I recently received an e-mail from an Unofficial Guide reader asking about the best places to dine near the Roman Forum. The Forum “complex,” which includes the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Colosseum, and Trajan’s Market (and, to a lesser extent, the Capitoline and the Vittoriano) is ultimately a tourist area. So, as like in other cities, the best restaurants are rarely concentrated where tourists tread.
However, exploring the lanes around the Forum can yield some fine food. The very first restaurant I thought of when she mentioned she was looking for a nice place to celebrate near the Forum is San Teodoro. It is listed in the UGCI and is just sandwiched in the area between the Forum and the Circus Maximus. It doesn’t overlook the Forum per se, but it does have an elegant atmosphere. Two other recommendations in that area are Ai Tre Scalini (via SS. Quattro 30 (near Colosseum); 06-709-6309; Closed Mon.) and Alvaro al Circo Massimo (via dei Cerchi 53; 06-678-6112; Closed Mon.).
Ancient Rome admirers may also want to consider L’Archeologia, a restaurant on the Appian Way that DOES provide views of ruins. Please note that I’ve never eaten here – it’s on my list! – but I’ve heard good things.
Photo © Ramiro Sànchez-Crespo