Want to know where to eat in Rome on New Years? Most restaurants in Rome do stay open for New Years' Eve. But the options for quality and price vary wildly. Don't worry, I've got a great list for you below!
Here's all you need to know about where to eat in Rome on New Years:
Many Italians like to have dinner at home or at a friends' house. But for those who do go out, there is the cenone, which means "really big dinner." The New Years Eve cenone, also known as the Festa di San Silvestro, refers to a set menu for dinner, with a set price. Sometimes that price includes wine and sometimes it doesn't.
There is not a traditional meal for New Years' Eve dinner, but it's common to ring in the New Year with some bubbly, usually Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine sort of like champagne.
For dessert, we eat many of the same sweets as on Christmas, like panettone or pandoro.
pandoro with powdered sugar - a classic!
panettone with chocolate chips - my fave!
The most important food to eat on New Years in Italy, just after midnight, is lentils. This is a must, as it is said to bring wealth and fortune. The lentils are served with cotechino or zampone. Both are spiced sausages, but with different casings. The cotechino looks like a huge fat salami, inside typical sausage pork casing, and the zampone is, literally, stuffed inside a hollowed out pig's foot.
Cotechino alle lenticchie - photo courtesy of Corriere della Sera
Zampone alle lenticchie - photo courtesy of Bermis Salumi
You don't have to eat the cotechino or zampone, but, trust me on this, if you are with Italians at midnight and don't eat even some lentils, even if you are bursting from a huge dinner, you will never hear the end of it. So pop a spoonful in your mouth and wish yourself luck!
You can eat out for New Years' in Rome without breaking the bank. Or you can go all out and have a posh and special meal to ring in the New Year. Here are your options:
When deciding where to eat in Rome on New Years, it's important to note what's included in the cenone price, particularly wine/drinks. And if you are looking for restaurants with à la carte menus, try to find out what exactly they do have that night on their menu.
You may want to eat near some of the areas where there is a bit more nightlife, such as Piazza del Popolo (near the Spanish Steps) where there will be fireworks; near the Coliseum (there will be fireworks in Piazza Venezia, a swing dance party along the Fori Imperiali, and a free concert at the Circus Maximus); or in general, Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Navona.
Once you decide where to eat in Rome on New Years, you should decide if you want to eat a late dinner, and stay in a restaurant until past midnight, enjoying a brindisi (toast) with prosecco, and then having a sampling of lentils. Or, you can leave the restaurant by 10/10:30pm, and go wandering the streets towards the plazas mentioned above.
There are lots of choices for where to eat on New Years Eve in Rome. I can't list them all here. But the below is a good mix:
For most of these restaurants, booking a table is crucial. You may be able to walk around and just find someplace with space available, but not at the best places, and not easily.
Of course, I'd eat at any of the restaurants I list here. Otherwise I wouldn't put them on this page! But these are my faves for where to eat in Rome on New Years:
Ditirambo - One of my favorite restaurants in Rome. The menu changes a bit to reflect seasonal, available products, and the food is always fresh and innovative yet very Italian. The staff is friendly and helpful, especially where wine selection is involved.
New Years Eve Menu - Visit their website, and click on "New Years Eve Menu." The really important thing to note here is that for 120€, you also get wine paired with every course, which is no small thing.
Why I'd eat here on New Years - I eat here several times a month. I know the quality of the food, and the skill of the chefs, and I know that for 120€ I will really get my money's worth. Again, note that wine is included in that price. Also, it's right near Piazza Navona and Campo dei Fiori. This is where to eat in Rome on New Years if you want excellent quality food and wine at a reasonable price, and be near some nightlife.
Details - Piazza della Cancelleria, 74-75. Tel: 06 687 1626
Open January 1 for dinner only.
Osteria dell'Ingegno - Another of my Rome faves. This restaurant has it all: a great, central location; cozy decor; soothing background music (a rarity in Rome); friendly service, a good selection of affordable wines, but above all, superb cuisine. The menu changes with the season, and is always full of perfectly balanced, deliciously prepared dishes that reflect various regions of Italy, from Sicily to Rome to Tuscany.
New Years Eve Menu - As of December 11 2015, they are still deciding on the menu (but will send it over once they have.) It will be a fixed menu, around 80-85 Euros without wine.
Why I'd eat here on New Years - First and foremost would be the quality of the food, which is always divine. Second, you could not be more central than this: They are on a gorgeous plaza right near the Pantheon. You are about the same distance to Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Venezia (on opposite ends of via del Corso), both of which will have music and fireworks. This is where to eat in Rome on New Years if you want delicious food, in a very central location.
Details - Piazza di Pietra 45. Tel: 06 678 0662
Open January 1 for dinner only.
These restaurants have a set Cenone, which is listed for under 100€ per person:
i Clementini - one of my go-to restaurants in Rome any time. Near the Coliseum so perfectly placed for fun New Years events after dinner. The food is excellent, and the ambience very casual. They have a website, but no posted menu. But they sent it to me, so you can view it here. 70€ including water, coffee and prosecco only, no wine. Via San Giovanni in Laterano 106. Tel. 06 4542 6395
Le Lu Lo - This is one of those restaurants my friends and I go to over and over again: It's a convenient location near via Veneto and they always have good, affordable food (in particular we love the cacio e pepe potato chips that come out with your first drink.) 80€ including champagne, one bottle of wine for every two people. To choose between a meat, fish or vegetarian menu. There is even child's menu for 60€. And, they will have a live piano bar. Via Romagna 20, Roma. Tel. 06 9604 8480
It's very easy to find where to eat in Rome on New Years Eve for more than 100€ per person. These are just among my favorites:
Glass - If I was going to splurge for dinner in Rome on New Years, this would be the place. I've loved this Trastevere restaurant since they first opened over 10 years ago. Their well-deserved Michelin-star has not changed the amazing quality of the cuisine of chef Cristina Bowerman, the super-friendly service of the helpful and knowledgable staff, or the prices (which were always a bit high but well-worth it, and for a Michelin-star restaurant now, quite reasonable.) 240€ including a New Years prosecco, but not wine. Click here to view the menu. Vicolo del Cinque, 58. Tel. +39 06 58335903
Romeo Chef & Baker - You might say I am a fan of Cristina Bowerman since I am listing another of her restaurants in a row. And yes I am! And this is a real bargain because you can have a fabulous cenone at Romeo, for just 100€. It includes prosecco but not wine, but it's still a deal, considering the cuisine but also the super cool ambiance. The location is great as well, not far from the Vatican. If you want to hit central Rome's nightlife afterwards, it's not that far (15-20 min on foot) to Piazza del Popolo from here.
L'Asino D'Oro - Chef Lucio Sforza has done a wonderful job of creating delicious, inventive Italian cuisine in this cozy restaurant smack in the middle of Monti (near the Coliseum.) They don't have a website, but you can visit their Facebook page and see the New Years Eve menu, even if it's only in Italian. Price TBD but around 130€ including wine pairings. Via del Boschetto 73. Tel: 06 4891 3832
Casa Bleve - Another excellent option for a high-quality dinner with fantastic wine selections. Casa Bleve is known first and foremost for their vast wine cellar, but to me, what makes them special, aside from the very good food, is the ambiance. And, being right behind the Pantheon, they are very central, making it easy to join in outdoor festivities after dinner. 125€ including a welcome prosecco but no wine. Via del Teatro Valle, 48. Tel: Via del Teatro Valle, 48
Moma - I am a big fan of this restaurant, which is why I eat here often. They have very reasonable prices for such fantastic food, and the ambiance is lovely. They are near the via Veneto, so if you are looking for someplace serene to eat a little away from all the chaos, this would be a good option. 130€ including a welcome prosecco, but no other wines. Tel: 06 42011798.
Crispi 19 - Normally I go to Crispi 19 for the seafood. But for New Years, they have a gorgeous mixed menu (land and sea). And the price of 160€, not including beverages, is fair considering the quality of the cuisine here. View the menu here. Near Spanish Steps. Via Francesco Crispi 19. Tel: 06 67 85 904
Wondering where to eat in Rome on New Years that's super duper fancy and special? Perhaps with a view? Try some of the 5-star hotels' restaurants, some of which have Michelin stars, as follows:
San Marco - Wood-burning oven pizza, abundant pasta dishes and meat and fish options to your heart's desire. Near via Veneto, so a bit away from the chaos if you prefer that. Via Sardegna, 38. Tel: 06 4201 2620
il Brillo Parlante - A good, casual option for where to eat in Rome on New Years if you want to be right by some action. It's right near Piazza Del Popolo, a lively spot for New Years. A mix of Roman food, from pizza to fried appetizers to pasta. The food is good (not amazing but good), and service is brisk. Their à la carte menu has been "revisited" for New Years Eve. Important: you may book from either 8-10pm, or from 10:30pm - 1am. If you book the earlier seating, you must leave by 10pm. Via della Fontanella, 12. Tel: 06.32.43.334
il Baccano - I love Baccano because I love the variety of local and international foods, and its fun, cheery ambiance. It's also right near the Trevi Fountain, which makes it central and easy to get to the plazas at either end of via del Corso. Reduced but still varied à la carte menu. Two seatings for New Years Eve: 7:30pm and 10pm. If you go to the earlier one, you must leave by 10pm. Via delle Muratte, 2. Tel: 06 6994 1166
Trattoria Moderna - a cozy, lovely restaurant near Campo dei Fiori, serving excellent, tasty and well-priced food: a mix of Roman and innovative. For New Years there will have a reduce menu with slightly higher prices than normal, but it's still a great choice if you want to eat well and not spend too much. Vicolo dei Chiodaroli, 16. Tel: 06 6880 3423
Urbana47 - I always love this fun, modern trattoria in Monti (near the Coliseum.) They will have an à la carte menu, with limited choices. Via Urbana 47. Tel: 06 4788 4006
Eating out in Rome on New Years Day is much simpler than for New Years Eve. Some restaurants are closed but many are open, and it's not so important to book at lunch. There is no set meal and you should be able to find everything from inexpensive bars and tavole calde, to trattorias open for lunch on New Years Day.
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