There may be more restaurants near Rome pantheon than in any other part of Rome. How do you know which ones are good?
The area around the pantheon is chock full of restaurants, some touristy, and others less so. Of course, if you eat in the center of Rome, near a monument like this, you are going to run into other tourists. But plenty of Romans live in the historic center also, and a lot of the restaurants near Rome pantheon have a very local clientele.
I've heard a few Romans say you can't eat well in the center of Rome. I strongly disagree. This is one of the areas where I eat out the most in Rome, because some of my favorite Rome restaurants are here!
You can certainly eat wonderful Roman food near the pantheon. These places cater to their local clientele, meaning they are not touristy. Yes, you will run into other tourists there, especially if you go on the early side (7 or 7:30pm.) But if you book for 9 or later, you will not only be eating where the Romans eat, but also with them!
Armando is truly a local Roman restaurant, with typical Roman cuisine. I eat here when I can, including for lunch. They have all the classic Roman pastas, but sometimes I like to get whatever their special is. They also have wonderful, simple soups (very Roman.) And if I am not in a main-course mood, I sometimes get a bunch of veggies from their antipasto bar. But no matter what you do, save room for dessert and try their ricotta pie. It is out of this world. (I have written more about them here.)
Details: Salita dè Crescenzi, 31. Open lunch and dinner Mon-Fri, lunch only Sat, and closed Sunday. Closed most of August and also over the Christmas/New Year holidays. About 35-40 Euros per person. No outdoor seating. Book at least one day in advance.
A caveat: Often you can only get a booking for 7 or 7:30pm, or 9:30 pm or later.
How to get there: While facing the pantheon, up close, with the fountain to your back, look to your right. You will see a little street with a newspaper kiosk. That is Salita dè Crecenzi. Walk up it only about 30 feet and Armando is on your right.
At this cozy trattoria, one of my absolute favorite places to eat in Rome, you will taste some of the best pasta in Rome. I almost never come here without getting a pasta (I split it with a friend when I can, so I can have more of the other food, it's all so good!)
Friends visiting almost always want their pasta with truffles (it's just the best there is), so I usually share or taste that. My go-to dish here is their chicken cacciatora, made the very old-fashioned way: no tomatoes, just white wine, rosemary, garlic and vinegar. Although, their eggplant parmesan is a close second for me. (See more about them on my top-five restaurants in Rome page here.)
Details: Via delle Colonnelle, 5. Open Tuesday - Sunday for lunch; Tuesday - Saturday for dinner. Closed Sunday night and all day Monday. About 30-35 Euros per person. There is outdoor seating but...you either sit in the covered space next to the main (very small) restaurant, which is not really outside, or, you can sit in one of the two-top tables they put along the alley leading up to the restaurant.
A caveat: I suggest you be prepared for the Roman way of slow service: they get very busy especially in high season, and they don't add extra staff. So you might feel ignored. Just relax and enjoy the food, and realise this is the way it is.
How to get there: With your back to the pantheon, you will see two streets leading straight in the other direction from it. Take the one on the right, via del Pantheon. This will take you to Piazza della Maddalena. Immediately take your first right, via delle Colonnelle. You can spot Del Sostegno by the green neon sign that says simply "Trattoria."
It really does not get much more Roman than this. In fact, they only take cash (trust me that is very Roman.) But come for the food, and the friendly service. And the chaotic ambiance, and the totally kitschy décor!
This is another great spot for the basic Roman dishes like spaghetti cacio e pepe, amatriciana or carbonara. You will also find old-style dishes like squid with peas, saltimboca alla romana, and oven-baked rabbit. The prices are really reasonable (probably because they don't take credit cards.) Booking is a must.
Details: Vicolo Rosini, 4. Open Monday - Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed Sundays and most of August and Christmas holidays. About 30 Euros per person. No outdoor seating. Most reservations are for either 7/7:30, or 9:15 or later.
How to get there: With your back to the pantheon, walk straight away from it, up Via del Pantheon, and continue through Piazza della Maddalena, and walk to the end of this street. At the very end, on via degli Uffici del Vicario, make a quick right and then left again on via di Campo Marzio. Walk about almost to the end, and you will see a tiny alley on your left. That's vicolo Rosini. It's about a 5 minute walk from the Pantheon.
There are in fact quite a few restaurants near Rome pantheon where you can eat outside. If you eat right on the piazza where the pantheon is, Piazza della Rotonda, you will pay for the privilege, i.e. it will be expensive. And it's pretty touristy. But, I know this can be a special thing, to eat while gazing at this amazing ruin. So by all means if you feel like doing it, you should!
There are a few restaurants near the pantheon, just not on the square, where you can eat outside and be in a more "local" setting.
I put this section right after the above section about Roman restaurants near Rome pantheon, because many of the below also specialise in Roman food. But I'd put them more in the "eating outside" category, than in the "really local Roman trattoria" category.
Da Fortunato is a Roman classic. I'd almost insist you eat here just to have that old-world Rome experience. The restaurant has been a fixture on the local must-eat-at scene, since 1975. It is frequented by politicians, Roman elite and in-the-know long-term visitors to Rome.
The dining room is elegant, old-fashioned and spacious. The outdoor area is not that big but it's literally a stone's throw from the pantheon, without being right on the square. The waiters, all old-school, are gracious, unobtrusive and professional.
But let's talk about the food: everything here is delicious, but it's not inexpensive. I have almost melted over their pasta with white truffles (about 45 Euros, although that is what real white truffles cost), and they specialise in fish, which, when it's good and fresh, is never cheap. Their clams/mussels sauté is only ok, but other fish dishes are divine, especially when combined with pasta. But they have plenty of meat and veggie choices also. And frankly, they are experts at real Roman cuisine like cacio e pepe (which is actually reasonably priced, as it should be.)
It's really an experience to eat here, and it's special if you get to eat outside and look at the pantheon. Just be prepared to spend a bit more.
Details: Via del Pantheon 55. Open Monday - Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed Sunday. About 35-45 Euros per person.
How to get there: With your back to the pantheon, walk a little ways up the street that leads directly away from the pantheon on the right side. That is via del Pantheon.
I used to think this restaurant near the Rome pantheon seemed a bit touristy, given its location. But I have to say the quality of the food surprised me. It is a bit little on the expensive side, and the portions are sort of minimalist, but the food is really excellent.
Also they have outdoor seating, and are open on Sundays. Eating outside on a Sunday is hard to come by in Rome, but I get a lot of requests for this, and here is one spot I often recommend.
Details: Piazza della Maddalena, 4. Open daily for lunch and dinner. About 40 Euros per person.
How to get there: With your back to the pantheon, walk the direct opposite direction from it, up either street leading away from it (either via del Pantheon or via della Rosetta). Both of these streets take you to Piazza della Maddalena. The restaurant is the very first one there.
The restaurant's name means "the little corner." And that's just what it is. Well sort of. On the plaza, it looks like a little corner, but in fact, inside it has quite a bit of space. They have a large outdoor space (which is usable year-round) as well. And they, too, are open on Sundays.
This is another one of those restaurants near Rome pantheon that is slightly upscale, with many local politicians eating here. It's also another one that is full of tourists if you go on the early side, but packed with Romans after 9. Their seafood is particularly good, but they have a bit of everything.
Details: Piazza Rondanini 51. Open daily for lunch and dinner. About 40 Euros per person.
How to get there: With your back to the pantheon, walk directly away from it up via della Rosetta. You will come to piazza della Maddalena. On your left is via del Pozzo delle Cornacchie. Take it only a short way and you will come to piazza Rondanini.
I am including Maccheroni here because so many people ask about it. It's in a lot of guidebooks so justifiably, my guests think it must be great. Well...it's ok.
Yes, it's a restaurant near the pantheon where you can eat outside. And the food isn't bad. But it's not special.
It's hard to get a table outside. Often when you call to reserve, you are placed not only inside but downstairs. And when you eat outside, it's very chaotic and crowded. And yep, it's touristy.
I don't have anything specifically bad to say about it, just that I find it average and not someplace that ever comes to mind when I want to eat out in Rome. But since I get asked about it a lot, and since you can eat outside, and it's open Sundays, then I am including it in this list.
Details: Piazza delle Coppelle 44. Open daily for lunch and dinner. About 30-35 Euros per person.
How to get there: With your back to the pantheon, walk directly away from it up via della Rosetta (or via del Pantheon), and you will come to piazza della Maddalena. Keep going straight up via della Maddalena, and make your first left, onto via delle Coppelle. Maccheroni will on the corner of the first street on your right.
With its high ceilings, widely spaced tables and a soft warm light glowing from the stained glass on the ceiling, Casa Bleve is one of the most romantic places to eat near the pantheon.
Eating at Casa Bleve is a sublime experience for the gorgeous ambiance and wine options alone, but the food is also fabulous. It's a little pricey, but worth it if you want a special dinner. And they have one of the most enviable wine cellars in Rome.
You may also want to try the 20€ lunch buffet. This may seem expensive, but compared to lunch buffets around Rome that cost 10€, where really you don't get great quality, here, your 20€ goes far. You will have outstanding food and a beautiful setting.
Details: Via del Teatro Valle, 48. Open Tuesday - Saturday for lunch and dinner; Monday for dinner only. Closed Sundays, and Monday at lunch. About 35-45 Euros per person not including wine.
How to get there: While facing the pantheon, close up to it, make a right and walk along Salita dè Crescenzi. At the end of this very short street, turn left onto Via della Dogana Vecchia.
I really love Osteria dell'Ingegno for these reasons:
This is definitely one of the best overall restaurants near Rome pantheon for ambiance, location and food, and one of the first places I recommend when someone asks me for a romantic restaurant in Rome.
Details: Piazza di Pietra 45. Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Sat, closed Sunday. About 30-35 Euros per person.
How to get there: Facing the pantheon, look to your left. You will see the Hotel Senato. To the left of that is a street (Tazza d'Oro is on the left corner.) This is via dei Pastini. Walk down this street all the way until you come to Piazza di Pietra. You can't miss it, there is a huge ruin on the right side. Osteria dell'Ingegno is on the far left end.
I love eating at il Bacaro because I always feel like it's somehow hidden away and off the beaten track. This isn't really true, because it's in just about every major guidebook, and honestly, every time I've eaten there, there are tourists there. So I cannot tell you this is a true find, and that it's not touristy.
But, it's very sweet, small, low-lit and romantic. They also have really cute, even romantic, out-door seating under grapevines. In any case, I can also recommend it for the food. They specialise in superb steaks, but have plenty of other delicious, and often quite innovative cuisine.
Details: Via degli Spagnoli, 27. Open Mon-Fri for dinner, and Saturday and Sunday for lunch and dinner.
How to get there: With your back to the pantheon, walk directly away from it up one of the two streets, either via della Rosetta or via del Pantheon. Keep going on via della Maddalena. Take your first left (where you see Gelateria della Palma), onto via delle Coppelle. When you come to the first street on your right, piazza delle Coppelle (you will see the restaurant Maccheroni), take that as far as you can, always bearing left. The street turns left on its own, becoming via degli Spagnoli.
If you are near the pantheon, and want a bite to eat, but maybe not a major Roman meal, you might try some of these options for something different.
Enoteca della Pigna is a tiny shop specialising in Sardinian food products. But the owner (who is Roman but just loves Sardinia) also has about 3 little tables, inside or out, where you can plop down and sample some food. And Sardinian wine! It is definitely not a restaurant, but you will get yummy, if carby and cheesy, dishes. I also wrote more about this on my lunch page.
Details: Via della Pigna, 3/3A. Open Mon-Fri until 8pm, Closed Saturday and Sunday.
How to get there: Facing the pantheon, walk straight ahead of you down the street on the left side of the pantheon (via dei Cestari.) Pass the plaza with Bernini's elephant (with the obelisk on top) - piazza della Minerva. Keep walking until you come to a small street on your left, via della Pigna. Take this street and you can easily spot the enoteca on the right side.
Do you have a hankering for a burger and fries? Some spicy chicken wings? Nachos? Well, yes, even in Rome you can get these things. At least for us expats, it's nice to know once in a while you can go get some American bistro fare (I'm sure you think we eat pasta and drink wine all the time but that's not quite true. Ahem.)
I really like The Perfect Bun also for its ambiance, and for the food. They even have a Sunday brunch, complete with bagels and lox; omelettes to order, and plenty of muffins and cakes.
Details: Largo del Teatro Valle 4. Open daily from 1pm - 2am, Sundays for brunch (except in summer.) 2 for 1 special, with dj, on Tuesday evenings 7-10pm.
How to get there: Facing the pantheon, and almost underneath it, take the street on your immediate right, salita dei Crescenzi. Turn left onto Via della Dogana Vecchia. Continue straight onto Piazza di Sant'Eustachio, and keep going, almost straight, along Via del Teatro Valle. Take this street to the very end, and make a right onto Largo del Teatro Valle. Walk just a short way and look to your right. You will see The Perfect Bun set back a little bit, but it has very tall windows so should be easy to spot.
Obikà is an interesting new take on Italian food meets the sushi bar: it's a mozzarella bar!
Can you imagine going to a bar for mozzarella tastings? All laid out pretty on a plate, each variety to be savored and enjoyed?
Well yes, that's what it's all about. Lots of mozzarella. This is Italy, and perhaps you can imagine there is more than one kind. There is cow's milk mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella, smoked mozzarella...and oh so many more! It's a mozzarella bonanza!
There are also some other bar-food things to eat, and even a regular menu with pasta and pizza. And there is a happy hour with complimentary little mozzarella balls...it's very cute. And, there are outside tables, sort of picnic-table style. It's definitely a fun and unusual place to eat near the pantheon. And actually, the food is really good.
So don't only go for the gimmick. Go and enjoy!
Details: Via dei Prefetti, 26a, corner of Piazza Firenze. Open daily from 8:30 until midnight. (You can have coffee and pastries in the morning.) Daily happy hour from 6:30pm. About 30-40 Euros per person.
How to get there: About 5 minutes' walk from the pantheon. With your back to the pantheon, walk straight away from it along Via del Pantheon (or via della Rosetta.) You will come to Piazza della Maddalena. Keep walking on Via della Maddalena. Take it all the way until you come to the end of it (you will see Grom gelateria on the left.) Make a quick left (onto Via degli Uffici del Vicario), and then a quick right again and keep going on Via Metastasio. Continue until you reach Piazza di Firenze. Obikà is hard to miss!
Well this is not a restaurant per se, it's a bakery. But for me it counts as being a great place to eat near the pantheon.
One of my favourite things about it is the aroma that wafts down the street as you approach it. I always come to it while shopping along via della Stelletta, and I love when I get so close that I can actually look inside the laboratory itself.
As its name suggests, Antico Forno is one of those old-style Roman bakeries, with all the specialty and seasonal products along with the standard yummy breads, fresh savory pizzas and pastries. If you want a sweet or carb splurge, this is the spot!
Details: Via della Scrofa 33. Open daily 8am - 8pm.
How to get there: Facing the pantheon, very close to it, you see to your right salita dei Crescenzi. Take this short street to the end, and turn right onto Via della Dogana Vecchia. Walk a little over 100 yds/meters. The street changes name and becomes Via della Scrofa. Antico Forno della Stelletta is on the corner of via della Scrofa and via della Stelletta.
I've given address and directions to each of the above locations. But just in case, here is a map with all of them:
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