The Roman Foodie’s Trastevere “Locals” Food Tour: The Best Way to Enjoy Authentic Roman Food and History – Learn How and Where to Eat in Rome
Many people go to Rome and tend to get sucked into the tourist trap of eating over-expensive food catered purely to out-of-towners who can’t tell the difference between authentic Roman cuisine and its inferior mediocre-tasting cousin. But alas, that’s what the “The Roman Foodie,” run by the same guys who run The Roman Guy is for! There are many, many, MANY Roman food tours, but without a doubt, the best and most authentic has to be the Trastevere “Locals” Food Tour given by The Roman Foodie.
The restaurants on the tour have a historical significance to them, and the food is mouth-watering and as authentic as it can get. The tour starts at 5:30 PM, lasts three full hours, has at least six stops with 10 tastings included. There are drinks included on the tour, including 2 glasses of wine and a glass of the famous Prosecco. The tour itself begins in the Campo de Fiori square, and travels along several historic sites, including the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere [hence the name].
Our guide, Rachele, was phenomenal, and truly made the tour that much more enriching. It wasn’t just amazing food and drinks, but also a healthy dash of culture, history, and most importantly, FUN! She spent time in each area explaining the history behind the place, the restaurant, the food, and each dish we ate. She made us all feel welcome, and she went out of her way to make everyone feel included and that everyone had all their questions answered. Plus, you got any special requests? She’ll do her best to honor those as well.
Now, first things first, the actual tour! As I mentioned, we started out in the historic and famous Campo de Fiori, which is a square that remained undeveloped until the 15th century. At the time, the square then became home to many cultural and historical landmarks, including Orsini Palace and Renaissance Palazzo della Cancelleria. The square has also been a focal meeting point between commercial and street culture, including several weekly markets, street shops, hotels, and inns. The place also has a tragic tinge to it, since it was home to executions that were held at the square in the 1600s. Fortunately, there are no longer such morbid events tied to the square, and it’s instead a lively meeting place for tourists, food lovers, vendors and youngsters from all over the city.
The first place that we visited in the square was the Cooperative Latte Cisternino. We had a variety of cheese selections, including Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Burrata, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Smokey Mozzarella – all were delicious, and came with a choice of white wine or water. The waiters were all friendly, and the cheeses were all sliced the way you wanted. Plus, Rachele recommended that we take some of the cheese home in a vacuum-sealed bag, and we certainly took her advice.
Next was the Verso Sera, also in Campo de Fiori. There, we had a glass of the delicious Prosecco, and we also tried the Bruschetta Tomato Pomodoro and the Bruschetta with a soft cheese spread.
The next step on our tour was the picturesque cobblestone streets of Trastevere. Trastevere was an important part of the Jewish settlement community that came to the area following the fall of the Roman Empire, and several important historical figures even built their villas in Trastevere – including Julius Caesar. Nowadays, Trastevere remains a maze of winding and narrow cobblestone streets lined by medieval houses, but the architecture lends the area a lot of its verve and charm.
We first visited the La Renella, which was a quaint bakery with the most amazing pizza. Thanks to Rachele’s excellent guidance, we got to go into the back where the baking was taking place, and we got to see the ovens burning the hazelnut husks. There was also a tray of ‘wine cookies’ cooling down, and the baker came out and gave us several – delicious! There were also baskets of bread, and we got to taste those as well. Basically, it was like heaven in our mouths, and out of all the restaurants we went to on the tour, I have to say that this was one of the best.
After that, we went to the famous Tastevere Kmzero, which is ranked as one of the best restaurants in all of Rome. There was a selection of cheeses and wine here, as well as a selection of meats – all served in a canapé style. Rachele was friendly with the staff there and like at all food stops on the tour we received special treatment- a special customized experience.
Our next stop was Trattoria da Teo, where we had the Jewish Artichoke as an entree and Amatriciana and Carbonara Pasta as the main meal. The servings were absolutely massive, the wine flowed and Rachele kept us well entertained throughout the meal, telling us about the history of Trastevere and pointing out little known facts about the area.
We ended our tour with Gelateria Artigianale Corona, where we finished our wonderful food tour with some delicious homemade Gelato. We couldn’t have thought of a better way to end the tour, and needless to say, savored every bit of that Gelato!
Overall the experience was amazing and delightful. If you’re going to Rome and want to make the most of the remarkable local cuisine, we recommend the The Roman Foodie’s evening food tour throughout Campo de Fiori and Trastevere – and make sure you ask for Rachele as your tour guide! You’ll get some culture, some history, and some exquisite food and drinks along the way.