I spent a month this summer soaking up the very best of Roman food (i got college credit for it, y'all). According to my detailed research, here's a day that covers the highlights of Roman food. Don't forget to sign up at the bottom of this page for my weekly Woman Who Eats Wednesday emails!
Start your day with un cappucino and perhaps un cornetto for breakfast at Caffé peru just off piazza dell'oro on Via Giulia as you're walking toward Campo de Fiori. I'm not sure what they do here, but the coffee is some of the best I've ever had.
After I drank that cappucino (The Final Cappucino), I received an enormous hug from the Italian mother of the Italian mother/son pair who runs this particular show. It was everything anyone has ever wanted from an Italian food interaction.
Continue down Via Giulia, and head left when you hit Via delle Carceri and perhaps stop and grab some water.
Turn right onto via del Pellegrino and wander down towards Campo Di Fiori. There are a lot of cool stores on this road, so take your time making your way to Campo but listen to me. DO NOT EAT ANYTHING YOU SEE AT CAMPO. Please heed my advice, peeps. You're gonna be glad.
Wander around, then make your way to either Antico Forno Roscioli at Via dei Chiavari 34 for cheaper pizza to go OR Pizzeria Emma which is just around the corner at Via del Monte della Farina, 28. Emma is run by some of the same leadership as the people over a Roscioli and it is AWESOME. But so is Roscioli. It just depends on whether you're in the mood to walk and snack or sit and snack and drink wine. (I opt for option two.)
Continue your wandering. Your feet will probably lead you to to Vice Gelato at Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 96. Get the bufala yogurt gelato.
Quick story: My roommate in Rome was a very passionate lover of food and once she was so excited for this gelato that she walked into the glass entrance and smacked her head on it so hard that the cute gelato boy looked up. So Margo opened the door and asked if they were closed and he said "Si" and so she started crying and walked home. Crying. And then she cried herself to sleep on the couch of our apartment.
Point being, don't smack your head on the door to this gelateria.
Continue wandering. My favorite cultural activities that I did while in Rome were as follows. A) flirting with a hot chef who later realized I'm 19 and b) going to the Galleria Borghese. You can make reservations for the Borghese. I can't help you out with the hot chefs.
When you get hungry again, head back towards where we started to Supplizio for a quick snack. Suppli are basically fried rice balls of heaven, and Supplizio has the best in Rome. Try the suppli tradizionale (liver and cheesiness) or the amatriciana (pork and tomato and cheesiness). But PLEASE ORDER the crema fritta because it is one of my favorite foods of all time and I can't get over how much I miss it. It's a fried ball of pudding but also involves parmesan cheese for a sense of balance that I rarely achieve in my food, let alone my life.
When you're ready, head to Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa in Trastevere. Grab a beer and keep wandering. The hipster bartenders may intimidate you but make them tell you what you should order because otherwise you might waste precious stomach space (tragedy). You're working up an appetite/thirst for another drink Freni e Frizioni at Via del Politeama, 4/6. Don't overdo it on their snacks because they're not that great but the drinks are fun and the people-watching is even better.
But now, for the finale of our perfect food day. You're going to Da Cesare. You have a reservation. You should just take a cab because it is kind of out of the way and, frankly, I don't want you to be stressed out when you arrive to this food experience.
Here's the plan. You're going to order fried gnocchi in cacio e pepe sauce and the little meat bollitos with pesto. I just got the house red wine because I can only pretend to be fancy and not actually succeed.
But things are only heating up here, people. It is important to me that you order pasta alla 'matriciana on rigatoni. Y'all, I'm telling you this was so good I had to have a moment alone with it. I was supposed to share it and I didn't. I just refused. I suggest you do the same.
Now you should eat some tripe. I know it seems weird but it's very Roman of you and we're committed to doing as the Romans do, ok? Because there is a little known law that says that when you're in Rome you must do as the Romans generally do. You may not know this but it's true. So eat the tripe. Also because it sort of tastes like tomato-y butter. If you hate it I'll straight-up pay you back. Hit me up.
Then get the panna cotta, because now is not the moment for you to decided to exercise your self-restraint. Good talk.
I like to take the tram back to Largo di Torre Argentina and then walk the rest of the way home. You're probably uncomfortably full by this point, and a nice after-dinner constitutional will help settle things in your stomach so that you're able to eat more tomorrow. Because one perfect food day in Rome is simply not enough.
if you're planning a trip to rome in earnest, please contact me for more recommendations OR worship at the throne of Katie Parla like I do.