No trip to Rome would be complete without indulging in the city’s renowned Roman-Jewish cuisine at one of the best kosher restaurants in Rome.
Central to the capital’s culinary culture is its innovative creation, ‘la cucina ebraica-romana’ which translates as Jewish-Roman Cuisine. Its dishes bring out the best in Jewish and Middle Eastern flavours and Italian passion for fresh produce and simplicity.
Because Jewish-Roman cuisine has blended so successfully into the city’s food culture overall, it’s hard to guarantee that what you’re eating is truly kosher. That’s why I’ve written this piece recommending the best Kosher restaurants in Rome to ensure that you don’t have to compromise delicious dining for adhering to the kashrut.
Yotvata – home to Rome’s best kosher cuisine
Hidden away just behind the Ghetto, on the scenic Piazza Cenci, Yotvata Restaurant serves up some of Rome’s most delicious kosher cuisine. Simplicity is at the core of Yotvata’s philosophy – traditional, home-cooked Roman-Jewish cuisine done well. But what differentiates Yotvata from all other kosher restaurants in Rome is that it produces its own dairy product under the brand Yotvata Cheese.
Starting with the antipasti, the Fritto Yael is a must: a delicious trio of carciofo alla giudia (Jewish-style fried artichoke), baccalà (fried codfish) and zucchine (courgettes). For a pasta dish, nothing beats Yotvata’s gorgeous gnocchetti gorgonzola e noci (Gnocchi with gorgonzola and walnuts), although if you want to go for something less heavy and cheesy they offer up a range of delectable tomato-based meat and fish classics.
You’re spoiled for choice for secondi (second courses) as Yotvata serves a delicious range of kosher fish and meat dishes. But the highlight is probably the scallopine di pesce ai funghi (scallops with a fish and mushroom sauce). You can eat indoors or al fresco, but you should reserve your table, especially at the weekend, to avoid disappointment.
Where to find Yotvata: Yotvata is situated at Piazza Cenci, 70.
If you’re staking out something that satisfies the most carnivorous appetites, Bellacarne ranks high among the best kosher restaurants in Rome. Literally meaning “beautiful meat” in Italian, Bellacarne dishes up a delightful range of kosher classics. Home-cured and spit-roasted cuts tend to be the order of the day, with Bellacarne serving up Shabbat meals and sumptuous Saturday breakfast too. For something extra special, try out their Kosher carbonara.
Where to find Bellacarne
Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 51
Bona Pizza Romana in Teglie – among the best kosher restaurants in Rome for pizza
Meaning “Really Good Roman Pizza,” Bona Pizza puts its money where its mouth is and lives up to its name by serving a delectable range of pizza al taglio (by the slice). You’ll find a few branches dotted around the city center, but only the store in the Jewish Ghetto serves up exclusively kosher pizza. Eat-in or take-away for the perfect snack or light lunch.
Where to find Bona Pizza Romana in Teglie: Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 7
Renato al Ghetto
Set inside a century-old palazzo, Renato al Ghetto is an interesting affair aesthetically. Its minimalist decor blends effectively into the historic surroundings. But at Renato al Ghetto, it’s all about the food, which makes it among the best Kosher restaurants in Rome. Its carciofi alla giudia (Jewish-style artichoke) is without doubt among the best in Rome – fried to perfection and as crunchy as a crisp.
Elsewhere on the menu, you’ll find quirky Kosher twists on beloved Italian classics. The pappardelle al sugo di stracotto (thick egg pasta with stewed beef rather than the usual wild boar) is simply divine, as is the tonarelli with honey mushrooms, truffles and dried meats. Make sure to book as this place can get busy.
Where to find Renato al Ghetto: Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 5
Despite what you might think, Baghetto doesn’t do Baguettes. In fact, there’s no sign of the French bread across any of their menus, which are instead characterized by a range of delicious Jewish and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Baghetto boasts three locations across Rome, with the flagship restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto. Its other branches also count themselves among the best Kosher restaurants in Rome. Baghetto Milky, located on the same road at no.2, accommodates all your dairy needs while the Baghetto located up near Tiburtina on Via Livorno 10, specialises in mouthwatering meat dishes.
The Baghetto in the Jewish Ghetto offers guests scenic dining ‘al fresco’ during the summer months. Sat outside a first-century BC portico, dedicated by the emperor Augustus to his late sister Octavia, you can soak up the atmosphere while dining on such classics as Jewish-style Graffi (lamb cheeks) and grilled cuts, paired with fine wines from Italy, Israel, France and Chile.
Where to find Baghetto: Via del Portico d’Ottavia, 57
Elite Kosher Catering
Founded by native Roman Jews Alessandro Caivano and Fabio di Castro, Elite Kosher Catering has become the kosher catering service of choice for Romans and visitors alike.
While they specialise in event catering, including Bar Mitzvahs, birthdays, and weddings, the founders and head chefs of Elite Kosher also host cooking classes from their kitchen near the Basilica of San Giovanni and provide Shabbat Meals.
How to contact Elite Kosher Catering:
Call: +39 342 630 7992
Email: [email protected]
Do any kosher restaurants in Rome have vegetarian options on their menu?
Most restaurants offer extensive vegetarian options. If pasta is your preference, Yotvata serves some excellent vegetarian dishes, such as mezze maniche courgette carbonara and fettuccine with grouper, pumpkin flowers and almond flakes.
What is the best kosher restaurant in Rome?
Yotvata is excellent for authentic kosher dairy products like fried mozzarella and cassola di ricotta while meat-eaters should make their way to BellaCarne or Renato al Ghetto, both of which serve up a delicious kosher carbonara. For a quick slice of kosher pizza look no further than Bona Pizza Romana in Teglie.
Discover the best Kosher restaurants in Rome with RomanJews
Want to discover the best of Kosher Roman-Jewish cuisine with me, in the heart of the Eternal City? Check out my Jewish food tour. And if you want to learn how to recreate some of these recipes at home and become the champion of dinner parties, check out my Kosher cooking classes.