Whenever I travel to a different culture or country, I try to seek out the most authentic spots to absorb the place for what it really is. So when it comes to places to eat, I am very particular about where I choose to go! Blame the huge foodie in me, but I believe it is a sign of good taste and character in order to get the best out my experiences.
Even though I may have a gluten intolerance, I was traveling with someone who isn’t so it meant finding places that offered fantastic dishes for both of us to be completely satisfied throughout our time in Rome. This is why I did extensive research prior to our trip, which I would recommend to anyone no matter what you food preferences. It will save you a lot of hassle and disappointment whilst you are away, as well as let you just enjoy it all for what it is. TripAdvisor is packed full of fantastic reviews for all types of dining, plus they will have links to maps, websites and contact details if you need any further information before you go.
If you do have a specific intolerance or allergy, I advise you to go an international website to direct you towards the best places to suit your needs, for example, The Coeliac Plate offers you a fantastic range of places to eat at from all around the globe! But it is also worth checking out food/travel bloggers who have similar conditions to yourself as they are likely to provide you with an in-depth review on their finds whilst traveling.
The greatest discovery was that Italy have recently had a huge rise in the number of coeliac cases across the country, so they have had to respond to a lot of demand for completely gluten free dining and food products. This means lucky days for GF tourists because there is an unbelievable amount of choices to be had. Even in a small supermarket in the middle of the village, we stayed in, there were countless shelves of completely gluten free products! All across Rome, there are Coeliac Shops dedicated to the cause so there is no reason you can’t embrace a true Italian experience.
So without further a due, I have put together the best places to eat if you are gluten free!
Massenzio Ai Fori Ristorante
After seeing the Colosseum and Roman Forum on our first day, we were in desperate need of a taste sensation to get our trip off to the best start (especially after we had some really big problems!). One of the restaurants I found prior to traveling was Massenzio which was only a 5-10 minute stroll away from the Colosseo metro station.
Just from first appearances, you can see that it is a true taste of Italy, with al fresco dining on a quiet street just off the main road. As the sun was slowly starting to set, the atmosphere was enhanced with warm amber tones and candlelight, whilst you can hear a mandolin play.
There were plenty of starters and pasta dishes for me to choose from, so I opted for the most famous Italian pasta dish ever, Spaghetti Bolognese (my sister went for a classic margarita). Whilst we were waiting, we were served breadsticks to which I was given gluten free ones! They even gave me a special set of cutlery that is kept away from contaminated food.
I can honestly that this was the best bolognese I have ever had! Every mouthful was packed full of flavour. The creamy tomato sauce was a perfect companion for the melted parmesan cheese and you can tell it is the best source of minced beef you can ask for.
After dinner, we stopped off at Flor Gelato which is right next door to Massenzio (really handy!) and again I was surprised to see that every single option was gluten free, even the cookie dough! Unfortunately, due to all the excitement, I was unable to capture to moment, so you will just have to trust me on this one and more sure to make a pit stop at one of Flor’s gelato chains!
Website – http://www.gelatiflor.com/site/?lang=en
La Soffitta Renovatio
The Vatican State is a huge must for when you make a trip to Rome (check out my blog post on Top Things To Do) but one thing is for sure, it is going to leave you feeling very tired and ready for something to eat! Not too far away from the Vatican Museums is a quaint restaurant called La Soffitta Renovatio which is well-known for its extensive options of gluten free choices, including pizza! I cannot express how excited I was to finally enjoy a real pizza, so there was no doubt that was going to be what I ordered.
The base was just what I hoped for’ freshly made with slightly crisp texture. You can tell that the tomato sauce is a specialty of theirs because it was unlike anything I had tried before. For a first experience of authentic pizza, I don’t think you can go far wrong coming here.
Website – http://www.lasoffittarenovatio.it
Pizza in Trevi
Now, this was by far our favourite place to dine at. Pizza in Trevi is just steps away from the Trevi Fountain (hence the name!) and sets you inside a tiny little restaurant along the cobbled street, taking you away from all the hustle and bustle of tourists into a totally authentic Italian eatery. When I was doing my research this place came top of the list many times so it was only right that we gave it a try. Hands down the best decision we made on that day, because not only had we had the most incredible meal of our trip, we ended up going back three times!
Pizza in Trevi was the most accommodating to coeliacs that I experienced whilst in Rome, as everything on the menu could be made entirely gluten free. They offered my special cutlery and a separate glass to ensure there is no cross-contamination (I am not that sensitive but it was wonderful to know they were doing all they could).
When we came here for the second time I really wanted to push my boundaries and try something completely different that I would never do at home (When in Rome!). I wanted to try out the classic risotto dish, but there was a seafood option which had all types of fish in it including baby squid. You would never catch me eating this back home, but I just had to be adventurous for once and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I did enjoy this dish!
But nothing was going to stop me from having my final meal in Italy as a pizza. Their pizzas are the finest I have ever had, which means no other will compare from now on. They have really nailed the recipe to get the most mouthwatering base, tangiest tomato sauce and the freshest of mozzarella and toppings to round everything off (pun intended there).
Website – http://www.pizzaintrevi.it
Last but certainly not least, the Della Palma is one heck of a place to get your fill of gelato, as there are 150 different flavours on offer. Yes, you read that right 150 tempting flavours ranging from the classic Nutella or strawberry (which is unbelievably indulgent!) to more unusual flavours such as olive or champagne! They even have a dairy free range available made from soya milk, although I didn’t sample any of those because there were far too many other scrumptious types for me to make my way through!
There were a few of other places we tried out but you really can’t get any better than having the widest range of gelato you will see in Rome to choose from! It can be found just off from the Pantheon which would only take around a 3-minute walk if you are planning on seeing it.
Website – http://www.dellapalma.it
There are so many incredible eateries that I hoped to visit but it was just a matter of finding time to fit them all in, so there is no doubt I will making a return to this beautiful city to tuck into even more Italian delicacies!
Hope that this has literally given you ‘food for thought’ about where to go when you are after some of the tastiest food in Rome. Please let me know if you do visit any of these places and what your thoughts are because it is always nice to hear back from you all.