Putting aside the plethora of touring and sightseeing that Rome has to offer, it is also home to some delightful Italian food. While my nut allergy was far from a problem in Rome, I do have some great food recommendations and stories to share. This post will focus on some restaurant recommendations and hot spots, and my next post will share some stories on the dietary requirement / allergy front.
So.. firstly, do yourself a favour and eat at Da Gino. We actually had quite a funny experience here. We had read about Da Gino during our research into the best eats in Rome. It is described as a restaurant serving “food like nonna used to make”. It sounded like a winner. We were in the area one night so we decided we would go there. It was about 7.55pm and our stomachs had started grumbling. We (eventually) found the restaurant in the maze of streets and asked to read the menu. After perusing the menu and deciding there were enough options for this fussy Allergian, I turned to the BF and asked if he wanted to eat there, noting that the restaurant was pretty damn empty. We thought we would give it a try anyway. We asked the waiter for a table for 2 and he responded (with a little chuckle) saying they were fully booked. And fully booked they were. In the next 5 minutes or so, the entire restaurant was full. It was amazing. We decided we would book a table for the next night, our last night in Rome, as any restaurant this busy must be worth it.
We returned the next night (after almost forgetting about our booking as we were distracted by the entertainers in Piazza Navona) to, again, an overwhelmingly full restaurant and enjoyed a delicious meal. I ordered tagliatelle bolognese and I’m going to put it out there – it was the best bolognese I had in Italy. And that’s saying a lot (I ate a lot of bolognese in Italy)!
The next restaurant on my restaurant recommendation tour is L’archetto. This is a famous spaghetti house with over 150 different pasta sauces. There’s just about every type of pasta sauce you can think of, and the spaghetti is served el dente. This is a buzzing, lively place with yummy food!
Then we have Ristorante Alessio. I loved this place. It was a few doors down from our hotel and is set in a lovely downstairs courtyard area with friendly staff. I ordered grilled chicken breast and roast potatoes – a bit of a change from all the carb-licious pasta. It was really tasty. From an allergy perspective, this restaurant really impressed me. When I ordered my main meal, I told the waiter about my allergies. After dinner, the waiter came over and started listing all the desserts that I was able to eat and those that I couldn’t eat. The waiter was so on top of my allergies and so helpful that I couldn’t resist. I ordered the crème brûlée, which is generally a safe option, and it was so worth it. Unbelievable.
Finally, if you’re a coffee lover, visit Café Sant Eustachio. It’s near Piazza Navona and has a “hidden” coffee machine. I read about this place during my research, and was very intrigued by it. It’s your typical Italian café – drink your coffee standing by the bar – with a twist. I ordered myself a regular “cafe Americano” (as they call a long black in Italy), but the BF ordered the specialty. We stood at the bar waiting for our coffee, unable to see what was being made. The BF said his coffee was delicious and was very interesting. He asked the waiter “what exactly is this?” and received a classic Italian response: “it’s coffee…” We loved it. Definitely worth a visit and, if you’re feeling brave, order the specialty for a bit of a surprise (allergy dependent, obv!)
Finally, to finish off with something a bit sweet: Gelateria della Palma is a gelato store with over 100 different gelato flavours. It all looked so drool-worthy, but obviously not suited for this Allergian. I enjoyed it with my eyes and then dragged the BF a few doors down to the safer Lindt option to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Also, Tre Scalini on Piazza Navona is renowned for its chocolate ice cream truffle (truly – for evidence, see here). I had to pass on this one too, but the BF said it was to die for. Yu-um.
Until next time… arrivederci
The Allergian Abroad