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Roman food on a student budget!

By catrionaschwartz

One of the things Italy is most famous for is its food. Obviously as a student you can’t indulge too much in eating out but in the two weeks I’ve been here I’ve found a couple of relatively cheap favorites.

  1. Pizzeria da Simone on Via Giacinto Carini in Monteverde (my local pizzeria).

Pizza in Rome is fairly different from pizza in New York. It is generally less oily and mozzarella and ricotta are the main cheeses used. Pizza also comes served two ways, pizza al taglio (which is in rectangular slices that are sometimes folded in two to make a sort of sandwich) and in the traditional round shape. Pizzeria da Simone serves pizza al taglio, which people generally buy as takeaway. Despite the numerous and inventive toppings (prosciutto, artichoke, anchovy, etc., etc.) my favorite is the pepperoni which has ground up pepperoni and mozzarella. Depending on the size of the slice you get it can cost between 1.30-2.50 euros.


An example of pizza al tagli0.

2. Dar Poeta, in Trastevere

At Dar Poeta, one of the most famous pizzerias in the neighborhood of Trastevere, I’m a bit braver when it comes to pizza toppings. Their eponymous Dar Poeta pizza has has zucchini, sausage, mozzarella and pepperoncino and is absolutely delicious. It costs around 7 euro but it’s served in the traditional round style so you are getting a lot more. They also have amazing bruschetta for only 3 euro!

3. Dolci Desideri on Via Barrili Anton Giulio in Monteverde

During my first trek around my neighborhood of Monteverde I saw a film crew outside Dolci Desideri. One of my roommates said that it was apparently a famous desert restaurant despite its somewhat less than central location in Monteverde. Next chance we got we went in and it immediately became apparent why this place was getting so much hype. Never have I seen such a variety of miniature cakes, cookies, chocolates, pastries, and other sweets. The price is by weight so it depends on what you choose but three small pastries is about 2.50 euro.


Pastries at Dolci Desideri, photo from here.

4. Circus on Via della Vetrina in the Centro Storico di Roma

This place was found while some friends and I were trying to find one of our go to gelato places. It is a café/bar/club/art gallery fusion which is wonderful but the reason I love this place is a little sad. Basically they had a giant sign that said bagels out front and I made my friends go in with me. To my utter surprise (and delight!) they had chai tea lattes as well. I know that I could probably survive four months without bagels or chai tea lattes but I’m embarrassingly happy that I don’t have to. Besides which they played a lot of old Broadway numbers and jazz so all in all it’s a nice place to relax!

5. Gelateria al Teatro on Via dei Coronari, in the Centro Storico di Roma

This gelateria is very close to both the IES center and the Piazza Navona and has some of the best gelato I’ve had in Rome along with the gelato at Grom and Gelateria della Palma (which has 150 flavors!) which are also in the Centro Storico of Rome. The Gelateria al Teatro has very unique flavors though. Thus far I’ve had ginger, pumpkin and white chocolate with basil there, but my friends have also had their raspberry and ricotta as well as their lavender and fig. Aside from the amazing gelato, the owner of the gelateria is very friendly and often serving at the counter and always smiling. A small (piccolo) only costs 2 euro!


The gelateria and associated pizzeria. Image from here.

Although these places are all amazing I'm sure there will be many more discoveries to come! Arrivederci!