What is The Rome Digest?
The Rome Digest is a portal for dining, drinking and food shopping in Rome brought to you by Rome’s premier wine and food educators. The objective of this site is to share the city’s best venues, as well as news and events, in a way that is accessible to locals and visitors alike.
Who are the people behind The Rome Digest?
TRD is a collaborative blog by Irene de Vette, Sarah May Grunwald, Hande Leimer, Katie Parla and Gina Tringali. These five women are all certified sommeliers and have worked extensively in food and beverage education.
Do you accept sponsored posts?
We take our integrity and credibility seriously and we owe it to our readers to be transparent and unbiased. Accordingly, no sponsored posts appear on The Rome Digest.
How do you select venues?
We only publish posts on venues that meet our high standards. We focus on food artisans and places that offer quality and authenticity. The venues we write about are the ones we visit frequently and are eager to share.
What are your favorite venues?
We have so many! In a way, all of the listings are our favorites in Rome.
Can I link to your site/ do you do link exchange?
Of course you can link to us and we will link to you when a news item or review calls for it.
Do you review venues upon request?
Nope. We would love to hear about your restaurant, but whether we decide to review it is ultimately up to us. And of course we are self-funded, so all offers of discounts and free meals will be rebuffed. We know this is rare in Rome, but please be respectful of our policy.
How about advertising on your site?
The Rome Digest does not accept advertising. The only ads you find here are for our own books, apps, consulting services and tours.
Why don’t you allow comments?
Simple: we don’t have time to moderate. The Rome Digest is a labor of love. All five members run their own companies and we would rather spend our free time researching more great places for you! For burning questions or comments you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a periodic newsletter?
We do! Stay up to date on new openings, our publications and events by signing up for our monthly newsletter here.
I’m coming to Rome! Can you give me restaurant recommendations?
Of course! Just browse through the venues and categories on this site. Our listings fall into a wide range of categories suitable for any occasion and all budgets and tastes. Katie also has an app, which is a portable version of her personal favorites.
I hate to read. Can’t you just send me a personal list with recommendations?
Unfortunately our schedules don’t allow us to respond to individual requests for personal recommendations. Just browse through our recommendations on this website and we are sure that you’ll find places that cater to your specific needs. If not, send us a tweet!
How should I tip?
There are some simple rules for tipping in Rome. You can read all about them on Katie’s blog here.
Do I have to order every course at a restaurant?
You aren’t expected to order a starter, first course, second course, vegetable side dish and a dessert. However, it is expected that you order at least two courses (a starter and second, or a first and a second, for example).
What is common attire for dining out in Rome?
Rome is not Milan (understatement!) so you don’t have to get dressed to the nines to go out to eat. Very few restaurants mandate a dress code. That said, Italian men rarely wear shorts in life, much less at a restaurant. Sneakers are fine, but only if they are trendy. Jeans are acceptable. Extra points for designer labels.
Where should I eat on a Sunday?
There are lots of great places open Sunday. We even have a dedicated category, which you can browse here.
What restaurants are open in August?
We have created an entire category dedicated to restaurants that are open in August. As you may know, many venues close for their annual summer holiday break for at least two weeks, beginning August 15. Each July, we will publish an updated post on venues that will remain open during the August holiday.
What restaurants are open on and around Christmas and New Year’s?
The list changes slightly every year, but we have found some really excellent dining options that remain open during the holidays. For an idea of the best places open during the 2012/2013 holiday season, check out this post on Parla Food.
What restaurants are open during the Easter holidays?
The list changes a bit each year, but for an idea of the best places open during the 2012 Easter holidays, check out this post on Parla Food. Closer to Easter, we will review and publish some more specific closing dates, as restaurants announce their break with very short notice.
How far in advance do I have to make reservations?
For most popular fine dining choices, as well as small trattorias, making a reservation a few days ahead of time is a good idea. Ideally, call, or have someone call for you, as emails and Facebook messages are not always checked regularly.
We are celebrating a special occasion, where should we dine?
Congratulations! Check out these fine dining options.
I’m looking for outdoor dining, where should I go?
For outdoor dining and drinking we recommend these places. Venues typically offer outdoor seating from May until October.
Where can I eat with small children?
In general, Rome is very kid-friendly, but you might prefer to seek out pizzerias, trattorias and other places with casual atmospheres. Eating early is a bit tough, as dining hours in Rome are rigid; lunch begins no earlier than 12:30. Most restaurants worth their salt open their doors for dinner at 19:30 at the very earliest.
Where do Romans eat?
That depends! Everywhere from Subway and McDonalds to Metamorfosi and Pipero al Rex. Romans who care about food (contrary to popular belief, not everyone in town is a gourmet) eat at many of the places recommended on this site.
Stay & Shop in Rome
Where should I stay in Rome?
In addition to our food and beverage expertise, some of us also write travel articles. We recommend visitors stay in areas with lots of dining and drinking options such as Monti, Centro Storico, Testaccio or Esquilino. If you want to rent an apartment, Airbnb has lots of rentals. For hotels and vacation rentals check out this post.
What foods can I bring home to the US?
Most meats and fresh produce are prohibited. Processed and packaged foods are allowed, with the exception of those that contain meat products. Some aged and hard cheeses are allowed. Please refer to this government page or call the FDA at 1-800-216-7331; if outside the US call +1-301-575-0156.
What foods can I bring home to the UK?
Check out this site for regulations regarding personal food imports to the UK.
Do you recommend ordering house wine?
In general, we do not recommend the house wine unless the restaurant has a sommelier on staff.
How do I approach an Italian wine list?
It depends on the list! In theory, wines should be organized by region, with clearly defined prices, but this is not always the case. Be prepared to describe what kinds of wine you like (if there is a sommelier on staff) or familiarize yourself with the characteristics of Italy’s principal regions and grapes. Of course, the best way to approach an Italian wine list is to attend a tasting at vino roma and take those precious lessons learned everywhere you go.
Tours & Events
Where should I take a food or wine tour?
All contributors to The Rome Digest offer food and wine tours. Check out the Tours & Tastings page for details, as well as the calendar in the sidebar and footer.
Where should I take a cooking class?
Our colleague Daniela del Balzo offers fantastic cooking classes in her home on the Aventine Hill. You can find out more by contacting Daniela directly through her website.
Where should I do a wine tasting?
Hande and Irene offer tastings at vino roma, a wine studio in Monti. Katie , Gina and Sarah organize tastings at wine bars in Rome. Katie also does Italian craft beer tastings.
Do you organize vineyard visits?
Yes! Sarah offers vineyard visits in the Castelli Romani and other wine producing areas around Rome.
Do you host food and wine events or get-togethers?
We do! They can range from a wine and jazz evening to a gelato aperitivo. You can find them on the calendar or write to email@example.com for inquiries. Also, whenever there is an important food and/or wine event going on in Rome or the surrounding, you will hear about it through our home page, Twitter account, Facebook page, or our newsletter.
Where can I find good gelato in Rome?
There is surprisingly little gelato of extremely high quality in Rome these days. Chemical additives and hydrogenated vegetable fats are shockingly ubiquitous. There are a handful of gelato artisans who are doing it right. You can find our favorites here. Our criteria is very strict: we only endorse gelato shops that use natural ingredients and eschew chemical additives and artificial coloring and flavors. That’s why we have omitted institutions like Giolitti and Fassi. They just don’t live up to our standards.
How do I recognize quality gelato?
We have a few general criteria. If the gelato is puffy and overflowing its tub, if “Puffo” (bright blue bubble gum flavored gleato) is a flavor, or if the pistacchio is bright green, run away! We also suggest looking at the ingredients list, which should be clearly posted in every gelateria, to inspect if there are any chemical or artificial ingredients. For more tips, you can read “Judge a Gelateria in 7 Easy Steps” on Katie’s blog here.