Every city in Italy has its own unique recipes and culinary heritage that is often connected with local customs and ancient, intergenerational traditions. Rome is best known for 4 types of pasta; cacio e pepe, amatriciana, guanciale and pasta alla carbonara. However, of these 4 classic pasta dishes, the pasta alla carbonara is undoubtedly the city’s most popular recipe.
Just like many of the most beloved Italian recipes, pasta alla carbonara is deceptively simple. But even so, it represents the perfect combination of flavors and textures which give the dish an irresistible appeal. Ideal for a quick lunch or as part of a several course dinner, pasta alla carbonara has a special place in the heart of every Roman.
What Is Pasta Alla Carbonara Made From?
Pasta alla carbonara is made using spaghetti, or another type of long pasta. The carbonara sauce is with bacon or pancetta, eggs, Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, olive oil, salt and black pepper. The sauce for the carbonara is silky and smooth due to the beaten eggs while the pancetta and Parmesan cheese give it a sharp, salty undertone.
Restaurants That Serve The Best Pasta Alla Carbonara In Rome.
The following are some of the restaurants that are well known for their pasta alla carbonara:
In Roma – Since 1917 – Via Dei Fienili, 56.
This elegant, wood-beamed establishment is one of the most iconic restaurants in Rome and is famous the world over for its superb carbonara and finger-licking tiramisu. Decorated with black and white photographs of film stars, this city center restaurant has a classy and sophisticated atmosphere with service that’s hard to beat.
The menu is definitely headlined by the carbonara, which is cooked with Tellicherry black peppers, Norcia Classic pork, Pecorino cheese, creamy beaten eggs and saffron. During the winter, when artichokes are in season, the carbonara is also topped off with fresh artichokes. Another great dish on the menu is the potato-crusted codfish, which is served with tomatoes, onions and capers.
All in all, In Roma is one of the city’s finest carbonara restaurants and with over 100 years in the business, you can be sure to have an unforgettable evening in this legendary restaurant.
La Carbonara (Monti) – Via Panisperna, 214.
Founded in 1906, La Carbonara specializes in traditional, old-fashioned Italian-style cooking using only the finest locally sourced ingredients in every recipe. The restaurant has an elegant, laid-back atmosphere with interesting photos, maps and paintings on the walls.
As well as a fantastic carbonara, you can also try the fornara-style veal with potatoes and fried vegetables and for dessert, the exquisite profiteroles are second to none in the city! Alternatively, if you’re more of a sweet tooth, the homemade chocolate tarts are a little slice of heaven.
Rifugio Romano – Via Volturno, 39/41.
Serving authentic Roman cuisine as well as a wide range of vegetarian and vegan dishes, there really is something for everyone at the Rifugio Romano. All of the food in the restaurant imaginatively combines the best of traditional Italian cuisine with modern, fusion cooking.
Some of the menu highlights include the salmon filet that is smoked with paprika and served with a baked potato, the mixed fish soup in tomato sauce and the homemade lasagna with Bolognese sauce. Of course, no Roman restaurant would be worth its weight unless it served a great carbonara and Rifugio Romano is no exception to this rule. Cooked with pecorino cheese, egg, bacon and long pasta, Rifugio Romano’s carbonara is amongst the best in the city.
Osteria Da Fortunata – Via Del Pellegrino, 11/12.
Osteria da Fortunata is a family-run business in which the secrets of the recipes have been handed down from mother to daughter for generations. This down-to-earth, friendly and relaxed restaurant serves locally sourced organic food and freshly handmade pasta. Epitomizing the very finest aspects of Rome’s culinary traditions, many of the ingredients on Osteria da Fortunata’s menu are actually sourced from the family’s own farm.
The carbonara at Osteria da Fortunata is made with handmade fresh pasta, extra virgin olive oil, Pecorino cheese, pancetta and eggs. However, there are also aspects of the recipe which remain a closely kept secret, so to find out how great the carbonara tastes you’ll have to try it for yourself!
Spaghetti – Via Leone IV, 29.
This red brick eatery, located just a stone’s throw from the Vatican, with indoor and outdoor seating areas, serves classic Italian pasta and cuisine. But don’t let the simple, understated décor fool you because Spaghetti serves some of the premier Roman, Mediterranean, and European food that you’ll find in the city center.
The prices in Spaghetti are also fantastic, with a pasta alla carbonara costing just 10 Euros. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan the kitchen can adapt the menu for you so even if you have special dietary requirements you’re more than welcome here. You can also have a cocktail in the restaurant as well as a glass of wine or a beer with your meal.
Pastasciutta – Piazzale Flaminio, 10 & Via Della Grazie, 5.
Pastasciutta is a homely, friendly and traditional Roman restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious meal with your friends and family. One of the fun features of the restaurant is that you can actually watch the chef prepare your meal and see how they make the fresh pasta!
Pastasciutta has two locations in central Rome where you can either eat in or have your food to take away. It only takes a few minutes to prepare your food which makes it an ideal choice for your lunch break or to pick up some dinner on your way home in the evening.
Every day the restaurant has a ‘dish of the day’ which is chosen by the chef and reflects the seasonal ingredients that are available but you can get dishes such as ravioli or a creamy carbonara at any time of the year.
Hostaria Isidoro – Via Di San Giovanni In Laterano, 59/A.
This charming restaurant is just around the corner from the Colosseum and has a lovely exposed brick dining area with smart décor and a romantic atmosphere. The Hostaria Isidoro cooks traditional Italian cuisine but adds its own unique flair to these age-old dishes.
The Hostaria Isidoro has a fantastic menu that includes duck breast marinated in honey, grilled Danish beef tenderloin, fried calamari, prawns and vegetables and grilled octopus with a puttanesca sauce. The restaurant also has a great selection of pasta dishes with the spaghetti alla carbonara stealing the show.
Pasta Imperiale is a casual pasta eatery with 3 locations scattered throughout central Rome and is well known for its superb carbonara, tomato ragu and classic Roman sauces. Each day fresh pasta is made by hand in the open kitchen where you can watch the chefs as they prepare your food.
Combining the best of street food and a restaurant experience, Pasta Imperiale is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. There’s a big variety of pasta on offer including stuffed pasta, gnocchi and delicious carbonara. However, you can also order piadina, sandwiches and delightful homemade desserts as well as seasonal specialties at various times of the year.
AL42 by Pasta Chef Rione Monti – Via Baccina, 42.
This gourmet street food restaurant is compact, laid back and a wonderful place to taste some of the most delicious pasta in Rome. The chefs design unique dishes each day, making use of seasonal ingredients as well as serving all the standard Italian cuisine.
Some of the favorites on the menu include spaghetti with tomato and basil, vegetarian lasagna, tagliolini prawns with cherry tomatoes and, of course, a magnificent tonnarelli alla carbonara. When you visit AL42 you can either eat in the dining area or order a takeaway so you can enjoy the food in the comfort of your home or, if it’s a sunny day, in a local park.
423 – Via Del Governo Vecchio, 123.
Located just next to the Piazza Navona down a charming cobblestone alley, the 423 has stylish indoor and outdoor seating areas. The restaurant has a fantastic menu that serves a wonderful range of starters, pasta dishes, meat and fish.
Some of the standout dishes on the menu include the grilled beef filet, the chicken tonnarelli with cherry tomatoes, saffron and champignon mushrooms, the fettuccine with lamb ragout and pecorino cheese and a whole array of other irresistible choices! If you enjoy watching soccer, the 423 shows all the major European league games and tournaments in the downstairs dining area. There is also a well-stocked bar to wash your food down with. The restaurant offers a home delivery service.
Tonnarello – Via Della Paglia, 1/2/3.
Nestled in the very heart of Trastevere, Tonnarello is one of the city’s most popular restaurants. With 5 spacious dining areas and plenty of outdoor seating, a superb drinks list and a menu that incorporates traditional Roman cuisine and international favorites, there’s something to suit every palate in this legendary establishment. This fun, laid-back restaurant and bar also has regular live music, usually in the form of acoustic guitarists and an atmosphere that will make you feel right at home in an instant.
From pasta alla carbonara to meatballs, salads to lamb, saltimbocca alla Romana and oxtail, the menu is astounding and made using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. When you’re ordering your main courses, don’t forget to leave a little room for the end because the tiramisu at Tonnarello is famous throughout the city!
Pasta Alla Carbonara – Rome’s Premier Dish.
Rome has hundreds of restaurants that serve pasta alla carbonara but it’s always worth hunting down the very finest establishments to ensure that you get the best possible experience of this quintessential dish. Of course, every chef has their own unique take on pasta alla carbonara but all of the city’s top restaurants are certain to impress you.
Pasta alla carbonara represents Roman cuisine at its very finest – with simple ingredients that combine to produce an unbelievably delicious flavor. Therefore, no trip to Rome would be complete without tasting a bowl of authentic pasta alla carbonara!