At a recent Helloworld Travel event I got chatting to Cinzia Burnes who I found out was born and raised in Rome so I asked her what are 5 top bars or restaurants that she would recommend.
You see, it’s been years since I have been to Rome and this time I wanted a different experience. I wanted recommendations and who better than Cinzia Burnes. And yes a Gelato Bar is a restaurant in my world.
Check out the five recommendations plus I have included one of my own.
1. RISTORANTE TULLIO
True, authentic and everything you would expect from a traditional restaurant in Rome. Strong punchy dishes that tickle your senses and the prosciutto and salami aren’t saltie at all and go down like a treat.
The restaurant is discreet and is in quite a famous area so you will be waiting long if you don’t make a reservation a few days prior. Make sure you try the olive oil and the bread. The flavour hits you from all sides.
2. ZODIACO BAR
Situated on top of mountain Mario and approximately 25 mins away from Rome, the view is insane. This restaurant and cocktail bar offers patrons live music and panoramic views of the city.
Open daily 9am to 2am. Monday the restaurant opens at 6pm.
Worth the trip but order an Uber as all taxis are occupied between 5-8pm and cost a fortune. You need to get to the hill around 5pm to see the sunset. Stick to seafood as the lobster linguini was superb. The light olive oil and lobster were perfectly cooked. This was my entree but the size is a main so just get a salad and your done.
Oh but no, I ordered a steak fillet and it was huge. Not my fav but could be because I was full. Huge wine list so stuck with sauvignon collio. The atmosphere is nice on a Sunday evening. All types of ages as we were sitting next to a very young couple on their anniversary and he accidentally hit the bread bowl which went flying on the floor. His date was so embarrassed as we all could not stop laughing. We kicked a few paninis to each other and it almost turned into a soccer match until the waiter came around.
So local and really affordable. Definitely get there earlier for a drink outside before going into the restaurant.
3. GELATO BAR NEAR THE PANTHEON
Ok, this isn’t a restaurant as such but it is the hottest spot in Rome or should we say the coolest. Just off the side of the Pantheon and yes there are so many Gelato bars but this one to the right is ultra special. Showcasing varieties of icecreams that make your belly dance and your eyes water, you can actually try as many as you want and they make it all. Thankfully there weren’t that many tourists around as they were busy lining up to get into the Pantheon, I had time on my side so I selected Coconut, Passionfruit, Wild Berry, Liquorice, Pistacchio and Banana.
The weirdest one was Ricotta icecream and the Watermelon one. Not to my liking but when I tried the custard icecream, well if you like a good Portuguese custard or an Aussie custard tart, then this sends you straight to heaven. You need to note that this place offers REAL icecream, not the ones that are mass produced so you will taste a distinctive difference from many of the others around Rome.
4. TRATTORIA TRITONE
The wine menu is the wine bible of Italy. Of course, we chose a pinot grigio which was beyond perfecto. A little heavy to start but the flavour came through when you are eating the house-made bread sprinkled with the pure olive oil. Very old school restaurant.
Recommend making a reservation here as this place was packed and tables had riservato on them. Great place to jump in, eat, drink and continue your exploration of Rome. The best part is the family feel get’s you into the mood instantly. You can really see yourself sipping limonchello with nonna out back.
Did I mention it’s only a coin throw away from the Trevi fountain?
5. RISTORANTE NINO
It began with this guy who was born in Tuscany and moved to Rome to try his hands as an employee in a restaurant. It wasn’t long until he opened his own with his brother of course.
If you want to experience a true Tuscan cuisine with specialties including steak, lamb and seasonal veggies, then this is the place for you. It was very classy and highly suggest making a reservation. White tablecloth setting so dress up nice and take note of the opening times. Ristorante Nino is opened 1230 to 3pm and 730pm to 11pm. Closed on Sundays and the month of August. Dinner dress code, no shorts, singlets or thongs.
Thanks again for the recommendation. Really enjoyed eating my way around Rome.
- READ: Review of a hotel located in the heart of Rome, Hotel White shines
- READ: Pompeii, where the streets actually come to life on this tour
What’s your favourite restaurant in Rome?
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