Rachel Roddy’s Rome Address Book

1st February 2018

Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Sophie Davidson

The Guardian food columnist on an ideal neighbourhood restaurant, her favourite sandwich-maker, a natural wine specialist and the best butchers in Rome

Touring Rachel’s favourite food places in Testaccio and beyond


Trattoria Da Cesare (pictured above)

Via del Casaletto, 45, Roma;
Rachel takes us to this out-of-the-way restaurant at the end of our first day in Rome. It’s an ideal neighbourhood restaurant, relaxed in atmosphere but very serious about its food and wine. Da Cesare is celebrated for its fritti, particularly the fried squid which comes in a yellow paper cone, but in truth everything here is good. Highlights from our meal include gnocchetti cacio e pepe  and spezzatino di vitello alla cacciatore.

Da Remo

Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice, 44, Roma; +39 06 574 6270
“Eating out, I like going to the places I know,” says Rachel. “Once a week we go for pizza at Da Remo” – a lively, inexpensive pizza place on the corner of a square not far from Rachel’s flat.


Taverna Volpetti

Via Alessandro Volta, 8, Roma;
This taverna is an extension of the highly-regarded food shop next door (see below). The food is excellent – we go for mid-afternoon antipasti on our final day in Rome – and there’s a really good wine list too.

La Torricella

Via Evangelista Torricelli, 2/12, Roma; 
A Testaccio favourite and another of Rachel’s regular haunts – she goes here about once a week.

Mordi e Vai

Nuovo Mercato Comunale di Testaccio, Via Beniamino Franklin, 12/E, Roma;
This tiny sandwich shop, run by charismatic ex-butcher Silvio Esposito, is wedged in the corner of Testaccio market. “I don’t like using the word ‘best’ very much, but I think this is the best sandwich in the world,” says Rachel, referring to the allesso di scottona sandwich, filled with three-hour boiled beef.

Antipasti and wine at Taverna Volpetti


Testaccio Market

Via Beniamino Franklin, Roma;
The market, which relocated to a new building in 2012 from its old spot on Piazza Testaccio, houses some of Rachel’s favourite fruit, veg, fish and meat vendors in the area – she visits them on a daily basis. Her favourite stalls include Da Filippo for fruit & veg, Sartor for meat and Mordi e Vai for sandwiches (see above).


Via Marmorata, 47, Roma;
Going since the 1960s, Volpetti is like your dream of a perfect Roman grocery, crammed with cheeses, olives, breads and bottles of wine and oil, and overhung by serious-looking cured meats. They also have an excellent taverna next door (see above).

Bottega Liberati

Via Flavio Stilicone, 278/280/282, Roma+39 06 7154 4153
According to Rachel, this suburban deli is notable for its “absolute excellence in meat. It’s the best butchers in Rome, all the new-generation restaurants get their meat here. Roberto, who runs it, is incredibly fussy – he also has excellent flours, pastas, capers and wines.”

Les Vignerons

Via Goffredo Mameli, 61, Roma;
For anyone with a passing interest in natural wine, this is a really good place to visit: bottles from exciting small-scale producers around Europe fill the shelves – and there’s a very creditable beer selection too.

Rachel pouring wine outside Les Vignerons

Cafe Barberini

Via Marmorata, 41, Roma;
Rachel often goes for a late breakfast at this cafe and bakery around the corner from her flat. She buys in some miniature cakes for dessert after our lunch together.

Panificio Passi

Via Mastro Giorgio, 87, Roma; +39 06 574 6563
When Rachel first moved to Testaccio, she lived above this family-run forno, renowned as one of the best in Rome, and she would awake each morning to the smell of pizza bianco fresh out of the oven. We pop in for pizza and biscuits.

Pizza bianco at Panificio Passi

Touring Rachel’s favourite food places in Testaccio and beyond

Posted 1st February 2018

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Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Sophie Davidson

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