Exploring and Eating in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto

written by Tiana Kai
Sora Margherita restaurant in Jewish Ghetto

Authenticity is key when you travel and especially when traveling in Italy. You don’t want to get stuck in a restaurant that looks “Italian” only to eat mediocre food that’s probably not from the market but rather canned. Yes, canned food exists in Italy, which is why I love to recommend the best places to eat, so you get the BEST experience.

I took a quick peek at the Jewish Ghetto in Rome last December and was intrigued enough to go back. Annie, from Scooteroma Tours invited me down to join an Instagram event she organized with @cucinadigitale and @stereotoy, so I couldn’t say no! It was a full day riding vintage Fiats and classic Vespas, but aside from the wheels, we had an amazing lunch before the event…and time to wander the Ghetto.

The Jewish Ghetto in Rome

Jewish Ghetto in Rome

Kosher Cakes in Rome Italy

Fontane delle Tartarughe in Rome

La Fontana delle Tartarughe, Turtle Fountain

The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is beautiful, small and rustic. It was established in 1515 between the Tiber River and La Fontana delle Tartarughe. It was surrounded by walls with three gates that were locked at night; shockingly paid for by the Jews, by charge of the Romans. Once not allowed to own property in their own area, the neighborhood is now flourishing with high property demand, from both Jewish and Gentiles.

Fried artichokes at Sora Margherita

Now onto the food! You can eat really well in Rome, but for a different experience I wanted to taste a local spot in the Jewish Ghetto. Annie said Sora Margherita is the place.

Picturesque front entrance and tight quarters inside means it has to be good. The paper menu looks like a child sweetly hand painted the cover and the list inside was handwritten that morning; an even better sign that you’ll eat well.

First course was fried zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese and anchovies accompanied with a round of fried Jewish-styled artichokes, carciofi alla giudia. Now, fried artichokes sounds “whatever”, but I’ve NEVER eaten them like this! They’re beaten until they open and then without any batter they’re deep fried. It tasted like a cross between potato chips and baked pumpkin seeds. The heart was divine too, nice and tender.

Second course was cacio e pepe, but of course since we’re at Sora you get a little extra something, so their traditional dish comes with a handful of ricotta on top. Their meat balls were flavorful and juicy. I loved that they serve half portions, which I recommend so you can try 4-5 dishes.

Dessert was a perfectly baked tart filled with ricotta and blueberry spread. Need I say more?

Sora Margherita restaurant in Rome Italy

Stepping into Sora Margherita

Sora Margherita menu in Rome

carciofi alla giudia in Rome, Italy

Check out the edit on Instagram!

fried artichokes in Rome, Italy

Ricotta dessert in Rome restaurant

Jewish Ghetto in Rome Italy

Vespa spotted across from Sora

Streets of the Roman Jewish Ghetto Italy

Beautiful street life on Via della Reginella

If you head to Rome you need to do two things: eat like a god and ride a vespa!

What’s your most memorable meal in Rome?

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themandy October 6, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Did you happen to stop into that bakery next to the “Kosher Cakes” sign? It was the site of my last breakfast in Italy on Friday. Their pizza ebraica is otherworldly delicious.

Tiana Kai October 7, 2014 at 9:27 am

It was closed, but I read that it’s amazing!

Cassandra October 7, 2014 at 9:12 pm

I’m a sucker for fried artichokes and would love to try these! Eating like a god and taking a vespa for a spin sounds like one magical day, for sure.

Tiana Kai October 8, 2014 at 9:31 am

They were really amazing, it’s always fun to try something new. What I love about the world (not just Italy) is that cuisine changes every few hundred miles or less, so it’s exciting to have a whole different palette whenever I leave Florence.

Visti Naples, What I really think December 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm

[…] an Italy that not everyone gets to see and should be added to the typical list of: Florence, Rome and […]


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