Rome’s food scene is inextricably linked to the city’s history and culture. There’s no better way to discover its culinary delights than by doing a food tour of Rome.
The city is brimming with cafes, bars and restaurants that spill out into the streets, with pavements full of clinking glasses and steaming bowls of Amatriciana pasta.
If you are having a long weekend in Rome, navigating Rome’s foodie scene is one of the most fun things to do when visiting Italy’s capital.
Why you need to do a Rome Food Tour
But how do you know the difference between an authentic Italian food experience and a tourist trap?
I would recommend booking a food tour of Rome in advance so that you can eat like a local and learn more about the cuisine.
You can take a deep dive into Roman cuisine with a local guide and learn more about how traditional dishes are created?
The best Rome food tours take you away from the tourist hotspots and into the more local Roman neighbourhoods.
I would recommend booking a food tour in advance so that you can secure your place on the day and time that you want.
Booking your food tour online also means that you can read the reviews and get a better idea of what to expect on your tour?
Types of food tour in Rome
There are several different types of food tour in Rome that will suit a variety of budgets and tastes.
Some tours will be neighbourhood food tours, others are more food-focused tours.
Each food experience in Rome will have it’s own unique highlights and dishes to try.
Some of the popular food tours in Rome include:
- Rome Street Food Tour
- Rome Neighbourhood Food Tour
- Chef Designed Food Tour
- Evening food tour
- Walking and food tour
- Michelin Star food tour
- Rome Desserts tour
Each tour varies in group size, budget, destinations visited and dishes. Make sure to do your research and pick the food tour that’s right for you.
Quality food tours will have proper guides, will not visit tourist restaurants and should offer the opportunity to meet the people behind the food.
Neighbourhood food tours Rome
Most neighbourhood food tours of Rome take place in traditional neighbourhoods like Trastevere, Monti and the Jewish ghetto.
Each neighbourhood has its own signature flavours and dishes from pizza bianca and fresh mozzarella of Trastevere, to suppli and fried artichokes of the Jewish Ghetto.
Neighbourhood food tours are a great way of discovering the more off-beat areas of Rome away from the tourist traps.
They are designed so that you can eat like a local and learn more about the culture and history of the neighbourhood.
Food focused tour
Food-centric tours in Rome will focus on a particular type of food in Rome such as pasta, gelato or pizza.
These tours are great if you want to take a deep dive into a particular type of Roman dish. Or maybe learn where the best pasta spots in Rome are?
Some food-focused tours will also combine a cooking element or a trip to a traditional market to learn more about the ingredients of a dish.
Rome dining experiences
If you fancy spoiling yourself, you could also book a Rome dinner experience for a unique taste of Rome in an impressive setting.
Rome’s iconic landmarks set the perfect stage for a dining experience to always remember.
Some Rome dining experiences include dining in a private cellar near the Pantheon. Dinner in the Pinecone Courtyard of the Vatican Museums, or an Italian-style picnic in the Borghese Gardens.
Rome cooking class
Some food tours will also combine a cooking class element to them. A Rome cooking class is a fantastic way of learning more about traditional Roman dishes and Italian classics.
It’s always great fun to learn new culinary skills that you can impress friends and family with back home.
Some of the most popular cooking classes in Rome include pizza making, pasta making and Gelato workshops.
Trying Roman cuisine
One of the benefits of doing a food tour is that you can learn more about Roman cuisine. Typical Roman dishes are simple yet flavourful and are prepared with just a few ingredients.
Your tour should give you some insight into traditional dishes and also information on where the best eats in the city are?
Typical Roman dishes include:
- Baccalà [salted cod fried in batter]
- Carciofo alla Romana [Roman artichokes]
- Carbonara at Roscioli [creamy Pasta]
- Pizza bianca [Flatbread]
- Amatriciana [Tomato Pasta]
Trastevere food tour
We went on a fantastic Trastevere Evening Food Tour in Rome on one of our first visits to the city.
An experienced local expert guided us through Rome’s gastronomic delights and street food finds in and around the Trastevere neighbourhood.
This tour is organised by the Tour Guy and is definitely one of the best food tours in Rome.
This Trastevere food tour includes:
- Visit a Roman bakery for pizza bianca
- Trying Rome street food
- Drinking Italian wine and feasting on Roman pasta
- Eating organic gelato at one of the best spots in Rome
Roman food tour
We were part of a small group led by the lovely Fiona, through Rome’s foodie neighbourhoods during the late afternoon and evening.
During the tour, we were able to taste some traditional Italian foods and learn more about Rome’s culture along the way.
Our Rome food tour began by being led into the back of an Italian deli, to taste some Italian cheeses.
Some of these local cheeses included pecorino romano, mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
These delectable cheeses were also sampled with a lovely glass of fizz as Fiona explained the various cheese-making processes.
I think I have waited almost my entire adult life to be backstage at an Italian deli discussing cheese and drinking prosecco. I have finally arrived darlings!
Food tours of Rome
We walked on through quaint cobbled streets to the tiny little restaurant of Filetti di Baccala, to sample their famed Roman baccalà.
I’ve only ever had baccalà, [which is salted cod], in Portugal before. Roman baccalà is fried in the most deliciously light batter imaginable.
We ate it the local way, straight from the wrapped paper, this was a true foodie find.
Another stop on our tour was to try a staple of Roman cuisine, ‘pizza bianca’.
Sold in Roman bakeries, or “forni”, these olive oil flatbreads are stuffed with delicious ingredients like prosciutto and parmesan.
These popular slices contain no tomato sauce or cheese, a piece of pizza bianca is hot, crispy and incredibly moreish.
Rome evening food tour
We then made our way around trendy Trastevere, a sort of Roman hipster paradise. It’s full of avant-garde cafes, bars and hip restaurants, populated by locals.
We sampled delicious deli meats and cheese, crispy pizza, before making our way to a gorgeous alfresco restaurant.
Here we got to feast on a typical Roman dinner. We sampled some antipasti, delicious pasta dishes and Roman-style artichokes.
Italian wine was generously poured as Fiona discussed the finer points of Italian cuisine.
After an entire evening of food and merriment, we were fast slipping into a food coma when it was announced we would be finishing up with Gelato.
We somehow managed to heave ourselves to a cute little gelato stop. Despite proclaiming myself ‘completely full’, I came around when offered ‘cioccolato fondente’. I’m only human right?
Trastevere evening food tour
We loved this food tour as we felt it gave us the opportunity to eat like a Roman. The places we visited were full of character and most importantly, locals!
It can be hard to know where is good to eat in a touristy city like Rome and this tour gave us a great insight into where to eat in Rome and how to spot a tourist trap?
I feel like the tour offered great value for money and allowed us to explore more traditional parts of Rome, away from tourist hot spots.
Learn about Rome food culture
The best thing about doing a Rome food tour is that it provides context to the foods you are enjoying. It’s a really immersive experience to be guided to the best gastro spots in the city.
You can also learn about Rome food culture, cooking processes, local produce and how history plays a part in changing tastes and culinary offerings.
Through exploring off-beat neighbourhoods, tasting traditional dishes and meeting the faces behind the food you can have a little slice of local life.
Top tips for booking a Rome food tour
When booking a Rome food tour you should first decide what type of tour you want to do and then research these tours online.
Taking the time to properly choose a food tour will mean that you won’t end up disappointed.
My top tips for booking a food tour in Rome are:
- Decide what type of food tour you want to do
- Book your food tour online
- Read TripAdvisor reviews of the food tours you want to book
- Check what the cancellation policy is?
- Look what the group size will be
- Wear comfy shoes
- Arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes early
What do you think of my guide to food tours in Rome? Are you planning a foodie experience when you visit the eternal city? let me know in the comments below.
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