Maria Pasquale: Rome Local Expert Maria says, Don’t leave Rome without a walk around Trastevere! Get rid of your map and lose yourself in the cobblestone best kids lunch – they will enchant you.
Lunch in Rome means many things. From a sit down lunch at a trattoria to lunch on the run where nothing but some street food will do. When the clock strikes midday, visitors in the historical center are usually looking for somewhere to stop and recharge for an afternoon of sightseeing. And while for romans, pizza is a meal reserved for evenings, pizza-by-the-slice is acceptable at any time of day! It’s not often you can say you’ve eaten in an ancient landfill site. Now an institution, their carbonara, amongst other Roman classics, has made it famous amongst gastronomes.
Brainchild of renowned Neapolitan chef Pietro Parisi and Italian TV actor Luca Capuano, Boccacciello Bistrot brings together passion and food roots in an innovative dining format in Rome’s Monti neighborhood. The philosophy here is all about seasonal and organic produce, with ingredients sourced from farmers and other certified Italian slow food operators. It’s literally a hole-in-the-wall with maybe about 10 or 12 tables. This bakery near Campo de’ Fiori is a favorite with the locals. Its pizza a taglio, or pizza by the slice, comes out of the oven piping hot and fresh to keep customers happy. There will be something to please everyone.
Trapizzino is the home to the ‘trapizzino’. Created by award winning Roman pizzamaker Stefano Calegari it is a cross between a sandwich and a pizza – a pizza pocket if you like. Located also in Testaccio, the Ponte Milvio branch is the latest installment to the brand. An area which doesn’t really have a defined border, nor historical identity. What it does have is a wholesome cuisine based on principles of ‘cucina povera’ – cuisine of the working class, whereby dishes are traditionally created with the best of what produce is available. Il Pinsere is a whole-in-the-wall pizza shop located a short distance from Termini station and Piazza della Repubblica.
Frequented by locals and people who work in the area, the lunchtime rush is madness but a lot of fun. Unlike most pizza al taglio places in Rome, here you order by the pizza but they round and smaller than your regular pizza. Located at Rome’s Termini station, you will be spoilt for choice at Mercato Central, which houses food stalls from some of Rome’s most renowned food people. Whether you’re looking to buy fresh meat from Rome’s best butcher, grab a slice of pizza from the famous Gabriele Bonci or a quick snack from a Michelin-starred chef, Mercato Centrale opens up a world of quality food to those passing through Termini station. Gabrielle Bonci has been dubbed the ‘Michelangelo of pizza making’ and he deserves every accolade. This tiny spot features his daily changing pizza by-the-slice creations with their subversively fluffy dough and seasonal toppings.
This hole-in-the-wall take-out joint is a Trastevere institution. While many other places sell bland fried balls in the name of suppli, these are the real thing. Join the queue and don’t expect to linger long in indecision. Their pizza al taglio is cooked the old way, is delicious and crispy thin. Meet Maria Pasquale Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne. You can make this sandwich in less than five minutes.
The key to this easy sandwich recipe: Jarred or canned roasted red peppers. Another sandwich simplified by pre-roasted red peppers, this recipe is perfect for kids. Arugula too spicy for the youngin’? Go with spinach, romaine, or whatever you have in the fridge. The star of this sandwich is an excellent tomato, so if it’s the wrong season, don’t bother. Don’t get caught up in the specifics here.