A typical Roman breakfast is a cappuccino with a cornetto, while a Roman lunch could be a panino, a slice of pizza, or a bowl of pasta. But what about brunch? While not traditionally Roman, the foreign concept of brunch is becoming increasingly popular, and there are lots of places in the city centre where you can enjoy an Italian-style (or American-style) brunch. This is our choice of the best brunches in Rome, with average prices ranging from €15-25. It’s always best to book in advance, as these popular restaurants tend to get especially busy at weekends.
1. Salotto 42 (Piazza di Pietra 42) This trendy bar has a scenic setting in Piazza di Pietra, opposite the Temple of Hadrian. Healthy brunch offerings include couscous, salad and fruit juice.
2. Bakery House (Corso Trieste 157) Come here for a traditional American brunch - scrambled eggs and bacon, omelettes, pancakes and bagels, all at a reasonable price.
3. Rec 23 (Piazza dell’Emporio 1 /2 ) A buffet style, all-you-can-eat brunch is on offer at this hip bar in Testaccio. There’s a mix of American and Italian food, including pancakes, doughnuts, polenta and lasagna.
4. The Perfect Bun (Largo del Teatro Valle 4) Expect to pay a bit more (about €25) for brunch at this stylish restaurant. In the words of Rome expert Amanda Ruggeri, “In terms of sheer quantity of very-American food, The Perfect Bun wins”.
5. Il Margutta (Via Margutta 118) This posh vegetarian restaurant near the Spanish Steps is surprisingly good value if you come on a weekday - €15 euros for top quality vegetarian food, including soup, pasta and salad.
6. Porto Fluviale (Via del Porto Fluviale 22) In the Ostiense neighbourhood you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to brunch, but Porto Fluviale is one of the best. There’s a buffet with a selection of 60 dishes, including desserts.
7. Open Colonna (Scalinata di Via Milano 9a) Head to the top of the Palazzo dei Esposizioni for a high end Roman buffet brunch, with lasagna, pasta salads and couscous. Brunch costs €30.
8. Queen Makeda (Via di San Saba 11) All tastes are catered for at Queen Makeda. Come here on a Sunday for an international brunch, where you can indulge in a traditional English Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding, or noodles, or even a curry. The desserts are delicious too.
9. Necci (Via Fanfulla di Lodi 68) This bohemian diner in Pigneto was made famous by the director Pasolini, who filmed some of Accatone here. Brunch at Necci is a strictly Italian affair - lasagna, pizzelle (mini pizzas) and parmigiana alla melanzane (eggplant with parmesan and tomato)
10. Hilton Cavalieri (Via Alberto Cadlolo 101) Champagne, oysters, cocktails, sushi, live piano music...Such luxury doesn’t come cheap, but if you really want to indulge, enjoy a decadent Sunday brunch at the Hilton Cavalieri, one of Rome’s best hotels.
~by Alexandra Turney~