scrumptious meal. While you savor the flavors, take a moment to peruse the photographs adorning the walls, showcasing the numerous celebrities who have dined at this globally renowned restaurant. From Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, and Gregory Peck to Sophia Loren, Jimi Hendrix, Tony Curtis, Ava Gardner, Walter Chiari, Salvador Dalì, and countless others, you'll be in good company at Alfredo alla Scrofa.

9) Giolitti

Opened over a century ago, the Giolitti shop nestled on the side of Piazza di Monte Citorio has retained its historic allure and charming features. This delightful café offers a cozy spot for breakfast, coffee, and, most notably, a remarkable gelato experience that comes highly recommended! Undoubtedly, Giolitti stands as one of the most beloved gelaterias in Rome, attracting both locals and vacationing visitors seeking a quick frozen treat—just as Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn did in the iconic film "Roman Holiday."

With a selection of over a hundred flavors of ice cream, ranging from traditional to exotic, Giolitti spoils its patrons with choices. Indulge in refreshing delights like ice cream-stuffed biscuits or decadent sundaes such as the "coppa giolitti," featuring chocolate, cream, zabaglione, whipped cream, and hazelnut. The gelateria caters to lactose-intolerant individuals as well, offering numerous sorbet options.

At Giolitti, the strict observance of traditional Italian bar etiquette is still cherished. Start by paying at the register near the entrance, where you can choose between a cup or a cone (although the cone may be tempting, a cup is often easier to handle, especially in hot weather). Then, armed with your receipt, make your way to the back of the shop and join the line to be served. The key is to establish eye contact with the gelato server. Use your maneuvering time to decide on your desired flavor and confidently place your order once eye contact is established. If you desire an extra touch of indulgence, you can request your gelato "con panna," which means it will be topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

If the bustling atmosphere feels a bit overwhelming, you can request to be seated on the other side of the shop, albeit at a slightly higher cost. Consider this a worthwhile investment in tranquility, as you will be served promptly and avoid the lines and crowds near the serving bar. As an added perk, you'll have access to free WiFi. So, sit back, relax, and savor your gelato in peace!
Sacro e Profano - Trevi

10) Sacro e Profano - Trevi

Just a few steps away from the iconic Trevi Fountain, Sacro e Profano presents one of the most interesting interiors in the area. Even if it's just for an Aperol Spritz, it's highly recommended to secure a table inside to fully appreciate the remarkable ambiance. The tasteful furnishings and complete air-conditioning make this two-level establishment particularly inviting. Originally an old church, now deconsecrated, its walls still bear frescoes of angels, and an antique but no longer functional organ graces the upper level.

The specialty of Sacro e Profano lies in Calabrese cuisine (if you're not familiar, don't hesitate to ask the server for an explanation), complemented by a carefully curated selection of wines from southern Italy. What makes this place even more remarkable is that all these delightful offerings come at honest prices. The menu tantalizes with a variety of refreshing Mediterranean dishes featuring seafood and pasta. For instance, their Benedetto Cavalieri spaghetti with carpet-shells, grilled prawns, or the catch of the day baked in a zucchini and mushroom crust are sure to delight your taste buds.

Another highlight to look out for is their special pizza, prepared right before your eyes, allowing you to witness the craftsmanship before it enters the wood-fired oven. In this moment, you will instantly notice that simplicity and the quality of ingredients are the main secrets behind their culinary artistry.
Prosciutteria Cantina dei Papi - Trevi

11) Prosciutteria Cantina dei Papi - Trevi

In Rome, you will find two notable "prosciutteria" restaurants—one in Trastevere and the other in Trevi. These establishments are synonymous with gourmet food and offer an authentic taste of local meats, cheeses, and classic dishes like lasagna. Additionally, the wine selection is superb, and the staff is known for their friendliness, attentiveness, and creating a cozy atmosphere with pleasant music. What's more, the prices are reasonable, making these restaurants a delightful combination of rustic charm and high-end quality.

All in all, a quaint, rustic, seat-yourself sort of deli place with the culinary excellence you would expect from a fine dining restaurant. If you can secure a table outside, it's a fantastic spot for daytime people-watching while enjoying delicious snacks in the shade.

Order a charcuterie wood board, which offers excellent value for money and is satisfyingly filling. Each board is unique every time you order, featuring top-quality meats, cheeses, and perfectly ripe fruits. If you prefer, you can personalize the board according to your preferences, although entrusting the staff to choose for you typically leads to a great selection.
Gelato di San Crispino

12) Gelato di San Crispino

One of the premier ice cream shops in Rome, Gelato di San Crispino offers an extensive array of flavors that vary with the seasons. The shop takes great pride in the purity of its gelato, utilizing high-quality ingredients while abstaining from artificial preservatives, chemical emulsifiers, and pre-prepared or frozen foods. Engage in conversation with the knowledgeable staff, and you'll discover that each individually sealed container of gelato is stored at the ideal temperature, depending on whether it contains fruit, spices, or chocolate. With a polite request, you may even have the opportunity to sample some unique and unconventional flavors.

Situated just a few blocks away from the renowned Trevi Fountain, Gelato di San Crispino is a convenient stop during your visit, as the service is prompt. For some, the added allure lies in the fact that the shop was featured in the 2010 Hollywood movie "Eat, Pray, Love" starring Julia Roberts.

Given the wide selection of gelatos available, take your time in choosing a flavor that suits your preferences. Additionally, be sure to explore the delightful sorbets on offer, such as the grapefruit flavor, which strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and tanginess.

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