Rome’s Esquilino Market is one of the busiest food markets in the city.
A short walk from Termini, Esquilino is a neighborhood that has lived many lives.
On one side, you’ll find aqueducts. On the other, porticoes better suited for Torino.
The market itself takes up an entire city block.
Inside you can find everything from ready-made snacks to pigs feet, cooking pots, spices and seasonal ingredients.
The market is notable for its size, but also its diversity.
You will be spoiled for choice with the number of vendors offering classic Italian ingredients.
But I make the trek out to Esquilino markets for the foods that are harder to find in the rest of Rome.
It is one of the best places in Rome to find international ingredients.
Mangoes, avocados, sweet potatoes, oh my.
Really, whatever you want for dinner is probably available in Esquilino market.
It is a functional space, with dark corners and a light-filled center.
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.
Most days it feels like there is a life to the market that I am only barely skimming the surface of.
The sellers and buyers spin in a regular rhythm of daily interaction.
And then there is me, just passing through for pizza al taglio or fresh bread at Panificio Roscioli.
Or may be you would rather shop for halal meat from one of the many butchers whose stands are on the market’s peripheries.
Remember the pig’s feet.
Buy your daily bread.
Walk through the fish market.
And feel like a part of the city for a short moment.
While immigrants and born-and-bred Romans good-naturedly haggle over snapper.
Whatever the meal you are planning to make, you can find each part of the dish in Esqulino.
The mix of cultures that make up the neighborhood blend together in the market.
It is a one-stop global culinary tour.
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.
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.
I prefer the food stalls myself.
Via Filippo Turati, 160,
00118 Rome, Italy (Esquilino)
Open daily Monday – Saturday from about 6:30 am to 2:30 pm
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