Wondering where to spend Thanksgiving in Rome?
Yeah, that doesn't sound like a typical thing to do in Rome. I know.
Thanksgiving is a distinctly American and Canadian holiday, and while it's not celebrated in Rome, you may want to sit down to an authentic Thanksgiving feast if you happen to be in Rome on this holiday.
Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 2nd Monday in October, while American Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November.
Both holidays revolve around commemorating the fall harvest (among other things).
In both countries, it's typical to have a big turkey, some variation of regular or sweet potatoes, corn, cranberries, gravy, and pumpkin pie.
Many of these foods are considered native to these countries and until recently, it has been difficult for expats and visitors in Rome to find some of these.
Whole, large turkeys are not as commonly found at the butcher here as they are in North America.
And even when you find them, good luck fitting them in the small ovens we use here in Rome!
Whether you are an expat living in Rome, or visiting Rome in October (Canadian) or November (American), you may want to head someplace where you can get that traditional Thanksgiving dinner “with all the fixins” as we say in the south (where I’m from.)
Here are some places where you can find a traditional Thanksgiving meal in Rome.
Booking ahead is strongly recommended, since these are special meals and the restaurants in question may need to know how many diners to expect before stocking up on Thanksgiving-related foods.
I recently enjoyed a super authentic Thanksgiving lunch with my friends in the Canadian Club of Rome (I’m American but I love my Canadian friends!)
This family-style traditional Roman restaurant in Trastevere is run by an Italian, Francesco and his New-Yorker wife, Silvana. They have run this place for over 25 years and are well known as a wonderful place to eat in Trastevere.
Silvana had the idea to offer a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving, and she’s been doing so for a few years. This year, she made us such a fantastic meal, I almost felt I was back in the US (almost!)
If you want roast turkey with truly American-style stuffing, gravy, yams, cornbread and seriously the most amazing pumpkin pie I’ve ever had, book now for Thanksgiving.
They will be open for lunch and dinner. Make sure to tell them you want a Thanksgiving meal, as space may be limited.
Details: Via delle Fratte di Trastevere, 49/50. Tel: +39 06 583 5775
Open daily for lunch and dinner. Closed on Wednesdays.
Where else to have a traditional American meal of any sort (Nachos! Burgers! Brownie sundaes!) than the one and only Hard Rock Café.
For Thanksgiving, Hard Rock Café will be serving all the traditional foods, turkey and all.
In the evening, there will be live music entertainment with an Aretha Franklin revival show and American gospel music.
Reservations will be taken for 2 time shifts: 19:00 - 21:00; 21:30 - 23:30.
Booking essential. Click here to book via their event on Facebook.
Details: Via Vittorio Veneto, 62A/B. Tel: +39 06 4203 0501
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
If you’re looking for a casual, fun, pub atmosphere with karaoke, beer-pong, American pro-football, and hearty Thanksgiving eats, head to the Highlander Pub, smack in the heart of Rome, just steps from the Spanish steps and Pantheon.
You will find yourself in a convivial atmosphere with fellow revelers.
An all-you-can-eat dinner buffet is served from 6:30pm to 8pm.
The price of the dinner is 40 euro and includes a drink of choice. NFL will show on big screens from 6:30pm, starting with, of course, the Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears.
Details: Vicolo di S. Biagio, 9. Tel: +39 06 6880 5368
Open daily 9am - 2am.
If you are an expat in Rome, or are here staying at an apartment or Air B&B, and want to make your own Thanksgiving dinner, here are a few tips:
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