Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Italy >
Feb 12, 2014 11:36 AM

Rome with kids -- need to make two days of meals count!

I will have two days in Rome with my wife and two kids, ages 8 and 10. They are well behaved, good eaters. I need to make the most of our precious meals (likely two lunches and two dinners). We are not looking for fine dining, but would appreciate suggestions for the best local, authentic Italian fare (we're fine going to a tourist spot, but would rather eat where the locals eat). My kids are big pasta eaters, and we need to show them (and ourselves) the best of this city. We will not have a car, and will likely be staying near the Spanish steps, so location in that area or near public transportation would be ideal.

Thanks for any suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi JJ, There has been so many recommendations for this kind of eating in Rome, that I'd suggest you go through past threads, where you'll find lots to choose from. Once you narrow down your list of favorites, I'd be happy to comment.

    1. It's not near the Spanish Steps, but if you don't mind a taxi ride: I would recommend Da Oio a Casa Mia in Testaccio. We had a lovely meal there last month with a menu that had offerings for anyone, from simple yet delicious pastas (including the best carbonara I've ever had, photo below) to some classic "fifth quarter" dishes. I never thought I'd like pajata but I loved it there.

      The night we dined at the restaurant there was a large local family having a celebratory meal, and the staff were wonderful with accommodating and fussing over the young children in attendance. That's partly why I thought of this restaurant based on your request. The only thing I'd note is their dinner service doesn't start until 7:30 and it gets packed very quickly, but they do serve lunch, so if you happen to find yourself somewhat in that area I'd definitely check it out.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sockii

        Thanks, sockii, for your report on Da Oio. I ate there close to 10 years ago, and my experience was the same as yours: wonderful. I too loved the carbonara.

      2. La Campana is convenient to the Spanish Steps and has always been a very pleasant meal destination for us. The last time we were in there,a Sunday lunch, the young daughter of the owners family was doing homework at a back table.

        Remember that if your a touring, especially with hungry kids, you may not always go back to your hotel/apartment at lunchtime, so its good to have recommendations in your hip pocket near the places you will be then.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          Thanks for these suggestions.

          1. re: JJ.

            Above comment is true...we rarely would end up anywhere near our hotel (or rental apartment) while touring Italian cities. But also don't overlook the "bars" all over the place in Rome...most serve inexpensive but tasty paninis and sandwiches which are great for lunch on the go, and sure to have something even kids will like (like a fried chicken cutlet, salami and cheese, etc.) A lot of the time we just grab a panini for lunch so we have room for a big dinner later :)

          2. re: jen kalb

            I second La Campana. Don't expect much English here; Do expect fine food. It's also open on Sunday (closed Mondays).

          3. Some of the local/smaller Grocery/convenience stores have some prepared stuff like sandwiches and things that aren't bad.especialy if you're 8-10 years old ( or 6X that age!)

            BTW........Elizabeth Minchili is a wealth of good recs!.we used her advice a lot when there!

            1. I've always found Armando al Pantheon to be very family-friendly when traveling with my kids, and you can't beat the location.