Your Insider’s Guide to the Best Restaurants near Piazza Navona & the Pantheon
The most famous and theatrical of Rome’s piazzas, Navona square is a great place to watch street performers, sample the famous “tartufo” gelato, or relax by the beauty of its Baroque architecture before moving on to see and be seen. A short walk to the east of Piazza Navona is the Pantheon, home to some of Rome’s best gelaterias.
Dining outside on either of these piazzas you can “taste” a very amazing atmosphere… and very good food! You just have to know where to go. To find them, we've put together our edit of the 14 best restaurants near Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, in no particular order.
Pro travel tip: Note that, few Romans turn up to dinner before 8 pm.
This luxurious restaurant in a renaissance building it's the latest domain of the Bleve family, fixtures on the Roman wine-and-dine scene. Anacleto, Tina, and their sons are always genial and welcoming, and their selection of wines is one of the best in Rome. The lunchtime buffet is seriously gourmet ranging from fresh Pugliese burrata to Calabrian peppers to cookies and desserts from Sicily.
Polese is a trattoria made of history and tradition a few steps away from Piazza Navona. Set within the walls of what was once the Borgia palace Trattoria Polese, opened in the early 1960s and keeps serving traditional Roman dishes. Among the specialties there are artichokes alla giudia, rigatoni alla pajata, tripe alla romana, and coda alla vaccinara. But the menu offers solutions for all tastes without forgetting pizza. Homemade desserts and a good choice of regional wines. Outdoor seating is available to dine outside in the suggestive Piazza Sforza Cesarini. Reservation essential.
The rustic structure of the interior adds to the charming ambience, as does owner Luciano Flamini. Maccheroni’s menu offers traditional homemade Roman cuisine such as cacio and pepe (pasta with crumbled sheep's-milk cheese and plenty of black pepper), maccheroni matriciana (either the red version, with tomatoes, bacon and pecorino cheese, or the white, without tomatoes) as well as Italian regional specialties. The wine list includes house wine, Chianti, and Italy’s finest labels.
The three dining rooms of the one star Michelin Convivio Troiani are always busy with Rome's well-heeled, elegant crowd who come for the perfectly executed. Here creativity and territory meet with traditional and elaborate dishes such as classic pasta all'amatriciana, Cavatelli alla Pescatora with asparagus and lemon grass, and sage-scented roasted pigeon with red wine and cherry sauce. The extensive wine list, with bottles from all over the world, is another pleasure.
Located in the heart of Rome under the famous Tower of the Monkey, this “small but great” restaurant is inviting and warm, with host Sig. Laganà and his wife ready to welcome you. Appetizers include mixed platters either with seafood or prosciutto S. Daniele and buffalo mozzarella, while pasta dishes such as tagliolini all’ Ammiraglia with seafood and risotto with cream of scampi make great first courses. Vegetables, raw fish and Chateaubriand are also served. Fresh fish arrives daily. Variety of local dishes and vast selection of wines.
This tiny restaurant has inventive takes on Roman classics in a lovely, intimate setting. Everything here is done with great care and attention to detail. Extensive wine list, professional staff and fair prices make this trattoria one of the best restaurants near Piazza Navona. Be sure to make a reservation here the dining room is the size of a postage stamp.
Osteria del Pegno
Situated steps from Piazza Navona in a hidden alleyway enjoy fresh Mediterranean cuisine and pizza (made in the wood-burning oven, only for dinner): seafood antipasti, spaghetti baked in foil or with clams, baked sea bass and grilled gilt head bream, saltimbocca and “burn your fingers” lamb. Good homemade desserts, decent wine list and professional service. Outside tables during warm weather. Reservations recommended.
Ponte e Parione
Next to Piazza Navona is this very typical restaurant which recalls the old Roman inns of the 1800s. Other than all kinds of pizza, try typical Roman recipes and excellent Italian dishes including fresh buffalo mozzarella, fettuccine with zucchini and shrimp and strozzapreti pasta chicory and speck (a kind of smoked ham). In the summertime, enjoy outdoor dining. Beer on tap and good wine labels.
Dal Cavalier Gino al Parlamento
Good centro storico trattorias are hard to find, and Gino's is no exception. It's tucked away in a tiny cul-de-sac just around the corner from the Camera dei Deputati, the lower house of the Italian parliament. It pays to book, as the place tends to fill up with homesick deputati who come for the next best thing to Mamma's cooking. The day's specials are chalked up at the entrance to this rustic time capsule; they generally include Roman classics like tonnarelli cacio e pepe and pasta e ceci in brodo di arzilla (a soup of pasta and chickpeas in skate broth).
Cul de Sac
The original Roman wine bar Cul de Sac may not look like much inside, but its great position (just around the corner from Piazza Navona), highly prized outside tables, and reasonable prices mean that it's usually packed. The service is relaxed and friendly, and there's a small but select menu of house specialties, from lasagna to Roman tripe to homemade pâtés and terrines. The wine list is as thick as a phone directory—but much more interesting—and the crowd is equally mixed with an emphasis on the artsy.
Only steps away from the Pantheon is this charming restaurant, specializing in traditional Italian cuisine and offering a wide range of first courses such as spaghetti with mullet roe and artichokes and rigatoncini with pesto or rocket pesto. Hot beef carpaccio with soft chicory and white truffle oil is a tasty second course. Delicious desserts and extensive wine list. Enjoy dinner outside or a romantic candle-lit meal inside.
Da Armando al Pantheon
Despite its location just steps from the Pantheon, Armando al Pantheon holds it down since the beginning of the 1960s. The Gargioli family has managed to create and maintain an authentic and honest cuisine, which they serve happily to tourists and locals alike. This quintessential Roman trattoria is a family affair that has always been true to its mission. They provide reliable cucina romana at relatively accessible prices and they are very serious about their product.
Fabiana will advise you on best dishes Claudio is preparing in the kitchen that day. Look for typical Roman dishes such as pasta e ceci or spaghetti alla gricia. There are also wonderful Roman Jewish classics like endive and anchovies. In addition to carnivorous dishes like as abbacchio (roast lamb) and trippa (tripe), Armando al Pantheon provides vegetarians with their own separate menu which is rather plentiful. They have a very good wine list by trattoria standards. Call ahead for reservations.
RiPasso Vin Bistrot
This intimate bistro combines a contemporary allure and vintage tones in some furnishings. Very centrally, not far from the Pantheon it serves traditional Italian and Roma cuisine with a modern twist. Chef Adriano de Angelis chooses seasonal ingredients for his frequently changing menu: ravioli cacio e pepe with ricotta and pecorino romano cheese with crispy leek and lime, spaghettone ’nduja e burrata, saltimbocca alla romana, seared squid and more than 150 wines to choose from.
Alessandro Miocchi and Giuseppe Lo Iudice are the two friends and masterminds behind three of Rome's most inspiring destinations: Retrobottega, Retrovino&Caffè and Retropasta&Pane. Their world revolves around the almost obsessive mantra of quality: starting from the careful selection of seasonal materials to the choice of the right cooking technique. All the ingredients come from excellent producers, are mostly bio and often offered in unexpected ways (such as smoked carrots with carrot bbq sauce and almost transformed into hot dogs). Not the cheapest refueling stop but great for a family dinner.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip to Rome, Italy —days off and vacations are taken seriously here.
Planning a foodie trip to Rome, Italy?
If you are planning a trip to Rome and you are really into food, Nancy Aiello Tours offers private cooking classes including pasta, pizza, gelato, and traditional Roman cuisine. Classes are usually 3 to 4 hours and include a meal with the food prepared in class.
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