Christmas Season is coming and we can’t miss to post our traditional dining recommendations for the public holidays, when it is more difficult to find options for a good meal both for visitors and residents.
Rome has experienced a vibrant 2013 from a culinary point of view and this end of the year looks promising too. Therefore it was not easy to complete our selection! We have included some recent openings too, in addition to updating and enriching last year’s list.
The post is published early enough to allow reservation at the restaurant of your choice. Better to contact the venues as soon as you have decided and check their actual opening too. We have done our best to provide reliable information but changes are always possible, especially during this period. Recommended restaurants have all a menu price within the 250 Euros. There are interesting more expensive offers too and you can easily get menus and other information you may need in the restaurants web sites or contacting them. Worth a mention in particular: the single Michelin 3-stars restaurant in Rome La Pergola @ the Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria hotel, plus Il Pagliaccio (2-stars) and the single starred Open Colonna (offering a 250 Euros New Year’s Eve menu), Imàgo @ Hotel Hassler and La Terrazza dell’Eden. Our selection follows, with restaurants split in Central Rome – Other Rome areas – Near Rome, for your convenience. You can follow us on twitter as well as facebookfor last-minute updates which we will try to show here as well!
All’Oro near Piazza del Popolo (map). Creative cuisine, 1 Michelin star.
New location in central Rome at the elegant the First Luxury Art Hotel for the chef Riccardo Di Giacinto who is always leading the way, making a Michelin star keep shining in the restaurant. Tables are located at the basement but do not miss the breathtaking view from the roof! Open both on Christmas (Eve and Lunch) and on New Year’s Eve (dinner) with special menus where as usual tradition, creativity, earth and sea meet. Menus in English are available at the links. Prices: Christmas Eve Dinner 180€, Christmas Lunch 120€, New Year’s Eve 250€ (drinks not included).
Antico Arco at the Gianicolo hill (map). Traditional with a twist, fine dining.
Over time it stays as a reference in town, with preparations created by the young Albanian chef Fundim Gjepali that never let you down and with its location, within walking distance from one of the breathtaking “natural rooftops” in Rome. Open on New Year’s Eve: an 8-dish sophisticated menu based on earth and sea products. You can find at this link pictures and menu dishes. Prices: New Year’s Eve 220€ (including champagne with a takeaway flûte to celebrate at midnight on the Gianicolo, and the traditional cotechino with lentils after midnight).
Flavio al Velavevodetto in Testaccio and in Prati @ Quiriti (maps). Roman Trattoria (cheap eat).
A well-known reference for Roman Cuisine, open on Christmas day, St. Stephen’s day (lunch and dinner), the 31st of December and New Year’s day (lunch) with a shorter “à la carte” menu where you will find anyhow some seasonal dishes. Price: à-la-carte (35€ in average plus drinks).
Glass Hostaria in Trastevere (map). Creative cuisine, 1 Michelin star.
One of our most beloved food-corners, by Cristina Bowerman & Fabio Spada. While the first one puts in creativity and energy with a genial touch, the second one provides experience and savoir faire. Result of this mix: evenings which stay impressed in your mind for a long time. Open on New Year’s Eve (here the menu) and 1st of January for dinner. Price: New Year’s Eve dinner 190€ (including aperitif and midnight champagne together with cotechino and lentils).
L’Asino d’oro in Monti (map). Traditional with a twist. average-economic price.
Time goes by, but still this place stands as a secluded place where you can spend a lovely evening! To keep you company, the expert cuisine by Lucio Sforza, the warm service and the atmosphere at the same time simple and informal. Open on New Year’s Eve (here the menu in Italian). Price: 90€ including wine-pairing.
Pipero al Rex in the Termini Train Station area (map). Creative cuisine, 1 Michelin star.
Alessandro Pipero and the chef Luciano Monosilio are receiving well-deserved celebrations. The mix of ingredients making up a dish always surprise – right away when you read the name on the menu – and these occasions are no exception. Its Carbonara is a must! Open on Christmas (eve, lunch and dinner) as well as on New Year’s Eve. Menus in English are available at the links. Price: Christmas Eve 180€, Christmas Day Lunch 180€, Christmas dinner à-la-carte, New Year’s Eve 250€ (include champagne-based aperitif). Drinks to be added to all menu.
Vino e Camino in the Historical Center near via Giulia / Corso Vittorio (map). Traditional cuisine, average price.
Are you up to spend a few hours in an atmosphere which takes you back to family traditions and to preparations which will surely make you feel cozy and warm? Well, this is the place! It should be open on New Year’s Eve. Menu and Price not available (it should be below 100€).
OTHER ROME AREAS
Acquolina Hostaria in North Rome (map). Creative cuisine (seafood), 1 Michelin star.
It worth a taxi ride (15-25 minutes) to taste chef Giulio Terrinoni creations. Open for New Year’s Eve with a seafood menu (here in Italian). Price: 145€, drinks to be added.
Da Cesare al Casaletto in Monteverde (map). Roman Trattoria (cheap eat).
One of the places where we head for experiencing an authentic Roman cuisine fully loyal to the tradition. It is becoming more and more known by Rome visitors too. Open on Christmas and on New Year’s Day (Lunch) with an “à la carte” menu (even though choice is slightly more limited as compared to the usual abundance). Please, if showing in the menu, do not miss eggplant croquettes, tail croquettes, carbonara/gricia and gnocchi! Price: à-la-carte (35€ in average plus drinks).
Giuda Ballerino in the Tuscolana area (map). Creative cuisine, 1 Michelin star.
Forget downtown with its historical solemn tone, and get into the metropolitan folklore, a few blocks away from Cinecittà. This is the place where – surrounded by comics and modern notes – the Giuda Ballerino (“Judas the Dancer” from a Dylan Dog comic sentence) lives according to his two “souls”: restaurant and hostaria, under the guide of the chef Andrea Fusco. Open on Christmas (Eve and Lunch) and on New Year’s Eve: for these occasions the two souls merge into one. Here you can find the menus in English. Prices: Christmas Eve and Lunch 55€, New Year’s Eve 90€ (both not including drinks).
Marzapane dolce&cucina near Porta Pia (map). Creative cuisine, average price.
The revelation of the year in our opinion and not only since it has been already widely awarded and acclaimed! Out of the ordinary food creations made by the young talented chef Alba Esteve Ruiz and an impeccable service that envelops everything. In a cozy place with about 20 seats. Open on Christmas (lunch) and New Year’s Eve with special menus available in Italian at the links. Prices: Christmas Lunch 70€, New Year’s Eve 95€ (including Franciacorta aperitif, other drinks to be added).
Metamorfosi in the Parioli area (map). Creative cuisine, 1 Michelin star.
You will be in the capable hands of the chef Roy Caceres and of the sous chef John @caputmundicibus, not to mention the entire friendly staff, and will linger on a mix of innovation and tradition which – we bet – will gratify your senses. Open on New Year’s Eve with a catchy menu. Open on the 26th of December too with a tasting menu at lunch (85€) and “à la carte” at dinner. 1st of January open for dinner, “à la carte”. Price: New Year’s Eve 220€ (aperitif included, other drinks to be added).
L’Osteria di Monteverde right in the heart of the quarter it is named after (map). Roman trattoria with a twist, average-economic price.
One of the best quality/price ratios in town which will make you feel at home thanks to a cheerful service and the nice informal atmosphere. A cuisine deeply rooted in the region which often dares – and with amazing results – shuffle the cards and get creative. Open on New Year’s Eve (here the menu in Italian). Price: 70€ including wines.
Romeo Chef&Baker in Prati area (map). Traditional and creative cuisine, average price.
A great success by the two couples “Bowerman/Spada” and “Roscioli brothers”. A very flexible offer ranging from a huge selection of cheeses and cold cuts or gourmet sandwiches to traditional and innovative dishes. Open on New Year’s Eve with a special menu mixing tradition and innovation (here available in English). Price: 120€ including aperitif and midnight champagne.
Settembrini in Prati area (map). Mix of offers available.
All began with the restaurant by the chef Luigi Nastri (that is probably going to leave according to recent rumors as Elizabeth Minchilli twitted): after this an all day long Café, a bookshop with kitchen, Beer & Porchetta and just during these days a new opening with the Officina, a nearby space devoted to food and delicacies shopping. Café open on Christmas Eve (until 8pm), St. Stephen’s day,
New Year’s Eve and 1st of January. Restaurant and bookshop open the day before Christmas. Restaurant providing a takeaway menu for Christmas Eve. [23rd of December update]
Three recommendations if you want to move a bit outside Rome and enjoy nearby seaside or countryside.
In about half an hour by car you can get to Fiumicino eating seafood creations at the Michelin-starred Pascucci al Porticciolo (map). Open on Christmas (Eve and lunch), 26th of December at lunch and New Year’s Eve (here the menu in Italian, 150€ plus drinks).
More or less at the same distance but in Ostia village we recommend the cute Il Tino (map) with the talented chef Daniele Usai among the “Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe”. Mostly creative seafood with some exceptions such as quail and white truffles in the menu of a recent visit we experienced. Open on New Year’s Eve with a special menu (here available in Italian) priced 70€ plus drinks.
At a bit longer distance (about 1 hour) going South-East Sora Maria e Arcangelo in Olevano Romano (map) where the chef Giovanni Milana offers genuine and high quality traditional preparations from Lazio area. Open on New Year’s Eve, but already fully booked [December 12 update].
Enjoy Christmas Season in Rome, Auguri!
Note that our Food Tours scheduled in the period are fully-booked and the city is going to be more crowded than usual.
Images: La Repubblica, restaurants web sites and facebook pages, ziofrankie, Tavole Romane – All Rights Reserved
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