trattoria monti

UPDATED FOR 2013: Every Sunday I run into the same predicament. I want to eat a really good meal out, but somehow during the week I’ve forgotten how tough it is to get a last minute table. Inevitably I scramble for reservations and try to accommodate my increasingly picky palate. Don’t make my habitual error; remember that tables at great dining venues are scarce on Sundays, so be sure to book ahead where possible (no bookings taken at 00100 and Pizzarium).

Open for Lunch & Dinner

Cesare al Casaletto (Portuense)
Via del Casaletto 45
Unbelievable fritti, solid Roman fare, and an excellent wine list make Cesare al Casaletto a favorite Sunday dining destination.

Via Giovanni Branca 88 (Testaccio)
Excellent suppli’ and trapizzini (triangles of fluffy pizza bianca filled with sauces that recall the cucina romana–tripe, tongue, oxtail, meatballs, or salt cod) make 00100 a great spot for a no-frills snack or meal. There is also pizza by the slice, but fill up on trapizzini instead. No reservations or table service.

Al Ceppo
Via Panama 2/4 (Parioli)
This elegant restaurant in posh Parioli serves excellent food inspired by the cuisine of Le Marche.

Open Baladin
Via degli Specchi 6 (Centro Storico)
Open all day and late into the evening, this pub is perfect for a quick bite and a craft beer flight.

La Torricella
Via Evangelista Torricelli, 2/12 (Testaccio)
In Testaccio’s sea of mediocre restaurants, La Torricella stands out for its fresh fish and tasty primi.

La Campana
Vicolo della Campana 18 (Centro Storico)
Reputedly Rome’s oldest restaurant, this historic venue serves traditional cucina romana, does a bustling Sunday lunch, and has an abundant antipasto bar.

Nonna Betta
Via del Portico d’Ottavia 16 (Ghetto)
This “Kosher style” restaurant in the Ghetto serves some of the best Jewish Roman cuisine in town (though, to be frank, the competition isn’t that fierce). In addition to the traditional local dishes (fried artichokes, fried vegetables, fried cod filets, fried zucchini flowers, anchovies with endive, and tagliolini with chicory and bottarga), there is also a selection of Middle Eastern specialities such as falafel, couscous and tuna with tahini.

Via Meloria 43 (Cipro)
Gabriele Bonci’s famed pizza by the slice joint serves some of the best pizza in town. Toppings change throughout the day and are made from top-notch products. Pizzarium also sells excellent bread and suppli’ (fried rice balls with various fillings). It is a mistake not to start with one. No reservations and no table service.

Food & Beverages (aka F&B and Hong Kong Food & Beverages)
Via Giolitti 105/113 (Termini)
Here, as in the other Chinese restaurants in Rome, the menu items which have been translated into Italian are bound to disappoint and indeed are not the ones you see Chinese families enjoying at the adjacent table. At F&B, ask to see the dishes displayed in the case at the back, things lik duck tongues, pork/chicken/prawn sticks deep fried to order, fried crab, and chicken feet. If you call ahead, they will prepare Peking duck.

Antico Arco
Piazzale Aurelio 7 (Gianicolo)
Situated on the Janiculum Hill near Porta San Pancrazio, Antico Arco serves carefully prepared dishes that blend creativity with southern Italian ingredients.

Settimio al Pellegrino
Via del Pellegrino 117 (Centro Storico)
It helps to be a regular here, or prepared to be ignored in favor of those who are. The service can be slow and the food is simple, with a limited selection of first and second courses and contorni (vegetable side dishes). Somehow the montblanc makes up for the place’s shortcomings.

la campana

Open at Lunch Only

Beppe e I Suoi Formaggi
Via Santa Maria del Pianto 9a/11 (Ghetto)
This wine bar and gourmet food shop serves a lite far menu through late afternoon.

Pipero al Rex
Via Torino 149 (Esquilino)
If you are in the market for an epic Michelin star meal, this is the place.

Colline Emiliane
Via degli Avignonesi 22 (Barberini)
This rather small family run restaurant serves some of the best fresh pasta in Rome. Bolognese specialties such tagliatelle alla bolognese tortelli di zucca, and lasagna al forno.

Via Monte de’ Cenci 9 (Ghetto)
This institution serves Roman Jewish cuisine and lots of offal, as well as land and sea inspired pasta dishes. Piperno is unfortunately past its prime and a bit overpriced, but it’s hard to beat the fritti (fried starters) and the outdoor seating in the summer is lovely.

Trattoria Monti
Via San Vito 13 (Esquilino)
The Camerucci family, originally from Le Marche, serves food from their native region in this long established trattoria. Their starters (especially the sformatini) and pasta courses are their strong suits. Book well in advance.

La Gatta Mangiona

Open at Dinner Only

La Gatta Mangiona
Via F. Ozanam 30/32 (Monteverde)
This pizzeria and trattoria in Monteverde serves excellent fried starters and pizzas. The beer list is extensive and there is an impressive selection of wine, whiskey and grappa.

Via Valle Corteno 31 (Nomentano)
Amazing fried starters, a great beer and wine list, and outstanding pizza. The definitive carb-driven Sunday dinner.

Vicolo del Cinque 58 (Trastevere)
Go for the tasting menu or pasta dishes at this one Michelin star restaurant in Trastevere.

Via Prenestina 118 (Pigneto)
Rome’s best Ethiopian restaurant (indeed one of the best in any genre) lies on the Via Prenestina, not far from the heart of Pigneto. The vegetarian dishes and doro wot are exceptional and the injera is perfect.

Avoid! Avoid!

As always, here are a few places I dislike intensely, find overrated, and would discourage visiting for Sunday lunch, or any other meal for that matter: Pierluigi, Gusto, Da Giggetto, and Checco Er Carrettiere.

Explore related categories:
Food & Wine · Restaurants · Rome & Lazio


  • Good choice of places!

    Especially those at Esquilino.

  • Completely agree with the AVOID list!!!

  • I am now sat contemplating a London Italian lunch, stomach growling inpatiently… will it be Franco Manca, Il Bordello… decisions, decisions. I should learn not to read such delights when hungry!

  • I always have the same problem, exacerbated by the fact that I like buying tickets to the Gallery Borghese on Sunday morning. There is NO WHERE to eat lunch around there after wards. I’ll have to remember to save Colline Emiliane for then.

  • Thanks for the Sunday round up, since people are always asking for advice. I agree with all, except we had a pretty bad meal at Nonna Betta the other day. I agree with most of your avoids, but always eat well at both Giggetto, and PierLuigi (although I think the settings are gorgeous, which to me always improves the food).

  • It used to be be that Sundays were not a ‘proper’ day to eat out .. in any country, not just in Italy. It was supposed to be the day one ate at home. You would never find a posh restaurant open for dinner on a Sunday … it just wasn’t on (again, in any country). In Rome, then, the idea was to eat ‘fuori porta’ … out in the country or in the Castelli. So that might explain the dearth of good eateries on a Sunday, sad though it may sound.

    Shame about your knocking Checco er Carrettiere … I’ve always eaten really well there (though not on a Sunday, admittedly) … have you ever been to their sister Trat called “Pecorono” in Testaccio …??? good stuff, always full, with a faint air of a brasserie about it even though it’s all local roman tradition (including mash potatoes with tomatoes) …

  • sooo many places I haven’t been. I need to come back.

  • Katie

    @Max mmm…Franco Manca….Havent been to Bordello what’s it like?

    @Rosemary yes it is a bit of a nightmare to eat in those parts. Al Ceppo is closer to the Borghese Gallery than CE, but it is expensive.

    @Elizabeth bummer about Nonna Betta. Hope it wasnt the pezzetti fritti or torta di ricotta!

    @jo never been to “Pecorino” thanks for the suggestion!!

    @semsa obviously you need to come back. and quick!!

  • Must try Colline Emiliane, thanks for wonderful list, completely agree on the “Avoid” ones. Will you have that feature on the app? 😉

  • Add one more to your list, when I visit Rome I always go here for Sunday lunch. Il Matriciano in Via dei Gracchi.

  • Il Matriciano in Via dei Gracchi is wonderful for Sunday lunch as well.!!

  • Thanks for sharing this great list Katie! It’s really helpful since Sunday options are limited.

    Few additional places we like are Brasserie 4:20 (dinner only, opens at 7pm on Sunday) and Giuda Ballerino (both Osteria and Restaurant are open for lunch and dinner). Have you been there?
    For traditional Roman food Flavio al Velavevodetto and Bucatino in Testaccio, also if here we found “rude” service sometimes…especially with tourists.

    Curious to know why you did not include OS Club (Sunday brunch and Iolanda restaurant).

    Want to try Mesob!!

  • I’m responding rather late to this post, but have to agree with Elizabeth who puts Nonna Betta on her “avoid” list. We ate there on our last visit to Rome in September and dealt with perfunctory, indeed, surly service and mediocre food. On the other hand, had a fabulous lunch at Le Mani in Pasta (both of these Katie’s recommendations) where the waiter laughed at my clueless ordering of ovuli….I had forgotten the meaning of the word and was in for an amazing appetizer when he brought them to the table, shaved and tossed with sedano and parmigiana and dressed with olive oil. So…back to Le Mani when we return in June, but Nonna Betta is so off the list.

  • […] much, Michele for your detailed report. I have duly struck Roma Sparita from the Easter dining and Sunday dining, as I had meant to do this spring. Apologies for my negligence and I’m glad you enjoyed the […]

  • Oh dear! I have seen you have crossed out Roma Sparita in a matter of days since I last looked. We have booked there for this Sunday lunch. Is there a reason you’ve deleted it, should we try and book elsewhere?

  • Katie

    hey! wow i am so glad you caught this. here’s why:

  • I wanted to share an experience we had at La Campana for dinner last Sunday. We went, without reservations and although the restaurant was almost full, we were seated fairly quickly in the back dining room. It appeared to be 50/50 tourist/foreigners.

    Our waiter was harried but nice, and everyone there was running at full speed. We ordered very light, as it was out last night and we didn’t want a heavy meal before getting on the plane; Straccetti con Rucola, a pork dish and a side of Puntarelle. The waiter came back to say there was no more pork and my mother ordered the abbacchio a scottadito.

    The puntarelle was fine, and the lamb, while not the small chops my mother was expecting, was very good.
    My straccetti however, was also not what I was expecting and not to my liking. It was a mass of very finely chopped meat, sauteed in an abundance of butter topped with arugula (I had been expecting the meat to be in larger pieces or strips, grilled, or at the very least, not well done and swimming in butter). It wasn’t bad, just not what I wanted and I only ate a few bites.

    When the waiter checked back at the end of the meal and saw I had not eaten, he asked why. I explained to him I didn’t like it (I also verified the butter which I’ve never seen in this dish before). He offered to bring me something else but I wasn’t hungry.

    Here’s the surprising part; I fully expected to pay for my dish but when the bill came, they had removed it. I don’t think I’ve ever had this happen in Italy. That’s a level of service I’ve rarely seen in almost a dozen trips. I was pleasantly surprised and just wanted to share the story because any restaurant that committed to their product deserves praise and notice.

  • All good but all very expensive recommendations. In the end not a very original list. There seems to be a copy-paste conspiracy for all of these places by Yankee Food Bloggers.

  • Katie

    I’ve noticed the same phenomenon, says the Yankee food historian Yankee food bloggers are copying. The irony? I’m a mets fan.

  • We really enjoyed Colline Emiliane. We ordered two of the three items you mentioned. Thanks for the tip!

  • Would Romeo also be in this list now?

  • Hey Katie – Who’s pasta dish in the picture? Julius saw it last night and exclaimed “I want some of that when we go back to Rome in September!”

  • And he will be happy to know you are a Mets fan – I knew there was another reason we liked you besides your devotion to food!

  • Katie

    @kelly love that place. such consistent food and lovely service.

    @hande yes! romeo is in:)

    @Engred the dish is mezze maniche with sausage and pecorino di fossa from Trattoria Monti. Love to the fam and hope we can connect in september!!

  • Absolutely K – I’ll email you when our plans get settled and hopefully we can at least meet for a drink!

  • Katie

    @engred counting on it!!

  • […] [6] In a lot of Eurpoean cities eating on Sunday can be a bit of a dilemmna.  Some of my worst meals have been on a Sunday when Mr. Misadventures and I did not plan ahead.  That’s why I really enjoyed (and will bookmark for my next trip) Katie of Parla Rome’s‘ recommendations for eating in Rome on Sunday. […]

  • […] Eating in Rome on a Sunday […]

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