My life and times in the eternal city and beyond

Where to eat in Rome’s Monti 

The centre of Rome is sectioned into 22 rioni (districts) of which Monti is number 1. Sitting in the shadow of the Colosseum, the name  Monti translates to hilltop and is derived from the fact that parts of the Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal and Caelian Hills belonged historically to this area. 

Because of its location, it boasts the most popular of Roman archeological sights – again, that little thing called the Colosseum, the church of Santa Maria ai Monti, Trajan Markets, Baths of Trajan and part of the Roman Forum. 


Often dubbed ‘hipster’, Monti has this ultra-cool and Boheme-like feel, is full of unique boutiques stocking items made by local artisans and artists, food and wine stores and restaurants and is great for a stroll at any time of day. 

Here’s where I stop to eat when I’m in the ‘hood. 

I’d been wanting to dine here forever and finally got here a few weeks ago. Touted as one of the first restaurants in Rome to promote 0km dining, the place is shabby chic with odd bits of furniture and a glass encased kitchen. Open for all day dining and aperitivo, the menu offers a series of meat, seafood and vegetarian tapa-type snacks (think agretti {saltwort} pan fried with pistachio and topped with mortadella mousse or aged stracchino cheese with spicy marmalade), pasta dishes and main courses (I fell in love with the handmade ricotta and artichoke ravioli served with a white lamb and thyme ragu). Add to that some light and delicate desserts (including but not limited to the yoghurt cheesecake with orange compote) and Urbana47 is moving quickly into a permanent spot on my favourite places to eat in Rome list. 


Even though I have a Fatamorgana gelateria in my own neighborhood, I can’t resist grabbing a gelato at this one in Piazza degli Zingari. Like the rest of the chain, all the classics shine here but so too do their unique flavour combinations like pineapple and ginger, rose petals and black rice and Kentucky chocolate (dark chocolate with tobacco)! 

Tricolore Monti
This gourmet sandwich shop makes some of the best panini in Rome! All the buns at Tricolore Monti are made on site with a range of organic flours and the flavour combinations are to die for. My favourite is filled with lattarini (fried little fish similar to whitebait) and homemade tartare. There’s everything from falafel to broiled beef! 


This bakery is a specialist in organic flatbreads from farinate (a chickpea flour flatbread) to testarolo, a wheat flour flatbread (similar to a pancake) baked in a wood fire oven, to necci: a Tuscan style chestnut flour pancake. Some have toppings too, including caramelised onions and local cheeses. Dall’Anto is great for an anytime snack! 

Located on Via dei Serpenti and literally across the street from the lively, Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, Temakinho is where Japanese and Brazilian culture and food collide. You find yourself sipping on passionfruit sake cocktails and eating ceviche and divine sushi rolls (my favourite is the spicy tuna and camarao abacate – fried tempura prawn with avocado) that can be even be ordered temaki style (in a seaweed cone), all the while a little samba is playing in the background. And when I first tried their passionfruit baked cheesecake, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Hot tip: bookings can only be made on line and you need to book (way) in advance!


Taverna Romana
When I just want to some roman comfort food, Taverna Romana hits the spot. Like many spots in Monti, it can get quite packed and is popular with tourists, but the food is honest trattoria style. All the roman classics are on the menu with a few other dishes and I quite like their saltimbocca alla romana (pan fried veal with sage and prosciutto). 


Zia Rosetta
The name rosetta refers to the round Italian bread roll that is shaped a little like a rose. So you guessed it – Zia Rosetta makes sandwiches! Their rosetta buns come in regular or mini size and are filled with delicious things like hummus and avocado, smoked salmon and homemade mustard and apple and porchetta. 

Ai Tre Scalini
One of my favourite wine bars in Rome is Ai Tre Scaliniwhich was responsible, a few years back, for introducing me to toasted bread topped with baked ricotta, drizzled with truffle infused honey. Needless to say, I never looked back. This place gets packed so try to get there early or elbow through, grab your wine and spill on to the street with the rest of the crowd.
If you’re visiting anytime soon, you must spend some time in Monti. Take in its beauty and charm, admire the artisan produce, sit and people watch in Piazza della Madonna dei Monti and don’t leave without sampling some local fare.

Signing off from Trastevere
Baci, Maria 


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