Rome for the Holidays - Great Restaurants

view of the patio dining area of santa lucia restaurant in rome

We're just back from three days in Rome, and we managed to eat like emperors every night.  It took just a little research before the trip, coupled with conversations with locals to find these great restaurants.  Here they are:

RESTAURANTS

Clemente alla Maddalena - Lovely casual piazza setting.  While near the Pantheon, the square with two side-by-side restaurants was not overcrowded. Spacious tables, pleasant staff.

Osteria Siciliana - A highly recommended neighborhood restaurant on a corner of the via del Leoncino. Like the name says, Sicilian cooking.  Elegantly plated courses served by an attentive staff, made for another delicious meal.

Santa Lucia - Located on the intimate square of Largo Febo, just in front of the Hotel Raphael (where we stayed). The setting under the trees, looking down towards a street of other cafes was perfect.  While we were outside enjoying the last of warm nights, the restaurant's interior dining rooms are classic looking and very inviting.

Parallel to Piazza Navona, (behind the church of Santa Agnese in Agone) is a street called Via di Santa dell'Anima.  Its north end is lined with some pleasant casual cafes.  Here we had a wonderful pasta lunch at Solo Vineria e Gastronomia.

ROOFTOP DRINKS

Hotel Raphael's Terrace & Restaurant, as well as the roof bar of the Hotel Eitch Borromini.

AND TO NOTE...

Dal Bolognese Roma - We did not get into Dal Bolognese, but it was on numerous locals' lists for fine Roman dining.  The restaurant's setting on a street near Piazza del Popolo was quite nice - very chic. 

In the same neighborhood, we saw and loved the courtyard dining of the Locarno Hotel.  And very highly recommended is Taverna Trilussa Trastevere, located in the Trastevere neighborhood.

Lastly:  If you're heading to the Vatican Museums and think that you're going to find many good lunch spots near the museum entrance?  Forget that idea!  Eat in your neighborhood before you go  :)

image of a bowl of pasta at rome restaurant clemente della maddalena

image of plate of pasta at santa lucia restaurant in rome

image of pasta at restaurant solo vineria e gastronomica in rome

image of red map Rome and set of italian city guides called la dolce vita