Vatican City tours are exhilarating; they allow visitors to explore a jaw-dropping display of priceless treasures ranging from stunning frescoes to lifelike statues. What is more, soaking in all the breathtaking art and culture while dealing with massive crowds always stirs up a good appetite! The neighbourhood is filled with tourist-trap restaurants, yet there are hidden gems specializing in local cuisine that are delicious yet moderately priced. Below are some hand-picked places worth exploring near the Vatican.
Local hotspots: Eating at family-run, local trattorias instead of touristy restaurants is a unique and gratifying experience. One gets to taste authentic cooking prepared with fresh, home-grown ingredients. These places usually have no-frills decoration, but your tummy (and wallet) will be pleased for the affordable, healthy preparations that carry the essence of homemade food. Below are few nice places you must try:
Arlu: Run by a Roman family since 1959, this restaurant is a favourite with the local crowd. Arlu is perfect for a long, lazy lunch with big plates of home-cooked pasta and a never-ending supply of wine. The chefs use seasonal produce and fresh desserts are prepared every morning, ensuring a delightful culinary experience for the guests.
Pupina: A medley of pleasant decor, fabulous food, amicable service and pocket-friendly prices – in short, a good value restaurant. This place is loved for its tasty,real Italian dishes and unique presentations – it’s totally worth walking a little out of the way to dine here.
Snack on-the-go: Just because you’re rushing to fit in as many sightseeing spots as possible, doesn’t mean you need to compromise with your food cravings! Below are some places where you can enjoy a flavourful, wholesome lunch da portare via (to go):
Fa-bio: This deli in Vatican is a gem of a place specializing in delicious, fresh, organic meals. The menu is appetizing and inspired by local, seasonal produce. Freshly-squeezed juices, smoothies, salads and sandwiches – all are prepared in front of customers and served with a smile! Portions are good but seats are very few, so you can take away the food and enjoy it in the beautiful Piazza Risorgimento.
Bonci Pizzarium: Bonci Pizzarium, run by recognized pizza expert Gabriele Bonci, adds a gourmet spin to the traditional ‘Pizza al taglio’! Forget the regular margherita pizza; here you get to explore creative toppings made with shrimps, zucchini and ricotta, potato and mozzarella, etc. The fabulous toppings combined with the know-how of seasonings and dough-making ensure an unforgettable gastronomic experience.
Cool sit-down places: There are many restaurants near the Vatican that not only dish up high-quality food but provide a full experience. These places are usually pleasing for all the senses – not just taste! If you’re seeking out eateries to unwind after an eventful day-tour, then these restaurants with wonderful ambiance and service are good choices.
La Zanzara: In addition to the fantastic food and drinks, this place is popular for its lively atmosphere. It stays open late till 2 a.m. and is generally full of locals. So, you can enjoy an American style breakfast and come back later for drinks and great dinner after an awe-inspiring Vatican museum tour.
Il Sorpasso: This bar-resto hybrid blends contemporary and vintage elements both in its menu and decor. It is a hip place with a casual mood that receives a fashionable crowd. You’ll surely enjoy the interesting menu that’s a fresh take on timeless dishes.
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