Rome food guide: how to eat like a local

A journey to discover the typical flavors of Roman cuisine: a specialty for every day of the week.

Find out how to eat like a local.


With this guide I want to make you discover what are the typical dishes of Roman cuisine and how the locals eat, still following the tradition today.
Traditional Roman cuisine is very old. Many of its dishes date back to antiquity and are often linked to Catholic rituals.The typical dishes are those of the people, a poor cuisine made up of simple ingredients (vegetables, legumes and scraps of slaughtered animals) and reused for several preparations.

Monday – Broth and boiled meat

On Sunday, a solemn day, pasta and meat were eaten. The leftovers of the meat then went on to make up the basis for succulent dishes.

Stracciatella alla romana is a soup made with meat broth and a mixture of eggs and Parmesan. The egg is dipped into the boiling meat broth and turns into soft, flavorful flakes.

Boiled meat: the meat is cooked slowly and flavored with aromatic herbs and green vegetables.

Tuesday – Meatballs


Ground beef, bread soaked in milk, grated pecorino, chopped parsley and an egg, moulded, rested, fried and then poached in lots of tomato sauce.

Wednesday – Tail and offal

These ingredients are the basis of grandma’s recipes in Rome.

Pagliata coi rigatoni: rigatoni pasta topped with tomato sauce cooked with veal intestines.

Coda alla vaccinara: bovine tail cooked slowly with vegetables and peeled tomatoes.

Thursday – Gnocchi

rome food gnocchi

In view of the next 24 hours dedicated to sobriety, it was in fact entitled to indulge in a substantial plate of gnocchi.

Gnocchi di semolino: made with semolina and cooked in the oven.

Friday – Fish

The Catholic religion imposed a day of penance by depriving itself of flesh.

Salted cod and chickpeas: stewed together with a little tomato. Excellent served alone or even more on toasted bread.

Saturday – Tripe

rome food tripe

Wednesdays and Saturdays were the days dedicated to the slaughter of oxen. For this reason, offal was served at the table. 

Trippa: tripe prepared with tomato, pecorino and mint.

Sunday – Family celebration

It is the day of the family gathered around the table. A rich and long lunch consisting of main courses such as lasagna or cannelloni; meat dishes such as roast. It always ends with dessert.

Torta ricotta e visciole: cake with sweet ricotta filling and sour cherries.


The Catholic tradition requires that lamb be eaten, the symbol of Easter.

Abbaccio scottadito: grilled lab chops Roman style.

Carciofi alla Giudia: deep fried artichokes, served whole, a traditional Roman appetizer from the Jewish tradition.


It is a festival dating back to ancient Rome. It was a day dedicated to a break from agricultural work and trips out of town.

Pollo coi peperoni: chicken with bell peppers.Tomatoes with rice: stuffed tomatoes with rice, oil and herbs, cooked in the oven.



Novembre is the month in which the pig is processed. Guanciale, a typical salami from Lazio (but also from Abruzzo) is obtained from the cheek of the pig. The guanciale is one of the pillars of Roman cuisine: amatriciana, gricia and carbonara.

Carbonara – the most famous of all pasta dishes from Rome, carbonara is made with eggs, guanciale and pecorino Romano (and rigorously no cream!).

Gricia is made with pecorino romano and guanciale.

Amatriciana: this is a famous pasta dish with tomato sauce and guanciale.

Christmas Eve – Fish

Traditionally there is a fish-based menu: Spaghetti with clams, roasted fish and prawns and puntarelle alla romana: chicory with anchovy sauce.

Chirstmas day

The lunch included rich and sumptuous dishes, appropriate to the importance of the celebration.

Fettuccine al ragù – thin and tasty egg pasta combined with meat sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheeseBreaded and fried lamb chops.

Carciofi alla Romana: pan-fried artichokes served with a hint of mint.

This calendar has marked the year of the Romans at the table since time immemorial.

If you are planning your trip to Rome, in the blog you will find other information and itineraries.

Buon Appetito!

Share your love