Rome is full of so many fabulous treasures. Home to the world-famous Roman Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Vatican, you will find fascinating sites around every corner in this iconic city.
Rome food tours take you beyond the bad tourist restaurants. It takes you outside of just pizza and pasta and introduces you to the real food in Rome. Food tours allow you to eat like a local in Rome, making your experience so much better! So, keep reading to see why a food tour in Rome is a must when visiting the eternal city.
If you need more help planning your trip to Rome, then you should definitely check out our 10 day Italy itinerary where we have outlined some of our favorite places in Italy for you!
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How to Choose a Food Tour in Rome
As you have probably already discovered, there are many options when choosing a food tour in Rome. So many options that it can be a little overwhelming.
I say to look for a tour that meets your specific needs. By that I mean, is there a specific reason you are doing your food tour? For example, do you want to get to know a specific neighborhood better?
Not only will you be introduced to the native cuisine of the area, but you are also introduced to the fabulous history and stories of the neighborhood from a local guide.
Or, maybe you’re the kind that likes to take a hands-on approach when it comes to their food. If so, then you might want to combine your food tour with a cooking class such as this tour.
For our Rome food tour, we chose to take a tour with Secret Food Tours. We loved our time with Secret Food Tours in Dublin, so we knew that we would have a great experience with them in Rome as well, and we were right!
Whatever you desire, you can find a food tour in Rome that matches it, just do your research before making your decision.
Reasons to Take a Food Tour in Rome
Take a Food Tour in Rome to Learn Local History
Now, don’t let them one scare you off, this isn’t going to be boring history book type of history. NO! This is cool, food and culture-related history.
We met our guide in front of the famous Pantheon, (yes, the one that makes Marty cry every time you mention it. You haven’t heard that story? Here, check out our Italy highlights on Instagram).
Not only did we learn some fabulous facts about not only the Pantheon, but we also learned about the Piazza and surrounding neighborhoods. And several food etiquette tips to use while visiting Rome, such as not ordering a cappuccino afternoon. The Italians will think you are crazy!
Then we continued to learn about the traditions around Roman holidays and celebrations, especially as they related to food.
Don’t worry though, your guide knows that you are there for a food tour, so they keep the history facts to a minimum and instead truly focus on the food
Discover Off the Beaten Path Restaurants on a Rome Food Tour
It is no secret that restaurants in Rome are a dime a dozen. Don’t fall victim to the ones that focus strictly on tourists.
They are easy to pick out. Their signs line the streets around the tourist attractions showcasing the gaudy pictures of their food all promising the “best deal” for a “true Italian experience”.
DON’T BE FOOLED!
To get a true Italian meal, you have to venture off the beaten path and eat where the locals eat. One of our favorite ways to discover these little gems is just by asking the locals.
Ask where they would take their family for a Sunday meal. These are the places you want to eat!
Well, on our food tour in Rome, this is exactly what we were introduced to. We were lead off the beaten path and into local butcher shops, bakeries, gelato shops, and of course, true Italian trattorias.
We ventured down little side streets that I didn’t even know existed and wound our way through cobblestone lanes only to be introduced to some of the best food in Italy we had ever tasted.
Honestly, discovering off-the-beaten-path restaurants with a local is one of our favorite things about taking a food tour.
Tasting Local Food is a Highlight of a Food Tour in Rome
Our Rome food tour allowed us to visit places that we wouldn’t normally. Marty and I upgraded our tour with Secret Food Tours to get the drink package as well.
I recommend doing this.
This allowed us to taste different alcohol and coffee beverages at the stops along with the food. Several of the friends we made on our tour wished they had upgraded also!
During our food tour in Rome, we tried so many amazing food. We visited Roscolio (which I probably never would have found on my own) where we had the most amazing aracini.
Don’t know what arancini is? I didn’t either until this tour. Arancini is a rice ball with cheese and meat that is deep-fried to perfection.
Trust me when I tell you they are delicious.
Roscolio is also known for their pizza and that didn’t disappoint either. Finishing that off with a cold Italian beer since we paid for the drink upgrade was perfect on a hot summer day in Rome!
We also visited Campo de’Fiori Market where we had the opportunity to visit a butcher’s shop. We tasted some of the most amazing salami and cheeses and of course washed it down with some delicious Italian wine.
In addition to all of this, we ate cannoli, perfectly cooked homemade pasta (with more wine), and some of the most amazing gelato ever!
A Local Guide
As I said above in the history section, having a local guide is so incredible. We were taken along the back streets and alleys as we ventured from destination to destination all while hearing about the culture and history of the area we were visiting.
It was apparent that our guide knew not only the businesses that we were visiting but the community as a whole. Several times he was greeted on the street while giving our tour. We really enjoyed getting to hear his take on Rome’s food and drink scene as we ate our way through the city!
Make New Friends
There is nothing that brings people together like food! We had so much fun making new and interesting friends on our tour. We laughed over our pronunciation of the different restaurants and food we were trying while bonding over fun moments drinking wine and just getting to know each other.
We met people from all over the United States on our tour as well as a lady from Scotland and one from Japan. Really, bonding over food is such a great experience. We still have friends that we talk to from our Galveston food tour and our Dallas food tour!
Try Some New Drinks
We were really glad we purchased the drink upgrade!
As our fellow participants were drinking water (unless they paid for it), Marty and I were sipping Aperol Spritz, delicious lattes, ice-cold Italian beer, and wonderful Italian wine, and Limoncello. If you haven’t tried limoncello or Aperol Spritz, you need to! We first experienced limoncello while in Capri and we loved it!
We were introduced to Aperol Spritz during the hot summer months in Venice and have drunk them in Italy ever since. I don’t think I would have survived the summer heat in Cinque Terre or Florence without my Aperol Spritz!
Final Thoughts on Our Food Tour in Rome
We loved our food tour in Rome with Secret Food Tours. You get to taste amazing food from restaurants that we probably would not have found on our own.
Tasting the local drinks was just the cherry on top of the tour to us. This tour allowed us the opportunity to kick back, relax and meet some awesome people as well. If you do anything while in Rome, take a food tour!!
We always love to hear from you. Comment below and tell us what you would love to try while on a food tour in Rome!
Happy Travels, Friends!!! 🙂
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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight:
We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best prices on flights. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines all over the world to ensure you get the best deal! In addition to flights, you can also find great hotel prices on Kayak and Kiwi.
Book Your Vacation Package:
If you want to book an entire vacation package, then we suggest using Expedia. We love how easy Expedia is to use and we always find good deals on entire vacation packages on their site.
Another great site for vacation packages is BookVIP. BookVIP offers super cheap vacation packages to incredible destinations. You are sure to save money using their site!
For full guided vacations including hotels, some meals, transportation, and guides, then we book with Trafalgar. Trafalgar is a trusted tour company that will meet all of your needs while ensuring that you have a great experience.
Trip.com allows you to book flights, hotels, train tickets, rental cars, airport transfers, tours, and more all on one site. Owned by the parent company that also owns Skyscanner, this is a trusted resource for travel booking and a great “one-stop-shop.”
Book Your Accommodations:
We always begin our search by checking out the honest review on hotels at TripAdvisor. This allows us to narrow our search for specific properties once we are ready to book. Of course, you can also book directly on the TripAdvisor site as well!
There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it gives you a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses at a good price.
Another “go-to” hotel booking site for us is Hotels.com. We love their loyalty program that allows you to earn free nights, and their “secret prices” for members are fabulous deals!
If you are looking for a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, then consider checking out the Sandals/Beaches properties. Sandals properties are for couples only and Beaches are for families. We have visited Sandals in the past and absolutely love the attention to detail and the service they provide.
Tour Companies We Trust:
We love taking guided tours when visiting new places. Our go-to tour companies are Viator.com and Get Your Guide. Both of these companies have been in business for years and provide excellent customer service. You can trust booking tours from their sites for sure!
CityPass is a great way to save money when visiting large cities. CityPass allows you to get free admission to major attractions once you buy their pass. The savings add up quickly with this pass, often saving 50% with combined admissions.
Another great pass to save money in larger cities is the Sightseeing Pass. This pass allows you to save valuable time and money by combining admissions to major attractions. They also have a handy app that keeps everything you need at your fingertips.
Looking to Save Time and Money?
Check out our resource page for all of our favorite vendors. These companies help us to save time and money on our travels!
About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.