Dine outside at these 15 top tables in Rome, Italy
Visitors to Rome have long fallen in love with the city over a carbonara or Roman-style pizza. Recent restrictions and a preference by many to dine outdoors have created even more options for visitors to dine al fresco. Some backdrops are so imposingly beautiful that you might not even notice the food!
Many venues were already blessed with a rooftop terrace or courtyard, and some have transformed spaces to give way to new ones. So whether it’s with a side of the Pantheon or a bird's-eye view of the city, outdoor dining in Rome has never looked this good! And mild Rome weather means you can take advantage of these set ups all year round.
Taking over the panoramic terrace of the sleek La Rinascente department store, Madeiterraneo thrusts diners between Rome’s domes and rooftops to escape the hectic traffic of Via del Tritone below. The menu encompasses the varying flavors of the Med, a culinary journey which starts in Rome and stops in Spain, Greece, North Africa and beyond.
It satisfies even sophisticated palates with dishes such as Amatriciana pasta with chorizo, chicken infused with spices from Marrakech, and classic Greek salad, as well as great pizza and decadent desserts, all served with a side of Rome's skyline.
Armando al Pantheon
A longstanding favorite on the Rome dining scene, Armando has been a temple to 'cucina romana' for the past 60 years, but its new outdoor dining area adds a bona fide 2,000-year-old temple to the menu. With tables just steps from the imposing portico of the Pantheon, this is the place to truly soak up the essence of the Eternal City with both eyes and stomach.
The faultlessly-prepared plates include classic Roman pastas (the Amatriciana is often cited as the best in town), as well as historic 'quinto quarto' offal dishes such as Roman-style tripe and oxtail stew.
Seu Pizza Illuminati
Pier Daniele Seu took Rome by storm with his ultra-modern take on Neapolitan pizza served at the funky Seu Pizza Illuminati on the edge of Trastevere, now with an additional outside area ideal for summer nights. Using a superlative dough as a base, toppings range from old-school choices for purists to wildly creative combinations, which channel international influences and play with contrasts of flavor and texture.
For lovers of Roman-style thin-crust pizza, Seu recently opened a summertime spin-off in the nearby beach town of Ostia; 'TAC Thin & Crunchy' offers the same creativity and wood-fired pizza but with a dreamy sea view.
Occupying the rear space of hip restaurant Retrobottega, Retrovino is a relaxed café, wine bar and bistro open from breakfast to midnight. The menu follows the Retrobottega stamp of excellence with quality-driven light bites and mains, sublime desserts and, as the name suggests, a focus on fantastic wines from both Italy and abroad.
The outside tables run along the charming Via d’Ascanio, conveniently situated in the heart of the Centro Storico, and the overall vibe is effortlessly cool and stylishly informal.
"Divine" is the right word for the stylish Divinity Terrace of the 5-star Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel, which boasts a unique backdrop of the distinctive dome of the Pantheon and the beautiful swirling spire of Sant’ Ivo alla Sapienza.
Dining here is described as a sensory experience to connect the elegant monochrome decor and unique external space to the sophisticated culinary offerings from chef Francesco Apreda.
Conviviality and creativity merge in the outdoor extravaganza of Parco Appio. Situated in a vast parkland stretching along the ancient Appian Way, Roman pine trees surround a gastronomic enclave with a choice of dining options.
Celebrated pizzeria L’Elementare takes the helm of both the pizza and trattoria areas while there are also lighter dishes, salads and panini from the Natural Bar. A program of musical and cultural events completes the perfect lineup for a fun Roman summer under the stars.