Vatican City & Prati
If you just want a quick, light meal, Insalata Ricca, a salad-and-quick-meals chain, is across from the Vatican walls at Piazza del Risorgimento 4, (tel) 06-39730387; daily noon–3:30pm and 7pm–midnight.
Ancient Rome, Monti & Celio
If all you need is a sandwich, there’s no beating Gaudeo, Via del Boschetto 112 (www.gaudeo.it; (tel) 06-98183689). A freshly baked roll loaded with the finest prosciutto, mozzarella, salami, and a whole lot more costs between 4€ and 10€.
Centro Storico & the Pantheon
Vegetarians looking for massive salads (or anyone who just wants a break from all those heavy meats and starches) can find great food at the neighborhood branch of Insalata Ricca, Largo dei Chiavari 85, (tel) 06-68803656; daily noon–midnight. It also offers free Wi-Fi.
Tridente & the Spanish Steps
The historic cafes near the Spanish Steps drip with history, but sadly tend to be overpriced tourist traps these days, where mediocre cakes or even a cup of coffee or tea will cost 5€. Nevertheless, you may want to pop inside the two most celebrated institutions: Babington’s Tea Rooms, Piazza di Spagna 23, (tel) 06-6786027; daily 10am–9:30pm, was established in 1893 at the foot of the Spanish Steps by a couple of English signore. Caffè Greco, Via dei Condotti 86, 06-6791700; daily 9am–8pm, is Rome’s oldest bar, opening in 1760 and hosting Keats, Ibsen, Goethe, and many other historical cognoscenti.
Popular craft-beer bar Bir and Fud also serves pizzas and traditional snacks like supplì (fried rice croquettes filled with mozzarella and ragu) to hungry drinkers. It serves food every evening, and at lunchtime from Thursday through Sunday.
Rome’s old meatpacking district is a major dining zone. The old slaughterhouses have been transformed into art venues, markets, and museum MACRO, but restaurants here still specialize in meats from the quinto quarto (the “fifth quarter”)—the leftover parts of an animal after the slaughter, typically offal like sweetbreads, tripe, tails, and other goodies you won’t find on most American menus (although you find the standard cuts here, too). This is an area to eat quinto quarto—offal, either in the restaurants recommended, or from any street-food stall in the Nuovo Mercato di Testaccio. If you book a food-themed tour of Rome, you will almost certainly end up down here.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.