eating and drinking in testaccio and ostiense | rome

If the official sign of Ostiense is the Cestius pyramid in Piazzale Ostiense, then the unofficial one has to be the huge and not very pretty gasometer in Via Ostiense. Despite the lack of beauty, this huge gasometer is for many Romans the symbol of Ostiense, for some even a symbol of Rome.

Besides being a local neighborhood Ostiense is also a student area, since one of Rome's universities, Roma Tre, is here. Ostiense is not particularly beautiful, but the neighborhood has a rare Roman soul and personality, which the Turkish-Italian film director Ferzan Ozpetek, who lives here himself, often makes use of by letting the neighborhood constitute the framework for the stories in his films.

During recent years the area has become increasingly popular, which can be seen from the many chic cafes, which pop up in the area and attracts the Roman population from other neighborhoods.

Near Ostiense you find Testaccio, which is surely one of the areas in Rome with the most bars, discos and restaurants within the shortest distance. Testaccio is a neighborhood which is very much alive at night.

Caffè Letterario

Caffè Letterario is a cafe located in a 1000 m2 large open space room in Via Ostiense. The place is a combination of bookstore, art exhibitions, cocktail bar, cafe, interior design and general hang out place. Caffè Letterario also has a broadcasting television studio and a public library, which is the result of a project aiming to get Rome's public libraries away from the traditional institutions and into new spaces where they can reach new users and work in another setting. Caffè Letterario is not just a place where you go out and have fun with friends. It is very much a cultural center, where you can easily hang out for hours in the relaxed atmosphere. On weekends you can have brunch here.

Via Ostiense 95 T. +39 06 57302842 www.caffeletterarioroma.it

Felice a Testaccio

Eating at Felice a Testaccio is one of the best things, you can do for yourself, when you visit this area.  At Felice's the menu is classical Roman, but the quality is just a little bit higher than most other places. The same goes for the interior design and the service. The specialty at Felice is the Roman Pasta dish Cacio e pepe, which is being prepared right in front of you at the table. The menu has a changing part and a permanent part. Each day is dedicated to special dishes, while the classics are available every day. Finally you must not leave without having tasted Felice's tiramisu, which is the absolute best and most creamy one, I've ever tasted. Reservation is an absolute must.

Via Mastro Giorgio 20 T. +39 06 5756800 www.feliceatestaccio.com

Da Remo

Testaccio’s best pizzeria is definitely Da Remo. In here you find the typical Roman pizzas. Crispy paper thin crust, the edges well burned, and simply just amazing. The place is simple and full of Roman atmosphere. The room is not big, and you'll often have to wait a bit for a table, standing outside in the street with hordes of people. When you order your food, the waiter will throw a little notebook on the table, and you check off, what you want from the list, and then give it back to the waiter. A smart way to get everything done a little faster. And things do go fast at Da Remo, where the waiters seem to fly across the room, and new people are constantly seated at the tables.

Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice 44. T. +39 06 5746270


In Via Galvani, which offers several good places to eat, you should visit the first floor of no. 24A, which houses the restaurant Angelina. Here's something for everyone. Good pizzas, pasta dishes, salads, meats and fish. Here you eat in a beautiful, open and bright environment at wooden tables in a relaxed atmosphere. The place also has an outdoor terrace, where you can have brunch, afternoon tea and aperitivo. If you are a larger group of people, and you and want to sit by yourselves in more private surroundings, the restaurant has a separate room, which can be booked. Cool lounge music accompanies your dinner, and it is difficult not to continue into the Roman night life afterwards.

Via Galvani 24/A. T. +39 06 57283840 www.ristoranteangelina.com

MACRO Future

You find the second part of Rome's museum of contemporary art in Testaccio. MACRO Future lies in what used to be Rome's meat packing district. Here you find both Italian and international contemporary art, and because the museum is located in an area with lots of nightlife, it stays open until midnight (The museum opens at 16.00 pm). In this way you may visit MACRO in Via Reggio Emilia during daytime, save the ticket, which is valid for both museums, dine in Testaccio and then visit MACRO Future.

Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4. T. +39 06 671070400 www.macro.roma.museum


If you need a cake to go with your coffee in the Ostiense area, you go to Andreotti, whose history dates back to 1931. And it's not only the local people, who go here. People come from all of Rome to buy the delicious cakes. At Andreotti, you can have it all. In the morning Romans take their caffè or cappuccino at the bar most likely accompanied by one of the delicious cornetti. There are plenty of options for a light lunch, and after work you may stop by for a drink accompanied by the delicious snacks from the buffet. On Sunday a bunch of people travel to Andreotti to buy cakes for their afternoon coffee with friends and family, and you can always get a good ice cream at Andreotti. Andreotti is so famous that the place had a part in the movie La finestra di fronte made by Turkish-Italian director Ferzan Ozpetek. Andreotti created all the amazing cakes for a scene in the movie, where there were pretty many of them.

Via Ostiense 54/b. T. +39 06 5750773 www.andreottiroma.com


At Doppiozeroo you can have your morning cappuccino with a warm cornetto. At lunchtime, the bar is filled with lots of pizza slices, salads and pastas. The menu changes daily, so you can always find something new. After lunch Doppiozero becomes the place for a cup of coffee or afternoon tea with cake. From 18.30 aperitivo is served, and you can enjoy your cocktail or a glass of wine with lots of delicious things from the huge buffet in the bar, which is filled with pasta, pizza and much more. From 21.00 the place becomes a restaurant. Doppiozeroo has also taken in the brunch concept. It's on Saturday and Sunday from 12.00 to 15.30.

Via Ostiense 68. T. +39 06 57301961 www.doppiozeroo.it

Le Bistrot

If you are a vegetarian or just enthusiastic about vegetable dishes, Le Bistrot is possibly one of Rome's best places for you. The small restaurant is located right next to the enormous headquarter of Regione Lazio, and while you wouldn’t exactly expect to meet men in suits in a vegetarian restaurant, there's actually quite a few of them, who drop by for lunch.

Don't go away, just because the restaurant from the outside looks a little closed off. Ring the bell, then comes the friendly older lady and lets you inside. The decor is not the prettiest, but Le Bistrot definitely has a warm atmosphere. And the menu is great for a vegetarian. Here are vegetarian lasagna, risotto, pastas, vegetable “meatballs”, etc. Do try the fried polenta with walnuts pesto. They are amazing…

Via delle Sette Chiese 160. T. +39 06 5128991 www.ristorantelebistrot.com

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