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How to Find Rome's Best Restaurants

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5 Tips for Finding a Great Place to Eat in Rome

Finding a great place to eat in Rome can be a bit of a challenge, especially with so many tourist traps lurking around the city’s iconic sights. But don’t worry! With these tips, you’ll be dining like a local in no time.

Here are our top 5 tips for discovering a fantastic restaurant in Rome:

1. Wander Off the Tourist Track

Rome’s main tourist spots are brimming with restaurants, but they’re often more about convenience than quality. To find authentic Roman cuisine, venture away from the crowded areas and explore the charming backstreets. These areas are treasure troves of local eateries where you’ll find true Roman flavors away from the tourist hustle.

2. Ask for Local Recommendations

Instead of relying on hotel concierges, who might steer you to places where they get a commission, seek out genuine local advice. Chat with taxi drivers, shopkeepers, tour guides, or café workers. These locals have nothing to gain except your satisfaction and are often happy to share their favorite dining spots.

3. Steer Clear of Restaurant Touts

In central Rome, you’ll often see people standing outside restaurants trying to lure you in. This is usually a red flag. Good restaurants in Rome don’t need to beg for customers; they thrive on word-of-mouth and repeat business from loyal patrons. If you see someone aggressively promoting their restaurant, it’s best to keep walking.

4. Eat on Italian Time

To dine like a true Roman, follow the local dining schedule. Lunch is typically served between 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM, and dinner starts around 7:00 PM, though locals tend to eat later, around 9:00 PM. Embrace the Italian aperitivo tradition and enjoy a pre-dinner drink and snacks while you wait for the main dining hours. This not only helps you blend in but also ensures fresher and more authentic food experiences.

5. Don’t Judge by Appearances

In Rome, some of the best dining experiences come from the most unassuming places. Avoid restaurants with flashy signs, extensive multilingual menus, and food photos. Instead, look for spots with simple, understated exteriors and menus in Italian. A warm smile and a friendly “buongiorno” or “buonasera” will often win over even the most reserved server, and asking for their recommendations can lead to an unforgettable meal.

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Book one of our food tours or tastings to experience the best of Rome’s culinary scene firsthand. We can’t wait to share our favorite spots with you!

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