Article by Daniel Vézina originally published in the Atmosphere magazine. Read the latest edition here.
Rome is one of my favourite cities in Europe. From its traditional trattorias to contemporary Michelin-starred restaurants, Rome’s art of eating and drinking is as iconic as its historical masterpieces. Here are some of my favourite go-tos.
WHERE : VIA DELLA ROTONDA, 22
Ideal for: Those with a sweet tooth. I love idling along the Pantheon, with little delicious trattorias all around. But I try to resist their desserts because, right around there, you’ll find one of the best gelaterias in Rome, with the most divine flavours: Cremeria Monteforte.
Must-eat: Taste the gelato with pistachios from Bronte, Sicily. Or the Amarena cherry gelato. Or the
limoncello gelato, made from an Italian lemon liqueur. It’s hard to choose just one!
Hosteria la Vacca M’Briaca
WHERE : VIA URBANA, 29
Ideal for: Those on the hunt for traditional Italian cuisine. When I started out as a chef in 1980, I worked with Italian chef Beniamino “Mimmo” Ingletto at Le Continental in Quebec City. Mimmo returned to Rome in 1990, so every time I travel there, I stop by his restaurant, Hosteria la Vacca M’Briaca, to taste his traditional cuisine. I never leave without eating his pasta alla carbonara without cream, made with guanciale, an Italian cured meat prepared from pork cheeks, the secret behind authentic carbonara.
Must-eat: Last time I was there, I fell in love with his carciofi alla giudia, a Roman-Jewish dish of deep-fried artichoke that opens up like a sunflower.
WHERE : VICOLO DEL CINQUE, 58
Ideal for: Those with a palate for fine cuisine. My favourite neighbourhood is, without a doubt,
Trastevere. There, you can easily spot Glass Hostaria, a modern restaurant in the middle of this traditional quarter. I met its Michelin-starred chef, Cristina Bowerman, during my first trip to Rome, and fell for herinnovative twists on classic Italian cuisine. And I’ve been going back ever since.
Must-eat: My favourites are her pasta dishes: tagliolini in almond-fermented cream; bell-pepper-stuffed tortelli; potato gnocchi with sea urchins; and her signature ravioli stuffed with 60-month-aged Parmesan.
Campo de’ Fiori market
WHERE : PIAZZA CAMPO DE’ FIORI
Ideal for: Those who like to live like locals. Campo de’ Fiori hosts one of my favourite open-air markets. It buzzes with activity from early on, with Romans buying fruits, vegetables, fish and charcuterie from colourful stands run by even more colourful characters. I love drinking my caffè there while soaking up the spectacle. You’ll also find pasta in all colours, limoncello, balsamic vinegar and all kinds of other treats.
Must-eat: I love tasting the Italian cheeses on site: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Taleggio,
Fontina and, of course, buffalo mozzarella.
Fly to Rome when it suits you with Air Transat and enjoy Daniels Vézina’s suggestions.