UPDATED FOR 2019/2020! There is a widely held misconception that during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Rome’s restaurants shut down and people who don’t have the luxury of eating at home are left to scavenge for food wherever they can get it. While one should expect some venues to be closed and many to embrace limited hours, visitors to Rome can eat very well during the holidays. It just requires a bit of planning.
Be sure to call all venues well in advance. While the openings below have been confirmed multiple times, non si sa mai (you never know what can happen)!
To partake in the traditional Christmas Eve fish feast, head to elegant Il Sanlorenzo, one of my favorite places in central Rome to find fresh, local and relatively sustainable fish. Il Sanlorenzo is open at lunch and dinner on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve but it will be closed on Christmas day, Dec 26 and New Year’s day. Tempio di Iside, another favorite of mine, will be open for New Year’s Eve only this year.
Roscioli will be open for lunch only on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve. From December until January 6, Roscioli will be open Sundays, their traditional closing day.
For street food and bakeries, Antico Forno Roscioli, Pizzarium and Panificio Bonci are all open on December 24 and 31, but they’ll be closing earlier than the usual (between 4pm and 6pm).
In Testaccio, La Torricella is open on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Across the river in southern Trastevere, the extremely awesome Tavernaccia Da Bruno is open on Christmas Day but hurry up because they are almost fully booked. Also in Trastevere, La Gensola is open for lunch and dinner Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Up the Janiculum Hill, Antico Arco is also open for lunch and dinner Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. On New Year’s Eve they have a fixed menu. Tram Tram in San Lorenzo is open for lunch and dinner Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
For international cuisine, try Mesob, which will be open throughout the holidays upon request. Fine dining lovers should check out Pipero, which is open for lunch and dinner throughout the holidays (except for Sundays). It is also worth noting that many Kosher restaurants in the Ghetto will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Nonna Betta is the best of the lot. It is open on New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day, too.
Il Goccetto is open until 8:30pm on Christmas Eve day and New Year’s Eve Day, it’s closed December 25 through 28 and on January 1, but during the holidays they are open on Sundays, their traditional closing dayi. Open Baladin will be open throughout the holidays on a limited schedule: noon to 6:00pm Christmas Eve, 6:00pm to 2:00am Christmas Day. On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day they are open all day. Check out Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa’ in Trastevere and Osteria di Birra del Borgo in Prati pages for updates on their opening hours.
A heads up to Cesare al Casaletto fans, the trattoria is open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and December 26, but will be closed from December 27 through January.