ROME

Piperno  
Definitve carciofi alla giudea

066 880 6629
monte dei cenci, 9
Jewish quarter

Gelato di San Crispino
via della Panetteria, 42

This is the original one (there are 4, incl the airport), near the Trevi fountain. Excellent gelato, a beautiful place, small door with glass plage. All the gelati, and there are many, are covered, as they should be. The cute attendants are dressed in chemists’ coats and baker’s hats and don’t really want to wait on you -- they know you’re undeserving of their attention. Go for it anyway.

Da Giggetto
Via del Portico d'Ottavia, 21/a
06 686 1105

A typical menu but with perfect – perfect! – carciofi alla guidia. Giggetto serves Roman Jewish food, and does an stellar job with it. A lovely video (here) narrated by 3rd generation owner Claudio Ceccarelli illustrates the incredible beauty of the Roman Jewish artichokes, their history, and the real nature of the restaurant. The restaurant’s artichoke handlers, one of whom has been preparing them for 53 years, are nothing but wood carvers of the highest order. He has two tags to the video in which he describes the soul of the restaurant (its women) and a noble moment in its history (his family hid and saved hundreds of Jews from the Nazis). Go there.

Trattoria Al Gran Sasso
Recently recommended by a friend visiting Rome. Near Piazza del Popolo, serving typical Roman dishes with a quiet influence of the Abruzzese kitchen.

Matriccianella  
via del Leone, 4
06 683 2100

Run by 2 brothers, simple food, great wine list.

Al Ceppo  
via Panama, 2
06 841 9696

A little elegant, but the grill is in the entrance area, and that’s a good sign. The food is great and the people are stunningly beautiful.  Expensive. 

Maccheroni
Piazza delle Coppelle, 44 (near the Pantheon)
06 830 7895

In a former butcher shop. Simple, delicious food, classic roman fare. Flawless cacio e pepe, carbonara, and great biscotti.

Da Francesco
Piazza del Fico, 29, 00186
06 686 4009

A wonderful, simple place on charming tiny Piazzadel Fico.  Have a drink in the very cool caffè across the alley, and sit under the giant fig tree. 
 
Dar Filettaro di Santa Barabara (no website)
Largo dei Librari, 88 (off via dei Giubbonari, Campo dei Fiore)
066 864 018 (no reservations)

***This little paper-on-the-table restaurant near Campo de' Fiori is my Rome favorite, serving a few simple salads and wonderful (it’s the only dish!) fried baccalà – as simple as it gets. Take away or eat in. YOU MUST GO HERE!!! Have the puntarelle salad; it should be the world’s recipe (anchovy, garlic, vinegar, olive oil). Of course, they have wine -- red or white – and cold beer. Sometimes there are other fritti – zucca, fiore di zucca, calamari, but only if you’re lucky and they feel like it. 

TRASTEVERE

Da Enzo
via dei Vascellari, 29  
06 581 8355

A special little place in Trastevere. Jammed with tables and people. One of my favorite restaurants -- cucina romana classica.

Da Augusto
Vicolo De' Renzi, 15
06 580 3798

Shared tables, only house wine red or white, rushed servers, but the food is no-nonsense Rome. Simpler than Enzo (if that can be done), wonderful under-the-radar Trastevere.

Bar San Calisto
Piazza di S. Calisto, 3

Great bar, with a lovely, usually packed, terrace. Lots of fun and people watching (nobody famous, and anyway, Who cares?)  Excellent Amaro selection. 

GREAT COFFEE

Tazzo d'Oro
via degli Orfani, 84 (near the Pantheon)
06.679.8131

La Buvette
via Vittoria 44/47
06 679 0383

A lovely coffee bar in the old style, on the ground level but above a restaurant of the same name. Wonderful for coffee and pastries. Mos def out of the 19th C., but exquisite and expensive.

OTHER charms

Sciam
via del Pellegrino 55 (Campo de' Fiori)
06 683 08957

An enchanting glass and rug shop, all handmade goods from Egypt and Syria (their Syrian restaurant is next door!) Go there and be enchanted. 

A newish place highly recommended but I haven’t tried:

Bucatino
v. della Robbia 84/86
06 57 466 886 

recent ADDITIONS

Pizza Emma
Antico Storico

Toppings from Salumeria Roscioli (cf.)

Pizzarium
pizza al taglio e suppli

Osteria di Monteverde
pianostrada laboratorio du cucina