It has been a few weeks since we took our trip to Rome, but I realized I failed to share some hidden gems with you all! I am sure I have mentioned before that our family is known for eating our way through a new city. On every itinerary I make, I always include a food chart at the bottom including all the places I have researched, based on customer reviews, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! I am so particular that I include the amount of time it takes to get to these places from either out hotel or some other point of interest. That ought to give you an idea of how serious we are about our food! This should also give you an idea of how laborious it is to actually make an itinerary for all these trips. It’s really not as glamorous a it may appear haha.
Before heading to Rome, I did my usual restaurant research and noted three places a “must go” on our list. The first is a place called Eataly, a larger than life, indoor food market. For reference, it Is about a 30-minute walk south of the Colosseum. There you will find three well-laid-out floors featuring all your taste buds have ever desired. You can get sweet treats, have a full meal at one of the many restaurants, purchase some local and not-so-local wines or buy some homemade fresh pasta to cook later. Not to mention, there are sample stations throughout the entire market. You can literally have a small meal if you try it all. I placed Eataly on our itinerary to visit no long after checking into our apartment. It is the perfect place to spend a low-key afternoon and grab a late lunch when you aren’t quite ready to step into the full excitement of the Roman city. It is also a good place for taking kids, because of all the sights, food samples, and they even have high chairs! Though I imagined it to be a very touristy place, it was at all crowded and while talking to a couple checking out in front of us, we found that sophisticated locals actually do their grocery shopping here. After researching, I discovered that there are surprisingly several Eatalys in the States. If you can’t get to Rome, definitely check it out in a major city near you. Here are a few photos from our experience:
The second place is a wonderful bakery which I am very excited to share. Alba Dolce is the poster place for a hidden gem. We almost walked past it, because there is no sign and it is literally in the most random location ever. As you can see in the pictures below, you walk into a very obscure hallway and make your way to the amazing bakery. The first thing to note is that they don’t open to the public until 6pm, but they stay open through the night until 6am. This is like the wholesale baker for many other bakeries in town. My eyes lit up as I walked in. There are no “greeters”, no cash register, just an industrial-like kitchen filled with racks and counters full of baked goods. It really feels like you are in the V.I.P. section of a bakery! Once you get the attention of one of the hard-at-work bakers, you literally walk around and point at what you want as they bag it up for you. We bought various treats to try that evening and some for breakfast the next day. The best thing about this bakery, bearing in mind the wholesale vibe, is the cheap price tag. We probably had a total of 7 treats and paid less than 3 Euros for them all! I call that a win! I did manage to take a few photos to share, but I admit I stood there with my mouth dropped to the floor in amazement and missed out on many photo opportunities haha.
The third place that I thought was neat is called Avocado bar! My husband can tell you that I LOVE avocados. I put sea salt and chili powder on them and enjoy it as a snack. When I found this place on Yelp and knew I had to ensure that it was part of our walking path during the trip. The menu consists of guacamole, unique avocado toast options, avocado sandwiches with the avocado as the “bread”, salads and more. This place is a great option for lunch or a snack. There is a very limited amount of seating inside, but most people get their dishes to go, as did I. I don’t recall the name of what I had, but I saw balsamic vinegar listed as an ingredient and I was sold, and it was delicious!
Of course, when you are in Rome, you will find good food on virtually every street, but these places I have shared are more off the beaten path. I enjoy finding interesting restaurants that not every tourist knows about. Stick with me and I’ll take you places ;)