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Make Rome Your Home- Food Edition:

As many people prepare to go abroad, I’m just going to take a guess that Rome is on your list to visit, whether just for a weekend or the entire semester.

Before I went, I got a list of recommendations and I truly didn’t pay attention to them as much as I should have. Having a guide, especially for a weekend trip or when you first arrive is super helpful. No one wants to spend their money on tourist food or food that just doesn’t taste good. Also, no one wants to walk into a place that doesn’t speak any English. Check out these recs below for places that taste great and love study abroad students!

Ombre Rosse- Carbonara


Typically, you can’t go wrong with breakfast in Rome. Their signatures are fresh croissants, fresh squeezed orange juice, and any type of coffee you could think of. In Rome you can also find some American staples like muffins, donuts, pancakes, and bagels. This list of places will be more beneficial to those studying in Rome, but don’t worry- there are plenty of small cafes throughout the streets, so you certainly won’t go hungry during breakfast time.

Best Places in Trastevere:

  • Giselda Cafe- plain croissants, orange juice, and cappuccinos are best
  • Trastevere Bagel- Bagel Sandwiches! *They have weird hours, so be sure to check before you go*
  • Mammos- Good coffee, muffins, and bagel sandwiches
  • Meccanismo- My FAVORITE place. Great pancakes, muffins, coffee, and other breakfast options


For lunch during school days, I normally grabbed a quick meal in between classes. In Trastevere, there are a ton of those places, especially ones with pizza. Here are my favorites:

  • Donkey Punch: great sandwiches- you can create your own!
  • Dar Poeta: Best to-go pizza, can chose the size of yourself and mix + match!
  • Meccanismo: Great Salads and Burgers
  • Mammos: great burgers


Dinner is a special event in Rome, where people spend hours eating and enjoying people’s company. One huge part of dinner is Aperitivo. Aperitivo is paired best with an Aperol Spritz and is basically a huge board of different foods. For Americans, this is enough for dinner. But for Italians, they usually go on to eat at a different restaurant after.

Like I said, dinner is serious business. People in Rome usually eat around 8-10 and will sit there for hours. There are three courses: antipasto, primo, and secondo. Antipasto is a lot of cheese and meat plates, caprese, and bruschetta. The primo course is your pastas. PLEASE NOTE, there is no alfredo in Italy! If there is, you should be concerned!! Primo pastas include cacio e pepe, carbonara, amatriciana, and spaghetti al pomodoro. Secondo is your meats: *there is no chicken parm or piccata in Italy!!*. These dishes include red meats and chicken dishes. After these 3 courses, you’ll be bursting at the seams. Here are my favorite places:

  • Pico’s- Taco Tuesday! Traditional Mexican food for when you’re sick of Italian (you will be eventually)
  • Koi- Asian buffet
  • Ombre Rosse- My favorite restaurant. Great food + service and they love Americans
  • Dar Poeta *Sit down place*- There are two Dar Poetas, this one is the sit down. If you want great pizza, this is the place to go
  • Mecca- best Aperitivo
  • Trattoria Da Enzo
  • Cajo & Gajo- great bruschetta
  • Grazia e Graziella- great pizza
Spaghetti al Pomodoro- Ombre Rosse


Dessert here is mostly gelato, but there are also great desserts on restaurant menus. In Italy, the LOVE Nutella. I mean they LOVE it- they seriously will put it on everything, and you will too. One of the best things to get is Nutella pizza. The gelato is also out of this world, and there are about 20+ flavors at every place that you can chose from. Here are my favorites:

  • Venchi- high end gelato, get the chocolate its super rich!
  • Gelateria del Viale- for all my JCU students, its legitimately 5 feet from C campus! White chocolate and Milk Cream are my favorite!
  • Old Bridge Gelato
  • Tiramisu Roma- Make your own Tiramisu in Trastevere
  • Ombre Rosse- Nutella Pizza!
Gelateria del Viale

Here are some extras for you to enjoy:

Pico’s Taco Tuesday
Antipasto- Bruschetta Ombre Rosse
Aperitivo- Mecca
Gnocchi Pomodoro- Cajo & Gajo

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