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Street food in Rome has been part of the culinary culture since ancient times.
Vendors have been selling a variety of hot and cold foods and drinks at markets and public events since the founding of Rome.
While Rome street food has evolved over the years, the tradition of street food remains part of the culinary heritage and culture.
While exploring local food specialties in the Eternal City, we visited the markets and famous street vendors in search of the best street food in Rome.
While not exhaustive, we highlight some of the best and most iconic Roman street food to try.
From the best porchetta sandwiches, pizza al taglio, fried rice balls, fish, and more, savor these 10 delectable street foods on your visit to Rome.
Rome Street Food Map: Top Places And Eateries
There are several places and locations to find some of the best vendors for street food. This map will guide you to some of the best places to eat street food in Rome. That said with the thriving Rome street food scene, you can find gems beyond the usual spots. Prepare yourself for a tasty visit!
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Taking a street food tour is a delicious way to taste the culinary specialties of the Eternal City. Conveniently divided by neighborhoods, see our review of the 10 Best Rome Food Tours: Eat Like A Roman in Italy.
10 Best Roman Street Foods
1. Supplí or Suppi – Rome’s Most Popular Street Food
The Supplì is a beloved and traditional Roman street food. It is one of the most famous Rome street foods described as the king of street foods in the Eternal City.
They are deep-fried rice balls covered in breadcrumbs and filled with cheese, rice, and a rich tomato sauce.
Over the years, different recipes and fillings have been created. One of the most popular is Suppli al telefono which gets its name from its mozzarella filling.
When supplì are broken into and stretched apart, the stringy mozzarella is said to resemble a telephone wire.
The name supplì is said to have come from the French word surprise because of the surprise filling inside the fried rice ball.
In Rome, you’ll find suppli at local eateries like rosticerria, pizzerias, or specialized suppli street food vendors.
We enjoyed the best and freshest deep fried rice ball while on a street food tour in the Travestere neighborhood.
We highly recommend tasting the best supplì in Rome with a local guide.
Don’t confuse supplì with arancini. Arancini originate from Sicily, and while they are also stuffed rice balls, the shape, preparation, and filling are different.
The supplì is one of the most famous street food in Rome you don’t want to miss.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: The Trastevere neighborhood in Rome is one of the most exciting culinary districts in Rome. On a food tour with a local guide, you’ll taste the supplì and other delicious Roman street food. See our review of Trastevere Food Tour: How To Eat Like A Local in Rome Trendy Neighborhood
2. Pizza al Taglio – Pizza By The Slice
Pizza al Taglio is a type of pizza that is very popular in Italy, particularly in Rome.
The term “al Taglio” translates to “by the cut,” or pizza by the slice or cut.
It’s a type of pizza sold in square or rectangular slices that is cut to order.
It is typically thicker and crispier than the thin-crust Neapolitan pizza and comes with various toppings.
Pizza Bianca or white pizza is a popular choice, blending olive oil, rosemary, and garlic.
Pizza Margherita is another popular type you’ll find everywhere. And other types include prosciutto, salami, sausage, eggplants, zucchini, arugula, and much more.
Pizza al taglio is a quick and affordable meal, popular for lunch or a quick snack.
If you need a quick bite while exploring ancient Rome, you’ll find this beloved local specialty at markets, pizzerias, and bakeries.
3. Trapizzino – Triangular Pizza Sandwich
The Trapizzino was one of the most delicious street foods we discovered in Rome.
They are triangular-shaped sandwiches or pockets of dough, something between a pizza and a sandwich.
The filling or stuffing is typically traditional Roman dishes like chicken cacciatore or eggplant parmigiana.
In addition to the classic fillings, we also savored one stuffed with cuttlefish and peas or seppie e piselli-
The Trapizzino triangular pocket was invented by Stefano Callegari in 2008 in Rome’s Testaccio neighborhood.
Callegari coined the “Trapizzino” name as a hybrid of pizza and tramezzino, a triangular-shaped popular tramezzino sandwich popular in Italy.
The Trapizzino dough is similar to pizza dough but needs enough structure to be split open and filled without falling apart.
These delicious Trapizzino Rome street foods are hearty and full of flavor. As one of our favorite street foods in Rome, we recommend not missing these little pockets of goodness.
4. Pinsa Romana or Pinsa – Roman Hand-Pressed Pizza
Pinsa Romana, also known simply as Pinsa, is a type of hand-pressed pizza that originated in Rome, Italy.
The word “Pinsa” means to stretch, spread, or press.
Compared to traditional pizza, the Pinsa crust is lighter and airier, like a cloud of dough. Pinsa Romana is sometimes described as a cloud-like pizza.
The lighter and airy Pinsa crust is due to the combination of flours used and stretching techniques.
Pinsa uses a mixture of flours, including spelt, rice, and wheat, with more water and less salt. The dough takes a long time to rise, making it easy to digest.
Pinsa is a staple item in the Rome street food scene. However, its heritage reaches back to Ancient Rome.
In ancient times, those living outside the city made dough using a traditional method that combined ground cereals like millet, barley, and spelt with salt and herbs.
This dough was hand stretched into a wholesome loaf. The stretching technique continues to be used today when making Pinsa.
While Pinsa toppings are similar to pizza toppings, the lighter dough makes all the difference.
We particularly enjoyed Pinsa with drinks for Italian aperitvo and appreciated its lighter and more digestible dough.
5. Porchetta Panini – Pork or Porchetta Sandwich
Porchetta is a traditional dish from the Lazio region, of which Rome is the capital.
It is a slow-roasted pig, deboned and stuffed with herbs and spices like garlic, sage, rosemary, and fennel.
Porchetta panini, one of my favorite Roman street foods, is made with thin slices of porchetta stuffed into bread.
The porchetta is tender and flavorful, and the bread seasoned with condiments makes each bite a delight.
Porchetta bread varies from vendor to vendor. Most will have a range to choose from, including Ciabatta, Ciriola, Rosetta, and others.
You’ll find many vendors and local eateries specializing in these tasty porchetta sandwiches.
We tried it at different eateries and local markets and each time found differences in tastes due to different seasonings used.
This Roman street may be simple, but it is mouthwateringly delicious. Easy to eat on the go, try it from different places, and find your favorite version.
6. Filetto di Baccala or Filetto di Baccalà – Popular Cod Roman Steet Food
Filetto di Baccala or filetti di baccalà in the plural, are Roman-style battered and fried fillets of codfish.
This fried fish is a typical Roman specialty and one of the most famous seafood street food dishes.
The codfish is first desalted and then dipped into an egg-based batter before deep frying.
Filetto di baccala, when fried perfectly, is not greasy. This surprised us the most when we savored this street food in Rome.
Filetto di baccala is best enjoyed when they are freshly made with a squeeze of lemon.
The fish remains flaky, and the crunchy batter adds a nice bite.
Filetto di baccalà has Roman Jewish origins. During the Inquisition, when Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal in the late fifteenth century, many migrated to Italy.
Both Spain and Portugal are known for their salted cod, so these Jewish migrants brought this culinary heritage along with them.
Filetti di baccalà are enjoyed as an antipasto or appetizer in restaurants across Rome. They are also eaten as a street food or cibo di strada while walking around.
This is one of the tastiest seafood street foods to enjoy in Rome.
7. Pasta Da Portare Via – Pasta To Go
In Rome pasta da portare via or “pasta to go” is a popular option for a quick and delicious meal.
Look for signs with the words pasta da portare via at trattorias and local eateries for delicious freshly made pasta.
Popular pasta dishes served on the go include many classic Roman dishes. Try Amatriciana with tomato sauce, Cacio e Pepe with pecorino cheese, Carbonara, and more.
The pasta is cooked al dente and, together with the sauce, served in a disposable bowl with a plastic fork for easy eating.
When it comes to Italian cuisine, fresh pasta must be savored.
Pasta da portare via is a tasty way to enjoy the flavors of Rome’s traditional pasta dishes on the go.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Learning to make fresh pasta in Rome is an experience not to be missed by pasta lovers. We had fun in a pasta-making class just outside of Rome and you can read more about Rome Pasta Class and the Top 3 Best Cooking ClassesTo Take
8. Carciofi alla Giudia – Traditional Jewish-Style Deep Fried Artichokes
Carciofi alla giudia is a classic dish in the Roman food scene. It’s an artichoke dish with Jewish heritage and an example of Roman Jewish cuisine.
In carciofi alla giudia, the artichokes are flattened and deep-fried in olive oil. They are crispy in texture on the outside, with a soft and mouth-watering middle.
Interestingly and beautifully, the cooked carciofi alla giudia retain their flower shape.
Dating back more than 500 years, this Roman street food was once exclusively found in Rome’s Jewish ghetto.
This Jewish heritage gives the dish its name, “alla giudia,” which translates to Jewish style or related to Jews.
It has since expanded to become one of the most beloved artichoke dishes.
Artichokes are plentiful in Rome in the Springtime, and carciofi alla giuda is one of the classic Roman dishes not to miss.
9. Gelato – Ice Cream
The very best gelato is made from scratch with fresh ingredients. And in Rome, like all of Italy, artificial flavors have no place in authentic and artisanal gelato.
The core ingredients are milk, cream, and sugar. Gelato gets its smooth and dense texture from using more milk and less cream.
And from the churning process, which reduces the amount of air, adding to a more flavorful experience.
Gelato translates to ‘frozen’ in Italian. While it’s unclear who first made gelato, its long history dates back over 12,000 years.
One of the more contemporary legends points to the creation of gelato by Cosimo Ruggieri at the court of the Medici family in Florence.
In Rome, you’ll find many amazing gelaterias to choose from. Look for the ones that make the gelato in an artisanal manner.
No matter which gelateria you choose, savor every bite of your delicious gelato in Rome.
10. Maritozzo – Sweet Dough with Whipped Cream
Maritozzo is a traditional pastry from Rome and a sweet symbol of the city.
Oblong in shape, the Maritozzo are filled with sweet cream in a soft and delicious bun.
The Maritozzo is traditionally eaten for breakfast with coffee, though can be enjoyed any time of the day.
Trying Maritozzo in Rome for the first time was a deliciously unexpected surprise,
Expecting the cream to be thick and extremely sweet, it was surprisingly light.
The bun made with eggs, flour, sugar, and butter had surprising citrus flavors married perfectly with the cream.
There are many stories about the origin of this typical Roman dessert.
One dates back to ancient Rome, where the Maritozzo fueled laborers working all day in the fields.
Another tells the story of the tradition where young men would gift a Maritozzo to their future wives.
Stuffed inside was an engagement ring or another type of jewelry.
Today, this typical Roman dessert is celebrated in Rome at an annual Maritozzo Day on the first Saturday in December.
Enjoy the freshest Maritozzo experience in Rome at breakfast.
Frequently Asked Questions – Street Food Rome
What Is the Most Famous Street Food in Rome?
The most famous Rome street food is the supplì. This deep fried rice ball is filled with a rich meat sauce and mozzarella. Oblong in shape and one of the best cheap eats, Suppli are emblematic of the Rome street food scene.
Where To Go For Street Food in Rome?
Rome has three main food markets where you can find some of the best street food. At Testaccio market, Mercato Centrale and Mercato Trionfale are some of the best street food spots. The Roman neighborhood Trastevere is also a great place to find great street food. Street food lovers can eat well and inexpensively at the market which are integral to the Roman food scene.
The dynamic Rome street food scene surprised us. Street vendors are plentiful throughout the city and the quality of the street food is exceptional.
While exploring the rich history and culture in the Eternal City, don’t hesitate to stop for street food.
Find some of the best street food spots using our street food map and savor the diversity of the city’s culinary heritage.
Do you have a favorite street food Rome? Or one from this list, you’d like to try? Please let us know in the comments below.
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Claire is co-founder of Authentic Food Quest and a lover of simple and exquisite cuisine. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, she has been traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating content about local food experiences.
Her advice from visiting 45 countries and more than 240 food cities has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post. She has also co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
An ex-mechanical engineer, Claire is responsible for SEO, keeping the website running, and the fun food & travel videos on YouTube.
When Claire is not eating, she can be found running or cycling. Find out more about Authentic Food Quest