Studying abroad in Rome comes with a guilt-free pass to gain up to 15 pounds from all the delicious Italian cuisine offered on every street; however, the day will come when you find yourself skipping an aperitivo to search for a burger joint or paying upwards of 6 euro for a jar of peanut butter just to have a simple PB&J. Luckily, I have already experienced these “study abroad struggles” and have made a definitive list of restaurants in Rome to go to when you’re craving a carb other than pasta or pizza.
Beerland Trilussa: My favorite for late night fries and burgers, Beerland Trilussa is located conveniently on Via di Ponte Sisto right off of Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere. This gem is hard to come by during the day, almost hidden in broad daylight, but at night when the doors are open, you can’t miss it! With walls lined with colorful beer bottles and an urban style, Beerland is the perfect spot to stop on your way home from a night out. Must try menu items:
- French Fries: Covered in 1000 Island dressing, the fries at Beerland are to die for. But no worries if you prefer your fries plain, they are seasoned to perfection and just as good without. Make sure you order enough because you won’t want to share, trust me!
- Chicken Nuggets: A 10x better (and less disgusting) version of McDonalds or Wendy’s chicken nuggets.
Ci Lin: When my roommate first suggested we get Chinese food for dinner our third week in Rome, I was skeptical to say the least, but Ci Lin (located on Via della Donte D’Olio, off Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere) blew any Chinese restaurant I had been to before out of the water. Family owned, the same people are always working and are very helpful when taking your order. They do take-out, a rare find in Rome, or give you the option to sit outside where you can perfectly hear all the music and happenings of the nearby piazza. Must try menu items:
- Fried Meat Dumplings: Up until Ci Lin, my typical Chinese food order was rice and lo mein, but after trying the fried meat dumplings that changed. They are crispy and hand rolled and the meat has been seasoned to a mild spicy perfection.
- Spring Rolls: Like the fried meat dumplings, it is obvious that the cooks took their time hand rolling these with fresh vegetables. They are just crispy enough and come with a sweet and sour sauce that goes well with just about anything!
- Noodles with Chicken: Like I said, my typical Chinese food order includes lo mein, so I am really critical of new restaurants take on my favorite dish. Ci Lin did not disappoint with their “noodles with chicken.” They also have noodles with beef and shrimps, which are two of my roommate’s go-to orders.
Mangiamo: Okay, so not entirely a non-Italian Restaurant, as you could probably tell from the name, but Mangiamo has some amazing American-style options as well as delicious Mozzarella and balsamic panini. Mangiamo is located on Via Benedetta in between John Cabot University’s Tiber and Guarini Campuses, perfect for a quick bite between classes. Must try menu item:
- Caesar Salad: When I first ordered a Caesar Salad at Mangiamo I was expecting it to be covered in Ken’s Caesar dressing (what other way is there?). Apparently there is Mangiamo’s way, where they mix together mustard, olive oil, salt, and a few other ingredients to make their own version of a Caesar Salad. With such a weird combination, I was shocked when I loved the salad dressing; I mean I really could not get enough.
Friends Café: Not a restaurant and not non-Italian; however, Friends Café is the one place in Italy that knows what an American means when they order “iced coffee.” When Cappuccinos and Lattes aren’t doing the trick, order an iced coffee with milk (or black, if that’s your style) at Friends and feel at home.
Jessica Poillucci, Suffolk University
My semester abroad in bella Roma, Italia was the most transformative time of my life. Rome’s central location allowed me to travel not only throughout Italy to drink limoncello in the Amalfi Coast, wine taste in the tuscan hills, and eat pizza in Naples, but also explore 5 beautiful countries and experience new cultures firsthand. I only hope that my stories will inspire others to find their own “Rome Away from Home” like I did.