Monti is one of Rome’s hippest neighbourhoods, centrally located between the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. It’s a charming area to explore, filled with local designer and vintage shops, places to eat and drink, and lots more. Being a foodie-traveller, I’ve spent quite a bit of time eating my way around Rome. Here are some of my favourite spots for you to try next time you’re in Rome. Enjoy!
As you will see, I prefer very relaxed places to eat. I hardly ever visit fancy sit-down restaurants and prefer chilled lunch spots or street food takeaways. This kind of eating allows me to eat and explore at the same time. Instead of sitting down at one restaurant for a couple hours, I like to pop into a few different spots, trying different foods and experiencing different places along the way. Having something tasty in hand and strolling through the neighbourhood, is a match made in heaven.
Below you’ll find some of my absolute favourite lunch-time spots, as well as other notable mentions. Happy foodie-travelling!
Here’s the list of the spots in case you want to jump directly to one of them:
This cute little spot uses the traditional rose-shaped bread ”Rosetta” as it’s theme. That’s where its name comes from.
Alessandro Frassica started his tiny sandwich shop in Florence over 10 years ago. He took the traditional panino (sandwich) to new heights, both by using different breads and fillings. He then opened this spot, Zia Rosetta, serving his modern version of the Panini (sandwiches) in Rosette, the rose-shaped rolls, with some really cool fillings.
Here you can get some delicious and inventive sandwiches in the neighbourhood. There are some classics to try like the Peggy Rockfeller (Crudo, Cialda di Parmigiano Croccante, Melanzane Grigliate) and Lady Godiva (Polpette di Manzo al Sugo). But don’t forget to look on their menu board for their “Special del Mese” which are their monthly specials, often using fresh seasonal fillings, like artichokes. Yum!
They come in two sizes, which you’ll see displayed at the counter. The mini-rosetta for those looking for a quick snack, and the regular size for a proper lunch. The rolls are filled with very fresh bio ingredients – boasting a sustainable and KM 0 concept, Zia Rosetta only purchases Italian products of the highest quality, and bread and produce directly from the neighbourhood’s vendors.
This is one of the best places for some traditional fast food, with quality ingredients.
Zia Rosetta also offers smoothies, salads, and picnic boxes.
Address: Via Urbana, 54 | Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11am – 4pm, Friday – Sunday: 11 am – 10pm | Website
This little pizzeria originates from Abruzzo, a region just east Lazio (the region Rome is in).
Trieste started in 1958 by a family who loved making their pizzettas. In the 1950s Gabriele Ciferni opened the “Trieste” beach resort in Pescara, a city in the region of Abruzzo, and over time the “Trieste’s pizzettas”, became well-loved as a high-quality fast food, because of their convenient small size and, of course, their yummy taste.
This spot serves small round pan pizza, known as pizzette. A pizzetta (plural: pizzette) is a small pizza that can range in size. The ones at Trieste are about 10cm in diameter, and too adorable for words.
They use wonderfully fresh ingredients, making these little pizette a must. I usually just get their classic Margherita which is so simple, and yet so darn delicious. Often the simple and classic options are the best in Italy, allowing you to really taste and savour each ingredient.
What’s more, the staff at Trieste are usually smiley and very welcoming.
This is hands down my favourite place for a yummy Carbonara pasta lunch in Rome.
Pasta Chef is a little ‘take-out joint’ started by 2 Italian chefs. It has a take-away feel about it, but there is an area to sit down. I always sit down to eat my pasta with a beer or glass of local vino, and love the bustling atmosphere. It’s got a very cool vibe, and the pasta carbonara is the best I’ve ever had in Rome.
I went there for the first time on my own. I’d discovered it on google and being that I was going to Monti anyway, I stopped in for a Carbonara pasta. Even since then, it’s been my go-to pasta-lunch spot in Monti. Mannnn-oh-mannnnn the Carbona pasta is goooooooood. It’s better than good, it’s excellent every single time.
Did I mention that the Carbonara pasta is really really amazing? 🙂
So this is a great lunch spot in a hip and central neighbourhood.
Besides the quality of the food, this tiny spot has a great lovely atmosphere. A nicely-decorated interior with modern design touches and some plants, good music and friendly faces welcoming you at the counter.
The perfect relaxed lunch spot.
Choosing your pasta.
I have made a point of recommending that you try the Carbonara pasta, but of course there are others to try. This is simply my personal preference as it’s a lot more of an intense flavour I love.
There are 4 classic Roman pastas to try when in Rome. Pasta alla gricia, Cacio Pepe, Carbonara, and Bucatini all’Amatriciana.
It’s interesting because all four share similar ingredients.
Pasta alla gricia – guanciale, pecorino cheese and black pepper. Cacio Pepe – pecorino romano cheese and pepper. Carbonara – guanciale, egg, pecorino. Bucatini all’Amatriciana – guanciale, tomato, chilli.
Guanciale is an Italian cured meat prepared from pork cheeks (Guancia is Cheek in Italian). Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty Italian cheese, often used for grating, made out of sheep’s milk.
When you go to Pasta Chef, you’ll see “Tonnarelli alla Carbonara” and Rigatoni alla Matriciana” right at the top.
Lunch in Monti
Monti is a fabulous neighbourhood in Rome that every traveller should stroll around at least once in. It’s central, very close to the Colosseum, making it the perfect stop before or after your arena visit. Perhaps for a breakfast, or a lunch after your Colosseum tour.
Monti is filled with places to eat, and many local and vintage designer shops. Stroll around this charming neighbourhood, eating and shopping along the way. Sounds like a great couple hours to me!
I have gone back to Pasta Chef time and time again for their Carbonara Pasta, aka “Tonnarelli alla Carbonara”. It’s an intensely flavoured pasta, which the chef at the counter almost always reminds me of when I visit. He always double-checks that I am sure I want it saying “Are you sure? It is a strong flavour”. I always tell him that I know and that I love it, and he beams back at me with a big smile.
When you’re next in Monti, pop into this cute little place for lunch and try their classic Carbonara Pasta.
Perhaps pair it with some red wine like Chianti or Principe Pallavicini. Chianti is a well-known wine from the region of Tuscany. Principe Pallavicini is from Lazio, the region of Italy that Rome sits in. So, when in Rome celebrate Lazio with a local regional wine to go with your lunch if it’s available. It is said to pair well with main courses of red meat and medium-aged cheeses, and in my experience, it went wonderfully with the Carbonara Pasta.
Ciuri Ciuri is a little Sicilian Pasticceria (pastry shop).
If you don’t know, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Italy. It’s home to many sweet treats, including the famous Cannoli, as seen in the picture above. Cannoli are basically tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, which are filled with a creamy filling that almost always contains ricotta. You can get them in different sizes, from small to pretty big.
At Ciuri Ciuri you can get freshly made top quality Cannoli, and get to taste the region of Sicily all the way from Rome. Here you can also get lots of other pastries, gelato, coffee and other things.
After exploring Monti and eating lots of tasty street food along the way, pop in here for a sweet pick-me-up before leaving the hood.
Address: Via Leonina, 18/20 | Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 8:30am–12am, Friday & Saturday: 8:30am–2am | Website
An adorable vine-covered breakfast and lunch spot.
Address: Via della Madonna dei Monti, 62 | Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday: 8am–8:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 8am–10pm, Sunday: 8:30am–9pm | Facebook Page
Happy eating friends!
I hope that you’re inspired to visit the cool Monti neighbourhood when you next visit Rome, and to add some of these yummy spots to your list. Happy eating and exploring!