Most people arrive at Roscioli with high expectations. It’s one of the most consistently and lovingly reviewed restaurants in Rome. It’s also a place that disappoints some people. Why? Because they’ve understood it to be a restaurant, when in reality it’s a shop selling exceptional cheese and salumi – one that invites you to sit down and enjoy these with some wine and perhaps a plate of very good pasta. Cheese, salumi, wine and pasta… isn’t that why you came to Rome?
If a deli doesn’t sound like your idea of dinner, let me expand upon the idea: you’ll sit down and order a glass of Franciacorta, Italy’s answer to Champagne. You’ll start with plate of game-changing mortadella covered in flakes of long-aged Parmigiano. Or perhaps the burrata with semi-dried tomatoes. Ideally both. You’ll take your time and enjoy how remarkably different these versions are compared to what you’ve tasted before. You’ll start coming to Roscioli on your first night in Rome, just as I do.
At some point, you’ll wonder how you’re going to manage a bowl of pasta after what you’ve already devoured. Don’t fight it. Their Carbonara is famous, but Amatriciana and Gricia are not to be neglected. What they all have in common is Roscioli’s stellar guanciale – cured pork cheek that pops juicily in the mouth with a bit of crunch after long and slow cooking. If you’re an anchovy person, you’re sure to be moved by the spaghetti with Cantabrian anchovies, French butter, and toasted bread crumbs. When you’re ready for more wine, you’ll be delighted by the low markups on bottles at Roscioli. Their extensive cellar goes deep into both Italy and France and ranges from cult natural wines to more conventionally prestigious selections.
Do you need to order anything else, maybe something from the long list of meat and fish courses? Probably not. The meatballs, studded with chopped mortadella and orange zest, are awfully good. But nothing else I’ve tasted among the secondi has left an impression. Devote your appetite here to antipasti and pasta and skip the dessert. They’ll bring some ciambelline with your bill, along with a little dish of melted chocolate for dipping. If you still have a sweet tooth after that, you’re within easy walking distance to several great gelato destinations.
Adding to the attraction, Roscioli is located in the heart of Rome’s historical district and accepts online booking in English. These attributes, along with the intense media attention Roscioli has received, guarantees a steady stream of foreigners through the front door. Despite the tourist presence, Roscioli is still a place that feels like Rome. There is a seriousness and a sincerity about what they’re sharing with food lovers from around the world.
We strongly recommend Roscioli and have included it among our favorite restaurants in Rome.
Address: Via dei Giubbonari, 21/22
Hours: Restaurant open Monday-Saturday from 12:30-16:00 and 19:00-midnight. Deli counter open Monday-Saturday from 8:30-20:30. Both closed on Sunday.
Telephone:+39 06 687 5287
Website Online Booking Facebook Instagram
Roscioli in pictures
Photos by Meg Zimbeck © Rome by Mouth
What people are saying
- “I Cento” by EDT ranks this as their #17 restaurant in Rome, calling Roscioli the most famous gastronomic monument in the city, carrying the best products from every corner of Italy and beyond. They say the pasta alla Gricia here is the best in Rome, and also recommend the spaghetti with butter and anchovies.
- Gambero Rosso (2018) awarded Roscioli with 3 bottles (“excellent”) in 2018, 3 in 2017, 3 in 2016.
- “Roma nel Piatto” by La Pecora Nera gave them a score of 7+ out of 10 points (“good, very good”) in 2018 and 7+ points in 2017. They say the wine list is a bargain, especially for wines from the Piedmont, and that the only defect they could find here is that the portions are excessive.
- Condé Nast Traveler (2018) by Lee Marshall includes Roscioli among their Ten Great Restaurants in Rome, noting that “this was the first, and is still the best, of a handful of Roman deli-restauarants.” She attributes the deliciousness of their Carbonara to “ultra refined ingredients” like “Malaysian black pepper, and eggs supplied by Italian organic egg guru Paolo Parisi.”
- The Discover Rome app (2017) by Natalie Kennedy recommends small dishes like burrata with semi-dried tomatoes and vanilla-buttered anchovy bruschetta before moving on to “one of the best carbonaras in the city.” From the wine list, she recommends a bottle of Lazio-produced “Silene” from Damiano Ciolli.
- Eater (2017) Katie Parla adds to what she has said elsewhere about Roscioli, suggesting that “the wine lists (one Italian, the other international) have some real steals, and don’t miss the distilled spirits before closing out the meal. Be sure to book well in advance and request a ground-floor table.”
- Puntarella Rossa (2016) ranks this among the best Carbonara dishes in Rome.
- Katie Parla (2016) names Roscioli her favorite cacio e pepe in Rome in a roundup of local favorites by An American in Rome. Parla notes the unusual use of both Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano in the recipe and says “in a lot of ways, Hassed’s versions of Roman classics are more elegant and intellectual than the standard and his cacio e pepe is no exception.”
- Andy Hayler (2014) calls the wine list “very extensive” appreciating the low and “kindly markups” on bottles ranging from the affordable, like Damilano Ciolli Silene Cesanese Olevano 2011 priced at “€18 for a wine that costs €16 in a shop” up to splurge bottles like the Gaja Langhe Nebbiolo Sori Tildin 2004 “priced at €380 yet costs €360 to buy retail.”
- Katie Parla (2014) says that “if you’re after a great wine list, spectacular cheeses and cured meats, a handful of satisfying pasta dishes and an impressive selection of spirits, this is your place–especially if you aren’t on a budget.” She recommends ordering the burrata with semi-dried tomatoes, the mozzarella di bufala, the anchovies with butter, mortadella, and the pastas. “The gnocchi, amatriciana and carbonara are ususally great. The cacio e pepe ranges from superlative to inedible.”
- The BBC (2013) by Amanda Ruggeri calls this “more upscale than a trattoria but still cosy,” recommending the cacio e pepe (traditional Roman pasta with Pecorino Romana and black pepper) and linguina alla siciliana (pasta with wild fennel, red prawn and cumin).”
- Dissapore (2012) includes Roscioli in their roundup of the city’s ten best for carbonara, calling their version “impeccable.”
- Aaron Ayscough (2011) says that “Roscioli is in fact an encyclopedically well-stocked specialty delicatessen that doubles as a rocking great restaurant during meal hours. The carbonara was indeed stunning (almost everything was). But the real draw, for me and I suspect for D as well, was a vast, impeccably curated wine list, including just about every Italian wine I loved, and many more I’d heretofore only heard wonderful rumors of.”
Roscioli in video
Anthony Bourdain visits Roscioli (2012)