Rome is without a doubt home to some of the best Italian food and regional dishes.
But when you're in the mood for some comfort food and international dishes or just craving some non-typical Italian cuisine, here is a list of the best casual eateries and must-visit places to eat in Rome:
1. Mammo Trastevere - American Street Food & Comfort Classics/Comfort Food
Created in 2015 by a mother and son team, Mammo is a homage to the most popular foods and dishes that can be found in the United States of America.
Young chef and co-owner Michele Salvati took his experience cooking abroad and put everything he learned (and tasted) into the new and improved Mammo location in the heart of Trastevere.
The food menu at Mammo covers everything: from their BBQ pulled pork and pastrami sandwiches, ribs, burgers, salads, juices and wraps to the traditional American breakfast offering of eggs, pancakes and other morning time sweets to bagels from Beehive. But Mammo is still very much Italian when it comes to their passion about food, local ingredients and hospitality, serving Roman locals, international visitors and students alike.
With their recently opened and much larger space making room for lots of indoor seating, an outdoor seating area and even a wine cellar - you can now savor your meal with a glass (or a bottle) of vino. Or if you’d rather enjoy these delicious comfort foods at home, Mammo is still available for takeaway.
Roast Beef and Cheese Sandwich at Mammo
2. C.O.S.O - Eclectic/Innovative Plates & Cocktails
A name merged from CO (for cocktails) and SO (social) but also the typical Italian word used for calling a person or thing that doesn’t come straight to mind, this local hangout in Pigneto can’t really be defined. There are no boundaries between drink and food here in fact - there is only a strong synergy between them. With Sicilian roots, a passion for Japan and an address in Pigneto, Rome, CO.SO. is a unique merging of cultures and flavors.
Part food lab part cocktail bar - with a homemade approach to both. Experimental, eclectic and innovative small plates and recipes spun off the original classic staples (like their customer favorite club sandwich) can be found here. And their cocktails are another world with a constantly evolving drink menu and signature drink list that can be perfectly paired to any one of their food offerings. A small, cozy but colorful space with the friendliest owners and staff that make you feel welcome straight away, COSO is a place you come to eat and drink well in Rome.
Brunch Bloody Mary at COSO
3. Pico’s Taqueria & American Grill - American-Mexican, tacos and more
A Mexican street food hotspot in Trastevere, this little hole in the wall packs in the punch with flavor, authenticity and the variety of offerings. Not to be confused with the typical Tex-Mex, Pico’s is part traditional taqueria, part classic American Grill. Their food menu is extensive and covers all of the basic Mexican-American dishes you could expect or want, and then some…
On the taco side of things there are 10 to choose from as well as 10 burritos (including their breakfast burrito), 9 types of quesadillas, 7 burrito bowls, and an entire Nachos section on the menu. For burgers, you can choose from the ‘Pico’s Burger’ of beef, bacon, pico de gallo, cheddar and jalapenos, their fried chicken burger, fish burger, and pulled pork sandwich.
Some Pico’s specials include chicken wings, chicken nuggets, mac n’ cheese (5 kinds), carne asada fries and churros. If you’re feeling a bit indecisive with all these options, there’s the ‘Pico Combo Menu’ where you can choose from the Taco Box, Quesadilla Box, and Burrito Box, for a sampling of each. They even offer a traditional American breakfast of pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, and that classic soul food dish - fried chicken and waffles. Also available are vegan options, a Pico’s Kids Meal, and beers. Pico’s Taqueria & American Grill literally covers every comfort food and craving.
Quality products, bold flavors and dishes done right. You can take it to go, for delivery, or if you can’t wait – you can eat it there right on the spot. Now in a bigger and better location (still in Trastevere) where Pico’s will be serving up some Mexican-inspired cocktails.
Taco madness at Pico's
4. Legs - Fried Chicken Galore & Craft Beer
This casual eatery famous for its wide range of fried chicken offerings was born in 2019. An irresistible combination of fried chicken and craft artisanal beer, everything from the breadcrumb batter to the buns at Legs is uniquely fresh and homemade, including their French Fries. You can choose from chicken legs, chicken wings and chicken breasts at 4 pieces, 10 pieces, 16 pieces or one of their 'Legs Mixed Boxes', which is great for groups and parties. The assortment is impressive with some really inventive menu items and a variety of special seasonings, some featuring ingredients and dishes most typical of Rome - such as the Cacio e Pepe and “Porchettato”. Legs also has a fairly long list of chicken burgers and some interesting sides like jalapenos, coleslaw and fried trippa (intestines). You can eat in their original Centocelle location which is more like a pub or order takeaway or delivery from their newly opened to-go outpost in Ostiense!
Fried Chicken Legs and Homemade French Fries at Legs
5. Pastrami Centocelle - Pastrami, Brisket
A new addition by restauranteur Ion Popa– this time in the up-and-coming area of Centocelle is Pastrami – where the famous deli meat and Jewish delicacy is the star. Staying true to the roots and history of pastrami with the great U.S. emigration in the early 20th century - from the preservation process and balancing the spices the best way possible, every cut of pastrami is prepared to perfection. The attention to detail, cutting and cooking of the meat, every little thing is devoted to the art of pastrami – the most ideal being the brisket. This very lean piece of meat (aka beef brisket) means a very long marinade at a slow and low cooking temperature, resulting in the most flavorful and mouthwatering slice of meat you ever tasted. Pastrami panini deli sandwiches, premium burgers, torte rustiche (savory cakes), and crepes can also be found here on the menu as well as beers by the bottle or on tap.
And last but not least, everyone’s favorite Roman street food known all over Italy and internationally - the one and only Trapizzino. With multiple locations (now one in NYC!), the completely original concept of Trapizzino was invented by Stefano Callegari, famous pizza maker (or pizzaiolo) in 2008 with his partner Paul Pansera, for a playful new way to introduce people to the most iconic Roman dishes. The trademark name of Trapizzino is also a fun play on words (and some shear marketing genius) combining the typical Italian tea sandwich without crust (tramezzino) with the word “pizza” and “ino” being the Italian ending for qualifying something as little.
Using the highest quality dough, these tiny triangular pizza pockets are filled with some of the most famous dishes in Rome – aka cucina povera (or quinto quarto) down home cooking. Beloved delicacies like coda alla vaccinara (braised oxtail) or linqua in salsa verde (tongue in a green sauce) to their evergreen menu items - homemade and hearty dishes of pollo alla cacciatora (chicken cacciatore), eggplant parmigiana and polpetta al sugo (meatball) and doppia panna e alici. Every Trapizzino features seasonal ingredients and flavors that sometimes change daily! Trapizzino also has some of the best suppli and croquettes, a classic and creative assortment of fritti fried with Frienn oil (so 100% palm oil free). With 12 locations and still growing, one of the more recent spots - Trapizzino Trilussa is more like a vineria (or wine bar) featuring an impressive selection of wines by the glass and bottle, some great organic wine & natural wines and the most incredibly warm, friendly and knowledgeable staff 😊
Coda alla Vaccinara Trapizzino