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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)

Explore the historic Trionfale market in Rome with local expert Sabrina, who lives nearby and loves sharing its secrets. With over 273 stalls, you’ll make approximately 7 tasting stops, including pizza with mortadella, Porchetta di Ariccia, Pecorino cheese, and more, experiencing the best flavors of Lazio.

Price: €65 per guest

Start time: 11:30AM (1.5 hours)

Wine, coffee or cappuccino and water are included.

Book this food tour in Vatican City!

Walking Street Food Tour near the Vatican

Embark on a street food and sightseeing tour in Rome, exploring the historic districts of Trionfale and Prati near the Vatican. Sample local specialties like artichokes and fried risotto balls at traditional eateries, wander through the colorful stalls of the ancient Trionfale market, and enjoy freshly made pizza and fine regional wines. Discover Rome’s rich culinary culture with your expert guide on this delicious journey through the “Eternal City.”

Price: €26/ guest

Start time: 11am (2 hours)

Book this food tour!

Food tours to eat like a local in Rome, Italy

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!

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

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).

Taste of Trastevere: Experience the Best Flavours of Rome

Discover Rome like a true local on a food tour led by Chef Anastasiya, exploring one of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods. Start your day in a quintessential Roman café, then venture through the city’s most authentic markets. Anastasiya, a food and wine connoisseur, will guide you to a variety of eateries, offering over 14 exquisite tastings that span from breakfast to lunch.

Indulge in a sit-down meal, enjoy a morning cappuccino, and sip wine as you finish your culinary journey at Trastevere’s most renowned bakery. This tour promises a feast for your taste buds and your soul!

Price: €174/ guest

Start time: 10:30 am (2.5 hours)

Includes over 14 tastings, a sit-down lunch, cappuccino and wine.

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!

  • eatwith

    We are the first global community for shared food experiences, bringing people together around dining tables and food activities wherever they go. Harnessing the relationship between food, people, cities, and the world – we want to spread happiness through the power of sharing food, in your everyday life and travels.

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