Rome Cheap Eats: Dine like a local at these affordable restaurants


Dining with the locals at Al Peperoncino. Photos by Claire Chaffey.
Dining with the locals at Al Peperoncino. Photos by Claire Chaffey.

When in Rome, want to eat like an Italian with the Italians? Want to escape overpriced tourist menus? Want to experience authentic Italian cuisine at the right price? Well, why not take the metro out of the historic centre and dine in the spots that only the locals know about!

Here are three absolute gems that are less than 10 minutes from Termini Station. All of these spots offer authenticity at the right price, with a three-course meal, wine and coffee coming in at around 20 €.

Pizzeria Dal Bersagliere
Via Gino Capponi 16

Great dining along the Via Appia Nuova.

Great dining on Via Appia Nuova.

The fabulous little Pizzeria Dal Bersagliere in Furio Camillo is apparently, if you look at the photo above the cash register, good enough for James Bond. Sean Connery used to come here, it seems, and we can understand why! The restaurant offers an extensive menu including pasta, meats and salads, but the real reason to come here is the pizza!

They offer a huge range of ridiculously light and flavoursome pizzas starting from 5 €. The supplis, crumbed risotto balls filled with deliciously melted and gooey cheese, are not to be missed either. The house wine is dangerously palatable and the outdoor seating arrangement makes for a very noisy and friendly night out. The place is heaving by 10 PM.

Getting there: Take metro line A to Furio Camillo. Take the Via C. Baronio exit and walk along Via Appia Nuova (pictured, right) for about 200 m. Turn left into Via Gino Capponi and follow the delicious aroma emanating from behind the small florist stand. Open daily 7pm – midnight. (More info on the restaurant’s website.)

Antico Casale
Ponte Lungo

Oh Rome, this is how you should be! This wonderful little place in Ponte Lungo is about as authentic as you can get. Complete with red and white checked table cloths and an intimate, rustic atmosphere, this super find is an extremely popular choice amongst locals.

Highlights include the delectable pastas, starting at 7 €, and exquisite seafood, all served by friendly and helpful staff. Only the dessert outdoes the pasta at this place, with the Tartufo Bianco absolutely to die for!

Getting there: Take metro line A to Ponte Lungo and take the Piazza Ponte Lungo exit. Walk 150 metres along Via Appia Nuova and take the second right over the bridge into Piazza Camillo Finocchiaro Aprile. The restaurant is tucked behind a little florist in Appia Circonvallazione. Closed Mondays.

Al Peperoncino
Via Ostiense 369/375

Pasta Al Peperoncino.

Pasta Al Peperoncino.

Ask any local in San Paolo where you can find a great meal and they will almost certainly direct you to the huge, and hugely popular, Pizzeria and Bisteccheria Al Peperoncino (pictured at top and right). This restaurant is packed most nights, and you probably won’t find another tourist in sight!

With pizzas from 3 €, steak cooked to perfection and glorious seafood pasta, it is little wonder that this is THE place to eat for San Paolo’s locals. The creamy espresso and complimentary strawberry liqueur don’t do any harm either. Open dinner and lunch.

Getting here: Take metro line B to San Paolo. Take the Via Ostiense exit. Turn left onto Via Ostiense and walk about 200m. You can’t miss it. (For more info, visit the restaurant’s website.)

About the author

About the author: Claire is a freelance journalist currently eating and drinking her way through Rome following a stint as a reporter in West Africa. Claire’s work has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, TNT Magazine, Way2Go Magazine and the Ghanaian Times.

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3 thoughts on “Rome Cheap Eats: Dine like a local at these affordable restaurants”

  1. We went to both Al Peperoncino and Pizzeria Dal Bersagliere. Both were fantastic. Al Peperoncino was the better of the two for service and atmosphere, and the selection of pizza, pasta, and steak was to die for. Pizzeria Dal Bersagliere however probably had some of the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. Our friends ordered a pizza with a fried egg in the center, hands down was amazing. Great outdoor atmosphere as well.

  2. I went to Pizzeria Dal Bersagliere last night. the staff were very friendly, the food was (surprise surprise) fantastic, and the beer on tap was well chilled. Just one thing: don’t bother with the small beer as it is very small. Instead go with the medium as it is well worth the extra 1 euro.

  3. Yum!! These places look great! Especially the strawberry liqueur in the espresso. Can’t think of a better way to round out an Italian meal! If anyone is looking for more info on sightseeing in Rome before or after eating at these great places you should check out this website I work for that has a great Rome travel planning guide . Thanks!!


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