Dining out in Rome when you are on a Budget

If it is your first trip to Italy, you are probably psyched about hitting up all the major tourist spots and getting a taste of your first real gelato.  Whether you are a first timer, or a seasoned traveller to Italy, you will probably pass through Rome.  Rome can be a foodie’s heaven, but eating out at the best restaurants in Rome can also come with a hefty price tag.

Pre-trip Planning for Dining Out At the Best Restaurants in Rome, Italy

Dining on your vacation can take up a lot of your travel budget.  So how do you travel Italy’s major cities and eat well economically?  Personally I always try to do some research about the city I am traveling to so I have an idea of where I am looking to dine out and I always put a few restaurants on my must try list.  When I was living in Vancouver, I used the app called Zomato, which most Canadians are probably familiar with.  Zomato was great for finding places to eat at in the city, as lots of locals gave their experiences, as opposed to Trip Advisor which tends to rate based on the views of travellers only.  For me, the best advice on restaurants always comes from a local perspective so I used Zomato in Canada.  In Italy Zomato doesn’t exist so I was at a loss until I found out about “The Fork” or “La Forchetta” as the Italians call it. (UPDATE: at the time of this posting Zomato did not exist, but it looks like they took my advice and they now are available in Rome!)

The Fork

The Fork is rated mostly by locals and even offers deals on some of the best restaurants in Rome.  You can access the Fork online or download the app, and even use it to make reservations.  When you are in a country where you don’t speak the language, The Fork can be an excellent tool to plan your meals out, and even strike a deal.  Therefore, The Fork makes eating out at the best restaurants in Rome a more manageable and affordable task when travelling Rome on a budget.

The only downside to the Fork is that it tends to offer incomplete and little information or deals on restaurants in the less travelled areas of Italy.  So if you are looking to see Italy’s un-chartered countryside and taste truly authentic cuisine I suggest booking with a tour.  By selecting a small locally based tour company, like The Italian on Tour, you will be able to experience local wineries, fine Italian cuisine, rustic trattorias, and have a well-rounded culinary experience without the worry of planning a single detail and receive a level of service and value not available in more touristy wine regions such as Tuscany and Piedmont.  If you are a traveller looking for an authentic journey to discover Italy’s “Tuscany for Italians” then check out our tours or request more information here.

A final tip for allergy sufferers looking for the best restaurants in Rome

On a side note…. if you are a diner with a gluten sensitivity then head over to our post on Travelling gluten-free in Italy.  When you travel with allergies never discount the hotel restaurant, as hotels are very aware of allergies due to the number and variety of clients they serve every morning for breakfast.  Hotel Restaurants in Italy tend to be the top in many regions and in my experience they are usually the most prepared for sufferers of Celiac Disease and other food related allergies.



  1. Grotta Palazzese: Cave Restaurant in Italy | The Italian On Tour - […] If you are looking for more dining advice for your next trip to Italy head over to our post…



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