The 7 Best Food Tours in Rome Italy

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When you think about the food you might eat on a visit to Italy, most people think about gelato and pizza. I wasn’t any different.

What I learned from a food tour in Rome is that Italy has so much more than just pasta, pizza, and strong espresso. There is so much history behind the food, with long-standing traditions that go back for centuries.

Food isn’t just a necessity in Italy, it’s a way of life, and feeds into the culture in such a big way.

If you’re looking to take one of the top Rome food tours, then this guide is for you. Each food tour offers something different and unique, so keep reading to find one that’s right for you.

What to Expect from Rome Food Tours

girl eating ice cream

Before visiting Italy, I essentially planned a two-week trip around the country to search for the best pizza north of Rome. (I did end up finding it — in Rome — but I’m still open to another round of explorations!)

On my own sort of food tour around Italy, I decided I’d go to the experts to find out a bit more about the nation’s culinary history.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and gorge yourself!

You can expect food tours to take you to not only the best places to find local, freshly-made food to sample dishes and snacks, but you can also expect to be taken to some historic sites and neighborhoods.

As you walk from place to place, you will learn about Rome’s history, both food related and not, and hear from passionate local guides about the local way of life, traditions and culture.

It’s not all about delicious food – although that is the focus.

The Best Rome Food Tours

Below you will find a list of food tours in Rome and what you can expect from each.

1. Rome Street Food Tour

person holding piece of fried fish
The famous fried cod fish

This Rome Street Food Tour is a great experience for first time visitors to Rome who are looking to discover the city’s culinary secrets while exploring its vibrant streets.

The tour is led by a friendly local guide, who will take you on a journey through the city’s neighborhoods, where you’ll visit traditional food markets and sample some of the best street food in Rome.

You’ll learn about the history behind each dish and the cultural influences that have shaped Roman cuisine over the years.

The tour includes stops at family-owned restaurants, bakeries, and gelaterias, where you’ll taste a variety of authentic Italian treats, such as pizza bianca, suppli, and artisanal gelato.

This engaging and delicious tour is a must-do for anyone looking to experience the true essence of Rome. You can read all about our experience on the Street food and history walking tour of Rome. Of course it made the list of the best things to do with teens in Rome.

Check prices and availability for the Rome Street Food Tour here. There are plenty of food tastings, includes a beer and wine stop, and a small group experience..

2. Taste of Testaccio Food Tour

I arranged for a walking food tour in Rome’s Testaccio neighborhood. It’s not the most touristy area of Rome but, as I soon learned, there were plenty of reasons why it’s the best area for culinary freaks like myself.

The tour started in the morning so we’d first have time to explore the local farmer’s market. In the market, we met with some of the locals who’ve had stands there for years and years.

My favorite was Carmelo, the “Tomato Poet” who sells his tomatoes each for the same price—no matter the type. We sampled several different varieties just as Carmelo would offer for other visitors.

tomatoes in box

After the tour of the food market, we had the chance to try a local Roman-style breakfast pastry—the cornetto.

It’s something most of us on the tour had never heard of before. And it was amazing! There was also tiramisu in a chocolate cup. Can’t go wrong with that.

My favourite part of the walking tour was when we stopped at the gourmet foodie shop E. Volpetti. The shop serves gourmet cheeses (over 140) and meats, but what I most enjoyed was the balsamic tasting.

I enjoyed it so much I even brought home a balsamic vinegar.

Volpetti Rome Italy
Volpetti samples

After all those treats we spent some time getting a better history of the Testaccio area of Rome.

Rather than just stuffing our faces all afternoon, we visited one of Rome’s most famous cemeteries—it’s for non-Catholics only and is where the famous poet John Keats is buried.

John Keats grave Rome Italy
John Keats grave

Our tour guide explained some of the history of the area, which inevitably included details about the neighbourhood’s football (soccer) obsession, the mafia history and any number of your typical Italian stereotypes.

After exploring the more historical sites, it was back to the food tour.

Lunch included typical Roman pasta dishes and — of course— fine wine. By this time I was more than adequately full. But when the final stop of the tour was announced—Rome’s most popular gelato cafe—my appetite grew yet again!

real gelato Rome Italy
The real deal

In the gelateria, our tour guide explained the most important tips for knowing the difference between real and fake gelato, as unfortunately some gelato stores are tourist traps:

  1. Pay attention to the color. Banana gelato should be off-white not yellow (you don’t eat the banana peel!)
  2. Pay attention to the shape. Real gelato shouldn’t have large, billowy mounds flowing out of the metal tubs. More rich and tasty gelatos while be full of less air!
  3. Keep an eye out for the ingredients. If you see big brown boxes behind the counter, or empty tubs, then you’re probably not eating the real thing. Italian food shops will often prominently display their ingredients so just have a quick look around before you buy!

By the end of the tour I pretty much felt like a food expert, but thankfully the good food in Rome didn’t stop there.

My guide offered up all her favorite Rome restaurants so that the rest of my stay would be as tasty as the tour!

3. Hidden Rome Trastevere Food Tour

caz and savannah walking down cobblestone street of Trastevere rome
Trastevere

The Hidden Rome food tour of the Trastevere district is an evening food tour that allows you to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife and indulge in its delicious cuisine.

The tour takes you through the charming streets of Trastevere, one of Rome’s most picturesque neighborhoods, where visitors can explore its hidden alleys and corners.

You’ll be led by a local guide who will introduce you to the area’s best food spots and traditional dishes, as well as sampling some of the freshest ingredients such as fresh mozzarella di bufala and truffle cheese.

Along the way, you’ll learn about the history and culture of Trastevere and Rome, making this an immersive and enriching experience.

This food tour is perfect for anyone looking to taste some of Rome’s best food in a lively and authentic setting.

4. Flavors of Rome Campo Marzo Street Food Tour

cheese in market stall

This food tour allows you to explore the city’s food culture while seeing its famous landmarks.

The tour combines a walking tour of Rome back streets and hidden alleys, taking you past some of the most iconic sights to some hidden gems in the historic district.

You will make stops at local food markets and street food vendors, where you’ll taste traditional Roman dishes.

A knowledgeable guide will provide insight into the city’s rich history and architecture, as well as its culinary traditions.

This tour is perfect for those who want to experience the highlights of both worlds: delicious food and unforgettable sightseeing.

5. Vegan Food Tour Experience

If you have dietary restrictions, such as being gluten-free, vegetarian or have allergies, then the vegan food tour is for you.

This one-of-a-kind tour lets you indulge in the city’s delicious vegan Italian cuisine, taking you to some of the best vegan restaurants and food spots in Rome.

This tour offers a chance to taste traditional Italian vegan dishes made from fresh and locally sourced ingredients.

You’ll visit markets and eateries that specialize in vegan cuisine, exploring a wide range of flavors and textures.

Along the way, you’ll learn about the history and culture of veganism in Rome, making it an immersive and educational experience.

6. Jewish Ghetto And Navona Food And Wine Tour

bunch of artichokes

If you’re looking to sample some of the classic Italian fine wines, then this is the tour for you.

The Jewish Ghetto and Navona Food and Wine tour is a fantastic way to experience the city’s culinary delights and sample some of Italy’s finest wines.

The tour takes you through the charming streets of Rome’s historic center, where you’ll visit traditional food markets, artisanal bakeries, and famous wine bars.

Your guide will introduce you to authentic cuisine from the Jewish area, such as artichokes, as well as local wines, such as Frascati and Chianti.

Along the way, you’ll learn about the history and culture of Rome, making for an immersive and enriching experience.

7. Small-Group Walking Tour of Trastevere, Campo de’ Fiori & Jewish Ghetto

caz and the girls walking down rome street with colorful buildings
Trastevere

Last but not least, is the small group walking tour of Trastevere, Campo de’ Fiori and the Jewish Quarter. This is where you’ll taste some of Rome’s most delicious dishes.

Your expert guide will take you to traditional markets, family-owned restaurants, and popular eateries, where you’ll sample local specialties such as supplì, pizza, and gelato.

The tour also includes visits to historic landmarks and cultural sites, providing a deeper understanding of Rome’s rich history and culture.

This small group tour ensures an intimate and personalized experience, making it perfect for foodies and history buffs alike.

Final Thoughts on the Best Food Tours in Rome

people standing around listening to tour guide

Taking a food tour in Rome is an excellent way to uncover the Eternal City’s culinary delights while immersing yourself in its rich history and culture.

Rome’s culinary history and traditions are some of the oldest in the world, and food tours allow visitors to access a wide range of delicious dishes, from traditional pasta dishes to artisanal gelato in one day trip.

A food tour is not only a great way to satisfy your taste buds but also a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s culture and traditions.

Bio:  In 2009, Adam Groffman quit his job as a graphic designer in Boston and went on a 15+ month trip around the world. The life-changing journey took him to places like North Africa, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. Since 2011 Adam has been living in Berlin – Europe’s most hipster city. His blog, Travels of Adam, focuses on finding the coolest cultural things to do around the world.

More Italy Travel Tips

Need more inspiration for your trip to Italy? Then these other resources may be useful to you…

Do you have any great food recommendations for Rome? Let us know in the comments!

22 thoughts on “The 7 Best Food Tours in Rome Italy”

  1. Hey Adam,
    Thanks for a great post. You’ve captured the Italian food very well. I’m jealous you brought some balsamic vinegar home! Next time, I must remember to do that!
    ~Josie

    1. Hi Josie!
      Thanks so much for the compliment. You can buy quality balsamic just about anywhere, but it was no doubt one of best souvenirs from Rome 🙂

  2. My new favorite thing = Tomato Poet… I’m going to start putting poet after everything I do. Awesome.

    Also, that is a great trick with the gelato. I studied abroad in Italy and was taught to look at the banana gelato to see if it was high quality. Works like a charm.

    Awesome tour!

  3. Wow! My mouth is watering just reading this! The problem with Rome is that if you don’t know where to look, you just end up eating the same touristy crap that is everywhere around the city. I wasn’t thrilled with the food in Rome, but I am pretty sure it was because we weren’t looking in the right places. Thanks for the great tips.

    1. I know exactly what you mean Shanna! It can be hard to find good restaurants on a shot trip in a really touristic city. That’s why this tour was so great—the guide gave us personal recommendations for other restaurants all over the city not just in Testaccio!

  4. Awesome gelato tips! Couldn’t get enough while in Rome….or Croatia for that matter! Fave flavour on a hot day – lemon! Still want to try basil – have heard it is amazing! Touring in Santiago (Spain) right now – maybe I can find myself an afternoon treat! Your photos are inspiring.

  5. I recently visited Rome with the sole intention of discovering its best traditional food and wine and like Adam I was really impressed with the aged balsamic vinegar. I’ve written a few articles about it on my site but here’s a link to a fabulous tour that I did with Walks of Italy. I can’t believe how much I learnt (and ate!)
    My top tip would be to visit the Campo De Fiori market and sample the vinegars and other tasty treats of the Gourmet Souvenir stalls.

    1. Hey Kat, thanks for the comment. Next time you’re in rome check out the food tour with Eating Italy—it was one of the best tours I’ve taken!

      1. Hi! I recently visited Rome and I in a traditional roman restaurant when you can eat well and cheaply it called “Cucina Pepe”! So I discovered a little groups of young who started a particular business activity, a travel agency for all those who want to dicover Rome as its citizens and not as tourists…If any of you will in Rome for the next holiday I suggest you look their website for special and inusual tour in Rome! http://www.notfortouristrome.com

  6. Hi Caz,
    One of the best ways to visit Rome is renting a scooter. You will be able to go from one point to the opposite one in the city very fast and comfortable, without any problem to park and in a very cheaper way.
    Traffic is not so terrorific as we can imagine; and you will be able to visit the whole city in short time.
    congrats for your blog!!
    Mercedes

  7. The food tour we took in Rome was one of the best things we did whilst in Rome. Not only did we get to taste loads of amazing food but the guide showed us lots of places we simply would not of found on our own.

    We also did a coffee and ice cream tour which was even better!

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