La Carbonara

Piazza Campo de’ Fiori, 23
00186 Roma
Tel. 06 6864783

This is it. Call off the search. Here it is, the best carbonara in Rome.

A bold claim, to be sure, and one that might seem far-fetched for a restaurant in the middle of the tourist-filled Campo de’ Fiori (named after the many flower vendors who set up shop there). However, this restaurant lives up to its hype.

There’s a charming (and less predictable than one might think) reason behind the name of the restaurant.

As the story goes, the father of Andreina Salomone, who has been behind the restaurant for nearly fifty years, used to have a stand near the current location that sold coal – or, carbone.

When it was decided at a certain point to open a trattoria, he called it Il Carbonaro; when his daughter took over the running of the place, she renamed it in the feminine, La Carbonara. By whatever chance it came about its name, the carbonara is delicious.

The location, in a privileged position in one of the most ancient piazzas in Rome, provides the perfect backdrop for the fresh, classic food.

The restaurant has two floors; the ground floor is warm and welcoming with wood interior, while the second floor has the advantage of a splendid view of the piazza (and is air conditioned, a huge boon in the sweltering summertime).

Enjoy the house specialty while admiring the famous statue of Giordano Bruno in from above. In fine weather, the outdoor tables can sample the classic dishes of La Carbonara while immersed in a splendid urban scene.

Naturally, you must try their namesake dish, but the carbonara isn’t the only thing worth trying on their menu.

House made potato gnocchi with clams, cheese and arugula is stunning, as is the tonnarelli con i carciofi (squared noodles with artichokes).

Of the secondi di carne, try the maialino arrosto (roast lamb) or the very typical trippa alla Romana (Roman-style tripe – for the bold few). Of the secondi di pesce, the pesce del giorno al forno (oven-baked fish of the day) is an excellent choice.

The family has always had roots in viniculture, which means that their limited wine list is an especially fine selection of wines from small, local vineyards with whose wines they are well acquainted.

The focus on fine, quality ingredients isn’t limited to the wine list, and is exemplified by their choice of olive oil, which comes from the Azienda Agricola La Falconiana, just outside the city. After many requests from delighted customers, they are considering the possibility of commercializing it.

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