The town of Ancient Rome began as a small city in Italy that later grew into a powerful empire and the capital of the country. Rome had gone through several rises and falls in power and prosperity, leaving it with a rich history and fascinating legacy. At one point the empire dominated most of the continent and proof of its power still stands today; like the languages that were created from Latin, our modern alphabet, and even Christianity and its long-lasting impact on the world has given Rome the name of the Eternal City.
One thing that you may not expect is that Rome also has a great food industry with delicious local cuisine. There are some great cafes, food markets, restaurants and bistros scattered all around the city selling some of the best authentic Italian dishes like fresh pasta or pizza. While you make your way around town tasting all of the city's best dishes, leave your bags safe in a luggage storage facility in Rome.
The Best Street Food Vendors in Rome
Pizza & Mortazza
This local Roman food vendor is found near the Colosseum and is a great place to stop by while you are sightseeing. They sell their food from a truck and most of their meals include mortadella, which is an Italian meat sausage.
Other dishes cooked by them include pizza and warm bread. They have options that are perfect for a full meal or quick snack, so be sure to stop by if you see their truck while you are out exploring around the city.
Antico Forno Roscioli
This small bakery specializes in the pizza bianca, which is your basic dish made of olive oil and salt cooked on fresh pizza dough. If you are traveling to Rome to try some of the signature Italian dishes, make sure to stop by here.
This street food vendor sells you your pizza based on weight, so you can let them know how big you want your slice and they will make it especially for you. This is ideal since you can order just enough to satisfy your cravings.
Mordi e Vai
Mordi e Vai can be found at two different locations inside Rome. Make your way to Testaccio Market between Monday and Friday or any day in San Giovanni to find this small sandwich stall that makes delicious classic Roman dishes. You can choose your own sandwich fillings to be spread out on fresh bread and take it with you to eat on the go.
This is a good spot for cheap eats, as their small meals are both tasty and affordable. Their ingredient choices include veal carbonara, sausage, vegetables and slow-cooked beef, which is perfect for meat lovers.
Dar Filettaro's menu is fairly limited but the choices that they do have are delicious. They specialize in fried fish called filetti di baccalà which is always served fresh and cooked to perfection. The dish is popular among many Roman restaurants, but if you want to try the best filetti di baccalà in the city you should go here.
The dish is made of a fresh cod interior covered by a light and crunchy batter with sea salt. The meal is served to you wrapped in brown paper ready to be eaten on the go, giving you the full street food experience.
If you are craving some pasta, then Cia Checca is the place to go. The creators of this street food place have explored different eateries around the world and taken the best from each one to incorporate into their own shop.
They sell several kinds of pasta dishes, including the pasta alla Checca, a popular Italian meal as well as other classic dishes with a twist. You can find this street food vendor close to the Pantheon, so if you are in the area to browse the museums and get hungry, this is one of the places that you can go to.
Trapizzino sells Italy's most famous dish of pizza but with its own unique approach. Their signature meals are made by taking a delicious triangular pocket of fresh dough and filling them with the best Italian ingredients like tomato sauce or meat sauce, cheese and vegetables.
This eatery also sells the popular supplì, which is a deep-fried rice ball with mozzarella that tastes even better than it sounds. They offer several choices of supplì filled with different ingredients like sausage or other meats, making some great meatball Trapizzino.
Mozao is a spot in Rome where you can find tigelle, similar to both pancakes and English muffins but with different fillings. This small restaurant has become well known as the city's best spot to find this sweet and savory food.
A well made tigelle has a crispy exterior and a comforting and warm interior. One of the choices on the menu here is the gioiosa, which is made from a combination of radicchio rosso, spuma di Mortadella alla Bolognese and riccioli di limn. In the same spot, you can buy fried gnocchi, which is a sort of Italian dumplings made of dough, potatoes, breadcrumbs and other tasty ingredients.
Supplizio is a top street food spot in Rome, as it sells the world-famous Italian dish of supplì. At this location, you will find fried balls of rice with a delicious center of potato croquettes as well as the classical recipe of marinara, mozzarella cheese and risotto.
Other flavors that you can try include cacio e pepe or carbonara. You can either find nearby a spot to sit down and eat the supplì or take them to go in a small food box and munch on them while you make your way around all of the city's landmarks.
Mama Eat was created by two brothers back in 1999 and has expanded to four different locations around Italy, one of which is in Rome. Their menu respects the traditions of Italian cuisine and is the perfect spot for anyone who wants to try some of the classics during their time in historic Rome.
Their menu includes meals like the classic bruschetta, meatballs with meat sauce, friarielli and much more. This restaurant also offers gluten and lactose free choices for those with dietary restrictions. You can eat inside, sampling a dish of Rome street food.
TED Lobster and Burgers
If you want to take a break from Italian cuisine you can get a taste of Europe at TED Lobster and Burgers. Aside from lobster and burgers, this place can serve you Neapolitan pizza, pulled pork tacos, fish & chips or shrimp tempura, to name a few.
This restaurant offers a dynamic and friendly environment so you can meet up with friends while enjoying a tasty meal in Rome. You can find them at via del Gazometro and make sure to order from their signature cocktail bar too. Take out your meal and explore the neighborhood at the same time.
Where to Find the Best Street Food Spots in Rome
Mercato Centrale is the central food market in the city and a great place to try different street food meals. It first opened back in 2016 and now operates regularly in the area near the Termini Station, so it is easily accessible as well.
The area is modern, enjoyable and very popular among the locals. You will see lots of different vendors here, like Bonci's which sells pizza, and Trapizzino's which makes great sandwiches. There are several floors in the market and the upper areas have some nice fine dining options if you prefer to sit down and be served.
Piazza Navona Square
Navona Square is another great spot for you to find some Rome street food. The area is popular among tourists so the restaurant menus have most of your usual Italian dishes, like the popular tramezzino sandwich and tasty gelato for dessert as well as a nice wine bar.
One thing to keep in mind is that the vendors here often take advantage of the tourism, and might charge more for the food than in other places. As well, it is not uncommon for some shops to charge more when you eat outside, so if you want to sit down at a restaurant but are looking to save some money don't ask for a table on the terrace or rooftop.
Monti is a nice neighborhood in Rome that offers Roman street food for you to try. There are not many shops here but plenty of fabulous food stalls and trucks, as well as some nice benches and seating areas for you to bring your food outside. Once you grab your meal you can take a short walk to the nearby Villa Aldobrandini park or the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, which has a nice fountain in the middle of the square.
Some of the vendors that you will see here includes Pasta Chef, Crepes Galettes, Pizzeria La Boccaccia and Grezzo. Many of these shops sell pizza, salad, pasta, sandwiches and gelato, so it is a great spot to try classical Italian cuisine.
Street Food Festivals in Rome
Street Food Park
Street Food Park is a popular festival in Rome that usually goes on for the whole month of May and is always held on the weekends. Head to Parco del Ninfeo to try some great street food and enjoy the classic Roman dishes sold by the food trucks that park in the area.
Aside from food, this event offers craft beers and cocktails as well as live entertainment like concerts and an on-site DJ set. Other activities in the market include table tennis and table football.
Street Food Festival in Garbatella
The Roman neighborhood of Garbatella hosts the Street Food Festival of Rome, which is organized by Typical Truck Street Food. The whole festival is dedicated to celebrating street food and local chefs that gather together to sell their best craft beers and dishes that are made right before your eyes.
The event usually lasts for a few days in late September and is a nice spot for you to gather with friends for lunch. If you are visiting Rome during this time and are not too far away from Garbatella, be sure to check out the Street Food Festival.
This annual Roman festival is held for four days in early October is dedicated to the pleasure and appreciation of the Rome street food scene. The open-air festival is held outdoors, usually in the area of Via Oceania.
The entrance is free so anyone can stop by, and it is open from late morning to midnight making it a perfect spot for lunch, dinner or a late-night snack. Roma Gnam has numerous food stands selling culinary meals from around the globe that originate anywhere from Italy to Europe or South America.
Taste Your Way Around the local Rome Street Food Scene
If you want to have the full street food experience in Rome you will have to stop by at least some of the places mentioned on this list. Each one has a unique take on popular Italian meals that you read about in food blogs, and if you are really interested in the local food scene you can pay to take one of the rated food tours or devour tours.
These activities will take you to some of the places we've highlighted and can teach you all about Italian cuisine too. Food is an important part of every city, and visiting food festivals or markets is just as rewarding as sightseeing at night or visiting landmarks.