Skip to main content

The best places for Amatriciana in Rome

By March 27, 2018August 24th, 20226 Comments

Planning out your Roman Holiday? Need advice on where to eat in Rome and beyond, or would you prefer we design a detailed eating itinerary? Email us!

best Amatriciana in Rome

During my first week in Rome my friend Giampiero invited me to a dinner party at his girlfriend’s home. Giampi and I met through a friend of friend back in Los Angeles. At the dinner party I was still jet lagged and trying to get my bearings after leaving everything I knew behind and moving to a foreign country.

Giampiero’s girlfriend’s friend was making Amatriciana, one of my favorite Roman pasta dishes. He cooked his with onions. This created quite a debate. Folks were very much in their feelings about whether or not onions belong in the dish that is in the canon of Roman pastas. I knew then and there I had found my home. In Los Angeles no one was arguing about pasta as my friends and I tried to live a carb-free life. This was a sin against nature. I have repented.

best Amatriciana in Rome

The main ingredients in Amatriciana are, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and guanciale. I see some recipes in the US saying you can use American styled bacon. Nope. That’s another dish. The sauce is usually serviced with bucatini, spaghetti, or rigatoni shaped pasta, topped with a generous dusting of grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

These are my 6 favorite places in Rome for proper Amatriciana.


Located in the Prati neighborhood, Chef Arcangelo Dandini is known for his Gnocchi spin on this dish. Gnocchi can go so wrong easily, turning into a gooey mess. L’arcangelo’s are light and airy.
Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli, 59
Tel. +39 063210992

Cesare al Casaletto

Even when I lived in the Historic Center, getting to this restaurant in Monteverde was a schlep. Now it’s way on the other side of town from me but I will make it my business to go whenever I can.
Via del Casaletto, 45
Tel. +39 06536015

Da Tonino

This is in my old neighborhood. As the area turns into one giant AirBnB, filled with random stores no locals want or need, Da Tonino survives. For three generation it’s been feeding locals and visitors the classics at reasonable prices. It’s a simple trattoria with a tangy Amatriciana sauce. Its official name is Trattoria Antonio Bassetti. We call da Tonino. Cash only.
Via del Governo Vecchio, 18
Tel.+39 3335870779

Flavio al Velavevdetto

Located in a wine cellar built into Monte Testaccio, the reviews for this restaurant are all over the place. I’ve only had the Amatriciana and the Cacio e Pepe pastas and both were delicious.
Via di Monte Testaccio, 97
Tel. +39 065744194

Salumeria Roscioli

This restaurant is small. The service is hit or miss. Their Rigatoni Amatriciana is worth it. Pasta cooked to perfection.
Via dei Giubbonari, 21/22
Tel. +39 066875287

La Torricella

Located in Testaccio, it’s a favorite of one of my friends who lives around the corner. There’s no English menu and most of the waiters do not speak English, so bring your translator app.
Via Evangelista Torricelli, 2/12
Tel. +39 065746311

Where did you eat the best Amatriciana in Rome?



  • Valerie says:

    Great article!
    “This was a sin against nature. I have repented.” Amen, sister! 🙂 After having made several pilgrimages to Amatrice, I’m quite picky about it (spaghetti not bucatini, no onion) so appreciate your list. Will mark them down for my next visit to Roma.

  • Aside from never (never !) including onions – or white wine, as one noted chef tried to do – a variant of sprinkling Pecorino Romano on top of your bowl of Pasta Amatriciana is to mix half in with the sauce until it’s *Just* melted, before stirring that through the pasta, and then sprinkling the rest on top. The only “permitted” ingredient change is to substitute any well-flavoured sheep’s-milk pecorino for Pecorino Romano. Sheep’s-milk pecorino is wonderfully tangy and goes perfectly with this dish. Cow’s-milk cheese not so much…

  • Arlene says:

    Thanks Valerie! Hope to see you next time you’re in Rome.

  • Arlene says:

    David, I remember that white wine controversy!

  • Gary Francis says:

    I loved the Amatriciana we had in Rome last year. Your article brought back some lovely memories.

Leave a Reply