There is a widely held misconception that during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Rome’s restaurants shut down and people who don’t have the luxury of eating at home are left to scavenge for food wherever they can get it. While one should expect some venues to be closed and many to embrace limited hours and prix fixe menus, visitors to Rome can eat very well during the holidays. It just requires a bit of planning. Here are a few suggestions of where to dine, though be sure to book well in advance to secure a table:
To partake in the traditional Christmas Eve fish feast, head to Il Sanlorenzo, the best place in central Rome to find fresh, local and relatively sustainable fish. Il Sanlorenzo is open at both lunch and dinner on Christmas Eve. They are also open for dinner on New Year’s Eve and at lunch and dinner on New Year’s Day.
A short stroll away on via dei Giubbonari, Roscioli will be open for lunch only on Christmas Eve and will be open at lunch and dinner on New Year’s Eve.
For fine dining options, try Metamorfosi, which will be serving a €220 prix fixe menu for dinner on New Year’s Eve. Pipero al Rex will be open at lunch and dinner on December 24, 25, 31, and January 1. Glass will be open for dinner New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Il Pagliaccio is open the 24th for dinner, the 25th for lunch, and the 31st for dinner. All’Oro is open December 24 for dinner, December 25 at lunch and New Year’s Eve dinner.
For Roman fare, Cesare al Casaletto will be open Christmas Day and New Year’s Day at lunch only.
For craft beer check out Birra + in Pigneto, which will be open Christmas from 5pm and Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa’ in Trastevere, which will be open from the late afternoon every day this holiday season. These two watering holes are the only places on the list where reservations are not accepted and no food is served.
It is also worth noting that most Kosher restaurants in the Ghetto will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
You can get the portable version of this list by purchasing my app “Katie Parla’s Rome for Foodies”, details here.