If you're wondering where to eat near Vatican City, and think your only choices are bad-food and over-priced tourist spots, think again!
If you plan to visit the Vatican when you are in Rome, it will take a good chunk of a day.
So you will want to eat something before and/or after, and nearby.
The problem, like with so many other tourist-filled areas of Rome, is knowing how to wade through the many touristy spots, and find the good ones, even the great ones.
On this page, you'll find many options for where to eat near Vatican City:
I've been to and recommend every place on this page.
I'll give you and honest rundown about the convenience, the ambiance, the food, etc.
Most are within a 15-minute walk from Saint Peter's Basilica or the Vatican Museums.
You might have breakfast in your hotel before heading over to the Vatican.
But if you are staying in the area, or, if you want to make breakfast near the Vatican part of your experience, these are your best bets:
Sciascia Caffè serves some of the best coffee in Rome.
Add to that a charming, cozy atmosphere, where you can actually sit and enjoy your coffee without paying extra (this is a big deal in Rome!), and you have one of the most perfect spots for fueling up before a day at the Vatican.
One of the most local spots there is in this neighborhood.
You want a basic Roman bar, serving hot croissants and creamy cappuccinos for breakfast?
This is the place.
The most popular request I get for where to eat near Vatican is for a quick lunch.
If you walk around the area near Saint Peter's Square, and the Vatican Museums, you will see one place after another.
Some are sit down restaurants, others are just coffee bars.
Sorry but most of these are either poor quality, or a ripoff.
If you want to eat well, and for a fair price, near the Vatican for lunch, you have lots of great options (below.)
But first read this, in case you go it on your own:
Avoid getting ripped off!
I often see local news stories about someone (usually a tourist) being outraged by the high prices they were charged to "just have a sandwich and a beer" near the Vatican.
Here's what happens:
When people are looking for where to eat near Vatican, they are often just hungry and tired, and they plunk themselves down at the first place they see, often with tables outside.
The waiter comes and they order food and drink.
When the bill arrives, the shock sets in.
But the restaurant is (usually) doing nothing illegal.
They have (by law) placed their "table pricing" (which is often considerably more than "bar pricing") somewhere visible, so it is up to the customer to look for this pricing, whether posted inside, or on a physical menu, and make an informed decision before ordering.
I sometimes come all the way across town by metro, without even going to the Vatican, just to eat this amazing pizza by the slice place.
The dough is perfectly light, and the toppings are among the tastiest and most interesting you will find in Rome.
Add to that a fascinating selection of supplì (rice balls), and friendly, brisk service, and you have a super spot for a quick lunch near the Vatican.
Caveat - there is hardly any place to sit down, and it gets really really crowded between around 1-2pm.
Pizzarium has become pretty famous among foodies both in Rome and out.
Anthony Bourdain loved it. All the food bloggers rave.
And I concur!
You may want to indulge in a fun- and food-filled walking tour in the area, that includes a visit to Pizzarium.
There is one food tour that begins in the morning, so you could fortify before an afternoon Vatican visit.
There is another food tour that begins in the evening, so you can reward yourself after all that walking, and have a fantastic time putting all those calories back!
Duecento Gradi (200 degrees), is a bit cramped and looks kind of like just another fast-food sandwich shop.
But they have a super-varied menu, including offerings for vegetarians AND vegans!
And everything is made to order.
There is a small area for sitting in the back, so it's fine for a quick pit-stop or just to pick up a sandwich on the go.
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.
In many people's busy touring schedules, sitting down for lunch or dinner near the Vatican may not fit in.
But if you do have time, or perhaps are staying in the area, and want to eat well, here are the best options for where to eat near Vatican for a sit-down meal:
A friend who lives in the area told me about this place and I just love it.
It's simple, affordable, cozy and has good food.
And, it's literally steps from the entrance / exit of the Vatican Museums.
Looking for gluten-free options?
There are plenty of spots near the Vatican where you can eat gluten-free!
Zanzara is part restaurant, part bistro, part wine bar. And it all works.
Open all day every day, and serving all kinds of very good food, including mini-portions for when you just want a snack or aperitif, Zanzara is a great restaurant choice for where to eat near Vatican.
Zanzara also has a sister restaurant, il Baccano, that I love too, near the Trevi Fountain.
Across from Pizzarium, you will find one of Rome's most delectable old-school delis, or salumeria, La Tradizione:
They eventually opened a restaurant nearby, La Tradizione, a new way of eating gourmet food at affordable prices.
You can choose from a superb selection of cheeses and cold cuts...
You can sample traditional Roman specialties like all the classic pasta dishes (amatriciana, carbonara, cacio e pepe); trippa alla Romana (tripe, or intestines, in a savory tomato sauce), and simple grilled lamb chops:
... to delicately fried veggies and offal:
...to innovative and unusual dishes created just for this restaurant, like these:
Add a delectable wine list, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and you have one of the best all around places where to eat near Vatican, for lunch or dinner.
Ready to plan your trip?
Flavio's original restaurant in Testaccio is already one of the faves among Rome food lovers.
This is his second location and it's just as good.
This restaurant is slightly further away then the others on this page, but I think it's one of the best places where to eat near Vatican...even if you have at least a 15-minute walk to get there.
Sometimes you just want a good, plain simple tavola calda.
If you are not sure what that is, it's basically like cafeteria style dining.
The food is made in the morning, and then put out on platters on display.
You ask for what you want, they heat it up for you, then you take it on a try to a table inside.
Plain, simple, fresh and good.
And, it's a great way to have a very inexpensive sit-down lunch near the Vatican.
L'Arcangelo is one of the best choices of where to eat near Vatican, if you don't mind it being almost 20 minutes' walk from Saint Peter's.
I assure you it's worth it.
This is the place if you are looking for a romantic dinner, or just a really good Roman meal with amazing food.
They are also famous for their carbonara which is excellent.
And if you go on a Thursday do NOT miss his signature gnocchi:
Ragno D'Oro is a classic Roman trattoria where you can get all the traditional Roman Cuisine.
The ambience is basic, the waiters are friendly, and the food is simple, Roman and delicious.
Want to know where to eat near Vatican City for some ethnic food?
Brazilian sushi has become all the rage in recent years (and not just in Rome.)
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, think salmon rolls with mango, think ceviche and caipirinhas.
This location is pretty awesome, since there is a little outside section at street level, a hip and lively bar inside, an upper dining room, and, best of all, a rooftop for outdoor dining with views.
I've already listed Zanzara as a great option for where to eat near Vatican for lunch or dinner, but they have a nice Happy Hour as well.
They have outside tables too, even if on a busy street, and there is quite the local vibe at aperitivo time.
Del Frate started as a simple enoteca selling wine, and has long become a local neighborhood favorite since they opened a dining area too.
The food is excellent and nicely presented.
Add friendly service and yummy wine choices, and you have a great, local spot for an aperitivo near the Vatican.
There is some space to eat outside also.
Sorpasso also belongs in the sit-down lunch/dinner category for where to eat near Vatican.
Their food is absolutely divine, fresh, innovative and very local. Their cheeses are special and unusual, and the menu changes daily.
There is a gorgeous sunlit back room, but also a fun area with tables outside.
And they have a sister bar one street over as well, Passaguai, which is indeed more wine bar.
You cannot go wrong at either of these.
You will find a lot of gelato near the Vatican.
But great gelato? There are only a few.
Gelateria dei Gracchi has long been a local favorite, and is one of the best places to get gelato near the Vatican, if not all of Rome.
Once you try any of their nut flavors, you will see why.
If you forget to eat before your Vatican visit, or don't feel you have time to go some where to eat near Vatican, you can opt to eat inside the Vatican:
St. Peter's Basilica is a church, so you have almost nowhere to eat inside. However, you do have one option.
If you climb the dome of St. Peter's basilica, you will find a small café up there on the roof.
It's got pretty limited options for eating, but it will do in a pinch.
The café is on the main roof, which you can access by elevator.
There are actually quite a few options for eating inside the Vatican Museums.
As soon as you enter the museums, you can head downstairs to the large food hall, for some limited fast-food, pizza and cafeteria type options.
None of this food is great but it will keep you fuelled.
Alternatively, you can book some very interesting meals inside the Vatican Museums, like a pre-opening VIP tour with buffet breakfast, or Happy Hour on Friday night (which of course includes a night visit to the museums.)
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I've given address and directions to each of the above places to eat near the Vatican.
But just in case, here is a map with all of them. It opens in a new window.
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