Looking for good restaurants near Spanish Steps?
Get the scoop on the best places to eat and drink in Rome's shopping zone.
The Spanish Steps area is known as Rome's Shopping Zone.
At night it quiets down a lot, and doesn't have a lot of ambiance for after-dinner strolling (other than during the Christmas holidays).
Whether you want a lunch break while shopping in the area, an aperitivo/cocktail, or a quiet dinner in a local trattoria, you'll have plenty to choose from:
I've tried many more restaurants near Spanish Steps that I don't include here. In some cases, it's because I find them mediocre, overly-touristy, or just not memorable enough to go back.
The places on this page are among my favorites - most for the food, and a few for the special ambiance, where noted.
No More Sitting on the Spanish Steps!
For years, people have thought of the Spanish Steps as a place to eat and drink - literally. Grab your gelato, plunk yourself down on the steps, and watch the world go by.
It's now forbidden, and they are fining people, so be aware of this new change. So now, if you want to eat and drink in this area, you will definitely need to know where to find the best restaurants near Spanish Steps!
When I think of restaurants near Spanish Steps, it's for lunch. It's where I find myself meeting friends, trying new places, and going back over and again to the best ones.
These are my favorite spots for lunch. You can eat at most of these spots for dinner as well - just note the opening hours.
La Buvette has been one of my go-to lunch restaurants near Spanish Steps for years. It's not that special food-wise, although I always like everything I eat there, like cous-cous seafood salad, tagliatelle with truffles and their gorgeous salade niçoise.
I just like the atmosphere, sitting outside on one of the few quiet streets in Rome, sipping a glass of wine with my lunch, and watching the Roman shoppers go by.
It can be tough to get a table at prime lunch hour during nice weather, because it's one of the few places you can have a nice lunch outside near the Spanish Steps but not be inundated by crowds and tourists. Try going on the early side, like noon.
How would you like to eat lunch inside a wine shop, surrounded by gourmet foods and bottles of wine, eating some simple, homemade Roman food?
At first glance, Buccone seems to be a wine emporium, but look near the entrance and you will spot the daily specials written on a little chalkboard easel. This is one of the best restaurants near Spanish Steps for a cozy, simple, homemade lunch.
They also make their own crostate (fruit jam tortes) daily.
Alla Rampa is a nice option for a leisurely lunch.
They have a regular menu with mostly Roman specialties.
If you want, you can sit outside, and in the shade during summer.
The waiters are all old-school, which means they can be a bit funny, but they are also usually friendly and always professional.
**A caveat - one reader told me that her waiter chased her asking for a 20% tip. This is a HUGE no-no and a reason I nearly took this restaurant off my page. In hopes that it was one bad actor and not the philosophy of the restaurant management, I will leave them on here but CAVEAT EMPTOR!
The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome
Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.
In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant'Angelo, and much more.
And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.
Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.
The Ciampini family are local Rome restauranteurs.
They started with the famed café in Piazza Navona, "I Tre Scalini" (still there today, and serving one of the most outrageous chocolate concoctions in the world, the tartufo.)
They eventually opened their location in Piazza di San Lorenzo in Lucina (which I also recommend on this and other pages for a gelato stop, and for pizza, and certainly for a lovely and very local place to sit and people watch.)
The Ciampini restaurant I am referring to here, which was opened by one of the sons, is at the top of the Spanish Steps, on Piazza Trinità dei Monti. And the reason I recommend it for lunch is not for the food (which is fine but not that special.)
It's for the ambiance, the turtle fountain, and the view.
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Do you really want to eat where the Romans eat?
It's not always about the rustic trattoria with the old-fashioned waiters and the fried artichokes.
Modern Romans flock to Ginger for its bright, cheery atmosphere, and hip selection of fruity healthy choices on the menu.
They (and I) love the giant fruit concoctions, smoothies and cheese plates. It's a great spot for vegetarians and vegans, too. Ginger also serves some traditional Roman pastas so there is something for everyone.
This is another one of those restaurants near Spanish Steps I only come to for lunch, although I am sure breakfast and dinner are lovely too.
What I love the most is feeling like I'm sitting outside, even when I'm inside.
I am not a big fan of outdoor dining in Rome (with some exceptions), because of cigarette smoke, heat, street vendors and car/scooter exhaust.
Sitting inside Hosteria del Mercato is like an oasis, year-round. But I wouldn't come just for that. It turns out the food is excellent too. The menu is all about biological, sustainable ingredients.
Bonus - they also have a bio food market next to the café inside.
It's varied, with something for everyone, including vegans and those avoiding gluten. Top it off with a pretty good wine list, and superb desserts, and you have a winner!
Rinascente is one of Italy's biggest department stores. They recently opened their flagship store, to great fanfare, right between the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.
Why is a department store on a page about restaurants near Spanish Steps?
Because they have a huge, beautiful food hall on the top floor! With tons of options for everyone.
On the 6th floor, you start at their marketplace, where you can buy all sorts of yummy gourmet things. And all on this floor you will find:
A fun and delicious place to enjoy Brazilian sushi at Temakinho.
A bio caffe serving all kinds of fresh fast-food, including mini bagels and lox:
A cozy sit-down spot where you can get everything from Roman pasta dishes like amatriciana and gricia, to burghers to Caesar salads, at Madeiterraneo:
The inside dining area of the Rinascente rooftop is cozy and inviting. And the food is quite good to boot!
Madeiterraneo also has a lovely outdoor space, for when the weather is nice, usually from around late March - early November:
You'll find a counter for pizza by the slice, a wine-bar, and to tope it all off (literally), there's a fabulous rooftop bar on the 7th floor, with stunning views of Rome:
Come for lunch, dinner, or aperitivo. And you may even want to shop.
Ready to plan your trip?
Looking for an authentic, non-touristy Roman trattoria near the Spanish Steps? These are my faves.
The next two restaurants are among my favorite trattorias in Rome. If you are looking for a really local spot, with authentic, fresh, Roman cuisine, try one of these:
Settimio all'Arancio is one of those old-time, traditional Roman trattorias where the fish is on display on ice when you walk in, the owner is sometimes eating lunch alone at one of the tables by the cash register, and, at a late lunch hour, you see all Italian businessmen in suits discussing something important while using their hands to make their point, between forkfuls.
Settimio is one of a family of 4 siblings that own three restaurants in Rome, with this one being the oldest.
You can have everything from typical Roman pastas, to in-season-only artichokes, to seafood to steak. A good wine list and courteous, professional waiters round out the experience.
Arancio d'Oro is run by Settimio's brother Luigi, and is just around the corner from Settimio (above.)
This is fantastic Roman trattoria dining in a simpler fashion, but just as good as big brother.
The restaurant is more casual, the dishes are a bit less expensive than at Settimio and it always feels like you are eating with locals who live just upstairs.
Arancio d'Oro also has a wood-burning oven, which means superb focaccia as your bread option but it also means you can have an excellent pizza here!
For more places to have pizza near the Spanish Steps, see below.
The third sibling of this family is Mara, who with her husband runs the wonderful
Piccolo Arancio near the Trevi Fountain.
It's another one of my go-to restaurants in Rome.
Al Gran Sasso doesn't seem that interesting from the street, but they serve excellent Roman and also Abruzzese cuisine, at very reasonable prices. The upstairs has very little space and few tables, but there are more downstairs.
Otello Alla Concordia is a simple trattoria serving all the classic Roman fare: amatriciana, cacio e pepe, artichokes, fried zucchini flowers, lamb, etc. The food is fine, the prices are pretty good, and it's in an excellent location just near the bottom of the Spanish Steps. I am not giving it a rave review but do include it here because it's a consistent crowd pleaser.
Nino is a classic Tuscan restaurant in Rome. They have all the typical Tuscan treats like white beans in olive oil, ribollita, pappardelle with hare sauce, and of course Florentine steaks. Nino was the "it" spot in Rome for the posh crowd in the 60's and 70's.
I just like it for the dark, cozy old-fashioned ambiance, with the high wood-paneled walls, the waiters in their white jackets and ties, and the yummy food. A tad on the expensive side.
Il Brillo Parlante is one of those restaurants near Spanish Steps you go when you have a larger crowd; when you are not sure where else to go; when you want to eat when other restaurants are closed (in August, or late at night, or Sunday).
The food is ok (I do love you can get a mini-pizza as I often cannot finish a whole one), but we go just because it's often an easy choice for a group.
Finding good pizza in the Spanish Steps area is pretty difficult. It's just not the area of Rome known for this.
You'll find lots more options for pizza behind Piazza Navona, and in other neighborhoods in Rome like Testaccio, Trastevere, San Lorenzo and out on the Tuscolana. But if you find yourself craving pizza and you are near the Spanish Steps, try these:
This is definitely the spot for thin-crust Roman style pizza near the Spanish Steps.
I listed them above as one of my favorite Roman trattorias in the area, but they are also perfect for pizza. They have all the fried appetizers we love to eat before pizza, and I recently discovered they make gluten-free and vegan pizzas too.
And they have outdoor seating. They really have it all!
In 2013, the Ciampini family opened the Ciampini Bistro around the corner from their famous Ciampini Caffe (in Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina.) It's become a very local hangout spot for the local Roman crowd (I mean local, as in people who literally live in this area.)
And, surprisingly, they make very good pizza. If you really want to hang with the (posh) locals, in a hip, vibrant yet tiny spot right near the Spanish Steps, this is it.
Want to know about more places for pizza in Rome?
If you're looking for romantic places to eat in Rome, you'll find an excellent selection around the Spanish Steps/Piazza del Popolo area. Of course, many of these involve Michelin-star restaurants or 5-star hotels. But not all.
Well it does not get much more romantic than this.
Combine Michelin-star quality with one of the most breath-taking views in Rome, and huge picture-windows from which to take it all in, and you have one of the most perfect romantic restaurants near Spanish Steps.
For a more affordable option, you can also dine at the other restaurants inside the Hassler - the Salone Eva, or the lovely covered bar in the back. Both are on the ground floor.
Enjoy fabulous cuisine in a romantic setting at il Margutta, Rome's first, and probably best-known vegetarian restaurant.
But believe me, you do not have to be a vegetarian to appreciate and enjoy the savory creations here.
The dining room of il Margutta is warm and cozy, and filled with original artwork by local artists. By day it's bright and vibrant, and at night when it's dark outside, it takes on a whole new, more romantic feel.
Il Margutta may be best known for it's wonderful vegetarian breakfast/brunch/lunch buffet.
At night, it's an entirely different scene.
Here you will find yourself in a lovely, quiet setting on the sweet via Margutta, steps from Piazza del Popolo. The ambiance is lovely but what really counts is the food.
At il Margutta, you can count on delicious, innovative cuisine here by talented chef Mirko Moglioni.
Chef Mirko Mogliani is very talented and creative. I tasted dishes on the menu that I would never have imagined, and they were sensational. Even the most carnivorous diners will enjoy the food here.
Il Margutta is also on this page as a great place for brunch. But you can count on it for any meal.
Casina Valadier sits in a prime location near the Spanish Steps, with stunning views over Rome rooftops. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, drinks and dinner.
Casina Valadier is one of the best restaurants near Spanish Steps for ambiance and views.
It's also a popular spot for events like private parties. The food is ok, but the ambiance and the views are worth it!
All'Oro, located inside the beautifully-appointed The H'All Tailor Suite hotel, offers hotel patrons and non-patrons alike a gorgeous setting for enjoying * Michelin-star quality breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The cuisine by chef and founder Riccardo Di Giacinto is divine and worth the splurge. And with this beautiful setting, you are sure to have a special, romantic evening in Rome.
RistorArte Margutta is one of the restaurants near Spanish Steps you can enjoy for a lot of different reasons: the menu is vegetarian (vegan also available), with the best organic products; they have a nice open, modern space inside, and cozy tables outside for enjoying in nice weather.
I also mentioned them further up on this page as a great place for a romantic dinner, as the cuisine changes in the evening.
And, they have a great brunch buffet. The brunch buffet is available daily from 12:30-3:30pm, so we could put them in the lunch category as well. Oh yeah, and free wifi.
The abundant buffet at il Margutta makes them one of my favorite restaurants near Spanish Steps for a lunch brunch or lunch.
Babette is one of the restaurants near Spanish Steps that's been around for a while. It's perhaps best-known for its weekend brunch buffet. (Technically, I'd call this lunch, since they don't open until 12:30pm. Unfortunately, while you may hear the word "brunch" used in Rome, it's usually actually "lunch".)
I do love their all-you-can-eat (25€) brunch. The quality of the food is excellent. You can also order a la carte, as you can for lunch and dinner.
Babette is directly across from il Margutta (above), and they have a lovely outdoor seating area as well.
Enjoying a snack of tea and scones may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dining in Rome, but once you step inside, you will be in for a real treat.
Babington's is actually one of the oldest restaurants near Spanish Steps. Founded in 1893 by two young English women – Isabel Cargill and Anna Maria Babington, Babington's today is a go-to stop for a refined break from all the sight-seeing.
You can enjoy high tea, or just a tea...along with delectable desserts, including scones. But you can also have a delicious club sandwich or burger, for something a bit more substantial.
High tea at Babington's includes delectable desserts and savory sandwiches. Not to mention the wonderful assortment of special teas available.
Click here to view a map where you can open to see all the places I recommend on this page. It opens in a new window.
You can select one of the four categories above to see only those restaurants. All are within easy walking distance of the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo.
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