If you’re going to visit the Vatican, you’re bound to get hungry after. Taking in all that in glorious culture and art is stirs up an appetite. The good news is, there are tons of delicious restaurants, bars and trattorias nearby. The hard part is deciding on one when your stomach is growling. Whether you’re grabbing lunch on the go, enjoying aperitivo or sitting down to a traditional Roman dinner at a trattoria, here are the best restaurants near Vatican City.
Dino e Toni
Dino e Toni doesn’t stand out from the street, but behind this unassuming door, a trattoria buzzing with locals awaits. This typical Roman trattoria that serves honest Roman food for a fair price. Named after the two owners who’ve been best friends since childhood, the atmosphere is relaxed. With paper table cloths and table wine by the carafe, the slapstick-style service from the two restaurant owners is like a scene from a classic Italian film.
Tip: There’s no menu, just nod when they ask if you want antipasto, then pasta, then meat then dessert. You’ll often get a bottle of limoncello at the end of your meal to help digestion. Come hungry.
The word zanzara, in Italian, means mosquito. But the only thing you’ll complain about when you go here is that you’ve run out of room in your stomach. Breakfast, lunch, aperitivo, dinner or just cocktails, this trendy place is a favorite with locals from the time it opens to closing time. Enjoy savory dishes like eggplant parmigiana (served in true Italian style without pasta), selections of meat, delicious homemade pasta and salads. If you aren’t famished, opt for one of the small dishes, called “pick-me ups”, a perfect choice to pair with a glass of wine in the afternoon. It’ll tide you over until aperitivo time at 7pm.
Tip: Reservations are important here if you don’t want to wait outside. Otherwise, you’ll join other groups (all Italian) waiting for a table, is a surprisingly fun cultural experience.
Another one of the best restaurants near Vatican City is Fa-bìo. Serving fresh organic food, everything is made right in front of you including salads, sandwiches, juices, smoothies, snacks and more. They have it all. Vegetarians love the tofu salad and meat eaters choose from a range of delectable panini. If you’re looking for a grab a bite to eat on the go, this is the place for you. If you want to rest your feet from touring the Vatican, there are a couple places to sit inside.
Jet Lag 64
Jet Lag is a bar and restaurant run by three Roman friends, Gianluca, Nichola and Elvis. Quite possibly the friendliest bartenders and restaurant owners in the Vatican neighborhood, you can’t go wrong. Away from the hustle and bustle of the main piazzas and tourist traps, yet just around the corner from the Vatican, this restaurant is in the perfect location. Plus, Jet Lag is open all day, from breakfast to after-dinner cocktails.
Jet Lag offers a variety of delicious Italian fusion dishes and creative cocktails to choose from. No matter the weather, there’s both indoor and outdoor seating. That means you can either soak up the sun or make the most of the air conditioning in sweltering Roman summers. Try visiting Jet Lag at lunch or for aperitivo (they have a buffet-style aperitivo with a cocktail for just €10!)
200 Gradi (due cento gradi)
Another one of the best restaurants near Vatican City, 200 Gradi, is right in Piazza Risorgimento. Despite that it’s located right across from the Vatican, this place is no tourist trap. In fact, locals love it. The menu is written all over the wall on the left as you walk in. They make your panino in front of you with local ingredients like salami, truffle and ricotta. They also have healthy vegetarian and vegan selections for non-meat eaters.
Tip: order your panino from the cashier and grab a ticket. They call your number when your panino is ready.