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Where to Dine Outdoors in 'Bella Roma'



Dining outside is one of the great pleasures of Rome. Combine exceptional food with Rome's outdoor atmosphere, part busy and part laid-back, and you will surely end up with a fine night, or lunch, out. The weather in Rome is pretty dependable from spring to fall, and should hold up if you like your tables outside from at least May to September. In summer, eating outside at lunch can be quite hot, but the evenings are absolutely perfect. Though restaurants with outside seating might seem the norm in a city where the weather is as mild as Rome's, this isn't always the case and ending up at a place with both great food and a table under the stars should not be left to fate. These restaurants are often sought after and it would be wise to book an outside table well in advance.

The two types of outdoor dining are street-side and private, either in a piazza or courtyard. The best is the latter if you do not like your dinner with a side of passing cars, and the best of these are Da Teo in Trastevere, Cesare Al Casaletto (Monteverde), Necci dal 1924 (Pigneto) and Flavio Al Velavevodetto (Testaccio), which has seating on the roof. Street-side dining is often more hectic, like the restaurants themselves, but have the benefit of being where the action is. The pizzerias in this list all fall under this category, as does L'Asino D'Oro (Monti). If you're looking for outdoor dining to beat all outdoor dining in Rome, then head to Vivi Bistrot, which you'll find in the pristine Villa Pamphili park. 


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The Umbrian restaurant L'Asino D'Oro is among the best street-side dining options in Rome and in the popular area of Monti. The outside tables are highly sought after and should be booked well in advance. L'Asino D'Oro also specializes in a seasonal rotating menu of Umbrian-inspired dishes created by the owner and chef Lucio Sforza. There is always a good choice of pastas and often a soup in the cooler months, while the meat dishes never fail to inspire and can range from cod cooked in raisins and breaded quail with a side of artichokes. Add to this an extensive wine list and it makes for the perfect meal. METRO: Cavour

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Set in the lovely Monti neighborhood, L'Asino D'oro is great for when you need a break from roman fare.

Maria's expert tip: Asino D'Oro also has an excellent wine menu, so be sure to ask for the list when you go.

Read more about L'Asino D'Oro →


9
San Giovanni/Termini/Colle Oppio


Pizza and outside tables go so well together, and this pizzeria located near the Colosseum is another in Rome that offers tables street-side. Not only will you have a stunning view of the Colsseum down the quiet street, but also you'll be eating one of the best pizzas in the city. Li Rioni has all the classic pizzas and a few of its own specialties too like one that is deliciously loaded with seasonal veggies and their pizza with buffalo mozzarella with fresh tomatoes generously piled on the thin, baked Roman crust. TRAM: 3 METRO: Colosseo BUS: 81, 87, 52

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Quality street-side pizza dining near the Colosseum can be a challenge but Li Rioni delivers.

Maria's expert tip: Be sure to order falafel for a starter, because even though it isn't Italian, it's delicious.

Read more about Li Rioni →


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San Giovanni/Termini/Colle Oppio
Necci dal 1924


This restaurant, bar and cafe has one of the nicest outdoor spaces in Rome. Located in the gentrified Pigneto neighborhood, Necci is best known for being the haunt of poet, writer, director Pier Paolo Pasolini. With several spaces outside, under the trees or under tents or under the awning, there is no need to feel cramped when deciding to eat here. The rotating menu has such specialties as paccheri pasta with octopus, cherry tomatoes and olives and steak with fries. Try Necci for breakfast too as they have freshly baked pastries to satisfy and for a late night drink. It's your one-stop shop in Pigneto. BUS: 81

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: With a pretty outdoor terrace, Necci is a great option from breakfast through to an after dinner drink.

Maria's expert tip: Try the cheesecake. It's to die for!

Read more about Necci dal 1924 →


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7
Gianicolo Hill


Not only a great outdoor option, this restaurant, located in one of Rome's largest parks, is a great place to go with your kids if you are looking to relax while they can run around. Villa Pamphili's grass rolls right up to the outdoor seating area so that your kids have plenty of space to enjoy themselves. Vivi Bistrot also has a kid's menu that includes simple pastas and organic chicken and fries, among other things. Another option is to take one of their picnic boxes to enjoy in the park. Try Vivi Bistro's American-inspired brunch or an English breakfast that is a tasty alternative to the simple and sweet Italian breakfast. (06 582 7540) TRAM: 8

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Vivi Bistrot offers simple and quality food in the lush setting of Villa Pamphili.

Maria's expert tip: Order a delicious picnic box to take out with you into the park for a casual outdoor dining experience.

Read more about Vivi Bistrot →




Located in a quiet and charming Piazza Ponziani in Trastevere, Da Teo is an excellent choice if you are looking to dine under hanging ivy and sparkling stars. Da Teo serves classic Roman pastas in generous portions in addition to seasonal specialties, like wild asparagus with fresh fettucine in late spring. Their starters are also extensive and range from fiori di zucca, or fried zucchini flowers, to salmon tartar. If you fill up and leave only a little room for dessert, Da Teo serves mini-portions of classic desserts like tiramisu and panna cotta that satisfy the sweet tooth but won't push you over the edge. TRAM: 8

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Fine cucina romana in the heart of tourist laden Trastevere, Da Teo rarely lets you down.

Maria's expert tip: If you want a table outside, be sure to call plenty of days in advance.

Read more about Da Teo →


La Pergola


For those looking to add a little more bling to their dining experience and when money isn't a question, eating at La Pergola restaurant is the icing on the cake. It will turn your Roman Holiday into the ultimate Dolce Vita experience. The exclusive restaurant located on the rooftop of the swanky Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It boasts the best view of the city thanks to its prime position perched atop the Monte Mario hill of Rome. With 3 michelin stars, it is ranked among the top 50 restaurants in the world. The sommelier can advise you on the best pairing of wine (over 1800 labels) to choose from with your meal. Award-winning chef, Heinz Beck whips up refined and innovative dishes such as veal fillet with black truffles and apple puree, carpaccio of scallops on amaranth, and beef tartare on liquorice-gelatine with caviar. Expect to pay a pretty penny (at least 150 euro a person and that's on the low-end of the spectrum). BUS: 913.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: La Pergola terrace has prized views and is one the most luxurious and romantic settings in Rome.

Maria's expert tip: Reservations and jackets for men are required.

Read more about La Pergola →


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Portuense/Gianicolense/Monteverd


Take the 8 tram through Trastevere and to the last stop where Da Cesare al Casaletto is just yards away from the tram's terminus. Getting out of the center brings down the price slightly and raises the food's quality. At da Cesare you'll find all of the Roman pastas and meat dishes like beef involtini, rolled beef cooked in tomato sauce, though don't leave without trying some of da Cesare's fried foods, like calamari, baccal� (salted cod) and even fried gnocchi. Though the food is homestyle, the look of the place is less hole-in-the-wall and more open bright space. Make sure to try the panna cotta topped with caramel for dessert. Reservations necessary. TRAM: 8

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Recently awarded the best trattoria in Rome, dining in their garden courtyard in the warmer months is special.

Maria's expert tip: In the evenings and especially on weekends you're unlikely to get a table without a booking, so call way in advance.

Read more about Cesare al Casaletto →




This popular pizzeria located in the cuore of Trastevere is one of the best when it comes to serving up that perfect Roman pizza: light, thin and crispy crust. It's extremely sought after not only by tourists but by locals themselves. For years, Romans have been calling this pizza joint "l'obitorio" (the morgue) and "ai marmi" because of its characteristic long marble table tops. Aside from the pizza being so good, locals also come here to devour their famous suppl� and fritti as appetizers. Their pizza is certainly not the cheapest by any means, but is absolutely reliable and consistent. Rest assured, you will always eat good here every single time. TRAM: 8. BUS: H.

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Outdoor dining here is elbow to elbow and offers the quintessential outdoor roman dining experience.

Maria's expert tip: While you wait for your pizza, make sure to order their famous fiori di zucca (anchovy and mozzarella stuffed zucchini flowers) and olive ascolane (fried olives stuffed with meat).

Read more about Panattoni (Ai Marmi) →




Located in the heart of the working class district of Testaccio, Remo's pizza is pretty hard to top. This pizza place is most famous for its paper thin(literally) pizza. Menus don't exactly exist here, so be prepared to have in mind what kind of toppings you'll pick out for your pizza. A waiter will come around with a scorecard of sorts where you will check off the ingredients for pizza pie and other items to go along with your dinner order. Outdoor tables available, but expect to wait in line for a little if you arrive late. BUS: 170, 30. METRO: Piramide

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Renowned for being one of the best pizzerie in Rome in the heart of foodie, Testaccio.

Maria's expert tip: Keep it simple. The pizza margherita here is epic.

Read more about Da Remo →




It's not often you can say you've eaten in an ancient landfill site. Located within Monte Testaccio, this entire hill was created from Romans dumping their amphorae (pots used to store liquids), and the dining room is decorated with these terracotta fragments. Now an institution, their carbonara, amongst other Roman classics, has made it famous amongst gastronomes. Other dishes to try include the cacio e pepe, a pecorino cheese and black pepper speciality and the polpette di bollito (breaded meatballs made with braised meat). The tiramisu is a winner with a secret center surprise. In the summer, book in advance for a table on the romantic patio. METRO: Piramide. BUS: 3, 75

Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: This is cucina romana at it's very best and never disappoints.

Maria's expert tip: Don't leave without trying the take on tiramisu made with none other than Nutella.

Read more about Flavio al Velavevodetto →


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Meet Maria Pasquale

Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne.

An award winning food and travel writer, in addition to 10Best USA Today she also...  More About Maria

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