Eating Around the Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica
If you happen to catch snatches of conversation between Italian teens heading home after school, a frequent and heated topic is food: which mouthwatering dishes have been laid out for them by their loving mother, with competitive comparisons to follow.
Places to eat near Vatican City
As a visitor in Rome, it is possible for you to get equally delicious and genuinely Italian fare around one of the most tourist intensive areas of the city, St. Peter’s Square and the surrounding Vatican area; if you have some time to take a breath between the bounteous abundance of sightseeing in Rome, or are staying in one of the many hotels in this area, and are willing to step away from the immediate vicinity of the Basilica of St. Peter, it is undoubtely worth your while to do so. In exchange, you will not only get a substantial and good taste of Italian food, but also a stroll through one of the most popular shopping neighborhoods in the city.
Restaurants near the Vatican City
Rome is a mediterranean, and as such, an outdoors city. The following venues make the most of both location and cuisine.
Following a geographical order with St. Peter’s Square as a starting point, literally three minutes away is Alice, a takeaway pizzeria which is an exception to the cardinal rule of distancing yourself from eateries too close to the Vatican. You can choose among a variety of superbly topped pizzas, cold or hot, and, if you arrive early, you can squeeze onto a coveted spot on the pizzeria’s outside steps, straw seats are provided, a creative and a rather thoughtful idea.
A further three minutes away is Borgo Pio, one of the surving medieval streets around the Basilica, most of this historic area was completely demolished under Mussolini to make way for the celebratory Via della Conciliazione street. Here, you can stop at the Latteria for a typical Roman breakfast of cappuccino and cornetto or for a light sanwich lunch, the attractiveness lies in the original ‘50s decor and it is here that residents and television personalities from nearby TV offices gather.
On the opposite side of the street is Borgo Pio’s bakery and parhaps the best value for takeaway street food: starting for 2.50 euros fresh bread and pizza, made on the premises daily as the delicous aromas testify, rich with traditional Roman choices. Today, a marvelous "cicoria frittata" (leafy vegetable omelette), white pizza stuffed with fresh mozzarella and tomato or mortadella.
Next to each other, on Via Properzio, two rather more sophisticated, and expensive, options: Colapicchioni and Il Sorpasso. The former offers a rather secretive and tiny sitting area indoors, platters of prosciutto and cheese to go with their baked goods. The latter offers a trendy ambience, friendly service and superb cheeses and cured meats, both Italian and Spanish.
On Via Crescenzio, a residential street cornering Via Properzio, is what can be considered the best value sitting option: Porto. This recently opened restaurant has become a hit in the neighborhood with locals. At lunch time only, and for 10 euros, you have a truly good, unlimited buffet which offers a variety of fresh and hot dishes, with many options for vegetarians and traditional recipes, and a choice of homemade desserts . It is also possible to order from their à la carte fish specialty menu .
The Roman version of a deli, Franchi on Via Cola di Rienzo attracts customers with what are considered the best “supplì” and “crocchette” in town. These succulent fried spheres of rice with tomato and meat sauce, or the crocchette made of either potatoes, mixed vegetables or chicken make up an excellent and inexpensive lunch at 1.20 euros each. Conveniently next door is Castroni, in trade since around 1930, and the place to go for the best quality after lunch coffee (or freshly ground coffee) and ethnic food shopping.
Recommended Restaurants around Vatican
ALICE, Via delle Grazie, 9. Open from 9 to 5 PM, Saturday from 9 to 4 PM, closed Sunday.
LATTERIA, Borgo Pio, 48 . Open 7 to 8 PM, non-stop from Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday.
BAKERY (PIZZA, DOLCI, PANE), Borgo Pio, 159. Open from 9 to 2 PM.
COLAPICCHIONI, Via Properzio, 25. Open from 8 AM to 2 PM and from 4 PM to 7.30 PM, closed Sunday.
IL SORPASSO, Via Properzio, 31. Open 7:30 to 1 AM non-stop, closed Sunday.
PORTO, Via Crescenzio, open every day from 12 to 3 PM, evening from 7 PM.
FRANCHI, Via Cola di Rienzo, 204. Open from 9 to 8 PM, closed Sunday.
CASTRONI, Via Cola di Rienzo, 196. Open daily from 8.30 to 7.30 PM, closed Sunday.