Mercato Testaccio may be the worst-kept secret in Rome’s culinary scene, but who cares? I’m not worried about highlighting the most exclusive or unknown eateries of the world. A well-made sandwich is always welcome on my itinerary, and it should be for you as well.
Behold, a sandwich from Mordi e vai, the undisputed king of putting traditional Roman slow-cooked meat in bread. Their hype is well-earned.
For the Rome newbie, Mercato Testaccio is a modern food market across the Tiber in the Testaccio neighborhood (ancient home of river trade, butchers, and working class Romans). The Mercato Testaccio is the perfect spot for a quick lunch or to pick up a few artisanal products for your perfect dinner party. The colors, smells, and certainly tastes of Testaccio make it an essential part of the Roman experience. Once the Colosseum and Piazza Navona are checked off your list, consider this flourishing neighborhood for your next stop.
Carciofi alla Giudia (Artichokes Jewish-Style, which is deep-fried with mother issues)
Handmade pastas galore.
It’s not Christmas, it’s springtime in Rome’s premier farmer’s market.
Pizza by weight. The pizza’s weight, not yours (which will surely increase after your visit to the market).
Sicilian street food, Roman style.
An octopus, sepia ink, and pesto sandwich from Romeo (brain-child of Michelin starred chef Cristina Bowerman).
Damn. Should’ve gotten here earlier before they closed.
Cacio e pepe ravioli, will wonders never cease?
Artisanal bread baked daily.
And finally, a little sweet treat for a homesick American Simpsons fan. Mmmm, donut…
Joshua Chévere Cohen is the founder, editor-in-chief, and creative director of Josh Travels Sometimes. A writer with degrees in both English Literature and History, Cohen brings a poetic, darkly humorous, and helplessly Europhile perspective the world of travel writing. Read more articles by: Joshua Chévere Cohen