Wondering where to eat in Rome at Christmas? Worried that the city shuts down for Christmas, or at least that it will be hard to find a place to eat?
Well don't worry! There are lots of fantastic options for places to eat in Rome on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Certainly on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you will be able to eat at any of the restaurants in the 5-star hotels; many of the high-end (Michelin-starred) restaurants; most of the restaurants in the Jewish Ghetto; and many ethnic restaurants. (Listed at the very bottom.)
This page is more about where to eat in Rome at Christmas, in more local and central restaurants. I've updated opening/closing dates and prices for the following restaurants for December 24, 25 and 26, since that is a holiday in Italy too.
Just below, you can read about what people eat during Christmas in Rome.
Or you can jump down to read Where to eat in Rome at Christmas.
Aside from giving you suggestions for where to eat in Rome at Christmas, I thought you'd like to know what people eat in Rome on Christmas.
Dinner on Christmas Eve is all about fish. Which specific fish dishes people eat varies widely and often simply depends on the traditions within a given family.
The "Feast of the Seven Fishes" is part of Italian-American cuisine and you won't find it in Rome.
It's common to start Christmas day lunch with tortellini soup. Although tortellini pasta is traditionally from northern Italy, you will often find it in Roman homes and trattorias on Christmas Day.
This is followed by a meat course. In my Roman mother-in-law's case, it was always roast lamb. But other meats are used as well.
For dessert, we eat panettone and pandoro, or pan d'oro.
Panettone is a kind of bread-y tall cake, filled with either raisins or candied fruits. Sometimes you will find it with bits of chocolate or orange.
Pandoro is more of a plain spongecake, topped with powdered sugar.
Ask any Roman and they will tell you they have a strong preference for one or the other. I love panettone when there are not raisins or candied fruits involved, but otherwise, I am a pandoro girl.
You can easily get authentic panettone or pandoro in other parts of the world. Click here to browse for Italian Christmas cakes on Amazon.
If you are invited to someone's home for a holiday meal, you can't go wrong bringing a panettone or pandoro.
But you will make an even better impression if you take care to get one made at a bakery. It will cost a bit more than the ones you can find at the supermarket but there is a world of difference in the quality and the taste.
If you want to have a big Roman meal at a restaurant on Christmas day, you should consider booking in advance, as many Italians like to eat out on Christmas Day (who wants to cook and clean on Christmas?)
There are many places where to eat in Rome at Christmas. I can't list them all here, But, I'll give you a great selection of some of my favorites. In some cases, there is a set menu with a fixed price (prix-fixe), where noted. If I don't mention a prix-fixe menu, it's a la carte.
I would eat at any of the places I list on this page (otherwise I would not put them here!) But if I was going out for Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch, these would be my first choices for where to eat in Rome at Christmas.
Piccolo Arancio - One of my favorite local restaurants in Rome. Although they are right near the Trevi Fountain, they are relatively un-touristy, they offer authentic, delicious Roman food, and their prices are reasonable. Usually around 35 Euros per person not including drinks.
Why I'd eat here on Christmas - It's warm and homey and cozy, and I love the food.
i Clementini - One of my favorite restaurants near the Colosseum, as well as close to the basilica of St John in Lateran, and one of the few to have excellent quality, fresh food at very fair prices.
Why I'd eat here on Christmas: First, I enjoy the food and casual ambiance. Second, this is a great area of Rome to be in any time, and certainly at Christmas! The basilica of San Clemente is right next door, (and lots of other great small churches I love are nearby.) So I'd spend my time before or after eating soaking up the Christmas feeling in this neighborhood.
Secondo Tradizione - Located in Prati, not far from the Vatican Museums, this restaurant grew out of a collaboration between the nearby historic salumeria (deli), La Tradizione, and chef Piero Drago who trained under 2-Michelin ** chef Anthony Genovese.
Why I'd eat here on Christmas - It's a little out of the center and feels like a longtime neighborhood spot. I also enjoy the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. But more than anything, I'd eat here for the exquisite food, perfectly prepared and presented.
Moma - One of my favorite moderately upscale Rome restaurants just received their first Michelin star. Don't let that throw you off. It's still affordable.
The setting is subdued, romantic and elegant, but not stuffy. Add delicious, sublimely-prepared, innovative Italian food, and a superb wine selection, and you have the perfect spot for a special meal out. Located in the Piazza Barberini/via Veneto area, so you can easily get there by Metro.
Why I'd eat here on Christmas: This is a warm and cozy spot for a special or romantic dinner any time, and particularly around the holidays. Also, their Christmas menus are a bargain!
Open December 24 and 25, 2022 for lunch and dinner. Menu for December 24 is here (150€ per person not including drinks), December 25 here (190€ per person not including drinks).
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Baccano - Baccano offers an interesting menu with some traditional Roman dishes, and plenty of other international plates too (caesar salads, burgers, oyster bar and raw fish!) It's right near the Trevi Fountain so expect other tourists, but don't let that stop you. As the menu is so varied, you will find a wide price range.
Why I'd eat here on Christmas: It's bound to have a vibrant, cheery atmosphere.
All these are top-notch, well-known and loved Roman trattorias, serving traditional Roman cuisine. These are great options for where to eat in Rome at Christmas if you want something simple and local. Unless they have a special menu, expect to spend between 35-45 Euros per person not including drinks.
Hosteria Grappolo D'Oro in Campo dei Fiori - In 2022, open for dinner December 24, for lunch December 25.
December 24, 2022, there is a set menu, for 70€ per person (including wine!) or a la carte.
December 25, 2022, there is a set menu, for 60€ per person (including wine!) or a la carte. The Christmas lunch menu is very traditional and includes tortellini soup and roast lamb.
All the menus looks scrumptious!
La Torricella - This super-local, simple trattoria in the less touristy Testaccio neighborhood is known for their seafood, and delicious Roman pastas.
In 2022, they will be daily throughout the holidays, for lunch and dinner. Everything a la carte.
Checchino dal 1887 - For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you may find some typical Christmas dishes in addition to the regular menu. There is also a "tasting menu", which is available year-round. If you prefer, you can simply order a la carte.
Flavio Velavevodetto - They used to be open 365 days a year but in 2022 they will be open for lunch and dinner December 24, and closed December 25. Open all day December 26.
Da Cesare al Casaletto is one of the places to go for top-notch Roman pasta.
Roman trattoria favorite, Armando al Pantheon is closed December 24, 25, 26 and 31 2022, as well as January 1 2o23, but open as per their regular hours on all other dates around the holidays.
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Why am I calling this section "non-touristy" Roman trattorias?
Well, Roman trattorias I listed above are really good, really Roman...but they are also on the guidebooks' and food-blogs' radar. And, they tend to be pretty central.
So you will find excellent Roman food, but yes, you will find plenty of tourists there also. I personally don't mind this but I know a lot of visitors to Rome want to eat "where the Romans eat."
If you want to know where to eat in Rome at Christmas with a bit more of a local feel, try these.
You have to venture just slightly away from the tourist center, but you will likely find the place chock-a-block with Roman families, and fewer tourists.
Armando a San Lorenzo - A la carte menu, but with reduced options at Christmas.
Romolo e Remo - open December 24 and 31 for lunch, closed December 25 all day long.
Crispi 19 - In 2022, open December 24, 25 and 26 lunch and dinner. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, they have special set menus, 200€ per person (not including wine). The Christmas Eve menu is all about fish, while the Christmas Day menu leans towards the traditional, with a modern take on tortellini soup, and other game and meat dishes.
Chinappi - In 2022, open December 24 for dinner (99€ per person, not including wine); December 25 open for lunch (A la carte fish menu, 79€ per person not including wine). December 26, closed. For menus, visit their website.
Sardegna - In 2022, open December 24 for dinner (menu here), closed December 25. Open December 26.
Osteria Der Belli - excellent fish and seafood dishes in the heart of Trastevere.
If you are looking for something really special, you cannot go wrong dining at these wonderful restaurants headed by celebrity Michelin-star chefs.
Probably one of the most special places where to eat in Rome at Christmas is at 3-Michelin*** restaurant, La Pergola.
Christmas 2022 - On Christmas Eve and Christmas, enjoy unique creations by executive chef Heinz Beck and one of the most amazing views in Rome. Seven-course Christmas Eve & Christmas dinner 550€, menu here.
In the same location, the Roma Cavalieri Waldorf Hotel, you may also dine on chef Fabio Boschero's delicious menu at the pool-level restaurant L'Uliveto: Christmas Eve dinner, 110€
Finally, on Christmas Eve, if you prefer to indulge only in some holiday cocktails, come by the Tiepolo lounge and terrace for a real treat.
On Christmas Day, you have the choice of lunch at the Uliveto restaurant, with lunch 180€ (80€ for children), and a la carte beverages, or dinner at La Pergola, for 550€, not including wines. A rich buffet of Christmas sweets by Pastry Chef Dario Nuti, accompanied by a flute of champagne Veuve Clicquot Rosé is offered at Tiepolo lounge for a cheerful afternoon.
Here are the menus for L'Uliveto and La Pergola.
If you want to know where to eat in Rome at Christmas, with amazing food, and special views like this, look no further than Imago.
The Hassler Hotel is uniquely situated right at the top of the Spanish Steps, and their superb restaurant Imago is without a doubt a very special place to enjoy Christmas in Rome. They also have a sister restaurant on the lobby level, Salone Eva, which offers delicious dining too.
Christmas Eve dinner at Imago, 320€ not including wine from executive chef Andrea Antonini.
At Salone Eva, 180€ not including wine.
In 2022, on Christmas Day, indulge in a special Christmas lunch at Imago. 230€ not including wine. Or, at Salone Eva, Christmas Day Menu, 110€.
I am lumping these all together just to give you even more choices where to eat in Rome at Christmas. Unless otherwise mentioned, all meals are a la carte.
Casa Bleve - A beautiful spot with superb wine cellar. In 2022, open 24th & 26th December (à la carte menu); Closed on December 25th.
Urbana 47 - This modern, quirky place serves innovative yet distinctly Italian dishes in a warehouse-y chic setting. In 2022, open December 24, 25 and 26 open for lunch and dinner.
San Marco - A pizzeria/restaurant serving fantastic wood-burning oven Roman-style pizza and plenty of other typical Roman fare, in a modern yet warm setting.
il Corallo - A cozy pizzeria with other dishes like pastas, seafood and steaks.
Ristorarte Vegetariana Margutta - Arty, modern vegetarian restaurant. In 2022, open as normal for lunch and dinner.
Obica is one of the restaurants near the Pantheon that has it all - typical Roman food, healthy, bio, great options for vegans and vegetarians, slow food, fair prices, and covered, outdoor dining!
This 1-star Michelin restaurant is closed December 25 and 26 2022, but offers December 24 Christmas Eve menu.
Pantheon Iconic Rome hotel
Idylio by Apreda, 1-star Michelin restaurant at the Pantheon Iconic Rome hotel is offering a 6-course menu for €2o0 per person (beverage not included) for 2022 Christmas Eve dinner. Menu can be found here.
Alternatively, the hotel has their Divinity Restaurant & Lounge Bar, that is open both on December 24 (€120 per person, beverage not included) and December 25 for lunch 12:30-15:00 and dinner 19:00-23:00.
You can find the 2022 menu here.
Contro Contemporary Bistrot
Contro is an all day bistro offering breakfast, lunch, pastries, aperitivo, dinner and pizza.
Casa Coppelle will be open December 25th & 26th 2022. They are offering a special menu here.
Eggs will be open every day during the holidays.
Pastificio San Lorenzo
A contemporary osteria with a retro look located inside the oldest pasta factory in the San Lorenzo. Open for lunch and dinner December 24, 25 and 26 2022 with a la carte menu.
Open as normal in 2022, with a la carte menu available plus some festive menu additions
Beverages (apart from water and coffee) are not included.
At the lovely All'Oro 1* Michelin restaurant, not far from Piazza del Popolo, sample delectable dining by executive chef Riccardo di Giacinto. 190€ per person not including beverages on both December 24 and December 25 2022, menus here.
They are closed December 24 2022, but open December 25 for lunch - 80€ per person not including beverages.
Sbracio offers a special degustation Christmas menu for December 24 & 25, both 60€ per person not including beverages.
Hotel De' Ricci offers a special Christmas Eve dinner menu for December 24, 100€ per person not including beverages. Christmas Eve dinner starts at 20:00.
Metis Ristorante have prepared a special Christmas Eve dinner menu for December 24, 90€ per person not including beverages.
MyTale are open for special lunch December 24-26, 30€ per person not including beverages.
They are open for Christmas 2022 with varying hours across the festive weekend - check out their Facebook page for details.
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