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Best food in Rome... NOT Italian

Where are the best places to get food in Rome that aren't Italian food? Bonus points for places that are cheap and quick. Double bonus if you can tell me about a parisian-style crepe vendor, or a place to get fresh-made dessert waffles. Triple bonus for an excellent doner kebab joint.

Posted by
158 posts

when you accumulate ten points you can redeem them for a token.

Posted by
1170 posts

Italian food in Italy is not like the bastardized Italian food that you might find at home. You won't find "Olive Garden" type fare there for sure. So, what passes for Italian food there is not what you would expect Italian food to be. For sure, you will find a lot of pasta dishes and pizza, but there are a lot of other types of dishes to choose from, especially if you get off of the heavily touristed path and go into the local neighborhoods.

As far as crepes, I recommend Paris. For waffles, try Belgium and kebabs, Istanbul. Something as specific as these food items you will be hard pressed to find.

Posted by
295 posts

OK: doner kebabs, Shawarma Station
Via Merulana, 271 good kebabs, felafels, salads, and hot dishes. Also one at Via Giulio Cesare 126. And Munzur Doner Kebab via Leone IV 59. I'll meet you in Rome August 8-17 to collect my token.

Posted by
158 posts

thanks, dennis for your recommendations! you sure you want to redeem your points for that token? 25 tokens gets you a coupon, and 4 coupons gets you a voucher, save up your vouchers, because 12 vouchers will get you a certificate of appreciation. so i recommend saving up! i'll keep track of everything electronically for your convenience.

scott, thanks for the reply. i recognize that authentic italian food is vastly different than the usual fare at the olive garden. perhaps i should have explained that we will be in rome for ~11 days, so at some point we might want a change-up from the smorgasbord that italian cuisine has to offer. plus my wife and i both like doner kebabs and they aren't readily available in houston. we've enjoyed them in multiple other european countries, i was hoping to get a rec for a place in rome.

as for the crepes and waffles, i was hoping that even though the EU clearly restricts the sale of those items out of their home countries, i'd be able to enjoy those tasty treats on the grey market. my wife will be disappointed to hear that these aren't available in rome.

any one else have some cool places to go that you wouldn't normally associate with rome? i'll gladly give free tips for good places to eat in houston in exchange (no points needed) on the off chance you plan to visit our hot and muggy city.

thanks rick steve-ians!

Posted by
4510 posts

While I don't have any restaurant recommendations, you may have some luck with the kabobs and N. African foods. Rome has a large immigrant community. Just keep your eyes open and maybe venture off the tourist track to find them. Also try Trip Advisor or other online guides. I do remember seeing an add for a Mexican restaurant near the Vatican, in case you get homesick. As for crepes, I don't recall seeing any street vendors like you do in Paris - believe me - I'd have noticed that.

If I have to come to Houston in summer to collect my tokens, I'll pass thank you very much...

Posted by
42 posts

I'll give you a stack of vouchers and a bunch of coins if you can find a can of Rotel while in Rome. I've been craving some queso lately!

Check out Katie Parla's food blog (parlafood.com). She's been spot on for good food here and she just wrote a bit on ethnic food. We had lunch at L'Asino di Oro (12euro each- 4 courses and wine!) it was wonderful and different from the usual.

There's also a Mexican Restaurant in Monte Sacro that's supposed to be good. I'll let you know.

Posted by
158 posts

and jill knocks it out of the park with that blog link. very nice. that will factor heavily in my trip. thanks!

Posted by
42 posts

Wee!!! Glad I could help.

Tried the Shawarma Station (the one by Termini) and the Shawarma was was yummy, but I've had better falafel.

Posted by
158 posts

i don't know how long you will be in rome, because we aren't going till december, but i could probably find space in our luggage for a can of rotel...

Posted by
65 posts

Matthew,
My wife and I had a Great Kabob in Rome this past January. The place is on the corner after leaving the Peter in Chains church take a left and it is on the right hand side of the street. If you turn right after the stand you are at the Coliseum. Another note one night my wife was very tired from all of the walking and wanted to stay in the B & B (Nicholas Inn) so I walked up Cavour Street and saw a restaurant packed with locals. It was a chinese place and so I got carry out and took it back to the inn and it was great. I know it was weird to eat Chinese in Rome but we try to eat chinese on every trip once just to make sure it tastes just the same as our little home town chinese. Good luck and Enjoy.

Posted by
7743 posts

Hey Nate, Do you know if the Chinese place on Cavour is below a hotel called Downtown Accomodation? We are booked to stay there in September and I know the owner is Chinese and has a restaurant by the hotel.

Posted by
158 posts

thanks, a little chinese food is always a welcome change-up to european food.

Posted by
25 posts

Might not exactly qualify... but try Dar Filletaro a Santa Barbara for a cheap quick delicious fish sandwich.

Posted by
158 posts

fish sandwich? really... sounds intriguing. care to describe the sandwich in more detail?

Posted by
25 posts

It is a fried cod fish (baccala') sandwich. I happen to love baccala' of any type. I think you can also get some fried veggies type of food , but I only had the fish sandwich.

Posted by
158 posts

nice...

one of our favorite tapas in spain were bunuelos de bacalao (cod fritters), so that sounds really good.

Posted by
27 posts

Dear Matthew coming to Italy and not eating Italian food? I am sure you have plenty of "original" Italian restaurants in Texas, so i can understand you will be looking to get "original" food in Rome... My advice is - eat what locals do no matter which place you are

Posted by
158 posts

well this was a random reply... i actually already went to rome back over the christmas holidays. i ate a good amount of italian food. i also ate plenty of crepes. and ate a huge doughnut shaped thing about 8-10 inches across smeared with nutella. i also had some french fries at mcdonalds that were strangely better than the ones i've had lately at home. they also cost twice as much and didn't come with ketchup.

Posted by
782 posts

The whole area southwest of Stazione Termini is the African/Asian immigrant section so just storll down there and there are a plethora of non-Italian places. Italy has great Italian food but outside of the big cities it's hard to find good non-Italian so when I go to places like Rome, Milano or Venice I eat as much Indian, Chinese and Thai and as many doner kebabs as I can. The non-Italian food in Rome is particularly good if you know where to look.

Posted by
833 posts

I can't give you specific names or locations, but I remember from walking around there are definitely places that will please you. And after being in Rome for several days, you will notice some crepe stands (often at gelaterie etc) and some offer waffles. I remember more kebab places in Florence than Rome, but again I'm sure you'll be able to find plenty of places!

Posted by
3 posts

Great that Matthew had a great trip to Rome. Am headed that way in late August...but here's an out-of-left-field Q: how hard of a challenge would it be to get a cold 12-oz CAN of Budweiser in Rome? It's a peace-of-mind thing for me. Ever since I almost got knifed in La Puebla, MX for demanding one from El Banrtendero, I've made a point to drink a Bud where you would least expect it served. "El" was insulted that I wouldn't drink the local beer. No points to offer am afraid...but some intersting anecdotes from being stranded for the last 3 days in Seoul, trying to get back to HI thru Narita. Tokyo's a mess. Congrats Matthew!

Posted by
833 posts

I can recommend an Irish bar in Rome: Abbey Theatre, located not too far from the Piazza Navona. They have nice bartenders. Didn't try any of the food so can't comment on that, but they have wifi and good drink specials on various nights.

Posted by
1035 posts

Bern, let's hear your anecdotes. Did you feel in the quake in Seoul? Doug is right about finding it in Irish pubs throughout Europe, but know it is not exactly the same formulation as in USA. I have heard it called "weasel piss" in Ireland. If you can't find Bud, you can find Stella (much tastier anyway).

Posted by
782 posts

Budweiser is actually pretty common over here, particularly in the tourist cities however I don't recall ever seeing it in cans, only bottles. I think a lot of Europeans drink it as more of a cultural thing despite the taste. I've always laughed at how some Americans criticize Budweiser but then extol the virtues of crap like Becks and Stella Artois; those are basically the Budweisers of the European countries they are from and locals from there make fun of people who drink them much the same as Americans make fun of Europeans who drink Bud.