/Where to Eat and Drink in Rome During the Holidays

Where to Eat and Drink in Rome During the Holidays

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UPDATED FOR 2017/2018! 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.

To partake in the traditional Christmas Eve fish feast, head to elegant Il Sanlorenzo, the best place 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. A short stroll away on via dei Giubbonari, Roscioli will be open for lunch only on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve. Antico Forno Roscioli will also be open on the same schedule. Forno Campo de’ Fiori is open Christmas Eve day and New Years Eve day.

In Testaccio, La Torricella is open for lunch only on December 24 and 25, then open for lunch and dinner December 31 and January 1. Piatto Romano is open Christmas Eve at lunch, Christmas at lunch and dinner. They are also open for lunch and dinner on  New Year’s Eve and Day. Taverna Volpetti is open at lunch on Christmas Eve Day and New Year’s Eve day. Across the river in southern Trastevere, the extremely awesome Tavernaccia Da Bruno is open December 24 at lunch and dinner. They are already fully booked December 25. They are closed for New Year’s Eve and Day. 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.  In the San Giovanni/Appio-Latino district, Santo Palato is open for lunch and dinner on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

For international cuisine, try Mesob, which will be open throughout the holidays upon request, while fine dining lovers should check out Pipero, also always open. 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.

Panificio Bonci is open Christmas Eve day and New Year’s Eve Day. Pizzarium is, too, but they will close at 6:00pm instead of 10:00pm each day.

Il Goccetto is open from 11:00am until 8:00pm on Christmas Eve day and New Year’s Eve Day. 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, noon to 6:30pm on New Year’s Eve and noon until 2:00am on New Year’s Day. Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa’ in Trastevere is open 11:00am to 3:00pm on Christmas Eve and 4:00pm until 2:00am on Christmas. Meanwhile Birra Piu’ in Pigneto is open 5:00-8:30pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and from 6:00pm to late on Christmas Day.

A heads up to Cesare al Casaletto and Colline Emiliane fans, they will be closed until January 8.

Be sure to call all venues in advance before turing up. While the aforementioned openings have been confirmed multiple times, non si sa mai (you never know what can happen!). Buone feste!

2017-12-17T07:51:44+00:00 December 4th, 2017|Categories: Food & Wine, Gastronomic Traditions, Rome & Lazio|55 Comments

55 Comments

  1. […] 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 and prix fixe menus, visitors to Rome can eat very well during the holidays. It just requires a bit of planning. Check out this post for this year’s openings. […]

  2. Sam Romano November 30, 2013 at 7:01 am - Reply

    Hi Katie,
    I will be travelling with my 9 year old during the Christmas holidays and will be in Rome on Jan 29th and 30th.We would like to see the Spanish Steps, St. Peter’s, Trevi Fountain, and the Colloseum. Any suggestions for a central hotel to these sights?

    Thanks

    Sam

  3. Cliff December 3, 2013 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Any idea of upscale restaurants that have good vegetarian selections for New Year’s Eve? We also eat fish, but not shellfish.

  4. Tiffany December 19, 2013 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks for the suggestions. Any suggestions or tips for a single girl in Rome for Christmas? Especially when eating out?

    Thanks,
    Tiffany

    • Katie December 19, 2013 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      definitely reserve a place in advance and if you like beer, check out Birra + or Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa’

  5. Martina Kuhnert December 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,
    I will be in Rome for the holidays, thank you for the list of open restaurants, very helpful!
    Is there a bar to go after dinner for new years eve you could recommend?
    Ciao,
    Martina

  6. Maria December 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    I will be travelling with my fiance – husband to be in Rome 31/12/2013-04/01/2013. We would kindly ask you to give us a few options on where to have dinner on New Year’s eve. Somewhere close to Via del Corso and the Spanish steps but not EXTREMELY PRICEY.

    Many thanks 🙂

    Maria

  7. Katie December 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    @Martina, macche and birra piu mentioned above are bars i love for craft beer.

    @maria, all my reccos are above. there are other places open but these are the ones i endorse. enjoy!

  8. Kailyn December 8, 2014 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Katie,

    I will be visiting Rome 12/24-12/28. Do you have any recommendations for a good breakfast spot and an updated list of places you recommend that are open on December 25th?

    Thanks!

    Kailyn

  9. Amzie December 13, 2014 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Katie,
    First I would like to thank you for this blog and your app. They’ve been a huge help in planning trips to Rome.

    Second, any idea how late Cesare al Casaletto is open on New Years day for lunch? My wife and I are planning on going to the papal blessing that morning and want to make sure it’s not too late when we get out there.

    Thanks again,
    Amzie

    • Katie December 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Amzie, i presume New Year’s Day lunch can start as late as 2 or 215. Unless they have scheduled seatings, in which case I can’t imagine a 2pm arrival time being a problem. Regardless, the papal blessing should be over by lunch time since it starts around 1030

  10. Defne December 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    I just found your blog and after checking out your recommendations for Istanbul I am sure that we will not be disappointed if we follow your recommendations for Rome.

    I will be visiting Rome from December 30 to January 3 with two of my friends (we are coming from Istanbul and we are on our late twenties and early thirties). On new years eve after dinner, do you think we should find a place indoors or would it be enjoyable if we spent the night out on piazzas and streets?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best,
    Defne

    • Katie December 14, 2014 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      hi defne! it depends on what you are up for! i like to be at a bar when the clock strikes midnight and i would go to some place like barnum cafe (though reservations aren’t usually necessary, you may want to try booking). i would have dinner at 830/9 so i could be out the door and on my way to a bar at 11. the streets will be packed with people drinking so if you like something more causal (and crowded!) you might try that:)

  11. Jo December 16, 2014 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Hey Katie, great post! wish I had seen this earlier though! I was at Rome last year during December but was not aware that restaurants closed during Christmas! Like what you mentioned, I was literally scavenging for food with my friends 🙁 we were so so envious of the people around us in Rome where they could gather with families in the comfort of their homes.. we are from Singapore btw & was at italy for a holiday! It was actually from that unforgettable experience that my grp of friends decided to startup an online platform that connects diners with local home cooks, so that bewildered tourists like us would have some place to turn to this festive season when all restaurants are closed! Anyway, my point being – Great informative post! I am definitely checking out those restaurants you mentioned on my next trip to Rome! Going to follow your blog regularly!

  12. Laney December 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks so much for all of this info! My boyfriend and I are traveling to Rome for Christmas this year and looking for a cosy and romantic place to go to for Christmas eve dinner. We’ve seen menus at the Brunello lounge and restaurant, and Salone Eva at Hotel Hassler, but as we both have not been to Rome before we are unsure of whether either of these are the right fit. We are also considering All’oro and Il San Lorenzo as well as Casa Bleve but we like the idea of experiencing a traditional fish tasting menu. In terms of a warm and inviting intimate atmosphere do you have any guidance or recommendations? Thank you so much, I love reading your blog and we are really looking forward to our visit!

    • Katie December 17, 2014 at 9:02 pm - Reply

      you’ll have more fun at il sanlorenzo or casa bleve. id pass on the hotel lounges:) have a great time!

  13. Defne December 18, 2014 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Hi Katie! Thanks for the reply. The house we are staying at is just a step away from barnum cafe : ) So if not on the new year’s eve, we will definitely stop by. Wish you a wonderful new year!

    • Katie December 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      you too, defne! i may see you at barnum on NYE!

  14. Tal December 18, 2014 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Hi Parla,
    I’ll be in rome on the 24-25th and looking for a nice place to eat on christmas eve too. I’m all by myself this time so actually lookfor a nice place to eat dinner and maybe hang in a neraby bar later. any ideas?

    Moreover, I spent last christmas in London and it was all so quite and everything was closed. any ideas how to spend christmas day in the city? is everything closed as well?

    • Katie December 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm - Reply

      Shops will definitely be closed, though you may find some cafes that are open half the day. Churches will be open but most other cultural sites will be closed. I am obsessed with Rome’s early 20th century architecture, so if i were here on xmas i would stroll through the historical center, then out porta flaminia to the flaminio district, to Ponte Milvio, the stadium area, then down to prati and st peter’s.

  15. Anna St December 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    My husband and I and our children (youngest 10) will be in Rome over 24th/25th December. Any updates on family friendly places to eat over these two days are most welcome. Thanks for this blog 🙂

  16. Fine Stay Slovenia December 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    My favourite restaurant in Rome is L’Asino d’Oro, in Monti. I absolutely love chef Lucio Sforza’s food!

  17. Defne December 26, 2014 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie! Me again 🙂 So for the NYE dinner we made a reservation at La Torricella (at least I hope I did considering we did not understand each other really well on the phone). Is the wine really terrible as you have mentioned in your la Torricella review in January 2013?

    • Katie December 31, 2014 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      the wine list has gotten a tiny bit better, as the owner’s nephew (I think that is the relation) has selected a handful of interesting wines. Problem is, those bottles sell out quickly and sometimes they have them, sometimes they dont. On a recent trip they did have Dettori’s wonderful Renosu Rosso!

  18. one modern couple December 30, 2014 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Hey thanks for the great post!
    They all sound amazing. We would love to visit any, even when its not the hollidays.

  19. Mahee Ferlini January 3, 2015 at 12:48 am - Reply

    Great suggestions!

  20. Donna September 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,
    Thanks so much for these! Any suggestions for Christmas 2015? We’ve already got reservations for Christmas Eve, but what would you suggest for Dec. 25? We’re true foodies, but not really into super formal/fancy places. Thanks!

    • Katie September 15, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Donna, I will update this post for 2015, but most restaurants won’t nail down holiday their schedule until late November. Check back then, but bear in mind that holiday openings don’t vary much from one year to the next, so this post should have plenty of viable recs for your trip!

  21. Robert November 24, 2015 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,
    We are coming to Rome on Dec 23rd for two weeks, I just purchased your app, it is wonderful. Can I ask a few quick questions?

    1) where can we go to do a big grocery shop on Dec 23rd?
    2) where would you recommend for Christmas Day lunch?
    3) we are staying in Via Ugo de Carolis sc A int 7, Rome 00136 can you recommend anywhere near there?

    thanks so much – Robert

    • Katie November 25, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your app purchase, Robert! I will updating this post shortly with 2015 openings, any of the places listed are great for holiday dining. i doubt there will be any on the list in the immediate environs of your accommodations, but youre near bus and train stops…stay tuned

      for december 23 shopping, get bread and panettone at panificio bonci, cheeses and cured meats at La Tradizione (snag a slice of pizza at pizzarium nearby) and you’ll find produce, fish and meat at my favorite market in town: the mercato trionfale. enjoy your stay!

  22. Erna December 3, 2015 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Hi – I have booked at Flavio al Velavevodetto for Christmas eve. Do you know if they will have a set menu or a la carte – I am trying to figure out how much we should budget for this meal.

    • Katie December 7, 2015 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      @Erna, i think it’s a la carte. not sure

  23. Tracy December 8, 2015 at 2:05 am - Reply

    I purchased your app and really enjoy your blog. We (family of 4) are otw to Rome and will be there for the next three weeks. So very happy to see all your recommendations for good places to drink beer! We can’t wait to try some local brews.

  24. Nora December 15, 2015 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie, traveling this week, where do you like to go for pannetoni, turrone and such xmass treats?

    • Katie December 15, 2015 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      @nora for pannetoni check out antico forno roscioli and panificio bonci. i also love the pandoro from forno roscioli and regoli. check out moriondo e gariglio for torrone

  25. Paige Goodpasture May 4, 2016 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    HI Katie! Thanks for your wonderful blog! I found a fantastic apartment for me and my family thanks to you — the Stoll Apartment on Via del Governo Vecchio. Our daughter will have just finished a semester abroad in Siena, and we will be in Rome for Christmas. We are thinking il San Lorenzo for Christmas Eve dinner, then a midnight mass, then a quiet Christmas Day walking around the city. Suggestions for how far in advance to make a reservation for five at il San Lorenzo, and what time we should reserve? Thanks so much!

    • Katie Parla May 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      Id book around the beginning of December. That will be more than enough time!

      • Paige Goodpasture May 5, 2016 at 1:45 am - Reply

        thanks!

  26. Katie December 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the update for 2016! Trying to decide on Christmas eats — Do we need reservations for lunch AND dinner, or could we probably find a simple place to eat lunch without? Not looking for expensive places for either meal. And worried as it seems some transportation stops during Christmas (trying to find the schedule for the 26th), so we don’t want to be stuck walking all over back to our hotel. Also, the week of Christmas — is it easy enough to find places to eat without reservations, apart from 12/25?

    • Katie Parla December 12, 2016 at 1:14 am - Reply

      Hi Katie, I wouldn’t turn up anywhere without reservations, even at lunch, just to be on the safe side. Transport shouldnt really be an issue. Just get this taxi app, use uber, or use google maps transport to show you what public transport is running

  27. Arturo a December 14, 2016 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie! Any suggestion for a Christmas Eve dinner and lunch 24/25 December near Prati (NH Leonardo Da Vinci) thanks

    • Katie Parla December 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      Romeo in via Silla is closest to you but I wouldn’t be bound by geographical distance. Rome isn’t that big and the only place that’s relatively far from you is Mesob or Cesare. enjoy!

  28. Anthony December 14, 2016 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the article Katie! Very usefull

  29. Arianna December 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie!

    My husband and I are going to be spending our honeymoon in Rome from 26/12 – 2/1 and I am SO thankful I came across your article!

    Where would you recommend we spend NYE dinner and ring in the new year? Also, where is the best spot you might recommend eating on Jan. 1?

    I can’t thank you enough again for your article!

    Many thanks,
    Arianna

  30. Phyllis@Oracibo December 17, 2016 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    We have been to Romeo in Prati a couple of times…liked it better at lunch. Our last experience was so, so but it was a Monday night…which could explain a lot. I see that you mentioned a new location. Does this mean the one on via Silla is closing or they are opening another branch? Merry Christmas to you and your family Katie and may 2017 be a stellar year for you!

  31. Cody December 21, 2016 at 5:46 am - Reply

    Hello Katie,
    My girlfriend and I will be spending our two-year anniversary in Rome for the New Year. We have searched online for months, and have found very little information for restaurants offering New Year’s Eve dinner reservations. Of the locations that we have found, however, there is meat on the menu and we are vegetarian. I am growing concerned because I know that we will want to make reservations in advance, do you have any advice? Also, a place near nightlife so we can enjoy drinks and fireworks and low-key festivities after dinner would be ideal.

    • Katie Parla December 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      hi cody! la gensola im sure can sort out a vegetarian menu for you. lots of people will be out and about in Trastevere and you can climb the Janiculum hill to watch the midnight firework’s display. enjoy!

  32. Betsy December 28, 2016 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Thought this might be a good list since Sanlorenzo was on it. The 190 Euro price tag was a stopper, but would have gone nonetheless but too much food. So assumed the listing for Ba Ghetto Milky was a valid one as well. We went there and I have to say it was the most disgusting meal I’ve had in Rome in 35 years. Truly. The fish was so old there wasn’t a peep when we sent it back. Up all night with cramps. Only good thing was they took the fish back and didn’t try to replace it.

    Last time I take this person’s advice!

  33. Sarie August 9, 2017 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie, thank you for your blog and app – they have been really useful in past trips to Rome! Just wanted to ask, will you update again for this year? My husband and I will be taking our (delayed) honeymoon in Rome over Christmas and want to make sure we eat well 🙂

    • Katie Parla August 15, 2017 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      the app is built to fetch data from a server so it updates new additions and drops duds. i won’t be updating the iOS/user interface

  34. DM December 27, 2017 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    Thank you so much for the list! What would you say is the best restaurant to go to for New Years Day- My husband and I are travelling from London for a wedding but decided to stay a couple days extra. Price and location arent too much of a bother, whatever has fantastic foods and hopefully a good vibe!

    Thank you,

    DM

  35. FN February 22, 2018 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    Any recommendations for Easter Sunday lunch? Thanks!

    • Katie Parla February 26, 2018 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      Check my easter post. I’ll update it for 2018 when venues decide their schedule but the list doesn’t usually change much from year to year.

  36. Meyer Food Blog May 4, 2018 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Perfect post, thank you! I’m planning on being in Rome for Christmas this year, so will definitely check out all your recommendations!

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