Rome’s Esquilino Market (Mercato Esquilino in Piazza Vittorio)

Rome’s Esquilino Market is one of the busiest food markets in the city.

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A short walk from Termini, Esquilino is a neighborhood that has lived many lives.

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On one side, you’ll find aqueducts. On the other, porticoes better suited for Torino.

Fresh vegetables at Mercato Esquilino Rome

The market itself takes up an entire city block.

Olives Esquilino Market

Inside you can find everything from ready-made snacks to pigs feet, cooking pots, spices and seasonal ingredients.

Fresh Italian produce

The market is notable for its size, but also its diversity.

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You will be spoiled for choice with the number of vendors offering classic Italian ingredients.

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But I make the trek out to Esquilino markets for the foods that are harder to find in the rest of Rome.

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It is one of the best places in Rome to find international ingredients.

Mangoes, avocados, sweet potatoes, oh my.

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Really, whatever you want for dinner is probably available in Esquilino market.

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It is a functional space, with dark corners and a light-filled center.

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I tend to go to Mercato Esquilino when I am a) looking to buy in bulk b) searching for foods less popular in Italian stores or c) wanting to wander.


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Most days it feels like there is a life to the market that I am only barely skimming the surface of.

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The sellers and buyers spin in a regular rhythm of daily interaction.

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And then there is me, just passing through for pizza al taglio or fresh bread at Panificio Roscioli.

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Or may be you would rather shop for halal meat from one of the many butchers whose stands are on the market’s peripheries.

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Remember the pig’s feet.

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Buy your daily bread.

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Walk through the fish market.

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And feel like a part of the city for a short moment.

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While immigrants and born-and-bred Romans good-naturedly haggle over snapper.

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Whatever the meal you are planning to make, you can find each part of the dish in Esqulino.

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The mix of cultures that make up the neighborhood blend together in the market.

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It is a one-stop global culinary tour.

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Just be sure to look up the Italian names of the ingredients you are seeking before you go.

It took me weeks to figure out that “cilantro” was coriandolo in Italian.

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And if you have already loaded up on hot peppers, there is an entirely other half of the market devoted to fabrics, shoes and luggage.

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I prefer the food stalls myself.

Mercato Esquilino
Via Filippo Turati, 160,
00118 Rome, Italy (Esquilino)

Open daily Monday – Saturday from about 6:30 am to 2:30 pm
Closed Sundays.

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

  • Reply 7 Best Places to Buy International Ingredients in Rome – An American in Rome September 19, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    […] Mercato Esquilino (Via Principe Amadeo, 184): The best one stop shop for international food in Rome. The Esquilino market has over 100 stalls selling everything from sweet potatoes, to bulk black-eye peas, whole coconuts, as well as pots and pans. There are halal butchers and fresh fishmongers.  Importantly, the Esquilino market is the best place in Rome to get fresh cilantro (called coriandolo in Italian), and to pick up pretty much everything you could possibly need for a feast.  Sellers come from Italy, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central/South America. You can find almost anything. […]

  • Reply Latteria Studio in Trastevere – An American in Rome January 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    […] Vietnamese cooking class was also lovely and now I really need to plan a Mercato Esquilino run so I can get all the ingredients to recreate the dishes at […]

  • Reply Class Trip to Esquilino – Simon Eats Italy July 13, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    […] On Thursday the last group took my class on a tour of the Esquilino neighborhood. They informed us that this is an area that many immigrants first move to in Italy when trying to start a new life. They shared that many homeless people sleep in the main park until the can get on their feet and start making a living. The most fascinating thing about the neighborhood that the group showed us was the food and goods market. The stands in the market are ran by people from around the world bringing unique fabrics, spices, food, and other goods that one might not be able to find in other places. One of the most interesting things that I saw was at a meat stand that had a skinned lamb’s head. It was pretty crazy as it still had its big eyes and tongue hanging between its teeth. I had no clue that was something you could buy. I would have taken a photo of it and of the market to share but sellers there can be sensitive to people taking photos. However, below are some pictures I found on http://anamericaninrome.com/wp/2016/09/romes-esquilino-market/. […]

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