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Mar 10, 2013 10:48 AM

Confused...First night in Rome, where to go for casual dinner without reservations?

We arrive in Rome at 8:30 am next month on a Saturday from the East coast of USA. We usually do okay with jet lag, but I'm sure we won't be up for a late or extended dinner. We will, however, be looking for dinner and not wanting to wander aimlessly! I would prefer not to make reservations because I don't know what time we'll want to eat, probably early!

We (there are 5 of us) are staying near Largo Argentina so we're looking for somewhere easy back and forth. Pantheon/Navona/Campo de' Fiore maybe? Monti? Nothing fancy, jus good simple food, but after a day of traveling I would love more of a meal than pizza al taglio. Is it possible to have a casual sit down dinner that can be fairly quick - without reservations - or can you suggest somewhere that is open all day? I like to have an idea of where we are headed on the first night but I'm at a loss! I'd hate to wander int somewhere out of desperation and have our first meal in Rome be a disappointment!

Sorry if I sound a bit scattered...I have the rest of our days planned fairly well in a general way, but this first day is confounding me for some strange reason!

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  1. You could try Ditirambo (near Campo Di Fiore); or get a few slices of pizza at the roscioli bakery.

    Last september, after checking in my appartment (near Campo Di Fiori), I decided to go for lunch (@ Obika) around the Campo and only get an extensive Aperitivo in the evening.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Maximilien

      Thanks for the suggestions; I am taking notes!

    2. If you head out early enough, I'm sure you can get a table at either Gigetto or Pomiere in the Ghetto. Both are good, and big enough to always be accomodating early in the evening.

      If you just feel like a glass of wine and maybe some nibbles, Angolo Divino is a good choice. As is Obika (already mentioned).

      Hosteria Orso 80 is not far from your hotel, and you can just order their antipasto, which is a series of small plates that just keep coming to the table. Maybe the best thing for a jet lagged mind.

      5 Replies
      1. re: minchilli

        For a wine and nibbles you can try Il Goccetto (Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14 ) not too far from Campo Di Fiore.

        1. re: minchilli

          Thank you, I am loving the idea of antipasto at Orso 80, I've been reading about it online once you mentioned it. It does indeed sound perfect for a jet lagged bunch! We range from 12 to 70 yrs old and it sounds like we will find something to please everyone, without having to put too much coherent thought into it. I am having trouble finding the you happen to know if they open at 6:00, 7:00, or 7:30? In my online searching just now, I've seen the price per person at anywhere from 25-44€...does anyone have an idea of what we should be prepared to pay for 5 of us?

          I will make note of all the other suggestions, depending what part of the city we are in when we're hungry!

          I'm also planning to invest in some apps of yours, Elizabeth, I've enjoyed your blog the last few months. If I knew we'd have the energy the first day I would have contacted you about a tour! Thanks for your advice!

          1. re: Laulipop

            It is unlikely that they open before 7:00. It can be very difficult to find much that is open before that aside from the (excellent) enotecas mentioned here.

            I also really like Cul de Sac. They have non-stop service from 12:00. There are lots of choices for all kinds of appetites. My cold weather choice is always a slab of cinghiale pate (with a stripe of dark chocolate) a bowl of onion soup and a glass of Lazio Cesanese. One caveat, since you have a large group, the seating can be cramped.
            Piazza di Pasquino, 73


            1. re: gmcguireinrome

              Thank you, I'm adding that to my list. We are very minimal wine drinkers, maybe a glass or rarely two, and of course the kids (11 & 14) are not. Would it be acceptable to go to an enoteca and only partake in the wine a little to none?

              I was assuming opening for Orso 80 at 7:30 but google returns a first result with a map and opening time of 6:00 which is why I was wondering.
              Thank you! Off to check out your blog :)

              1. re: Laulipop

                It is perfectly ok to only have a little bit of wine.