Traveling in Rome
BORGO AND PRATI (NEAR THE VATICAN CITY)
Establishments near the Vatican serve mediocre sandwiches at hiked-up prices, but just a few blocks northeast, food is much better and reasonably priced.
Franchi, V. Cola di Rienzo 204 (06 687 46 51; www.franchi.it). Delicacies include various croquettes (‚1.10), marinated munchies (anchovies, peppers, olives, and salmon, all sold by the kg), and pastas (vegetarian lasagna or cannellini stuffed with ricotta and beef; ‚5.50). Open M-Sa 8:15am-9pm. AmExMCV.
Cacio e Pepe, V. Giuseppe Avezzana 11 (s06 321 72 68). From P. Mazzini take V. Set- tembrini to P. dei Martiri di Belfiore, then left on V. Avezzana. Great pasta cheap; no wonder it has been a neighborhood favorite since 1964. All the homemade pasta is delicious, but yes, the Cacio e Pepe is their specialty. Lunch under ‚10. Full dinner around ‚15. M-F 8-ll:30pm, Sa 12:30-3pm. Reservations accepted. Cash only.
Lo Spuntino da Guido e Patrizia, V. Borgo Pio 13 ( 06 687 54 91). There’s no sign, but you can recognize it by the men playing cards in the sun. Guido holds court behind a counter filled with all the makings of a beautiful tavola caida. A full meal (primi, second, and all the wine you want) will run less than ‚8. Open M-Sa 9am-8pm. 0 San Marco, Via Tacito 27-29 (06 323 55 96), off P. Cavour. San Marco has been dousing hungry Romans with mozzarella for the past 50 years. Perfect Roman crust and fresh toppings ‚6-10. The conventional pizzas are delicious, but try their special pies for something more unique-like smoked swordfish (‚9.80). Homemade tiramisu (‚4.10) is heavenly. Open Su-F noon-4pm and 6:30pm-12:30am, Sa 6:30pm-12:30am.
Perhaps one of the best places to enjoy a meal in Rome, Trastevere has fabulous, largely undiscovered restaurants.
Pizzeria San Calisto, P.S. Calisto 9a (06 581 82 56). Right off P.S. Maria in Trastevere. Simply the best pizza in Rome. Gorgeous thin crust pizzas so large they hang off the plates (‚4.20-7.80). Open Tu-Su 7pm-midnight. MCV. O Ristorante a Casa di Alfredo, V. Roma Libera 5-7 (06 588 29 68). Try the gnocchi tartufo e gamberi (‚8) to start and the grilled calamari (‚10.50) or the filetto a pepe verde (‚13) as a main dish. Open daily noon-3pm and 7:30-ll:30pm. AmExMCV. Augusto, P.d. Renzi 15 (06 580 37 98). North of P.S. Maria in Trastevere. Enjoy the daily pasta specials at lunch (around ‚5), and the polio arrosto con patate (‚5.50). The homemade desserts are wonderful. Dinner is chaotic, but lunch features laid-back discussions between waiters and clientele. No reservations. Open M-F 12:30-3pm and 8-1 lpm, Sa 12:30-3pm. Closed Aug.
Dar Poeta, Vicolo del Bologna 45-46 (06 588 05 16; www.darpoeta.it). From P.S. Egidio, head down V. delle Scala and turn right. Hardly a tourist in sight. 18 types of bruschetta (‚2) and unusual pizzas amid the old favorites (‚4-8.50). Save room for the desserts, homemade daily by owner Marco’s mamma (‚3.50). Open 7:30pm-lam. AmExMCV.
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