Al Pompiere: traditional Roman cuisine in an old palazzo


I have been a fan of Al Pompiere for many years and come back to this restaurant whenever I am in Rome. It is difficult to find because the entrance is tucked away in a tiny side street off the via Arenula, close to the Sinagoga. You go up a flight of stairs to the restaurant which has high ceilings and several rooms, simple and classic decor.

The food has been consistently excellent. My favorites are the local dishes such as fried zucchini flowers and fried artichokes (carciofi alla giuda), which you eat as starters. Then you move on to the pasta dishes. I love the bucatini alla’matriciana which is spaghetti-like pasta with a rich tomato sauce that has guanciale (Italian bacon made from pork jowl, and unlike pancetta, it is not smoked, but washed with wine and herbs, rubbed with red or black pepper and is air cured for several weeks). My other favorite at Al Pompiere is the spaghetti carbonara which is made with fresh egg yolks, guanciale, pepper and pecorino. Prices are reasonable (for example, a bottle of the house red wine is 8.50 EUR and it was good).

Al Pompiere
Via Santa Maria dei Calderari 38
Rome, Italy
+39 06 686 8377

Check out: my favorite restaurants and cafes, and favorite hotels in Rome.

About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.