Rome Restaurants: Paper Tablecloths
The Best in Rome
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Freni e Frizioni
This restaurant and bar attracts a young crowd. On weekends its crowded, and the music is hardly in the background, but it’s a great spot for socializing. Formerly used as a workshop, the polished wooden drawers that once held parts and equipment, have been recycled and are still in use. The appeal of the place, for the twenty-something clientele lies in its laid-back atmosphere and low prices. Five euro will buy you a glass wine, beer or prosecco, and, for a little extra, a mixed drink. At the apperitivo hour, there’s a buffet with Indian, Brazilian and some Italian cuisine. Dishes range from roasted chicken, to couscous, curried rice and Caesar salad. Open for lunch dinner, and Sunday brunch. (KG)
Via del Politeama 4-6 Roma (Trastevere, near Ponte Sisto, Piazza Trilussa)
tel 06 58334210 or 06 45497499 www.freniefrizioni.com
Bar da Benito
Located in the old Ghetto, this bar/restaurant offers delicious food at a bargain price. The waiters are super quick to clear the tables and get you ready to eat in no time. Primi plates average a low €4,50, secondi range from €4,50 to €7, 50, and desserts are only €3. While this is no romantic spot, the food is extremely good and cheap.
Via dei Falegnami 14, ( Ghetto)
Open Monday - Saturday, 6:30 am-7 pm. Closed in August.
tel 06 686 1508
Romans and foreigners with up-to-date guidebooks line up outside this pizzeria, but the wait is short and well worth it. The price is low and the quality superb. Thin-crust, classic Roman pizza comes straight from the forni a legna (wood-burning oven) with almost any combination of toppings you can imagine. If pizza isn’t your fancy, there are other offerings on the menu, and for dessert, don’t miss the panna cotta fatta in casa (a caramel pudding made on the premises).
Via del Governo Vecchio, 114 tel. 06.686 1617
Capo de Fero
One of Rome's few remaining authentic trattorie, this place has been in business for decades, and the low prices and high quality remain the same. Here you can have a lovely meal in a charming setting for a very decent price. The speciality is "rigatoni democratici." No one can remember how the dish got its name, but it's a wonderful pasta in a delicious creamy cheese sauce. The antipasto buffet is expansive and full of all the Roman specialities, perfectly prepared. They also do a wonderful pasta alla carbonaraas well as a variety of grilled fish and meats, and offer a nice selection of cakes and puddings for dessert. Outside tables during the warmer months.
Via San Cosimato, 16 tel 06 581 8038 Closed Wednesdays.
A fixture for years in its former location under a spreading fig tree in Piazza del Fico, the restaurant has recently moved around the corner to Via Monte Giordano, but the excellent food, decent wine list, friendly service and low prices have remained unchanged. Where else can you get a great plate of pasta for six euro? Or try the veal with pistachios for eleven euro. They also do an outstanding job with Roman classics like pasta all'amatriciana, artichokes and stuffed zucchini flowers. There's a smoking room for the addicted, and tables outside, with heat lamps for al fresco dining on chilly nights.
Via Monte Giordano 49 tel 06 687 5568
Cavaliere Gino has been a favourite lunch stop for staff at the nearby Parliament since 1963. Tucked away on a small street no wider than a medieval alley, Gino, with the help of his son Fabrizio, continues to offer the classic cucina romanesca: tonnarelli (a long pasta prepared fresh daily) alla ciociara, cacio e pepe, carbonara, spaghetti alle vongole, or a fresh scomorza alla brace for non meat eaters. If you've room for an entreè try the lamb with roasted potatoes, rabbit simmered in white wine or the succulent trippa alla romana.
Vicolo Rosini, 4 (historic center near Parliament) tel 06 687 3434
Open for lunch only
This legendary trattoria, and its adjacent wine store, are legendary in Rome, a favorite for quick lunch and as authentic as you can get. You'll be seated at a long table with other diners and the waiter will recite the menu to you, which limited but always delicious. The place is always packed so get there early.
via del Gesù 87 (near the Pantheon) tel 06 679 0821
Open for lunch only. Closed Sunday.
Est! Est! Est!
The young Roman crowd, smoking and talking on their cell phones in the street while they wait for a table, attests to the popularity of this historic Rome restaurant and pizzeria, which has been serving the hungry since 1888. In warmer months, there’s a patio, set out at the end of the cul de sac street, with a decidedly “old Rome” atmosphere. Inside, not much has changed over the decades. The old wooden tables, vintage lighting and bronze statues are all still in place. The pizza is typically Roman, thin crusted with all the traditional toppings. The menu also includes calzone and pasta. €
Via Genova, 32 tel. 06.488 1107 Closed Monday and at lunch.
Hostaria Dino Express
A typical Italian restaurant, inexpensive and genuine, no bigger than a kitchen with few tables, and a relatively quick turnover. You'll need to get there early or be prepared to queue up. The menu is simple, traditional home cooking; vegetable soup, saltimboocca al timone, carpaccio di carne con rughetta, prosciutto e melone, lasagne, pasta e cecci and polpette. Our favourite is always the ossobuco, a Roman dish prepared with veal, tomato sauce and peas.
Via Tacito, 80 Prati (near Piazza Cavour) tel 06 361 0305
Open for lunch only
L'Osteria della Suburra
This small restaurant some of the best home made pastas in Rome. The ambiece is very laid back and relaxing. The fettucine with porcini mushrooms is amazing, but if you'd something more adventureous, try the wild boar pasta. A good deal in the €10 to €15 price range. For dessert try the home-made tiramisu. The servers are super friedly and most of them speak English.
Via Urbana 69 (Prati, near the Cavour Metro B stop)
Open daily for dinner only tel 06 486 531
This is a great place for international students. A long list of the international universities whose students frequent the place lines one of the walls. A medium beer will cost you €5, not really a bargain, but they offer food at great prices. You can get a salad or a pizza and a drink for just €7. International students also benefit from 10% any food purchasePerhaps, the best thing about this cozy place is its owner, Mickey, one of the friendliest guys you'll ever meet. First time there, expect most of the drinks to be on the house. The hospitality at this place is unlikely to be matched anywhere in Rome.
Via delle Paste (near the Pantheon)
Open 7 days a week.
This is a nice little cafè offers terrific food at a budget price. Apart from their inexpensive lunch menu, they offer a great buffet, which is not overly Americanized. Don't expect a lot of the usual fried food , but rather fresh salads, pasta, antipasto, and so on. They do have fried chicken and such as well for the those Americans seeking some extra grease. The alcoholic drinks are run about €6.
Via dei Baullari 147
Open 7 days a week; 8:00 am - 2:00 am.
Buffet from 6:30 to 10:00 pm. All you can eat for for the price of one drink.
Cocktail Bar from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am
06 647 60179
There's usually a line waiting to get into this tiny place, because the food is so good and the prices so low. Find Roman specialities here cooked to perfection, pastas, fried artichokes, usually an entrée of the day.
Piazza delle Cinque Scuole 30 (Ghetto) tel 06 687 4216
Open for lunch only Tuesday- Friday; lunch and dinner Friday and Saturday
Teatro di Pompeo - Da Pancrazio Restaurant,
In the ruins of the Teatro di Pompeo, this restaurant offers a unique archaeological ambience. Two dining rooms are decorated in the style of an 18th-century tavern, with cave-like designs sprawling throughout the whole restaurant. T. The servers here are very serious about their work, and will recommend what the chef prefers to cook that day. The saltimbocca and tender roast lamb with potatoes, which were recommended to us were absolutely delicious. The stuffed ravioli is a must for pasta lovers. Main courses range from €10 to €20 so you're getting a bang for your buck as well as a true Roman meal.
Piazza del Biscione 92 (near Campo de' Fiori)
Open daily for dinner. Closed Wednesday tel 06 6861246
T-bone Station Steakhouse
This American steakhouse truly lives up to its name. The decor here is what you would expect from a Hard Rock Cafe, but the food is much cheaper and ironically, much better. The menu includes everything from mouth-watering burgers to chicken wings to the t-bone NY steak. The food gets served very quickly, the servers are polite and English-friendly. The downside is that the place tends to get a little crowded in the late evening, especially on weekends. The Soprano burger is a must try, delivering a mouth-watering experience for only about €13.
Via Francesco Crispi 27 (near the Barberini metro stop)
V Via di San Dorotea 21 (Trastevere)
Via Flaminia Vecchia 525/527 (near Corso Francia).
Open Monday- Friday, 12:30 pm-3pm and 7:30 pm-12 am ;
Saturday - Sunday, 7:30 pm-12:30 am tel 06 0667 87650
This cozy restaurant developed its menu around the theme of the Seven Deadly Sins. The multi-course tasting menu offers the best eating experience. Some of the dishes from the menu recall characters from Dantes' Inferno: the gluttony of Ciacco, the superb Filippo Argenti and the lustful Paolo e Francesca." Although the tasting meal might sometime be a little above the budget leve (about €25), the single course meals are delicious and cooked to perfection. The pasta with wild boar sauce is highly recommeded, although it's not always available. The desserts include anything from chocolate mousse to gelato. Although this place may seem a little pricy at first, it can be perfectly affordable if two people split the ample tasting menu, adding an extra first course.
Vicolo della Renella 94 (Trastevere)
Open daily from 7 pm to 2 am. Closed Sundays. tel 06 5818840
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In Rome Now Travel Guide: Restaurants Rome, Italy, Budget