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Here Is The Best Carbonara In Rome That You Need to Try

The best Carbonara in Rome celebrates one of the great pasta dishes in the city and shouldn’t be missed and with this guide you’ll enjoy the best restaurants.

Best Carbonara In Rome - Classic

Classic Carbonara

Where Is The Best Carbonara, In Rome?

The most honest answer is that the best Carbonara is the one that you make at home and serve to your family. This obviously isn’t an option when you are coming to Rome for a vacation, so here are some of my favorite places to get Carbonara here in Rome.

Eating in the great restaurants of Rome have been my favorite experiences both before and after moving to Italy. You are able to eat outside year-round and after trying a few varieties of Spaghetti alla Carbonara, you develop the ability to look at a menu and quickly determine if it is intended for tourists, for locals or for both.

Is There Such A Thing As The Best Restaurant In Rome?

There are obvious biases and subjectivity of asking someone: “What is the best Carbonara in Rome?”, so you should definitely take these recommendations with a grain of salt. Consider these restaurants if you are in their neighborhoods, and you won’t be disappointed. Keep in mind that my tastes are more traditional and I’m always on the lookout for the perfect Carbonara, so these definitely aren’t “creative” or “avant garde”, but they are classic representations of this amazing dish.

Where In Italy Is Famous For Carbonara?

The recipe for carbonara began to appear in 1944. One theory is that American soldiers, during the Second World War, tasted the cheese and egg pasta from Abruzzo prepared by charcoal burners (Carbonari in Roman dialect). From there, adding the bacon (guanciale) came almost naturally.

Best Carbonara In Rome - Guanciale

Frying Guanciale

Does Rome Have The Best Carbonara?

There are four classic sauces of Rome: Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, Amatriciana and Gricia. These amazing dishes are available in most Roman restaurants and should be on your short list of things to eat during your visit to the city. The list of restaurants below will give you a few options to try when you are in their neighborhood.

The Best Carbonara In Rome Is At Felice a Testaccio

We were reading an interview with Eataly CEO Nicola Farinetti about his favorite restaurants in Rome and Felice a Testaccio was at the top of the list. He seems like someone we could listen to, so we made reservations for lunch and we are SO glad we did.

Best Carbonara In Rome - Felice

Felice Carbonara

Even though the restaurant was full, since we had a reservation we were seated immediately. The service was fast and attentive, one waiter gave us friendly recommendations for dessert and they didn’t rush us out, even though the lunch was clearly over and tables around us that showed up after us were leaving before us. Their signature dish is Cacio e Pepe, and it shouldn’t be missed, but we were here for the Spaghetti alla Carbonara. It was amazing, with a pervasive taste of the guanciale in every bite. The creamy sauce was well seasoned and the chunks of guanciale were deliciously crunchy. They do the Roman classics really well, with amazing flavors, great service and a wine list that would pair well with any meal you choose. Just remember to make reservations because it is a popular place any time of the day.

Instead Of Pizza, Try Emma Pizzeria Con Cucina For Pasta Carbonara

We normally try to avoid the more touristy restaurants in Rome, so I was a little hesitant about going to Emma Pizzeria. It is obviously a popular place with tourists as I heard a lot of English speakers surrounding us, but we pushed ahead anyway and we are glad we did.

We ordered the Pasta Carbonara because I enjoy comparing these across many of the restaurants we try, and I found this version to be one of the best I’ve eaten. The guanciale in particular, like in this amazing Italian Lentil soup recipe, was in large meaty chunks that were both salty and peppery and the sauce was a perfect blend of egg yolks and cheese. I was so happy with that dish that we were already starting to plan our return.

Best Carbonara In Rome - Emma

Emma Pizzeria

A few months later, we did return a second time and I did get the Pasta Carbonara, but I wasn’t as blown away as I was on my first visit. It was still great and I highly recommend it, but I felt like my level of amazement was at a slightly lower level. Perhaps I’m getting jaded.

Is Luciano Cucina Italiana The King Of Carbonara?

When we plan on going to a new restaurant, I am usually hesitant to go somewhere that has a huge social media presence because my tastes, as I’ve mentioned, are more traditional. When I have gone to restaurants with celebrity chefs from TV or Instagram, it usually has left me wanting. With this backdrop, we decided to go to Luciano’s after I saw some videos with and about him and his reputation as the King of Carbonara.

Best Carbonara In Rome - Luciano

The King Of Carbonara?

Being the signature dish, we decided to try the best pasta in Rome, Carbonara. It was skillfully prepared, a great balance across the cheese, egg and guanciale, the proportions were perfect and the presentation was inviting. All that being said, it wasn’t my style. This isn’t a criticism about the skills in the kitchen, but an acknowledgement that my tastes lean to a more traditional preparation. I saw a video of Luciano in which he described the traditional preparation as how “your grandmother made it”, and I guess this is my taste. I believe he has described it as appropriate for a more modern palate, so if this describes you, I’m sure you will enjoy it. After the first fork-full of pasta, cheese, eggs and guanciale, I found the flavors weak and the aftertaste nonexistent.

More Amazing Pasta Recipes You Should Try

In addition to knowing where to find the best Carbonara in Rome, here are more details on the classic Roman pasta dishes, including a recipe for making Carbonara at home, and some other great restaurants in Rome for your next visit.

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