Street Food Rome, what is scene like for street eats in the culinary capital of Italy? When we think of Italian food, we certainly don’t think of fast food. Italians famously take a long time on their lunches and dinners, usually accompanied by a fair amount of vino.
Breakfasts on the other hand tend to be quick, rather boring affairs usually dominated by something called a cornetto, no not the one with the famous “just one cornetto” song, but a kind of Italian croissant.
You can read about Italian breakfasts here
Street Food in Rome – did the Romans invest Street Food?
Did Rome invent street food? And if not who invented street food? It is not exactly an iPhone, so it is hard to say specifically who invented street food. There is though anecdotal evidence of street food in Greece, but we have bonafide archaeological evidence that there was a street food Rome scene. Roman traders would sell simple snacks to the working classes. Then as is now street for in Rome was the food of the people.
I mean think about it, guys selling snacks outside the colosseum – they would have made a killing right?
Street Food Rome – the contemporary scene
Modern Rome is a metropolis of good food. Few would argue that Italy has some of the best food in the world and for the best food in Italy, you need to to go to Rome.
Modern Rome has gone through a lot of changes, there’s the whole Catholic influence, the old Jewish ghetto and more recently immigrants from ther EU countries and Africa. This creates a Rome street food scene that is not only eclectic, but historical and diverse.
Street Food Rome – What are the must try dishes?
There are a number os must try Roman street foods, so many i fact that we could probably write 50 dishes, instead we have decided to restrict our best street food in Rome selection to 9, but 9 we feel you will love
Street Food Rome – 7 must try dishes
Suppli – The most famous street food in Rome
OK, so perhaps pizza by the lie would be the most well known Rome Street Food, but talk to anyone with a culinary interest in the capital and they will probably say hat Suppli is their favorite Rome street food. Suppli is the king of the street food Rome scene. It is essentially a deep-fried rice croquettes have been a local favorite for well over 150 years. Comes in a range of flavours, but the best is. probably with rage sauce. Rage sauce is a meat based sauce, not just the stuff you find in tins at Tesco!
Available at fancy places, but best eaten as a Street Food. There is a restaurant called Suppli that specializes in the dish, obviously.
Cornetto! – Street food breast in Rome
As we mentioned in the introduction breakfast is not a huge deal in Italy and pretty much consists of a cornetto/cornetti and a cappuccino. Don’t piss off Italians by calling it a croissant, the dish is much sweeter and is not served with butter, but with sweeter fillings such as nutella. If you need a quick Roman street eat then it is all about cornetto.
To read about the differences between a cornetto and a croissant click here .
Pizza by the slice – pizza al trancio
Pizza by the lice or pizza al trancio if you want to get fancy in the local lingo is the most quintessential of Rome street foods. New Yorkers and Chicagoans might argue, but for real authentic pizza you gotta come to Rome, period. You name the variety and it can be found in Rome. Street food pizza is served on a piece of cardboard and can cost as little as a single Euro.
For the best and most diverse selection of pizza by the slice head to the pizzarium!
Carciofi alla giudia – Rome Street Food with a Jewish twist
The Jews of Rome were treated particularly badly by the Pope, with he ghetto here being the last one in Europe. Jews were only fully emancipated when the Vatican was reduced to a rump state.
Is the Vatican City a country though? You can read about that here.
The harsh conditions in the ghetto did though lead to them creating heir own culinary scene. Carciofi alla giudia is probably the most famous Jewish dish. Made essentially by deep-frying artichokes it is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, this gives it an almost meat like texture. This is a popular appetizer in Italy, but is best eaten of course on the street. Head to the Jewish quarter to try this street food Rome sensation.
Pinsa – don’t you mean pizza?
Pizza is very famous, pinsa less so. Arguably pinsa was the original recipe for pizza that has now been given a new lease of life. As opposed to pizza it is oval shaped and the dough is much lighter. Tends to have fresher ingredients than a regular pizza and can be found throughout Rome. A great canes from having street food pizza by the slice.
Where to get pinsa? From a pinsaeria of course!
Trapizzino – the newest street for in Rome
Apparently this was only invented in 2008, but since then has spread as far as America.It consists of a triangular pocket of pizza dough stuffed with various fillings. And as for the fillings? Meatballs, cheese, chicken, pork, and even tongue.
Street food vendors in Rome selling Trapizzino can get very inventive!
Trastevere wine bar. is a greta place to try this dish, with the adding bonus that you can have a cheeky glass of vino too.
Offal – you haven’t tried street food in Rome unless you eat offal
The term for offal Rome is quinto quarto. Literally meaning “the fifth quarter,” . It is kind of like a pun, as in the bits you did not want. Another Rome street food and dish that has its origins in the Jewish quarter. The Jews were forced to make do with whatever was left over and then do the best with it. There are a ton of different offal dishes. Go down he backstreets and find small hole in the wall place offering all manor of different ways to serve it. having it with pasta sauce is probably the most authentic way to eat quinto quarto in Rome, so long as you can get past the smell. As street food rome goes this is one of the more pungent ones.
And that is our quintessential guide to street food Rome. When in Rome as they say “eat street food”. OK, so we might have paraphrased a bit there.