It may seem surprising, but there are really many places in Rome to eat hearty, tasty and at the same time save a couple of euros. The eternal city is generous with treats, and panini, pizza and pasta are available at very low prices.
In this review, we will find out how much it costs to eat in Rome, where to go for food for a budget tourist, and where Italians themselves prefer to have a snack.
Small panini sandwiches in Rome are a direct competitor to trattorias and pizzerias. More and more tourists and residents of the city choose these inconspicuous eateries for cheap and tasty meals. Bread-in is one of the best of these sandwiches in the center, right next to the Museo Nazionale Romano.
The menu includes more than 10 branded juicy paninis on hot fresh bread (4.50-6 €). Interestingly, they are all named after famous films: “Psycho” by Alfred Hitchcock, “Star Wars” by George Lucas, “Avatar” by James Cameron. By purchasing a salad and panini, you can quickly satisfy your hunger, while spending only about 10 €.
Piazza di Tor Sanguigna, 9
Bread-in cafe menu
Sun-Thu 10: 00-23: 00, Fri-Sat 10: 00-02: 00
Pane e salame
One of those small and cozy places in the center of Rome, where you can eat tasty and inexpensive and get real pleasure from food. The diner is located close to the grand Fontana di Trevi and treats hungry tourists with fresh salads (6 €), sandwiches on warm crispy bread (4.50-6.50 €), cheese and cold cuts (5-15 €).
Optionally, you can choose either a ready-made panini or collect it yourself from the ingredients to your liking. Cooking takes just a couple of minutes, all food can be taken with you to take away.
Via Santa Maria in Via, 19
Pane e Salame menu
Wed-Mon 12: 00-22: 00
Baguetteria del Fico
Walking in the Piazza Navona area in the center of Rome and looking for a place to eat inexpensively, look into this little baguette, a real Mecca for lovers of meat delicacies. Already at the entrance you will be greeted by a good-natured host, who will prepare an order in front of your eyes and pour a glass of delicious Italian wine or craft beer.
Baguetteria del Fico is, first of all, fantastically tasty and large sandwiches:
- San Marzano with excellent Parma ham (6 €);
- Giovanna with pancetta, mozzarella and olives (7 €);
- Roastbeef with beef and soft cacocavallo cheese (8 €);
- Bonfatti with mortadella and mozzarella (6 €).
In total, in the cafe you can try more than 20 different sandwiches with original fillings, as well as enjoy cheeses, prosciutto, salami and other delicacies for which Italy is so famous.
Via della Fossa, 12
Baguetteria del Fico menu
Mon-Thu 11: 00-17: 00, Fri-Sun 11: 00-00: 00
This is probably the cheapest food in Rome that you can find near the Vatican. This is a small cafe-snack bar with a small counter for 8-10 people and delicious homemade pasta prepared right in front of you.
In total, Pastasciutta serves 6 different types of Italian pasta, such as Pappardelle al Ragù with meat sauce or Spaghetti alla Carbonara with bacon, parmesan and pecorino romano. The portions are quite generous (each costs 6 €, which is quite inexpensive for the center of Rome), plus 1.5 times more pasta will be made for you for 1 € on top. The order is usually taken with them to take away, as it is cramped inside, and there is no shortage of those who want to eat tasty food.
Via delle Grazie, 5
Piazzale Flaminio, 10
Cafe Pastasciutta menu
Daily 10: 30-18: 30
Daily 11: 00-22: 00
Inexpensive cafe literally around the corner from the ruins of Foro di Augusto in Rome, where you can eat unusual Italian fast food – polpette meatballs. They are made with beef and zucchini, salsicci, chicken, eggplant and mozzarella, cottage cheese and cheese, and many other common or unexpected ingredients. There are even sandwiches and salads with meatballs – in fact, you will not see anything else on the menu, only the most varied and florid variations of one single dish.
Only local and organic products are used for cooking – this is the main principle of ALLbiBOX owners, who strive to ensure that food is as natural and delicious as possible. Polpette are sold in boxes resembling popcorn glasses, 3/8/15 pieces each and cost about 4/9/13 €, respectively.
Via F. Grimaldi, 48/50
ALLbiBOX cafe menu
Daily 8: 00-00: 00
A small, inexpensive wine restaurant in the heart of Rome’s Trastevere district, on the way between Chiesa di Santa Maria della Scala and Chiesa di Sant’Egidio, is the best choice for seafood lovers. You can order a large grilled assortment for two (tuna, salmon, squid, octopus, shrimp) for 15 € or several plates for 5 € separately – in any case, you are guaranteed to get an indescribable pleasure from the meal.
The interior is quite simple, there are no waiters, the bar is self-service. The audience here is also typical: mostly Italians themselves, who live and work nearby, come here to eat, which can also be regarded as a big plus for the institution.
Via della Scala, 67
Wine restaurant La Tonneria menu
Sun-Fri 11: 00-00: 00, Sat 11: 00-01: 00
Taverna del seminario
On a small street connecting Piazza della Rotonda and via del Corso, literally right next to the Pantheon, there is a pleasant tavern with real home cooking: pizza (5-9 €), lasagna (7 €), pasta (6-7 €), soups ( 5 €), steaks, schnitzels and chops (7-10 €). Here you can drink delicious homemade wine and eat delicious Italian desserts: tiramisu and panna cotta (4 €).
Taverna del Seminario also offers a hearty set lunch for 15 € (an appetizer, two courses and a dessert) – it is quite possible to order it for two.
Via del Seminario, 105
Taverna del Seminario menu
Daily 12: 00-23: 15
Trattoria dal Pollarolo 1936
A traditional Italian trattoria in the center of Rome, near Piazza del Popolo, is a place that you will surely remember for its inexpensive delicious food and unique national flavor.
This small family establishment opened its doors to visitors for the first time about a century ago and during this time has managed to gain a good reputation in the city. Simple hard workers and office workers, artists and actors come here to eat. And even tourists, once having been here, will certainly return again.
Main dishes: pizza, ravioli, risotto, half pette – cost about 10-12 €, beer – 4-5 €. Every day there is a special offer in the trattoria, for example, on Friday, pasta and cod, and on Saturday – trippa. All desserts are homemade: cherry pie, tiramisu and other goodies, like the rest of the food, are prepared in the trattoria themselves from fresh and natural products.
Via di Ripetta, 4
Trattoria dal Pollarolo 1936 Menu
Fri-Wed 12: 30-15: 00 and 19: 00-23: 00
After visiting the Colosseum, you can eat at the small pizzeria Alle Carrette, which is tucked away from the crowded streets right in the center of Rome. As expected, pizza is baked here in a round oven in front of guests. And even if there are no Russian-speaking waiters in this pizzeria, and the atmosphere is very simple, but the service is fast, and the food is tasty and fresh, and besides, quite inexpensive. All pizzas – and there are unthinkably many of them here – cost between 6-9 €, a liter of excellent homemade wine – 10 €.
The cheapest pizza – the traditional “Margarita” – will cost 5.50 €, calzoni and crostini with hearty fillings – 7-8 €. A separate section of the menu is dedicated to the original Italian cheese in the shape of a pear – scamorze. It is prepared in 6 different ways, for example, baked with ham, salmon or bresaola (dry-cured beef).
95 Via della Madonna dei Monti
Alle Carrette Pizzeria Menu
Daily 11: 30-16: 00 and 19: 00-00: 00
This restaurant is a good option for those who are heading from the Vatican towards the Pantheon and at the same time want to try the best pasta in Rome. Coming here, you can combine business with pleasure: eat inexpensively and enjoy real Italian cuisine.
On the menu there are about 10 types of pasta at € 8: from the traditional Carbonara to the interesting version with chickpeas, which is prepared only on Fridays. The portions are very large, except for the specialty they serve steaks, salads, meatballs, roasts – all for 8-11 €. A real gem for the budget traveler!
95 Via della Madonna dei Monti
Restaurant Da Tonino Menu
Mon-Sat 12: 00-15: 00 and 19: 00-00: 00
14 more places to eat on a budget in Rome
Mizio’s Street Food – a snack bar with hearty and inexpensive Italian sandwiches near the San Pietro in Vincoli Basilica;
Supplì is a good option for a cheap meal in Rome: the signature rice ball with meat filling and a slice of pizza will cost 3.20 €;
Il Panino Ingegnoso – a small cafe for a budget traveler next to the Tempio di Adriano temple, all paninis for 3.50-7 €;
D’Angelo – an ideal place for breakfast if you find yourself in the eastern part of Rome near Santa Maria della Vittoria (croissants, panini, focaccia, salads – 4-7 €), the choice of food is large;
Lost Food Factory – an establishment with inexpensive Italian fast food right next to Chiesa di Santa Maria Maddalena near the Pantheon;
La Piadineria – a network of establishments in Rome with hearty Italian flatbreads for 3 €;
Ciacco & Bacco – a nice cafe with excellent cold cuts, salads and desserts (on average 4-6 €), located in the San Lorenzo area;
La Salumeria – a must have for lovers of meat delicacies, a relatively inexpensive snack bar on the way to the Vatican (food prices, as on average in Rome, are 5-6 € for a panini, 10-35 € for a sliced board);
Que te pongo – a budget establishment in the tourist area, close to the Pantheon, with an emphasis on fish and seafood;
Il Pastaio di Roma – a diner in the center of Rome, where you can eat homemade pasta for 4 €;
Pastificio guerra – a place near the Spanish Steps, where you can refresh yourself with pasta (it is sold in take-away containers, large portion – 4 €, water is free);
Sfizi di Pizza – a place for pizza lovers right in the historic center of Rome, a little away from Via Nazionale (prices ranging from 4-5 €);
SoloPasta – another cafe in Rome for cheap pasta (5 € per serving);
Pizza Florida – a small inexpensive pizzeria in the center, 4 slices of pizza with water or lemonade cost 4-6 €.