Bottom of the pit #9, Rome

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Rome, the city of Margherita, Prosciutto, Funghi, Pepperoni,Arrabiata,Bolognese,Calzone,Tonno, Quatro Formaggi, Quatro Stagion, Frutti Di Mare, … you get the point. This is gonna be fun because Rome has some of the worst restaurants in the world (and some of the best) and as always that’s where we step in.  It’s easy to make mediocre food. Being with the top 10 worst restaurants of a particular area is (unless there are only 10 restaurants in that area) not that easy either! Here are the 10 worst restaurants of Rome, IT according to the people who visit them!

Rome has about 8000 listed restaurants! These are the absolute worst! All of these restaurants have more then 10 reviews online. Some of these places have closed (for a good reason). Let the #foodbashing begin!

#10 Di Biagio and Peppe

Jesus, where do I begin…? A 4.50 EUR “bruschetta” is a piece of white flour supermarket-bought sliced bread with two thin slices of prosciutto, a yellow leaf (“salad”) and 4 drops of olive oil!

The pizza arrived burnt to cinders and charcoaled. Additionally, there were 4 pieces of what looked like pepperoni and the cheese was burnt into the dough and beyond recognition. The waitress assured us that’s how pizza is supposed to be prepared.

My spaghetti with meatballs plate looked as if someone had picked the order off the floor, with a spatula, and tossed it onto the plate. There were TWO meatballs the size of rodent testicles.

Naturally, we refused to either eat or pay for this. We did pay for the bruschettas and two glasses of beer. Two slices of store-bought bread and 0,6L of beer cost us 20 EUR. Of all the money we spent in Rome, I can not get over wasting the 20 EUR at this excuse for a restaurant. The waitress threw a hissy fit and started babbling, in Italian, to other customers. It sounded like she was complaining that we had the balls to complain about and refuse this insult of a meal.

Please, please do not go anywhere near this place. Do not look for any deals and disregard the deceivingly low prices they have on the board out front. Go elsewhere, there are hundreds of decent places in this area.

#9 Bar Tavola Calda Sant’ Anna

I went to this place for a snack before going to the Vatican museum. I went to the counter to order a latte and cannoli to go. I told him I wanted the small cafe latte. He told me either medium or large. I told him the smaller size and also pointed to a cannoli. He told me to have a seat to wait for the order.

I sat down and waited about 15 minutes and a waitress brought me a large cappuccino and a cannoli with a scoop of ice cream. I told her I just ordered a small coffee and a cannoli. She told me not to worry and that they wanted to make it look nice. The cappuccino and cannoli were nothing special. I waited about 20 minutes after I finished and finally asked for my check. A waitress brought my check and WHAM!!!!!!! 20 Euro for the coffee and cannoli I ordered. WHAT?!!!!

I told the waitress she gave me the wrong bill. 20 Euro!!!??? I was baffled. If it were anywhere near the ballpark of what you would expect for a coffee and a cannoli at a tourist area I probably would have paid and left. I told them again they were mistaken as steam was coming out of my ears. If I hadn’t just seen the Pope earlier that morning, my head would have exploded from the anger after seeing my bill. I kept my composure and discussed my concern in a civilized manner.

The man that took my order approached me and said that it was more expensive because I sat at a table. I told him I only sat at a table because he told me to wait at a table for my order. I also told him I never ordered the large latte and never ordered the ice cream with my cannoli. He showed me the menu price list that was hidden in the corner of the restaurant. My original order should have been about 7 Euro(still expensive, but in the ballpark for a cup of coffee and a pastry).

I argued some more and he dropped the price to 15 Euro and then 12 Euro. At this point I was furious that he was trying to negotiate and act like he didn’t just try to rip me off. Out of shear anger and principle, I told him I was only paying the fair price of 7 Euro.

He then told me he was calling the Policia. I told him I would like him to call the policia so I could report him for trying to steal from me. We walked to the nearest door and he kept telling me he was calling the police. I told him I would help him call the police. He realized I was serious and went back inside. He eventually came back out and told me not to call the police and I could leave without paying the bill.

I am not an unreasonable person. I understand there are pickpockets and hustlers around tourist areas trying to take advantage of travelers. I went into that place knowing that it was a tourist trap being right across from the Vatican entrance and that I was going to pay a little extra. I did not expect a blatant attempt at robbery right across the street from one of the most sacred places in the world

#8 Ristorante La Romanella

After a tiring visit to Vatican City we were coaxed to the Romana by a friendly man who said we would get good food there. When we arrived we waited about 15 minutes before anyone took our order. To be fair the food was OK.

However I went to the toilet to discover that they were in an awful state. There was no toilet paper, (Foodbashers note: just imagine what would happen if the food turned out to be bad… Nasty!) the floor was soaking with paper all over the place. There was no toilet seat and they were generally filthy. I called a waiter to witness the mess and his immediate reply was that ‘ it was not his job to clean the toilets‘. I expected him to inform the manager or owner but he just went about his business. (Foodbashers note: no toilet paper and no toilet seat. One might wonder if  this was the toilet?)

I sought out the owner and informed him that the toilets were in a disgraceful condition. He was immediately aggressive and said that ‘we serve good food here to our customers but if you need to go to the toilet that is your problem’. I said that in my view the state of the toilets in a restaurant reflected the standards of hygiene and the quality of the restaurant and I certainly would not return to the Romanella again. The owners response was that he did not care if I never returned to his restaurant again and he did not even entertain my complaint. I have to say I have never before come across such aggressive, ignorant customer service.

The authorities in Rome should do something about restaurants like this who are situated so close to the Vatican City.

#7 Cafe Vaticano (from now on known as Satan’s Bar)

We were in Rome for my cousins birthday, we had traveled from New Zealand to England for the wedding.

These people (red: running the place) came out and greeted us in so along we went. We asked to see the menu and were advised to hop up and take a look in the cabinets… He rattled off the various things we could order. My cousin & her NEW husband ordered a baguette each and ended up with a bun. My mother ordered a panini and got a sandwich, not one of us actually got what we ordered. My father and cousin inlaw ordered a 1litre (stein) of beer, I had a glass of wine. The beers cost 20euro each my burger 25euro and my wine 15euro. Given we are from NZ when we converted it, my hamburger and wine had cost me $70.00. We were flabber gasted, my cousin queried the prices and told them they should be ashamed of themselves.

We refused to pay the service fee and had a waiter chase us out onto the street. Honestly, there is nothing honest about the establishment, they should be ashamed of themselves, DO NOT GO!! the food was extremely average, mostly re heated, looked good in the cabinets, but do not be fooled!

#6 Da Giuliana S.R.L. Ristorante Pizzeria Cucina Italiana (This is not a typo)

Most restaurants are closed on Dec 31. So we had a walk around and found Da Guiliana open, we were happy to find a place to eat and were even willing to pay (in advance) a deposit of EUR 20 for the reservation for ´security reasons´ as the waiter called it (never had done anything like that).

Later that night we did have dinner with five. The restaurant offered a ´set menu´ for EUR 38 (meat) and EUR 45 (fish). To be honest, we know our food/restaurants and we´ve had dinner at very good restaurants all over the world and even in some ´less known´ places but even we were shocked at the quality of food offered at Da Giuliana. It is not that you get ´sick´ but there was very little to enjoy, most of the food was nearly cold and what was left was not worth eating.

If you are really facing a serious famine, have a look at any fast food chain because it can´t be worse than Da Guiliana. Don´t accept any things that are complementary because you´ll pay ´hard cash´ for it and be prepared… Da Guiliana charges you 20% for service on top of the prices on the menu. As we had a ´special menu´ (which didn´t mention the charge) we were surprised that we had to pay an extra EUR 45 for the service (which was horrible by the way). By the way, on the bill they ´forgot´ about the EUR 20 deposit we made in advance so we had to claim it back, so those of you who go go to Da Guiliana (for thrills) keep track of the deposit. I´d rather sponsor you when you are hungry than have you visit Da Guiliana! Don´t go here!

#5 Cafeteria Antica Roma

Went there in July and was charged $39 Euro for three gelatos! We had been buying them in various establishments each night while we were in Italy and the price never exceeded $3 Euro per cone. It is a shame that the Italian Bureau of Tourism (if one even exists) can’t shut them down! (Foodbashers note: wake-up call! The IBT does not C.A.R.E.)

They handed each gelato to us with decorative sprinkles, mini cones, and other edible arrangements. We were in complete and utter shock when they told us the price. After arguing with them for several minutes my wife reluctantly paid, since both grandchildren had already ate some of their gelato. (Foodbashers note: and because of basic physics a gelato changes from a solid to a liquid). Once outside, my wife was so upset at being duped she had to go back in with video camera in hand and give them a piece of her mind. (Foodbashers note: seems like this one went full psycho, never go full psycho!). She was shown a sign with a price-list which was almost hidden and it was not much bigger than maybe 4″ by 6″.

They explained briefly that the flower cone was a few extra euros, however, we didn’t ask for that. When she started telling new arrivals what they should expect a little twerp came out of the kitchen and flashed her his middle finger. A real classy place! It is obvious they target foreign tourists or maybe the locals just figured out their scam a long time ago.

Lesson learned: do not make any type of purchase without first asking about the price. It’s too bad there are places out there like this. It definitely put a damper on an otherwise perfect trip.

#4 Bar Moretto

While I can say that it is in a great location and their presentation of desserts and pre-made sandwiches is very good, well that is where it ends. You sit down and they rush you to order, slap a menu with pretty photos of food and hurry you to order by photo only, no prices listed. (Learned from this that if prices are not listed get up and leave).

My sandwich was good with fresh chicken, but my wife’s pasta and meatballs was worse that canned pasta with meat, the tomato sauce tasted old and sour. Then the check came, 52 euros for this lunch!!!! Outragious!! To say the least. When I complained to the waiter he insisted that it was good food and well worth the price. I then complained to the owner who just told me he was sorry…

I am a Chef by profession so shame on me for not checking for the prices first. But every other place that we have eaten at so far has been well priced and very good. I have visited several gourmet grocery stores already here and know that I could buy pasta, some ground meat and pasta sauce for about 6 euros total, and that would make two plates not just one. So how a restaurant owner can charge 25 euros for this same plate, well that is just shameful! I hope the owner of Bar Moretto reads this and thinks about it, but he probably won’t. (Foodbashers note: no he won’t read it but at least he said “sorry”. Case closed!)

#3 Caffe Sant Anna

It was easter weekend. We got out from the San Pietro and were very tired and hungry. We saw the the price outside written “Panini+bibita 8 EUROs on requests” so we got in and ordered the PANINI menu.

The waiter let us sit at table near the windows and said he will bring us the panini’s right away so we ordered 2 more cappuccinos, something the waiter immediately suggested.. “cappuccinos grande,va bene”!. The restaurant was extremely packed with tourists who seems to enjoy their meals (perhaps they didn’t get the bill yet). The panini’s arrived and they were OK. Also the cappuccinos arrived in the MUGs like starbucks which was unusual for Italian coffee.

The drama came when we asked for the bill. The panini menu which was supposed to be 8 EUROs turned out to be 15 EUROs!! and the 2 cappuccinos were 8 EUROs each!! The total bill was 79 EURO…. The waiter who was polite, started to be rude. I asked why it was so expensive. He said because that we SAT eating and that was the price. I wonder why the Italian authorities allow these people to scam the tourists just right outside the San Pietro Basilica.

#2 Bar Amore

We were in a hurry to eat a late lunch and wanted something simple like a panini and a drink. As we were about to cross the Via Cavour we decided to sit at the tables outside this bar – BIG MISTAKE! We had seen the sign for panini and a drink for 6,50 EUR. The waitress asked  what we wanted so we ordered three panini’s, a lasagne and four beer. We never got to see a menu at all.

I picked up the ticket and took it into the bar to pay. By the time she had finished it was 73,50EUR!!! (the panini’s suddenly became around 7 EUR each, the lasagne 15 EUR and the beers were 12 EUR). I saw what she was doing and told her very clearly I had no intention of paying the bill and she should call the police as a robbery was taking place – only they were doing the robbing!

The ‘lady’ in charge came round and told me I had to pay to which I said I would pay a reasonable price but not the amount she had charged. I explained very clearly and simply that we had not seen a menu, she was charging more for the panini’s than the offer, which had included a drink, she was deceiving people and was a disgrace to the city. She called in the staff girl who confirmed what I had said. The lady pointed out the lasagne was fresh meaning the cheaper one was frozen so she needed to charge more – unbelievable.

The bill was then reduced to 53 EUR and I still wasn’t happy with it. After another argument I gave in, paid the new bill, told her what I thought and left. My wife and friends couldn’t believe what the amount had originally been. I cannot believe why the authorities don’t do something about the blatant deception and fraud carried out at this place.

#1 Sala Interna Bar or Bar il Caffe

(Foodbashers note: You have to love this restaurant. They have no positive reviews, not even one! This means they didn’t even review their own restaurant to make it seem better! Talking about being honest!)

We stopped at this restaurant for a few beers and a pizza to share. We sat down and were immediately we were asked whether we wanted beer or wine, even before my mum had actually touched the seat. We asked for 2 small beers and a regular for my boyfriend to compliment our light lunch. We ordered a pizza to share and a side of mushrooms.

Food was okay, nothing amazing but not terrible. We had to ask again for our side as it did not arrive.

During our meal we heard the gentleman behind us swearing, and at the time, I thought being rude, to the waiter which I commented on. Following this, another gentleman got up and walked out with his wife refusing to pay. This escalated in to a heated row where the waiter and the customer were swearing loudly at each other in front of everyone. The waiter then insulted the man’s wife.

We then realised that there was a service charge being added at €3 per person to everyone’s bill which obviously was not to any body’s liking. We immediately asked for our bill… a grand total of €68 for a pizza (foodbashers note: LOL), a side of mushrooms to share between 3 and a beer each… none being the size we asked for but larger so they could charge us more!! Oh, and that was also with €3.50 for a bottle of water! Rip off!!

My advise is PLEASE PLEASE stay away from this restaurant. It is not the waiters fault, but the owner does not deserve your business and the sooner we can get this restaurant gone the better!!

It was not a pleasant experience, and it agitated us for the entire day, so much so I have hunted down the ‘name’ of the restaurant that the waiter gave us by using google maps to warn others .

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Mr Eggplant

Born on a hot sunday morning near Pripyat in 1986.