The Pantheon is one of our favorite buildings in Rome, especially on a quiet morning in winter. Eating nearby can be a challenge however, as it is one of the most crowded and popular sites in Rome. Here are some of our recommendations:
For a very simple, traditional and delicious meal during the week, try Armando al Pantheon (closed on Saturday evening and Sunday). The restaurant is just down the street to the right as you face the Pantheon at Salita Dei Crescenzi, 31. Some of the Roman specialities to try include stracciatella, spaghetti alla carbonara, spaghetti alla gricia, and spaghetti cacio e pepe.
For the fragrance alone (and a rich and foamy espresso, cappucino or hot chocolate with whipped cream) try the famous Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè at Piazza Sant’Eustachio 82, a few blocks behind the Pantheon to the right. Founded in 1938, the caffè has served fair trade coffee since 2001. Writers from The New York Times consider it one of Rome’s best (see The Bounty of Rome by Mimi Sheraton for one example).
If you’re craving gelato, Giolotti is one place to try, at via Uffici del Vicario, 40, a few blocks from the Pantheon. Mentioned in many guidebooks, it’s open from 7 am to 2 am every day of the year and has a good variety of flavors as well as pastries. Serious gelato fans disagree about the “best” gelato in Rome; do a little research (for example, 18 Flavors of Gelato, especially the comments from readers) and you’ll soon collect a whole list of gelaterie to try.
If you want to get away from the intense tourist environment of the Pantheon, head west towards Piazza Navona and then walk in the same direction a few blocks further to via Della Pace. A number of good trattoria line the streets in this neighborhood, including Serafini all Pace at Via di Tor Millina 1.
Let us know what places you recommend in this neighborhood and we’ll post them here.