Roman Dining: A Child’s Paradise

With pasta, pizza and gelato on the menu, your kids may think Rome is food heaven.

When in Rome, begin with the food. There are three things Rome has in spades: pizza, pasta and gelato. So what kid won’t love it at first bite? Add a bichiere of vino and a cappuccino for yourself, and it’s easy for the whole family to love this pulsing capital.

How and where do you find family-friendly dining that makes everybody happy? Know the players. Sorting out the various names for places to eat is the first step. While many well-traveled foodies will no doubt know their trattorias from their enotecas, here's a guide to help the rest of us keep the different types of Italian eateries in order.

Places to eat near major sights


It may be a chain, but it’s a good one, with gloriously fresh ingredients prepared to order as you watch, and served cafeteria style. Largo di Torre Argentina 1, Tel. +06-682-10353. Open 8 a.m.—midnight; near the Spanish Steps.

Bruschetteria degli Angeli

Large bruschetti with all kinds of toppings (picture pizza made on slices of bread). Open weekdays for lunch and dinner. Piazza Benedetto Cairoli 2/a, Tel. +06-6880-5789; not far from the Forum.

Il Forno di Campo de Fiori

Pizza and breads baked in giant brick ovens are handed over to crowds of regulars and tourists alike, so you may have to wait for a table in the lively piazza. Campo de Fiori 22, Tel. +06-6880-1594, Open Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m-2 a.m. Located a few blocks from the Pantheon, in the piazza with one of Rome’s oldest street markets. The market is a good place to purchase provisions if you’re renting an apartment.

Antico Forno Marco Roscioli

Although it doubles as a salumeria—a deli—there is a restaurant/wine bar, too, where you can order light dishes, delicious pizza and made-to-order sandwiches, if you can choose from the mind-boggling array of cheeses, hams and cured sausages. It draws a smart crowd at night, but this is still suitable for kids at lunch, and the breads are superb. Via dei Guibbonari 21/22, Tel. +06-687-5287. Just off Campo dei Fiori.

Ristorante Il Matriciano

This laid-back family restaurant near St. Peter’s serves regional dishes, outdoors in nice weather. Via dei Gracchi 55, Tel. +06-321-2327. Open 12.30-3 p.m. and 8-11:30 p.m.; you’ll need reservations, because it’s no secret to locals. You can take the Metro to Ottaviano.


Typical Roman dishes and plenty of pasta choices in an historic family-run trattoria opposite the Capitoline Steps. Piazza Aracoeli 5, Tel. +06-679-2491. Open Tue.–Sun. for lunch and dinner. No credit cards.

La Sagrestia

Casual and friendly trattoria within steps of the Pantheon serves both pizza and heartier dishes, with good pasta choices. Via del Seminario 89, Tel. +06-679-7581. Open Thur.–Tue. for lunch and dinner.

What to order

If your children, like ours, have grown up on a diet of new foods and flavors, they will be receptive to a bit more variety when traveling. But by nature kids are conservative eaters, and they will likely be happier spending their mealtime in the company of Rome’s kid-friendly holy trinity: pasta, pizza and gelato. Here are some forms of these favorites, as well as a few other non-threatening choices that kids like.

Destinations: Italy, Rome

Themes: Family Travel

Activities: Eat