Where to eat in Rome’s Testaccio Neighborhood
Testaccio is one of Rome’s most vital districts. Its origin is very ancient: at the beginning of the 2nd century B.C. this area was chosen as the site of the river port Emporium, a landing place for food supplies and goods. Olive oil, cereals and other essential foodstuffs arrived in earthenware jars (amphorae) and once emptied of their contents, were disposed of in an open-air dump. The result of millions of stacked amphorae is the Monte dei Cocci, or Monte Testaccio hill, which can still be seen today. Centuries later, Testaccio housed the largest slaughterhouse in Europe (now a museum and events venue).
Today Testaccio is considered a true neighbourhood, a bastion of Roman culinary excellence and home to some of the best restaurants in the capital. Here is our guide to places to try to discover the true essence of Roman cuisine!
Via Marmorata, 39
Tue – Sat 12.15pm-3pm; 7.15pm-11.15pm; Sun 12.15pm-3.30pm
Perilli has been around since the early 1900s and is a Roman institution. Simple, elegant, quiet and unpretentious is how this restaurant can be best described. The classic Roman primi: carbonara, amatriciana and gricia, as well as typical secondi: abbacchio al forno and coda alla vaccinara are always prepared with the care and attention that distinguishes Perilli.
Taverna e Salumeria Volpetti
Restaurant: Via Alessandro Volta, 8
Open Tue-Sat 12pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm; Sun 12pm-4.30pm
Deli; Via Marmorata, 47
Open daily (except Sunday) 10-2pm and 4-8pm
Volpetti, present in Testaccio for more than 40 years, offers timeless Roman and local specialties in its osteria and deli. Perfect for lunch, dinner or grocery shopping, Volpetti gives out flavors that will both uplift you and leave you speechless: red-wine infused salami, black and white truffles, whole legs of prosciutto, a collection of cheeses so beautiful they will bring tears of joy to any self-respecting foodie’s eyes, fresh pasta, extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, as well as international specialties such as pata negra, Roquefort and Scottish salmon.
Via Mastro Giorgio, 29
Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7.30pm-11.30pm
Every dish ordered from Da Felice’s menu is like a love story. Every bite augments your feelings towards that recipe, just like loving a person more and more each day. Let your gustatory perception interpret the same experience as kissing someone for the first time after wanting to do it for so long. Once you have that last forkful of creamy tonnarelli cacio e pepe, nothing can be compared to it.
Osteria Fratelli Mori
Via dei Conciatori, 10
Open daily 12.30pm-2.30pm; 7.30pm-11.30pm
Inspired by traditional Roman cuisine, Osteria Fratelli Mori embraces passion and tradition by cherry picking most of the ingredients from the respectful Testaccio market. Recipes handed down have been travelling hand in hand to create dishes like spaghetti alla carbonara, tonnarelli cacio e pepe and trippa alla romana, all customized and signed by the family’s cooks.
Pizzeria Da Remo
Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice, 44
Open Mon-Sat, 7pm-1am
Unlike its more voluptuous cousin in Naples, Roman-style pizza has a super thin, crispy crust, a vestige of WWII, when ingredients were sparse and dough was rolled as flat as possible to produce more than one pie. The pizzas at Da Remo – wood oven fired and scrocchiarella (extra crunchy) – make that long, inevitable wait in line worth it. Outside seating is available in the warmer months.
Flavio al Velavevodetto
Via di Monte Testaccio, 97
Daily 12.30am-3.30pm; 8-11pm
This popular osteria is carved inside the neighbourhood’s manmade mound of ancient amphoras. Just as spectacular as its location is Flavio’s authentic, no-frills Roman cuisine: try their tonnarelli cacio e pepe (square cut noodles with pecorino cheese and black pepper), coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stew), polpette di bollito (fried meatballs), and award-winning rigatoni alla carbonara (pasta in a sauce of egg yolk, pecorino, pork cheek, and black pepper).
Fraschetta di Mastro Giorgio
Via Alessandro Volta, 36
Open daily from 12.30am-3.30pm; 7.30-12pm
Inspired by the fraschette, or traditional taverns of the Roman countryside, Mastrogiorgio serves up rustic, laziale fare. Go with a group and split some of the menu’s appetizers, like pecorino aged in fig leaves, crispy rosemary roasted pork, called porchetta, and marinated artichoke hearts, before moving on to your main course.
Angelina a Testaccio
Via Galvani, 24A
Open daily 12.30am-3pm; 7.30-11pm
Carnivores should check out the Testaccio branch (there’s one near the Trevi fountain, too) of this cosy restaurant whose niche is meat dishes. Diners typically come here for the bistecca fiorentina, Chianina steak, Angus beef, Kobe beef, or lamb chops, but plenty of pasta, fish, and pizzas round out the menu for those seeking an alternative option.
Via Aldo Manuzio, Via Beniamino Franklin, Via Alessandro Volta & Via Lorenzo Ghiberti
Try fresh produce at this local food market. Hop from box to box, eating standing up and at the bar counters, or get food from different stalls and sit at the central seating area. Especially recommended at the market Mordi e Vai, Mani in Pasta and Da Corrado. Mercato Testaccio is the perfect place for a lazy foodie day out with the locals.
Via Giovanni da Empoli, 37
Think avocado on crusty bread, pliant cinnamon buns, a green shake, or three-grain porridge, served in an airy sun-filled restaurant. In the shadow of the Gasometro, Sofie Wochner and her partner Domenico Cortese opened such a place, offering variations on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients that mix Sofie’s Danish heritage with Domenico’s Calabrian roots.
Via Galvani, 64
Open daily 12am-11pm
This trattoria in Testaccio is very quaint, with courteous, fast service and excellent classic dishes: great amatriciana, fried artichokes, abbacchio scottadito and chicory, or involtini for a jollier dish. The restaurant is on three levels, and the small room on the ground floor is small and cosy.
Checchino dal 1887
Via di Monte Testaccio, 30
Wed – Sun 12.30pm-3pm; 7.30pm-11pm
Checchino‘s is one of Testaccio’s historic eateries, run by the same family for 6 generations. Their classic roman dishes are made with all the wonderful Romanesque vegetables according to season: artichokes, chicory, puntarelle, broccoli. Expanding the choice of soups, placing alongside the classic pasta and chickpeas and pasta and beans, spelt and artichoke soup, and barley and chicory soup. Finally, the family has always been very attentive to wine pairing, proposing the best of Lazio’s production.
Via G. B. Bodoni, 62
Open daily (except Sundays) 12.45am-3pm; 7.45-11.30pm
At Piatto Romano we get to the ultimate level of Roman cuisine…. Although not much of a location, the cuisine is extraordinary and veraciously Roman with excellent raw materials perfectly paired in mouth-watering dishes. The wild herbs, the mallow, the misticanze… the cacio e pepe peppered on the spot at the table in front of the customer…the ricotta and visciole cake, maybe one of the best in Rome and the artichokes… insane!
Via Giovanni Branca, 98
Open daily (except Sun) 12.30am-3pm; 7.30-11.30pm
Local small but cosy, you can feel the Roman authenticity here especially if you’re into entrails. Excellent rigatoni alla pajata, but also the veggies, like puntarelle and artichokes, and the desserts are not bad either! Affordable prices and good quality!
Via Marmorata, 165
Open daily (except Tue) 6.30-12.30am
Il Grottino is a cosy and spartan little pizzeria. The staff is definitely friendly, attentive and smiling and the service is good. On the menu, excellent roman fritti (fried foods) and pizzas (thin crust, as per the Roman tradition) – made with typically roman ingredients and roman philosophy as the artichokes and Roman pecorino cream pizza testifies. There is in general an abundance of good-quality ingredients at this place.
Via Giovanni Branca, 88
Open Sun-Thurs 12pm-12am, Sat-Sun12pm-1am
Experience the city’s latest street food craze with a visit to Trapizzino. The eatery gets its name from its signature dish, the trapizzino, a triangular pocket of fluffy pizza dough stuffed with the fillings of your choice. Permanent offerings on the menu include classics like eggplant parmesan, chicken cacciatore, and meatballs in tomato sauce. Others, such as burrata with anchovies, octopus, oxtail, marinated artichokes and alternate weekly.
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