Ancient Restaurants in Rome that you Can’t Miss


Rome, known as the eternal city, is not only famous for its rich history, architecture and art, but also for its delicious gastronomy, whose origins go back centuries and centuries.

Strolling through the streets of Rome is a pleasure for all the senses, including your taste buds! The city is full of small and large gastronomic establishments that are always ready to delight visitors. However, there are some hidden places that have witnessed the evolution of Roman gastronomy throughout history. These are very old restaurants that have forged the city’s culinary scene.

Visiting Rome’s oldest restaurants is not just a gastronomic experience; it is a journey through time, a sort of historic Rome food tour, where every bite tells a story of tradition, passion, and culinary excellence.

In this article we will explore some of Rome’s oldest culinary temples that you can’t miss.

Antico Caffè Greco: A Journey to the Heart of the 18th Century

This emblematic establishment is located on the renowned Via dei Condotti, near the Spanish Steps, and it could be said that more than a restaurant, it is a Roman institution. The Antico Caffè Greco was founded in 1760 and is the second oldest café in Italy. It is best known for its coffees and pastries, but it also offers all kinds of dishes that transport diners back to the heyday of the Grand Tour, when it was frequented by the likes of Stendhal, Byron, and Keats.

Visiting the Antico Caffè Greco, one is immersed in an atmosphere steeped in history and art. You can’t miss the opportunity to sip a delicious espresso while enjoying every detail that this wonderful place has to offer, such as its antique furniture, the artwork adorning the walls, and the style of decoration that tells its history.

Hostaria Costanza: Among the Ruins of the Theater of Pompey

This historic gem is hidden right under the arches of the ancient Theater of Pompey, in the heart of Rome. Hostaria Costanza has been open since the 19th century and since then has been dedicated to offering a unique culinary experience to all who visit.

Here, diners can dine among the ruins of one of the first permanent theaters in the city, something that could make anyone’s skin crawl since we are talking about a building dating back to 55 BC.


The house specialty is traditional Roman dishes, such as “Cacio e Pepe” and “Carbonara,” prepared with authenticity and love for tradition that have been handed down through generations. To eat at Hostaria Costanza is to enjoy the true essence of Roman cuisine in a setting that transports you to another time.

La Campana: The Taste of Tradition

If you were wondering which is the oldest restaurant, we have arrived at the place that occupies that position on the list. The restaurant “La Campana” is located in the vicinity of the Vatican neighborhood and is considered the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Rome. Its origins go back centuries, as it has been open since the 16th century, and as you can imagine, it has served popes, kings, and artists throughout all these centuries. Impressive!

With over 500 years of service, its menu remains a tribute to classic Roman cuisine, offering dishes that have satisfied the palates of diners throughout the ages. It still retains its rustic charm, a quality that makes it truly unique and charming.

La Campana is a place you can’t miss if you are on a Rome food tour. We recommend you try their “Gnocchi alla Romana” or their “Saltimbocca”; although, no matter what dishes you order, sitting at a table in this establishment is a culinary experience that no food lover should miss.

Sora Lella: An Island of Flavor on the Tiber

While this establishment is not as old as those mentioned above, it has several years under its belt and has been known to win the hearts of Romans and visitors alike.


Located on Isola Tiberina is the Sora Lella restaurant, which was founded in 1940 and named after the sister of the famous Roman actor Aldo Fabrizi. This cozy eatery specializes in Roman dishes with a personal touch that reflects the family’s passion for cooking. In addition, it has a beautiful view of the Tiber River that blends perfectly with its delicious food. We recommend you try their “Amatriciana” while enjoying the ambiance and the panoramic scene.

Trattoria Der Pallaro: Home Cooking in the Heart of Rome

This is another hidden gem among the streets of Rome. Trattoria der Pallaro has been in operation since the 19th century and is known for its fixed and incredibly delicious menu. The curious thing about this place is that it offers a dining experience similar to dinner at an Italian family’s home.

Diners are not able to choose a dish from a menu. Instead, they are served a series of homemade dishes, which vary according to the day and what the market has to offer. It is the essence of “cucina povera,” the cuisine of the poor, which is based on simplicity and freshness of ingredients. To eat at Trattoria der Pallaro is to enjoy Roman hospitality at its best, a gastronomic experience completely different from any other you’ve ever had.


To visit Rome’s oldest restaurants is to embark on a culinary journey through time, where each dish tells a story of centuries of tradition. These establishments have not only survived the passage of time; they have thrived, becoming custodians of Rome’s culinary heritage. They offer more than just a meal; they provide an experience that connects the diner to the history, culture, and essence of the eternal city.

So, the next time you find yourself in Rome, be sure to visit these culinary temples and prepare to be transported to another era, one where flavor and tradition are intertwined in every bite.