Rome is packed full of restaurants. Eating is just about the national sport in this city (well, after soccer, that is!). Trattorias, pizzerias, osterias - you name it: this city is bursting at the seams with them. But while the sit-down lunch is a favorite pastime in the "Eternal City," Romans certainly love their street food, too.
When you haven't got time for a long and lazy lunch or dinner, or you're in between sightseeing and don't want to miss that last entry to the Vatican Museums, Rome has some more-than-delicious snack options. They're easy on the budget and perfect for when you're on the run.
For a gourmet sandwich - panino - Tricolore Panini is your place. Located in the Monti district right by the Colosseum, this place just reopened and serves up delicious treats daily. On the ever-changing menu, you'll find things like freshly baked potato bread, roast pork cheek and falafel.
Delicious panini at Mordi e Vai in Testaccio — Photo courtesy of Maria Pasquale
Another Rome institution for sandwiches is Mordi e Vai at the Testaccio Market, located just a short distance from the Centro Storico. If you choose to be adventurous, you can have yours filled with traditional Roman tripe or try the deep-fried shredded meatballs.
Around the corner from the market is 00100 Pizza, where the most famous of Roman street food snacks was born - the trapizzino. These delicious pizza pockets come in two sizes and are filled for you on the spot with classics like meat and tomato ragu or braised chicken.
The suppli (tasty fried rice balls) here are also standouts. Try the alla genovese (filled with slow-cooked meat and onions) or amatriciana with tomato sauce, pecorino cheese and guanciale (pork cheek).
Unique to Rome is the pizza pocket called "trapizzino" — Photo courtesy of Maria Pasquale
Delicious suppli can also be found at their namesake I Suppli in Trastevere. This hole-in-the-wall eatery is full of locals and tourists at lunchtime, and it's known for its various types of pizza by the slice, filetti di baccala (fried salt cod), potato croquettes and, of course, suppli!
Also in the neighborhood, La Renella bakery bakes a mean pizza by the slice with their pizza bianca (foccaccia bread) and classic margherita, the specialty.
You could always pop into a salumeria (Italian deli) or forno and have a panino made up for you on the spot. Try Roscioli right by Campo de Fiori. (Their pizza bianca is to die for.) Or go for Volpetti in Testaccio (Try the fried zucchini or anything, really!) or Antica Caciara in Trastevere (And be sure to tell Signor Roberto we say, "Hello!"). Oh, and at any salumeria, if porchetta (rolled roast pork) is available, order it in your sandwich. Don't miss out.
Rome's favorite street food — Photo courtesy of Maria Pasquale
And the very latest in Rome street food is the Romeo Ape Truck. This three-wheel mini food truck by awarded restaurant Romeo, Chef and Baker is a mobile sandwich shop. But it's not just any sandwich shop. It showcases local, fresh and seasonal ingredients and Rome's famous Roscioli bread out and about on the streets of Rome. Visit their website to follow its weekly whereabouts.
If there was a heaven for foodies, Rome would be it. And even better, most of these meals won't set you back more than three to seven euros. So do your research, look out for long queues and listen: the less English being spoken, the better. If the locals are eating somewhere, you can pretty much bet you're on to a winner.