Our Favorite Rome Restaurants by Neighborhood: Where to Eat in Centocelle

Centocelle is a neighborhood of contrasts, culture, and above all, good eating

Located far from the center of town (but now connected to it via Metro C), Centocelle is quickly becoming one of Rome’s most popular neighborhoods. The former periphery of Rome, Centocelle is now inhabited by a mixture of working-class families, left-wing students and immigrants. It’s simultaneously one of the most traditionally “Roman” neighborhoods, and one the most international and forward-thinking. This reflected in its culinary offerings, which range from the nightlife wine bars to kabob to a literal squat (more on that later). So if you’re looking for an adventure — and some good food — here are the best places to eat in Centocelle, Rome.

Discover where to eat in Centocelle, Rome with our in-depth restaurant guide.

Photo Credit: Simone Sardina, Text Overlay: Devour Rome Food Tours

1. L’Ombralonga

This locale is known as “Dal Veneziano” by the young Romans who frequent it, because L’Ombralonga is a bacaro — a Venetian wine bar specializing in cicchetti, the tapas-like snacks so common in Venice. Crowded, noisy, and festive, L’Ombralonga serves high-quality small-bites at absurdly low prices (a hefty platter of cheese and salami will set you back four euros, a fried meatball just one). They offer a wide selection of wines, with a Venetian focus, but the thing to drink is their Spritz, one of the best (and cheapest) in the city — high-quality prosecco, generous on the Aperol or Campari, and a measly two-euro-fifty price tag.

The blackboard of cheap, tasty snacks at Venetian-style winebar L'Ombralonga in Centocelle.
The day’s selection of cicchetti. Photo credit: L’Ombralonga

2. Forte Prenestino

One could write a book on Forte Prenestino — it’s truly one of a kind. A labrinyth-like former Italian Army fort, it’s been occupied since 1986 by activists, who transformed it into a grafitti covered live-in commune complete with a tavern. A truly populist restaurant, the kitchen of Forte Prenestino caters to the hungry and nomadic, who order at the counter and then sit and eat together at picnic tables. Dishes like stewed sausage and spare ribs, tortellini in brodo and evergreen vegetarian and vegan offerings are prepared with local ingredients, and in following with the centers mission, never cost more than three or four euros. Note: The tavern is open for lunch Tuesday and Thursday, and dinner Tuesday through Friday.

3. Pommidoro

In Rome, pizza al taglio is everywhere — slices cut from large, elongated pies, sold by weight and usually grabbed for lunch or as a snack. At Pommidoro, Mirko Rizzo offers the classic Roman square-slice, but with an updated attention to dough-rising and creative ingredient combinations. There will be plain tomato and mushroom pies, and then ones like pizza alla carbonara with eggs and guanciale, or fresh buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and melon. Be sure to get some fried snacks as well, like homemade chips cacio e pepe.

Margherita, eggplant, and prosciutto are just some of the pizza toppings at Centocelle's Pommidoro.
Pizza al taglio at Pommidoro Photo Credit: Pommidoro

4. La Lupa

The term “hole-in-the-wall” is overused, but it really fits La Lupa (Piazza delle Iris, 13). Tucked into a corner of a piazza normally filled by a public market, La Lupa has an open kitchen, 10 seats, and just a few menu items. Pastas like carbonara and cacio e pepe, meats like braised oxtails and roast beef, simple vegetables — this is homey, honest Roman food. A good place to pop into for lunch after a long walk around Centocelle.

5. Shah Mat

The name “Shah Mat” is the Arabic from which the English phrase “Check Mate” comes, and this tiny wine bar is a potent combination of everything that makes Centocelle great. It’s fundamentally a Roman tavern — there are local white wines and sandwiches stuffed with hand-sliced porchetta and prosciutto. Add into that various aperitivi with Spanish and Middle-Eastern flavors, frequent live music and art events, and cheap cocktails, and you’ve got the rare spot which could please both a cured-meat enthusiast and someone looking for a poetry slam.

At Shah Mat in Centocelle, you can feast on things like Spanish ham, washed down with Italian wines.
A whole Jamon Serrano at Shah Mat. Photo credit: Shah Mat

6. Ciro Kebab

Other than pizza, kebab is Rome’s main late-night drunk food. Unfortunately, most of it is pretty bad, and not even in a “bad-but-good” way. Ciro Kebab (Via dei Castani, 251) is good-in-a-good way. Open late and cheap, Ciro is a favorite amongst Centocelle bar-crawlers. They take your standard kebab and just do it right. The meat is always tender and delicately-spiced, the bread is baked right there, the vegetables crisp and fresh. Centocelle is home to thousands of immigrants, and they — and their businesses — are part of what Centocelle one of the most fun places to visit in Rome.

7. Pro Loco DOL

Pro Loco DOL has a mission: To gather all of the typical ingredients and products of the Roman countryside, especially those not typically found in shops and restaurants. This Centocelle hotspot has both a store in front, and then a small restaurant in the back. There, you’ll find everything from classic amatriciana and stinco di maiale (pork shank), to a dish rarely served anymore: spaghetti with snails. There’s also pizza with long-fermented dough, and a superlative selection of cured meats and cheeses. A can’t-miss for those looking to experience the bounty of the Roman harvest.

Every night Pro Loco DOL is packed with people eager to try their meticulously-sourced takes on Roman food. One of our top picks for where to eat in Centrocelle.
The hungry crowd at Pro Loco Photo Credit: Pro Loco DOL

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