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Presto2

Where the locals eat in Rome

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We had planned to return to our favourite restaurant ever, Vecchia Roma, in the Monte Area of Rome. Sadly, they will be closed when we are on holiday !

It is just such an amazing, REAL, taste of Italy and the locals would queue to eat here. It was not expensive either -- would pay double.

Just wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a traditional, real, traditional restaurant where the locals go.

Thanks

 

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3 minutes ago, Presto2 said:

We had planned to return to our favourite restaurant ever, Vecchia Roma, in the Monte Area of Rome. Sadly, they will be closed when we are on holiday !

It is just such an amazing, REAL, taste of Italy and the locals would queue to eat here. It was not expensive either -- would pay double.

Just wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a traditional, real, traditional restaurant where the locals go.

Thanks

 

We are looking for something similar in the Prati area. 

You are the first person from my home town that I have seen on Cruise Critic! Go Potters!

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1 minute ago, Alaskanb said:

We are looking for something similar in the Prati area. 

You are the first person from my home town that I have seen on Cruise Critic! Go Potters!

 

There are lots about - more on P&O site but some on Celebrity too ;-)

Which end of the City are you?

:-)

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1 hour ago, Presto2 said:

 

There are lots about - more on P&O site but some on Celebrity too 😉

Which end of the City are you?

🙂

I live in New Mexico but grew up in Stoke itself. 

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2 minutes ago, Alaskanb said:

I live in New Mexico but grew up in Stoke itself. 

 

It has changed a lot !! We are at the Northern end of the City :-) Bet they don't have oatcakes in New Mexico !

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2 hours ago, Presto2 said:

We had planned to return to our favourite restaurant ever, Vecchia Roma, in the Monte Area of Rome. Sadly, they will be closed when we are on holiday !

It is just such an amazing, REAL, taste of Italy and the locals would queue to eat here. It was not expensive either -- would pay double.

Just wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a traditional, real, traditional restaurant where the locals go.

Thanks

 

If you are looking for another wonderful restaurant in the Monti area of Rome.  May I suggest you try La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali. It's an excellent family run restaurant with a possible 50/50 split between locals and tourists.  

We have eaten there the last 2 times we were in Rome (2016 & 2018) and have never had any problems with food or service.

Check out the menu on their website.  You won't be disappointed. 

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I like Taverna dei Fori Imperiali but it has suffered some from its internet popularity, you must make reservations for dinner.  If you look at their TA reviews there are almost twice as many in English as in Italian, I'm not sure what that says other than it's popular with tourists.  It's well reviewed by pretty much everyone.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187791-d782368-Reviews-La_Taverna_dei_Fori_Imperiali-Rome_Lazio.html#REVIEWS

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I'll chime in and say that Taverna dei Fori Imperiali still has excellent food but the last time I was there (a little over a year ago), they have crammed so many tables into what was already a crowded space that I found it unpleasant. Service also suffered a bit -- it was packed. But all things change with time. *sigh*

 

 

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2 hours ago, Presto2 said:

 

It has changed a lot !! We are at the Northern end of the City 🙂 Bet they don't have oatcakes in New Mexico !

We make our own! 

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Another vote for Taverna dei Fori Imperiali.  We had a wonderful dinner there in December.  The service was good and the food was delicious.  Absolutely you need to make a reservation - the night we were there  we saw several couples turned away as they did not have reservations.  

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Thanks to all of you for the tip re Taverna dei Fori Imperiali. Do you know if they are open for their holiday period in August. We had forgotten that it is their main holiday on the 15th August and lots of places close :-(

Will look at the menu - thanks so much everyone

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OK.  I'll give one.  It's absolutely NOT near the tourist area.  It's a little outside of the Trastevere area, but very easily reached via the #8 tram (get on the #8 at the start at Lago Argentina and get off at the end of the line, at Cassaleto St. it's about 100 ft from there.  It's called da Cesare al Casaletto.   An outstanding trattoria.  You'll find all sorts of people there, just having dinner, out with friends, celebrating something.  Good, solid food.  It's a place you want to go with others so you can sample more dishes.  The fritti misti appetizer, the fried gnocchi with casio e pepe sauce (OMG - my FAVE), involtini, a side of ciccoria, one of their desserts.  it goes on and on.  It's been family-run trattoria since the 1950s.   And, it's price points are solid for what they offer.

Reservations are a MUST.  Search for their website to find how (I did it through my hotel concierge a month ahead of time).  

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As I was reading this thread I almost wondered if folks wouldn't be hesitant to mention their favorite local place for fear it would become suddenly popular with folks that aren't local, if you know what I mean. Although everyone here is always more than generous with their advice and ideas for the best experiences in Italy, I can sort of understand a slight hesitance to name a beloved dining spot.

 

Usually what I do is, as slidergirl mentioned, go a bit beyond the boundaries (or just off of the main roads, piazzas, etc) and seek out smaller, lesser known places that might have smaller signs (or none!) and another thing, listen I mean, stop, lean in so you can hear the languages being spoken, to ascertain if a restaurant's clientele seems to be comprised more of locals or a mix or perhaps too many english speakers. 

 

It's also always possible to ask someone you may encounter during the day that seems exceedingly kind and helpful whether or not they might have a recommendation for wonderful local cuisine. The more you mix with locals, the more inclined you'll be to dine alongside them. Start with a buon giorno, come sta Lei? 

 

Maybe that night you'll be eating one of nonna's recipes.... 😉

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21 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

I'll chime in and say that Taverna dei Fori Imperiali still has excellent food but the last time I was there (a little over a year ago), they have crammed so many tables into what was already a crowded space that I found it unpleasant. Service also suffered a bit -- it was packed. But all things change with time. *sigh*

 

There absolutely is a tipping point with internet/social media popularity.  At first it's a great help, possibly even ensuring the survival of a great but little known restaurant.  There comes a point, however, where it's too much of a good thing and the result is an overcrowded place and, possibly, an overwhelmed staff.

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5 minutes ago, Host Bonjour said:

As I was reading this thread I almost wondered if folks wouldn't be hesitant to mention their favorite local place for fear it would become suddenly popular with folks that aren't local, if you know what I mean. Although everyone here is always more than generous with their advice and ideas for the best experiences in Italy, I can sort of understand a slight hesitance to name a beloved dining spot.

 

 

Mea culpa.  I stopped naming names when I saw what happened with Taverna dei Fori Imperiali and one other place I used to recommend. (Not that I am the only one... but you know what I mean.)

 

I second the advice to ask friendly locals. Or, as euro cruiser has said in the past, you can follow likely-looking locals. I discovered my (current) favorite Rome restaurant using the former technique and I know e.c. has found at least one favorite using the latter!

 

One thing I don't usually recommend and that is asking your hotel concierge. I am convinced they are either paid off or offered free meals by many of the restaurants they recommend. (Or they are drumming up business for cousin Paolo.)  The times I've taken their recommendations have resulted in some pretty average to lackluster meals. 

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Slightly different but not I guess.

 

Once we were vacationing in Hawaii and arrived at our room a little early. Our room maid was still cleaning our room. We had a great conversation with her and asked for some recommendation for a local spot to eat. She recommended a place that was in a strip mall small and not a place we would have found or likely stopped at. 

The food was great,  the atmosphere was unique and the people very friendly. My wife asked about how to make Poi. The cook came out and told us step by step how to make it and what to avoid. It was a very memorable experience. 

 

Point is, do not be afraid to ask the locals... 

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That is great advice everyone - we have asked the hotel in the past and they have been ok when they know us.

 

Will make sure we ask our hotel maid ;-)

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22 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Mea culpa.  I stopped naming names when I saw what happened with Taverna dei Fori Imperiali and one other place I used to recommend. (Not that I am the only one... but you know what I mean.)

 

I second the advice to ask friendly locals. Or, as euro cruiser has said in the past, you can follow likely-looking locals. I discovered my (current) favorite Rome restaurant using the former technique and I know e.c. has found at least one favorite using the latter!

 

One thing I don't usually recommend and that is asking your hotel concierge. I am convinced they are either paid off or offered free meals by many of the restaurants they recommend. (Or they are drumming up business for cousin Paolo.)  The times I've taken their recommendations have resulted in some pretty average to lackluster meals. 

 

I'll disagree a little with the "ask the concierge."  Maybe because I have a bunch of friends who are or have been Concierges and I have done some time as a Concierge.  None that I know get kickbacks.  The only thing I've received is an invite to a restaurant at the beginning of a season to sample the new menus.  When I travel, I'll do my due diligence; I'll ask for suggestions BEFORE I arrive and check them out online.  If it looks like a tourist trap, I'll bypass.  But, I've had usually good experiences if I talk with a Concierge and let them know I want someplace that is where they would go or send their family and friends.   If I know of a place I definitely want to go to, I will use the Concierge to set up reservations for me.  

 

If I don't have a reservation or any specific dinner in my brain, I also do the "follow" method.  I also do the "something just clicks" when I walk past.  

 

I also use the advice of someone who is a renowned writer who writes about the food and restaurants of Italy.  She lead me to Cesare - it is definitely far off the tourist track.  

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1 hour ago, slidergirl said:

 

I'll disagree a little with the "ask the concierge."  Maybe because I have a bunch of friends who are or have been Concierges and I have done some time as a Concierge.  None that I know get kickbacks.  The only thing I've received is an invite to a restaurant at the beginning of a season to sample the new menus.  When I travel, I'll do my due diligence; I'll ask for suggestions BEFORE I arrive and check them out online.  If it looks like a tourist trap, I'll bypass.  But, I've had usually good experiences if I talk with a Concierge and let them know I want someplace that is where they would go or send their family and friends.   If I know of a place I definitely want to go to, I will use the Concierge to set up reservations for me.  

 

 

You've had better luck than I. I think many hotel concierges see an American woman traveling solo and it doesn't matter what I tell 'em, I get steered to a "safe" place (culinarily and location-wise). That's why I generally go with my own places already picked out.

 

Kick-backs are endemic in Italy; I'm not implying anything against the profession in general but just about everyone is on the take. Italians consider anyone who doesn't try to cash-in or benefit from connections as a rube. 😉

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2 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

You've had better luck than I. I think many hotel concierges see an American woman traveling solo and it doesn't matter what I tell 'em, I get steered to a "safe" place (culinarily and location-wise). That's why I generally go with my own places already picked out.

 

Kick-backs are endemic in Italy; I'm not implying anything against the profession in general but just about everyone is on the take. Italians consider anyone who doesn't try to cash-in or benefit from connections as a rube. 😉

Maybe it is a "vibe" that I give off as  someone in hospitality and I get a different response (for some reason, I always get treated extremely well by hotel staff).  Or, by some of the questions I ask I show that I'm not just some American woman who needs to go to a "safe" place to get my spaghetti and meatballs. Even when I play a Concierge at the hotel, I gauge my guests by the questions they ask and will offer suggestions that I think fit them.  But, I do drill down more than one or two levels, as some do.  Depending on what I hear/feel, I'll send someone to my favorite Mexican dive (no Latinos in there this week - we do have CBP in town!) or the chi-chi "southwestern" restaurant that serves $25 duck tacos...  I'm lucky that I haven't had problems with my Concierge encounters.   

 

Next time, do some research ahead of time for restaurants - look at that CHOW site, look up Katie Parla and Elizabeth Minchilli (they are NOT TAs and I HAVE used them), whoever, to see what they recommend.  Then, ask a Concierge for assistance, giving some hints of what you want based on what you have researched.  Or, have a restaurant you already want to go to - ask the Concierge to make reservations.  Then, ask for more suggestions for another night.  See if they base the suggestions on the type of restaurant you came up with or if they foist the usual "safe" ones.   See what happens.  Just some social psychology experiments😉

 

Yep, kick-backs are a part of business some places.   Even in the US...

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On 7/16/2019 at 10:39 AM, tdeyette said:

Slightly different but not I guess.

 

Once we were vacationing in Hawaii and arrived at our room a little early. Our room maid was still cleaning our room. We had a great conversation with her and asked for some recommendation for a local spot to eat. She recommended a place that was in a strip mall small and not a place we would have found or likely stopped at. 

The food was great,  the atmosphere was unique and the people very friendly. My wife asked about how to make Poi. The cook came out and told us step by step how to make it and what to avoid. It was a very memorable experience. 

 

Point is, do not be afraid to ask the locals... 

 

It's not different, except the cuisine maybe, it's exactly the point! Great story and glad you had an amazing dinner...in a strip mall. I had something exactly similar in Savannah, GA, a place that anyone would otherwise drive right by since it didn't look like anything of that gorgeous charm that one might see in the movies, the squares down by the river near the downtown. But I wanted something truly authentic and so I did a bit of looking and it's just what I found. Same thing for some amazing fish in Galveston, TX filled with locals and not just by the beach/seaside. A view is only nice if the food tastes as good as the view looks. Otherwise, I skip it. The view is there for me to take in via many other options, often for free too. 

 

And nothing is going to interfere with me having proper Italian food, whether it's in Brooklyn or, of course, Italy. These are about the only two places in the world that do it right and actually, they almost have nothing in common except the Italian people. Well, very many fewer Italian people in Brooklyn now. Still some restaurants though and good pizza. I might say where...I don't know 😉

 

 

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We did it the wrong way around last time and made a massive mistake the first night and then went in to the one by our hotel the 2nd night. Well, it was just perfect and my memories of Rome don't revolve around the main attractions but this wonderful taste of authentic Italy. On the day we left we mentioned it to the Hotel Manager and he said he always ate there !!!

 

Very sad that we will not be able to return this year as it was one of the things that we really wanted to visit again. Just trying to find something similar - real authentic, the locals eat there, it is well priced and just … real Italy !

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Our hotel, The Empire Palace, has recommended La Bottega in Via Flavia so we are now checking it out. Seems good so far …

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Our hotel concierge recommended a great restaurant in the Trastevere area of Rome. The name of the restaurant was Tonnarello. It was really good and as far as I could tell were the only tourists there, but we were inside and couldn't really see the people outside. But that whole area has a ton of restaurants, and checking other travel sites, Trastevere is where many of the locals eat.

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Hey Cruisemom - is the place where you got the excellent artichokes the one you won't mention???  

 

I don't know if I should mention my "always on the first night in Rome" trattoria that is there by The Pantheon - it might be getting a little too much recognition and I may not be able to get my reservation. 😉

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