Wondering where to eat gluten free in Rome?
Traveling to Rome as someone who needs gluten-free food can be a bit of a challenge, but don't worry – with a few tips and some know-how, you can enjoy the Eternal City just like everyone else!
Here are my top tips for eating gluten free in Rome. Happy travels!
Not many gluten-free travelers imagine that celiacs exist in Italy too but Italy has a large gluten-free community.
Italy might seem like the last place to enjoy a gluten-free meal, given the abundance of pasta, pizza, bread, focaccia, salumi, craft beer and other Italian staples. But celiacs in Italy can enjoy a large variety of options at every meal.
Having family members living sans wheat has opened my eyes to how important it is for a community, and a city like Rome - where wheat is so prominently part of everyday life - to offer allergen-free options. This prompted me to do some research into how to eat gluten free in Rome.
On this page, we'll cover:
Gluten is a substance present in certain cereal grains, responsible for the elastic tissue of dough.
Think wheat, barley, rye, soy and related species and hybrids, plus oats growing in proximity to these.
As a mixture of two proteins, gluten can trigger adverse autoimmune reactions responsible for a broad spectrum of gluten-related disorders, including celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia and a type of dermatitis.
People with these conditions suffer from a variety of symptoms including joint pain, allergies, itchy skin, headaches and intestinal distress.
These patients must therefore eat a gluten-free diet, so being gluten free in Rome is very important.
The country is experiencing a growth in new diagnoses of celiac disease, with a whopping 225,418 cases (158,107 female and 67,311 male) diagnosed in 2019.
This has translated into a considerable increase in the demand for lots of options for eating gluten free in Rome and Italy.
Here are some excellent restaurant options for eating gluten free in Rome:
All dishes can be made gluten-free so this is an ideal place to eat gluten free in Rome - their pasta alla gricia topped with shaved truffle is a seasonal must!
This is one of the Eternal City’s temples of cucina romana, steps away from the Pantheon, which can make all of the Roman pasta classics – cacio e pepe, amatriciana, gricia or carbonara – using gluten-free pasta, which the kitchen always stocks for its celiac aficionados.
There are two branches of Ciao Checca, serving what is referred to as “Slow Street Food”.
The restaurants are part of the Slow Food Chefs Alliance, and all their dishes can be made gluten-free.
Try their namesake Pasta alla Checca (fresh diced tomato, basil and mozzarella tossed with small pasta shapes) - a perfect way to eat gluten free in Rome!
The menu includes Italian favorites like lasagna, risotto, eggplant parmigiana and pizza.
But don't forgo the cuoppo, a paper cone filled with deep-fried foods like fried pizza, battered cod filets, crocché (potato croquettes) and more... desserts may include fried donut holes drizzled with chocolate, so save room for dolce!
Mangiafuoco has a separate gluten-free kitchen, a dedicated menu without wheat, and - most importantly - gluten-free beer on tap, a Rome rarity.
While waiting for the gluten-free pizza (thin crust or thicker Neapolitan-style) to land on your plate, you can enjoy classic appetizers made without gluten, like supplì, fried zucchini blossoms and croquettes.
Carnivores will also rejoice since the juicy steaks and other meats are fire-grilled on demand, so there really is something for everyone who wants to eat gluten free in Rome.
On Sundays from noon to 3 pm there's a completely gluten-free brunch spread.
Always crowded, especially on weekends, so reservations are highly recommended.
Millenium is one of Rome's oldest restaurants catering to gluten-free diners. Located in the Alessandrino suburbs, it offers an AiC-approved menu and attentive service.
The restaurant is equipped with a separate kitchen and wood-stoked pizza oven, so you can choose from various pastas, appetizers and pizzas, in addition to meat entrées and fabulous desserts.
Vegetarian and lactose-free options are also available, as well as great gluten-free beer.
An exclusively gluten-free bakery/bistro near the Pantheon, opened by 3 women, one of whom is gluten-intolerant.
Wheat-less bread is baked fresh daily, along with a wide variety of other baked goods.
This is a great spot for a proper sit-down lunch or a quick merenda (the sweet, mid-afternoon Italian snack) for those looking to eat gluten free in Rome.
Pantha Rei is a cozy little celiac-friendly retreat away from the hustle and bustle surrounding the Pantheon.
Almost everything on the menu can be ordered gluten-free, including pasta dishes, fritti (fried goodies) and pizza, actually among the best gluten-free pies in Rome.
The restaurant also boasts a vegetarian buffet with lots of grilled vegetables, salads, soups and cheeses.
Most of the pasta dishes and desserts on the menu of this restaurant can be made gluten-free, including the signature tiramisu, whose gluten-free ladyfingers are homemade by the owners. The gluten-free bread is also homemade daily and the team really do think about what it means to be gluten free in Rome.
Gluten-free pizzas are baked in the same oven as traditional pizzas.
However, when an order arrives for a gluten-free pizza, the oven is carefully cleaned according to AiC requirements.
On the pizza building counter the pizzaiolo only uses rice flour, never wheat flour.
All sauces and toppings are prepared without gluten.
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Il Piccolo Mondo is a historic and refined restaurant of the Dolce Vita days that offers traditional Roman dishes, fresh fish and meat with indoor and outdoor rooms, in business since 1954.
A number of dishes on the menu can be made without gluten, as well as vegan and vegetarian options.
The menu includes only dishes of traditional Veneto cuisine with a focus on risotto, using rice produced by the owners, the Melotti family - a great way to have a different gluten free in Rome experience.
Guests can choose from a dozen different risottos (my favorite is the one with porcini mushrooms topped with grilled shrimp) as well as appetizers and desserts, all employing rice as their main ingredient.
Many of their signature dishes (including appetizers, pasta courses, pizzas and desserts) can be prepared without gluten.
In addition to juicy steaks and a jovial ambiance, Pizzeria Bisteccheria Triticum offers a four-page menu of "Zero Glutine" options that include fried appetizers, focaccia, supplì, bruschetta, calzone, pizza and desserts.
There's also a kids gluten-free menu and a play area with crayons and toys so this is great spot if you have children that need to eat gluten free in Rome.
This very centrally located restaurant and pizzeria serves all the classic Rome-style thin-crust pizza options made fully without gluten, with a wide choice of toppings and home-style condiments, plus homemade gluten-free desserts, and a choice of 5 different types of gluten-free bottled beer.
Rome's first 100% gluten-free hamburger joint is located in Pigneto. They recently started offering delivery service and takeout, taking dinner orders until midnight, so Erudito is the perfect quick way to eat gluten free in Rome.
Their sourdough buns are lactose- and gluten-free, baked fresh daily.
Their hamburger patties are made with a delicious blend of lean and fatty cuts of meat, along with a choice of pulled pork, several veggie burgers, french fries, salads and meatless entrées.
The menu changes every month!
New Food is a chain with four branches in Rome and an e-shop for online orders that prepares all sorts of strictly gluten-free foods.
This includes various types of bread, stuffed pasta like tortellini, lasagna, critically acclaimed pizza pies and a wide variety of desserts, muffins, cookies and other ready-made dishes for takeout.
This pizza al taglio joint has been serving gluten-free pizza squares and pies for two decades.
Their typically Roman fried snacks like supplì, battered zucchini blossoms, cod fillets and mozzarella in carrozza are completely gluten-free - ideal for a quick stop for something gluten free in Rome, as well as being great for people on a budget!
The owner of this bakery, pastry shop and rotisserie located near the Vatican has been celiac from a young age, their offerings are therefore entirely without gluten.
There's a full spread for breakfast that changes to sandwiches at lunchtime, and then gluten-free aperitivo later in the evening.
All cakes, donuts, brioche, fresh baked bread and tapas are made from scratch on site.
The governing philosophy behind the raw vegan and gluten-free chocolate shop in the Monti district, Grezzo, is that they only use certified organic ingredients.
The chocolates, cookies, spreads, gelato and other cacao-based treats sold at Grezzo are also made in accordance with the paleo diet and contain no refined sugars so it's not only those eating gluten free in Rome who'll be happy!
La Pasticciera is a small artisan workshop with a big following in the gluten free in Rome scene.
This little gluten-free bakery near Termini has a secret: a unique and innovative flour blend prepared daily by the celiac owner. This results in products that are completely natural, rich in fiber and vegetable proteins, and containing no chemically treated flours.
Hydrogenated fats and palm oil are also banned in favor of noble fats such as butter and extra virgin olive oil.
They offer more than just sweets with lactose intolerant and vegan options, savory party preparations, bread and focaccia.
Among the house specialties are a stellar gluten-free Sacher Torte and Linzer Torte, Mimosa cake layered with chocolate chips and fresh raspberries, savory brioche buns and pizza bianca stuffed with mortadella!
Located near the San Paolo train station, this artisan gluten-free bakery prepares all manner of pastries, cakes, fruit tarts, cookies and even pizza slices.
Their muffins and brownies (which they call fondenti) are delicious and better than many other non-gluten-free options I've tasted around town.
Al Settimo Gelo is the result of twenty years of experience in the production of completely natural gelato, so made without any industrial additions or other chemical shortcuts, making it perfect gelato for the gluten free in Rome.
The open workspace of this Prati gelateria allows customers to witness the process of their gluten-free gelato making, from the raw ingredient to the finished product - my favorites include licorice, chestnut, persimmon and pomegranate.
This gelateria sells individually wrapped gluten-free cones and churns gelato that does not employ gluten products as thickeners.
Vegans can also note the different colored paddles to indicate whether a particular gelato flavor is made with eggs or milk.
I always choose pistachio and, when in season, you'll find the best menta (wild mint) sorbet on the planet.
Spanish Steps/Piazza del Popolo location:
The owner of Fatamorgana, Maria Agnese Spagnuolo, a celiac, launched her gluten-free gelato, setting a trend in the city and is now a franchise with shops all over Italy and one in Los Angeles.
Ideal for gelato lovers with dietary restrictions, the tubs are labeled according to what allergens are present in each flavor (sugar, egg, dairy, nuts, etc.).
Picking your gelato among the 50 seasonal options on rotation is therefore very easy! My favorites are "Prince's Kiss" (chocolate and hazelnut) and "Crema ai fiori di mandorlo" (vanilla with almond flower extract).
There are seven locations in Rome so you'll be sure to find one for your gluten free in Rome trip!
Piazza del Popolo/Spanish Steps location:
Check the Fatamorgana website for all their locations.
Signature flavors include caramel, milk chocolate and hazelnut “Bacio” praline, tiramisu and a myriad of seasonal fruit flavors.
Don’t miss out on the house special; zabaione gelato “affogato” drowned in piping hot espresso coffee!
What to order in two non-gluten free in Rome places without sacrificing the experience:
Why miss out on Rome's unique Trapizzino street food experience?
Those not eating gluten can order the chicken cacciatore (the number one filling of their signature triangular pizza pockets) and have it served in a cup instead.
Visit one of six locations in Rome, plus others in Milan, Turin, Trieste, Florence and Manhattan.
At the Testaccio market, ask street food icon Sergio to serve you his divine allesso con cicoria (tender slow-cooked scottona beef served with its juices and sautéed greens) or any of his other delicious and affordable samplings of traditional Roman cuisine, on a plate instead of in the ciabatta bread.
Grab a glass of wine and smile!
This is a very well-stocked store in the Cassia neighborhood selling a multitude of cookies, snacks, breakfast cereal and granola, pastries, bread, flours, pasta (fresh and dry), candy, frozen foods, organic jams and preserves, spreads, bottled and canned foods, pickles, quinoa, rice… the list goes on.
An ideal place to stock up if you are gluten free in Rome and staying in a self-catered location.
Six stores across town (and an online shop) selling a good choice of bread products, pasta, beer, condiments, cured meats, frozen foods, and more.
The celiachiamo.com online resource has opened 2 shops that sell gluten-free products in Rome.
The one located on Via della Magliana is a veritable gluten-free supermarket selling a vast selection of packaged goods but, more importantly, an artisanal workshop dedicated to gluten-free preparations which produces daily fresh bread, pizzas plus pastries, cookies, fried foods and custom-made cakes.
There’s beer, pasta, sauces, cake mixes, flours, cured meats... and more.
They have a new e-commerce site, too.
Aida is a pharmacist with twenty years of experience.
When she found out that her daughter was celiac she went back to her textbooks, took courses and started cooking gluten-free recipes.
Putting her new knowledge to good use, she opened her shop in the Cinecittà neighborhood.
Here she sells an impressive selection of yeast-free, lactose-free and gluten-free products, including bread, pasta, flour, pastries, frozen foods, snacks and beer.
She also leads gluten-free cooking classes, tastings and fun events for celiacs of all ages.
This well-stocked grocery store sells gluten-free products.
Select branches of L’Isola Celiaca franchise also sell freshly prepared products such as bread, sandwiches, pizza, supplì, breakfast pastries and cookies.
Three stores in the city and six in the outskirts.
In the Flaminio neighborhood, not far from the MAXXI museum, is this lovely store specialized in gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free and vegan products, both fresh and packaged.
Think cannelloni, tortellini and other fresh stuffed pastas; supplì and more fried appetizers; plus flour mixtures, protein bars, cookies … And more.
This shop in the Trastevere neighborhood specializes in gluten-free and/or lactose-free products, with a wide choice of packaged foods.
Think appetizers, microwave pasta dishes, meat or fish mains, frozen pizza and desserts, also sold in convenient single-portion packaging.
Among the latest additions are fresh gluten-free maritozzi with whipped cream, and jam or chantilly cream-filled krapfen.
On occasion, the shop holds small gluten-free cooking classes.
Anyone still skeptical about Italy's gluten-free proposal can check out Associazione Italiana Celiachia, the Italian celiac disease association; and Celiachiamo, dietary intolerance-awareness website.
Places we didn’t mention?
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