Get it? Because it’s autumn, my favorite season, which calls for lame puns and posts about fab food! 🙂
So I’ve been in the fascinating city of Rome for over a month now. Crazy how time flies when you’re adjusting to a new place. During my time here, I have managed to scope out and try out some cozy cafes, yummy restaurants, and delicious gelaterias. I’m currently sitting in one funky cafe right now as I write this blog post, so we’ll see if the atmosphere makes for quality writing as I share with you my favorite spots in Rome so far.
Must Eat Gelato
If you are in the Eur district of Rome, then you need to treat yourself to Gelarmony. Like, right now. It is a pay and walk away gelateria, charging only 2 euros and fifty cents for a small that comes with three flavors. Not many gelaterias give you the option of three flavors in a small. This tiny shop also makes all of its gelato in house, and it’s heaven in a cup or inside a croissant or on a cone, whichever you prefer. Personally, I highly recommend the cannoli and pistachio flavors (these are by far the most popular and for good reason), although I’ve never gotten a bad flavor here. Just the other day I tried the raspberry lemonade (definitely made me pucker up) and the chocolate pear (that actually had pear pieces mashed into it). So pick your poison and go for a stroll in the large park across the street.
If you are near the Trevi Fountain, you should check out Gelateria Valentino. This gelato shop has received many awards over the past few years for its homemade goodies. There are many flavors to choose from, including some interesting fruit ones, but above all, I recommend the oreo and mint flavors here. The location is a prize in itself as well because you can stroll through the beautiful ivy side streets after stopping at the Trevi Fountain.
Service at both of these establishments is top notch! They are super nice to nonnative Italian speakers, sharing a big smile and usually a gelato sample or two.
Must Eat Takeaway
If you are near the Spanish steps and hunting for some mouthwatering homemade pasta, check out Pastificio Guerra. It’s a tiny shop, but hopefully the line out the door stops you from walking right by it. For only four euros, you get a to go container of pasta (picking from two different choices daily). The line may seem daunting, but it moves quickly. And even though its cramped with a lot of people, if you stay inside, you get free water and wine. Score! Also, you can purchase their dried pasta in bags as a souvenir to take home with you.
If you are back in my hood Eur, you should grab an arancini (similar to suppli, just bigger) from I Siciliani while you shop on Viale Europa. They have all different flavors of fried rice balls, but my favorite is the pistachio one. Sounds strange, I know, but try it. I either grab one of these on my walk home from the gym (healthy, right?) or a cornetto from the 24 hour cafe Conca D’oro down the street. If you have a sweet tooth instead of a salty craving, then pay one euro for a cornetto (varying pastries) there. My go to one is a flaky croissant filled with nutella. Yes, such a fantastic thing does exist.
Must Drink Cafes
If you want to sip on a daiquiri or martini named after your favorite author or literary character, then pop by Libreria Mangiaparole for an afternoon of reading, writing, or conversing. I went for a book club meeting and tried the Hemingway Daiquiri, and it was definitely more spirits than cherry. The cafe itself has a hipster vibe that I can appreciate and occasionally hosts events like language exchanges and trivia nights. The owners were very welcoming, accommodating our large group easily and inviting us back for our next meeting.
Currently, I am hanging out at Anticafe. I knew nothing about it except the name was intriguing, so I hopped off the metro at San Giovanni and arrived here after walking a short block. I was greeted when I walked through the door and was offered a time card because this place doesn’t charge for drinks or snacks. It charges four euros per hour (one euro for every 15 minutes), and you can drink/eat whatever you like while you’re there. They also have free printing. How cool is that? I have been munching on some cookies, trying different fresh squeezed juices, and typing away at this post. Needless to say, I will totally be coming back whenever I need to get a few hours of work done on the computer.
Bonus, free wifi is offered at both of these cafes!
Must Eat Aperitivo
I have participated in many aperitivos during my time here, but the only aperitivo I’ve tried that’s worth mentioning is the one at The Beer Oasis or L’Oasi della Birra in Testaccio. For those of you that do not know (like me when I first showed up), participating in an apertivo is when you purchase a drink (usually around 8-12 euros) and are provided free snacks (basically an unlimited buffet). Not only were there several pasta, rice, meat, and veggie options, but they also offered deserts! The restaurant is a maze, especially to find the food line, but I find that to be part of its charm. We sat downstairs in a small stone enclave with cushions on the benches and wine bottles surrounding us on the shelves. The Beer Oasis left us with full bellies and big smiles.
As always, thanks for reading! 🙂 Please feel free to ask a question or leave a comment. I would love to hear more recommendations on places I need to eat/drink at while I’m here. Will post more about my specific adventures soon!