Mastro Gusto is a secret. On a posh street near the Vatican, this scrumptious sandwich (mostly) place is only open for lunch and is always packed with Romans on their breaks from work. This is the place to go before or after your Vatican tour. You just point at the ingredients you want behind the counter, and the friendly gals at Mastro Gusto will put them together for you in a crunchy ciabatta roll. Combine prosciutto crudo with figs, turkey and pesto, or – my favorite – eggplant “meat” balls with any kind of cheese, toasted and melty. There is also an impressive selection of beers and wines, organized by Italian region. You can even pick up ingredients by the kilo to take for a picnic in one of Rome’s shady parks, like sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, grilled veggies, and crunchy bread.
This is the place to see real Romans in their natural habitat – no tourists, no touristy Vatican food, and no tourist prices. Also, seriously: the eggplant meatballs.
address: Via dei Gracchi 193
phone: 066 452 0038
website: Mastro Gusto
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