The Best International Restaurants in Rome
Italian food is arguably one of the most mouth-watering cuisines in the world, but we all need a bite of something different on occasion, and this can be disconcertingly hard to find in a city that reveres carbonara and espresso above all else. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of a few of our favorite ethnic and international restaurants in Rome for those nights when you’re craving a gastronomic change of pace.
Mexican Restaurants in Rome
Maybu Margaritas y Burritos
Via Candia, 113 (Prati/ vaticano)
Insider tip: The idea is simple: a gourmet fast food burrito and nacho place with the freshest ingredients out there! And apart from beer, water and soft drinks, order their spectacular frozen margarita coming in two flavors – mango and lime – to travel back to Central America!
Must try: burrito with chili con carne or nachos maybu
Via Mocenigo, 10a (Prati/ vaticano)
Insider tip: don’t miss their live mariachi music nights. They also offer catering so you can have your Mexican fiesta a casa.
Must try: the fajitas, guacamole, and margaritas are obviously a must, but if you’re serious about your margaritas, ask them to add salt.
La Punta Expendio de Agave
Via di Santa Cecilia, 8 (Trastevere)
Insider Tip: here you’ll find the experts in the beverage department. Go slow! This is as much of a bartender’s destination as it is an intelligent consumer’s. And everything pairs well with a taco or one of their speciality small plates.
Must try: Obviously their Mezcal, and don’t leave without their mole!
Discover more Mexican Restaurants in Rome
Korean Restaurants in Rome
Via Cremera, 21 (Pinciano)
Monday – Friday 12.30pm – 14.30pm, 7pm – 11pm
Saturday 7pm – 11pm
Insider Tip: this is the first Korean barbecue restaurant in Rome using oak coal. They offer genuine Korean dishes and techniques of preparation and cooking, which have ancient origins dating back more than 2000 years.
Must try: the Galbi Pang (steamed buns with duck, crispy sweet and sour cod, beef strips and friend chicken), the oh-so-yummy Deungsim Gui and the Ramen!
Via dei Mille, 18 (Termini)
Monday – Saturday 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Insider tip: a sliding door will transport you to South Korea through chef Daniel Kim’s dishes. The chef, who in the past was at the service of the Korean ambassador stationed in Rome, offers a vast menu ranging from bulgogi (beef marinated in soy sauce and stir-fried with vegetables) to tukpokki (rice dumplings with fish and chilli), passing through the inevitable ravioli (with homemade pasta and stuffed with tofu, pork and bean sprouts) and a delicious fried chicken with fresh onions.
Must try: anything off the menu, from the bulgogi (beef marinated in soy sauce and stir-fried with vegetables) to the tukpokki (rice dumplings with fish and chilli), passing through the ravioli (with homemade pasta and stuffed with tofu, pork and bean sprouts) and the delicious fried chicken with fresh onions.
Indian Restaurants in Rome
Via Foscolo, 13 (Esquilino)
Insider tip: be sure to mention if you like your food on the spicier side, because they will kick things up a notch to serve you indisputably Indian cuisine.
Must try: try the chicken madrasi, a spicy version of chicken marinated in a tomato sauce. They also prepare a perfect gulab jamun dessert (fried balls of dough in a light sugary syrup).
Via S. Francesco Ripa, 56 (Trastevere)
Tuesday-Sunday 12-3pm, 7pm-12am
Insider tip: This is a good spot to go with a group – portions are big and the restaurant is spacious.
Must try: Jaipur Special Murgh, Naan, Butter chicken, Samosas, Sweet Mango Lassi if you want a non-alcoholic beverage
Via Cerveteri, 25/27 (San Giovanni)
Daily, 11am-3pm, 6pm-11.30pm
Insider tip: to approach this meal traditionally, you should get a bit of everything. Don’t forget to order naan bread & jasmine rice along with your main course!
Must try: if you enjoy something unique with a kick, try the Lamb Masala! It’s spicy & delicious!
Indian Fast Food
Via Mamiani, 11 (Esquilino)
Daily 11am-4pm / 5pm – 10pm
Insider tip: Footsteps from the Esquilino Market you’ll find this little foodieheaven serving authentic Indian cuisine. Staff is very nice and efficient. With just a few bucks, you’re guaranteed an amazing meal!
Must try: Start off with a vegetable pakora and move on to their famouschicken curry with rice or daal. It’s also great for a snack with a chai latte accompanied by Indian sweets!
Thai Restaurants in Rome
Via Quirino Majorana, 199 (Monteverde)
Tuesday-Sunday 12.30pm-3pm / 7.30pm-11pm
Insider Tip: the coconut curry soups are delicious and you can enjoy your meal with a refreshing Singha beer for a complete, authentic experience.
Must try: Tom Yam Gai soup, Panang Curry, Pad Thai
Japanese Restaurants in Rome
Via della Mercede, 35-36 (Spagna)
Tuesday-Sunday, 12pm-2.30pm, 7.15pm-10.45pm
Insider Tip: established in 1974 Hamasei offers traditional Japanese cuisine. Expect only authentic Tempura and the finest of raw fish cuts. The ambience is inviting, comfortable and a complete escape from the hustle and bustle of Rome while still a few blocks from the Spanish Steps.
Must try: tempura morikomi and the hiyashi cia soba are both a grand experience
Via Giuseppe Giulietti, 21 (Piramide)
Tuesday-Sunday, 12.30pm-2.30pm, 7.30pm-11pm
Insider tip: book your reservation in advance! This place fills up fast, and you’ll want a chance to sit near the conveyer belt of sushi & fried appetizers!
Must try: try The Boat! For 30 euros you get a large dish with a little bit of everything.
Via degli Scipioni, 243 (Prati)
Tuesday-Sunday 1pm-2.30pm / 8pm-11pm
Weekends open till 11.30pm
Insider tip: try sitting at the long bar with the conveyer belt-it’s the best spot for people watching and grabbing fresh rolls as they come out.
Must try: if you’re hungry, get a “barca mista” i.e. a boat filled with sashimi, nighiri, uramaki and hosomaki.
Check out the best sushi spots in Rome
Chinese Restaurants in Rome
Viale Jonio, 328/330 (Jonio)
Daily 12.30pm-3pm / 7.30pm – 12am
Insider Tip: When creativity and Chinese cuisine mix, a high level restaurant like Dao is the outcome! Unique one of-a-kind dishes in an elegant setting await you!
Must try: the “tan bao” pork dumplings and the aromatic lobster
Hang Zhou da Sonia
Via Principe Eugenio, 82 (Piazza Vittorio Emanuele)
Daily, 12pm-3pm / 7pm-11.30pm
Insider Tip: Hang Zhou da Sonia means business when it comes to Chinese cooking. As well as the extensive fixed menu, be sure to sample the daily specials handwritten on paper.
Must try: the steamed dumplings, and don’t miss the Sichuan style chicken if you’re drawn to spicy flavors.
Via Monte Pertica, 41 (Prati)
Tuesday – Saturday
Insider tip: a small eatery dedicated to 18 varieties of dumplings from Northern China to Taiwan, passing through Sichuan at the foot of the Himalayas, up to distant Shanghai. Handmade daily according to the street food and Asian Dim Sum traditions with a Mediterranean twist.
Must try: the 5 types of Gua-Bao: the classic with braised pork belly, cabbage and peanuts, the traditional with duck and marinated cabbage and the original with lemongrass and chicken. The noodles are also quite delicious!
Discover more Chinese Restaurants in Rome
Brazilian Fusion Restaurants in Rome
Viale Regina Margerita, 168 (Parioli)
Via Vittoria Colonna, 17 (Prati)
Piazzale Luigi Sturzo, 28 (Eur)
Monday-Friday 12.30pm-3pm / 7.30pm-12am
Insider tips: hopping, but cozy at the same time, Sambamaki has the freshest fish in town- and the ipad menu give you a sneak peak of the colorful rolls before you order.
Must try: everything, but especially: the tartare, flaming gunkan, saudade roll and one of their special sake cocktails- they’re out of this world.
Via dei Serpenti, 16 (Monti)
Borgo Angelico, 30 (Borgo)
Roma Rinascente (Centro Storico)
Monday-Tuesday 12.30pm-3.30pm / 7pm-12am
Wednesday-Friday 12.30pm-3.30pm / 7pm-12.30am
Saturday and Sunday 12.30-4pm / 7pm-12am
Insider tips: Temakinho is as much of a restaurant as it is a major Roman hotspot. Dress to impress and book in advance.
Must try: the tartare de salmao gostoso is fresh and full of flavor, and don’t miss the pineapple mint caipirinha.
Check out the best Japanese-Brazilian restaurants in Rome
Vietnamese Restaurants in Rome
Via Enea, 56/A (Furio Camillo)
Monday-Sunday 12pm-3pm / 6.30pm-11.30pm
Insider Tips: they have an extensive menu at dinner but you should definitely try the lunch menu for only €10 (available Mon-Sat) where you can pick from a vegetarian, fish or meat option.
What to eat: the rice rolls are a must try! Cover them with their delicious vegetarian sauce!
Malaysian Restaurants in Rome
Viale Aventino, 41 (Circo Massimo)
Tuesday-Sunday 12pm-3pm, 7.30pm-11pm
Insider tip: This Malaysian, Thai, and Chinese fusion restaurant is full of authentic flavors and equally filled with customers! Book a table in advance for a guaranteed table!
Must try: With all of the variety, it’s difficult to choose. You can’t go wrong with chicken Satay, beef coconut curry, or steamed orata.
Middle Eastern Restaurants in Rome
Ali Babà Kebab
Via dell’Arco di Travertino, 27 (Tuscolana)
Monday- Thursday 10am-3pm
Insider tip: At Ali Baba you can choose to enjoy a kebab of lamb or chicken – but Ali Baba also allows you to mix both together for extra goodness!
Must try: The Kebab, of course! But also save room for some traditional appetizers and desserts.
Via di Monteverde, 9b (Monteverde)
Mon – Fri 6.30-11.30pm,
Sat 12.30pm-3pm / 6.30pm-11.30pm
Sun 1pm-3pm /6.30-11.30pm
Insider Tip: To sample smaller servings of this delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, head to Mezè at 6:30 to enjoy their aperitivo.
Must try: Houmous, babaganoush, Taboulé, labane con zahatar and shish kebab.
Via Ostiense, 36/H (Ostiense)
Daily 12pm – 3pm, 7pm – 12am
Insider tip: THE place to taste authentic Iranian cuisine in Rome. Three brothers from Tehran founded the restaurant in 2008 – a small cozy place packed with Iranian rugs and hospitality, where you can get a real taste of Persian cuisine by Moda, one of the founder’s companions.
Must try: the stews with rice, either the Chelo Khalal with beef stew, almonds, barberry berries, dried lemons and tomato or the Chelo Fesenjan with chicken stew, pomegranate juice, walnuts and saffron. The mixed appetiser is also a great way to taste a few delicacies. If you like hummus, it’s delicious at this restaurant.
Greek Restaurants in Rome
Via Gabriello Chiabrera, 114/120
Saturday 12pm-3pm /6.30pm-12am
Insider tips: who doesn’t enjoy mixing up the Med? Illios goes well beyond Italy and the cultural experience is always better via cibo. From their homemade Greek yogurt sauces, the pita, the lamb, the kalamatas atop consider yourself well fed here.
Must try: their fabulous moussakas and for dessert, yogurt topped with honey and nuts.
Via dei Salumi, 2 (Trastevere)
Monday-Friday 12pm-2.30pm and 8.30pm-12am
Insider tips: this is a cultural association, which means you’ll get a member’s card, it also means they will be music and dancing- lots of dancing.
Must try: dolmades, tzatziki, pita bread, top it off with an ouzo shot
French Restaurants in Rome
Le Carré Francais
Via Vittoria Colonna, 30
Insider Tip: the restaurant doubles as a gourmet grocery store, so you can pick up some French delicacies ( Foie Gras, baguettes, pain au chocolat etc.) after you dine.
Must Try: the Croque-Monsieur is delicieux, the tartare di manzo with a glass of french red wine is parfait.
Viale Aventino 31,33 (Aventino)
Monday 12pm – 3pm, Tuesday – Saturday 12pm – 3pm, 8pm – 12am
Insider tip: a typical French restaurant in art deco style, a piece of Paris in Rome. Nadine Renard, founder of Renardière, is to offer traditional French home cooking in a welcoming and warm atmosphere that feels like home.
Must try: oyster lovers can’t miss out on the Fine de Claire oysters from Normandie or the traditional Bourguignon snails or the homemade duck foie gras. Every day you’ll also find a dish of the day !
Polish Restaurants in Rome
Largo Andrea Barbazza, 32-33 (Primavalle)
Friday 8pm – 11.45pm, Saturday 8pm – 12am, Sunday 1pm – 4.4pm and 7.30pm – 11pm
Insider tip: this Polish restaurant is the real deal. Not only do the dishes respect Polish traditions, their ingredients are even sourced from Poland, f rom the herring to the cured meats, from the pickled cucumbers to the sauerkrauts.
Must try: the succulent herring marinated in oil and vegetable sauce is one of the restaurant’s best dishes. Not to mention the pierogi – steamed ravioli that recall the Japanese gyozas, with three different fillings. And of course the goulash! Beer lovers can’t miss out on the Polish beers either!
Venezuelan Restaurants in Rome
El Maíz – Arepera
Via Tolemaide, 16 (Prati)
Monday-Saturday 12pm – 10pm
Insider tip: a Venezuelan family with Italian origins runs this small yet flavorful restaurant. Just a secret, if order a whole dish like Pabellón criollo scares you because it’s a significant portion, best order a crunchy Empanada Dominó, filed with a typical Venezuelan fresh cheese and black beans. Add the spicy sauce for a sexy touch and enjoy!
Must try: if you want to impress your date, ask for the queen of Arepas: ”Reina pepiada,” a soft and hot corn bread filled with minced chicken and avocado. Don’t forget to ask for a cold beer, the best drink on a tropical night.
American Barbecue in Rome
Via Massaciucoli, 66 (Quartiere Africano)
Monday-Sunday 6.30pm-till late
Insider tip: ask them to recommend the right beer for your meal, and check out their beer and whiskey tasting classes!
Must try: pulled pork or something with their authentic barbecue sauce, artisanal beer and cheesecake.
Scandinavian Restaurants in Rome
Via C. Paoletti, 23 (Trieste)
Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 3pm
Insider tip: the first venue in Rome entirely dedicated to Viking dishes in a street food version combined with traditional dishes from Trieste. This is THE place to taste rye bread, salmon, herring and lots of butter!
Must try: obviously the Smørrebrød, the typical and delicious Nordic sandwiches, made with sourdough rye bread (rugbrød) covered with Danish butter and dressed with marinated salmon, smoked herring, smoked beef carpaccio and more.
Russian/Georgian Restaurants in Rome
Via Della Collina Volpi, 6 (San Paolo)
Insider tip: this association’s objective is to create a home away from home, a place where Russians, Ukrainians, Moldovans, Armenians, Romanians, Georgians, Poles and Serbs can speak their language, eat traditional food and listen to music. But anyone can join and be a part of this wonderful initiative.
Must try: you’ll find foods from all ex Soviet countries at Matrioska – from the classic Russian salad to the yummy Pelmeni ravioli. A wide range of seafood dishes too. Don’t miss out on the vodka which is something completely different to what we’re used to.
AUTHOR NOTE: Special thank you to the following writers who contributed reviews: Angela Gleason, Sara White, Ivan Marra, Livia Hengel, Hannah Trice, April Putnam, Rasa Makaraityte, Lis Sanchez, Margaux MacNeil, Lachlan Probyn and Adriana De Noble.
My favourite Indian place would have to be Indian Fast Food close to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. Cheap and cheerful but very authentic. I haven’t been to Jaipur, I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks for the list 🙂
Thank you Catherine! I’ll have to try the place near piazza Vittorio Emanuele as well! What is it called?
The best Kebab in Rome? we find it!! at Happy Kebab in Via Pineta Sacchetti, really good!!!!!
Flavia , please don’t forget the peruvian gastronomy 🙂
Hi Wendy, thank you for the suggestion! We will be sure to include Peruvian gastronomy in our next go-round of restaurants, I hear there is a delicious restaurant near San Giovanni! Any recommendations?
For Thai food I recommend Sukhothai in Monteverde for a great and authentic Thai red curry and pad thai noodles! http://www.sukhothai.it/
Thank you for the recommendation, Marty!
I always question the definition of “ethnic”; does French or Milanese cooking count or does it have to be “the developing world”?? Anyway, I agree with Marty Sukhothai is good (althoug I go more frequently to the place around the corner on Via Villa Pamphilj, no idea what it’s called but it has decent food really cheap. I had dinner there the other day for about €10!
And my friend Katie swears by Mesob on Via Prenestina as best Ethiopan place in Rome, though I still haven’t eaten there.
Thanks for the recommendations, Tom! Will definitely have to try these places, I’ve been told Mesob is great. The definition of ethnic is also definitely ambiguous, I personally consider ethnic food as being any food directly related to any ethnicity – I’d count French food, but Milanese I’d consider more regional. That’s just my interpretation, though!
Great list. Although i wouldn’t recommend Ouzi or Banana Trash. Take Giapponese and Rokoko are fantastic and Coffee Pot is interesting with its jap / mex fusion (although the cloud is a little pretentious).
Love Sambamaki, Temakinho and Jaipur and will def check out Galbi.
For some great falafel and shawarma (and cafeteria style arabic food) Shawarma Station in Via Merulana is excellent.
For the best barbecue you did not mention Phils American barbecue on the Tamgenziale!! Awesome pulled pork and brisket!
GREAT ARTICLE!!! Its so hard to find good ethnic food in Rome.
Damplings in Prati (close to piazza bainsizza) is a MUST TRY if you’re into asian/chinese street food and dim sum… I suggest to reserve a table for its a cozy but small place.