Child friendly Rome restaurants around christmas time
Hi all, we'll be in Rome Dec 23 -26 with a 20 months old toddler. Ihave looked at the boards for the chow favorites but icant seem to tell which would welcome a toddler in tow. Any recs for child friendly spots serving authentic dishes? Also recs for good pizzeria, and a rec for michelin grade resto which welcomes children would be appreciated also.thank you!
So surprised by what Jen commented, since I was going to say just the opposite!
I've always gone almost everywhere, with all both of my girls, from a very young age. In Rome and elsewhere. Yes, you may have to get up every so often, but it usually works out.
Particular places I'd recommend in Rome include Taverna dei Fori Imperiali, Flavio Velavevodetto, Nerone, and Trattoria Cadorna.
For a different sort of experience (more creative-ish) I'd suggest Cesare al Caseletto. Every time I've gone there, there have been families with kids.
As for starred resturants, that's a bit more difficult. Mostly because you may be disrupting others who are paying for a more formal experience.
the issue is very child dependent. We travelled extensively with our children, including in Italy when they were young and there were different challenges at different ages and of course children differ. We suffered through table coverings being pulled off with all of the silverware, dropped glasses and food, whining but most importantly, general intolerance of being confined for the course of a meal.There is a pace to an italian meal which may not work for a young child.
OP is not going to know what will work with her child until closer to the date, since a one year old and a 1-1/2 year old can differ so greatly and you will agree I am sure that there are ages where it is more difficult..
All of your recommendations are relatively informal places, and certainly thats the way to go.
re: jen kalb
One thing that adds a twist to the usual advice about dining with toddlers is that these travelers will be in Rome pretty much smack dab in the middle of Christmas festivities. If Rome is anything like the other Italian locales where I've spent Christmas, multigenerational families do head out to restaurants for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas lunch -- and that includes fancy restaurants. It would not surprise me in the slightest to walk into the best restaurant in my Italian town on Christmas Day and find a toddler there (where I wouldn't find one on a typical Friday night in June).
Two things to note, however:
(a) Italian families who eat at fancy restaurants on holidays usually have more than two adults to keep small children amused.
(b) Very expensive "holiday" menus are the norm on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in most Italian restaurants (including informal ones that are open). So an already pricey "splurge" meal can become astronomical.
I heartily endorse Jen's recommendation for renting an apartment with a kitchen, for many reasons that go beyond food alone. However, for travelers arriving Dec 23 and leaving the 26th, they will need to stock that kitchen their first day in town, or early the 24th at the latest. After that, will they find good food stores open?
Plus, won't the travelers need to check and reserve in advance to make sure they find good restaurants open on those days (Christmas closures happen in other places in Italy; don't know the norm for Rome).
re: jen kalb
Hi Jen and minchilli, thank you both for your replies.
We have been travelling with our baby since she was merely a couple months old, and we dine out witth her quite often. So far she has been managable. But Jen is absolutely right with the changes in interest and behavior of a child from month to month. I do hope that she will be fine this dec. Like min said, i am sure we would have to incooperate alot of getting up and walking around. Just glad to know there are some options for us.
We will be staying at a hotel, so i suposse hotel dining is always an option, but of course we would rather have other options if we can.
Thanks again. I will look into these places you've mentioned.
re: jen kalb
We've travelled in Italy with my children since the eldest was 18 months, and I tend to agree with Jen--although perhaps my two boys were less patient at table than Elizabeth's daughters. In addition to the pace of an Italian meal, I found the timing problematic: beginning dinner at 8 was just too late for my kids. What always worked best for us was was having our main meal at lunch and dinner back at our apartment. Plus, in December, you don't have the option of an occasional picnic in the park. That said, the Italians are certainly gracious and welcoming to children, but that probably wouldn't extend to the other patrons in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Honestly, its very difficult getting through an italian restaurant meal with an active toddler in tow. You should consider renting an apartment to give you more flexibilty so you are not limited to restaurant meals- there is plenty of good salumi, cheese, bread and prepared foods to eat at home if you dont want to cook.
Most trattorie level restaurants will be accepting of children as guests - italians are generally very welcoming to children. In my opinion, you might be better off focussing on places outside the business/governmental center of Rome. Better in areas like Trastevere, Prati, Testaccio, etc etc. Ive seen strollers at Osteria dell Angelo and local moms in Prati, for example, and they also have a quick fixed price lunch .
Lots of threads on pizza, I recommend a search if nobody responds.
Regarding starred restaurants, I dont know how Glass would be, maybe it is more casual but I would be very reluctant to take a young child to such places - I cant think of any toddler who can stay still and quiet through an extended meal, which this would be. It would be a burden both on you and on the other guests..If you want a special night out and are at a hotel, maybe they can arrange a sitter for an evening.