Rome is a classic food spot as it is the birthplace of many of the dishes that Canadian households know and love. However, not every chef or restaurant in Rome is stuck in classic Italian ways. There are plenty of creative spots where foodies in Rome can find something amazing.
Fior di Luna
Gelato is a must while in Rome, however, most gelato stands no longer make the sweet treat by hand. They use a powdered mix that, while cheap, doesn't taste nearly as good as the real deal. Fior di Luna is one of the rare little gelaterias that still make the iconic Italian treat the old way from artisan ingredients. They use fresh ingredients and churn it slowly to make the best gelato that visitors to Rome will ever taste. While the chocolate and sea salt caramel flavours are eternal favourites, the more daring guest should give the fig or white peach flavours a go.
Flavio al Velavevodetto
Flavio al Velavevodetto is a classic Roman osteria where the food is good, but it does not host the most creative cuisine. However, as any foodie knows, atmosphere is just as cohesive to an excellent meal as the food itself. It is the atmosphere of this restaurant that makes it a marvel of Rome. It is built inside a mound composed of walls built from 53 million discarded terracotta containers that the Romans would have used to hold wine in ancient times. This creates a unique, yet historical atmosphere that pairs well with wine and their signature carbonara.
Mordi e Vai
When visiting Rome, most people usually don't want to sit down and have a simple sandwich. This causes many visitors to the city to pass by Mordi e Vai, even though the lines out the door suggest something amazing is going on inside. Mordi e Vai is not just a simple sandwich shop, owner Sergio Esposito has dedicated his life and his shop to reinterpreting potentially boring sandwiches into something special. With combinations like veal cooked in white wine and chicory, braised beef and tripe, the foodie in Rome may just find the adventure they are seeking in a simple sandwich shop, of all places. The best news is that these creative culinary delights are also sold for boring sandwich prices.
Primo al Pigneto
Rome's Pigneto district was once a downbeat area of Rome, but over the past few years it has risen from rags to culinary riches. Their improving reputation is in no small part due to Primo al Pigneto, which serves up its seasonal and innovative food. Over just three short years, it has become a culinary institution in Rome due to its stylish urban vibe and its "revisited" Mediterranean fare. With daring dishes like lamb filet in spicy coffee sauce or their fresh squid and zucchini salad, Primo al Pigneto has become a hotspot for the young and the fashionable local as well as the visiting foodie.
Located in the crossroads of styles and trends in the Ponte Milvio district, the Met restaurant is where the trendsetters of Rome eat. Inside its minimalist inspired walls, the Met provides a number of culinary options to suit its trendy clientele. Their dishes mould international flavours into Mediterranean-inspired cuisine to create food that pays homage to the classics of Rome, but in a tasty new way. On an interesting side note, the Met is located next to lover's lock lane where couples put padlocks on trees and fences and throw away the key, signifying their unbreakable love.
You think you know pizza? You don't really know pizza until you've tried Roman pizza. While the pizza may have gained international fame in America, it was invented in Italy. Foodies simply must try their favourite comfort food in its homeland. While there are a number of pizza places in Rome today, ZaZa, located by the Pantheon, is among one of the best. They let their dough rise for 60 hours before topping it with artisanal, fresh local ingredients and cheeses. Aside from the fresh ingredients, ZaZa serves up the usual pizza, but is likely to be a new experience for the foreign foodie and pizza enthusiast.
For those that want the fine dining experience while in Rome, they will need to pay a visit to the Cavalieri Hotel for their wonderful La Pergula restaurant. It is a three Michelin star establishment -- the only restaurant in Rome to have such an honour. They host an extensive 53,000 bottle wine cellar as well as a cigar lounge to keep visitors inside their walls, but it is the food that brings the customers through the door. Their creative veal filet in aubergine and crepinette of pigeon and duck foie gras tease the palate with a mix of Italian and International flavours.
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