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.
A collaborative effort by a team of young, eager chefs, Collettivo Gastronomico injects a new concept into the Roman food scene with a modern vision of dining and hospitality. Located in the Città dell'Altra Economia area of Rome’s slaughterhouse in the trendy Testaccio neighborhood, the restaurant serves a frequently-changing menu which sways with the seasons and focuses on prime ingredients.
The collective also organizes pop-ups, art exhibits, markets and live music events, all the while keeping a dedication to good food at the heart of the project.
Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina
Just peeking through the window of the exalted Roscioli delicatessen gives you a glimpse of the delights in store when you eat at their restaurant. In addition to the existing inside tables, there is now a new dining space outside the Roscioli café two doors down, giving diners a chance to savor the delectable menu accompanied by the sights and sounds of Via dei Giubbonari.
Italian excellence is the name of the game with sublime cheeses, melt-in-the-mouth cured meats, spectacular wines and a heavenly carbonara which regularly tops the ‘best in Rome’ lists.
The in-house restaurant of chic luxury hotel Margutta 19, EMME is home to a gorgeous secret garden tucked away behind the façades of Via Margutta, one of the most beautiful streets in Rome.
A delightful oasis away from the heat and hustle, the verdant setting creates a magical scenario which invites you to sip on an expertly-mixed cocktail and savor the deliciously genuine EMME fare.
The ambiance is relaxed sophistication, the service is welcomingly attentive and the menu showcases superb ingredients and fresh Italian flavors with flashes of Roman tradition.
Pianostrada remains one of the hottest addresses in town and brings together high-quality ingredients, contemporary style and service with a smile. You can take a seat on one of the open kitchen bar stools, in the eclectic main dining area or in their pretty, fairy light-filled garden.
Start off with their house-baked focaccia (the one topped with prosciutto, basil and fig jam never disappoints) and then opt for one of the fresh daily pasta specials or the classic baccaburger: squid ink bun and a delectable salt cod and zucchini flower filling. The place is packed at both lunch and dinner, so bookings are recommended.
Osteria del Ingegno
With an outdoor area sitting in the shade of the ancient Temple of Hadrian in the beautiful bougainvillea-draped Piazza di Pietra, Osteria del Ingegno offers up one of the most picturesque tables in town. Service is friendly, the atmosphere is refined and the food more than lives up to the location.
The restaurant offers a well-thought-out selection of regional recipes and ever-changing daily specials which balance popular classics with a sprinkle of modern creativity and verve.
Beppe e i suoi Formaggi
Beppe Giovale’s cheese emporium has been a gourmet go-to for years, but with the dining room now spilling outside into an evocative street of the Roman Ghetto, there is even more reason to stop by for some dairy decadence.
As well as a menu of seasonal dishes for lunch and dinner, there are top-notch antipasti platters and dedicated tasting journeys which show off the astounding selection of cheeses. Don’t miss the finely-honed wine pairings to transport your taste buds to another level.
Enoteca La Torre
The sublimely stately Villa Laetitia (residence of designer Anna Fendi) is the jaw-dropping home of Enoteca La Torre. The Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant and its external garden dining area is a suitably enchanting location to sample the creations of young head chef Domenico Stile.
The dishes combine sensational flavors with simply dazzling presentation and cleverly subtle homages to Roman cuisine, while the formally courteous service and a finely curated wine list complete the exclusive experience.
Le Jardin de Russie
The 5-star Hotel de Russie exudes glamour and class, so it's no wonder that the hotel’s exquisite hidden garden Le Jardin de Russie at the foot of the Pinciian Hill is one of the most alluring addresses in Rome. That's especially true in the evening when the lush greenery and flickering candlelight create a truly spellbinding atmosphere.
The dishes are of impeccably-executed simplicity, working with first-rate ingredients and dashes of Mediterranean zing to create a menu which works in perfect harmony with its surroundings.
Head up to the 7th floor roof garden of the Hotel Diana and immerse yourself in L'Uliveto – an idyllic al fresco spot situated in the Esquilino neighborhood. Tables are surrounded by olive and lemon trees, and the aroma of Mediterranean herbs and plants fills the air as you feast on homemade Roman specialties which are steeped in love and tradition.
For a truly romantic experience, reserve the private table for two at the Torretta which offers a 360° view of the city while you dine.