If you’re anything like me, the rows of fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, and spices at local food markets are enough to draw you in, but when coupled with vintage finds, books, and artworks, they’re even more alluring and Rome’s food markets are exactly that.

One thing I can’t take away from the Eternal City is that each neighborhood has its own assortment of street food stands and pop-up stores, from Nuovo Mercato Esquilino in Via Principe Amedeo to Mercato dell’ Unità in Piazza dell’ Unità.

To give you a better insight into some of Rome’s fine food markets, I’ve written up this post with my top picks, including some that I take our customers on during our Eating Europe Rome food tours!

Porta Portese Market

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Porta Portese is not only Rome’s most famous market, but it’s also among the best-known in all of Italy. Situated in Trastevere and taking place each Sunday, this flea market is one you could visit a dozen times over and still not see it all.

Every weekend, hundreds of shoppers descend on Porta Portese Market, and the line-up of vendors seems to only be getting longer. There’s always a sense of hustle and bustle, though that’s made it a hotspot for pickpockets.

There’s typically just a small clutch of food stalls here. Not so long ago, I noticed a little stand at the entrance with a woman selling some delightful porchetta sandwiches. A favorite Roman street food of mine, these filled baguettes never disappoint.

The warm bread, tender pork, and crispy skin were a heavenly combination. That’s all before mentioning the deliciously savory flavors of the pork and the tangy and spicy salsa verde that accompanied it. 

Porta Portese Market – Piazza di Porta Portese, 00153 Roma RM, Italy, Closed Monday to Saturday, Sunday, 7:00 am to 2:00 pm

Campo de Fiori Market

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Taking place almost every day of the week in its namesake square, Campo de Fiori Market is a magnet for foodies. Having been around since 1869, Campo de Fiori is one of the oldest Roman markets, and it has been among the brightest and best in the city ever since.

A feast for the senses, the tastes, smells, and sounds are reason enough to visit. Over the years, I’ve picked up everything from here, including olive oil, truffles, meat, and dried fruits. Even if you arrive intending not to buy anything, you’ll likely return home with a handful of items!

The fresh produce here is second to none, and between October and June, the artichokes are the star of the show. Keep your eyes peeled for Roman artichokes, an Italian classic consisting of braised artichokes teamed with garlic and herbs.

No matter where I’ve sampled Roman artichokes, they’ve tasted a little different. From the vendors in the Campo de Fiori, I’ve found them to be perfectly nutty and buttery, and the addition of bold oregano, cool mint, and pungent garlic takes this simple dish up a notch.

Campo de Fiori Market – VFWC+7P Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome Capital, Italy, Monday to Saturday, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, Closed Sundays

Mercato Monti

Food lovers and those with an eye for one-of-a-kind items have to add Mercato Monti to their must-see list. At less than a 10-minute stroll from the Colosseum, it’s somewhere I regularly find myself when I’m spending time in the Monti neighborhood.

There are food stalls open most days, while the clothing market takes place every weekend. Inside this charming bazaar, you’ll find pieces from small local designers, hand-crafted jewelry, and vintage shoes. Only high-quality goods are on offer, meaning prices are slightly higher here.

A slew of fishmongers, butchers, and bakeries have also set up shops at Mercato Monti. Mostly organic fruits and vegetables are available here, but you’ll find a selection of stands whipping up sandwiches and desserts. 

The prosciutto mozzarella and tomato-filled paninis are my go-to if I pass by around lunchtime. Sweet prosciutto, floral mozzarella, and crusty bread hit the spot every time, and the juicy tomatoes always add a layer of freshness to each bite.

Mercato Monti – VFVQ+VJ Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome Capital, Italy

Nuovo Mercato Esquilino

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Nuovo Mercato Esquilino is a bustling marketplace just a stone’s throw from Termini train station and close to Piazza Vittorio. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the city that showcases Rome’s diverse and multicultural food scene quite like this spot. 

If you’re keen to mix things up after sticking to local food for most of your visit, Nuovo Mercato Esquilino is the place to go. Loud, fragrant, and rather chaotic, this indoor market offers exotic fruits, spices from every corner of the globe, and a wide variety of meats. 

There’s a small section boasting second-hand clothing, accessories, and other trinkets, but I tend to just come here for the diverse culinary offerings! The weird and wonderful fruits have always captured my interest, and I’ve grown a liking for yangmei, a type of Chinese berry.

During my last couple of visits, I returned to the same set of fruit stalls towards the back and picked up a handful. Tasting like a blend of strawberries and pomegranate, the yangmei had the most irresistible tart flavors and a unique texture that was both firm and chewy.

Nuovo Mercato Esquilino – Via Principe Amedeo, 184, 00185 Roma RM, Italy, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 5:00 am to 3:00 pm, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, 5:00 am to 3:00 pm, Closed Sundays

Testaccio Market

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Having started off at Piazza Testaccio, Testaccio Market has moved a few streets away and closer to the MACRO Museum. Nevertheless, it remains the buzzing Testaccio neighborhood’s foodie haven and has retained its energetic atmosphere ever since.

Set in a bright glass-roofed building, Testaccio Market is brimming with cafes, grab-and-go food stalls, and vendors displaying everything from leather goods and clothing to furniture and kitchenware. Though it does attract quite a lot of tourists, it’s worth braving the crowds for.

With every visit, I aim to try out something new and have yet to be let down. It’s safe to say I’ve made my way through quite a few of the gastronomic creations dished up at Testaccio Market. Still, the tasty bruschetta I tucked into a few years back continues to be my top pick.

A simple and delicious classic that I’ll never tire of, the bruschetta here is always made with the freshest local tomatoes. Served atop toasted ciabatta and alongside creamy mozzarella, this bruschetta is the ultimate snack on a warm summer’s day!

Testaccio Market – Via Aldo Manuzio, 66b, 00153 Roma RM, Italy, Monday to Friday, 7:00 am to 2:30 pm, Saturday, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm, Closed Sundays

Mercato dell’ Unità

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I can’t discuss the top Rome food markets without mentioning Mercato dell’ Unità. This marketplace has been an institution among residents in the Prati neighborhood since the 20th century and is positioned just a short walk from Vatican City.

An explosion of color and aromas, Mercato dell’ Unità is awash with vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, and homemade pasta. If you’re in the market for fresh flowers, clothing, and souvenirs, you’ll find plenty of those here, too.

A few months ago, I swung by after spending an afternoon exploring the Vatican Museums, and I had a hankering for some Italian cheese. Feeling indecisive as ever, I went for gorgonzola and burrata, both of which were exquisite.

This burrata was rich without feeling too overpowering and had a beautifully smooth consistency. The gorgonzola was a gorgeous contrast, thanks to its semi-crumbly texture, sharp flavors, and hints of earthiness.

Mercato dell’ Unità – Piazza dell’ Unità, 53, Via Cola di Rienzo, 245, 00192 Roma RM, Italy, Monday to Saturday, 7:30 am to 7:30 pm, Closed Sunday

Campagna Amica Market

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Located alongside the Circus Maximus is Campagna Amica, one of the best food markets in Rome. This is the only farmer’s market in the city, which, in addition to the quality of the food, has made it hugely popular among residents like myself.

This market’s picturesque courtyard is filled with customers sampling their purchases under the sunshine every weekend. Inside, farmers from all over Lazio showcase their high-quality fare, with cured meats, olives, bread, gelato, and wine being the most sought-after products.

There are a couple of stores dishing up homemade pasta dishes, which I usually tuck into al fresco when the weather’s on side. Last time I stopped by, I went for the zucchini and almond pasta.

Although not my usual choice for a pasta dish, I found the mildness and softness of the zucchini to be a lovely match for the almost bitter toasted almonds. The touch of sweetness from the garlic added a little more complexity to the flavor.

Campagna Amica Market – VFQM+G8 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome Capital, Italy, Closed Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Conclusion

Eat your way around the Italian capital and dive right into the city’s colorful culture with a visit to some of the finest Rome food markets. 

Experience La Dolce Vita Roman-style and tuck into some local fare while watching the happenings of daily life in the City of Seven Hills.



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