You’re in the Eternal City. The sun is setting over the Tiber. It’s undeniably romantic and now…you have to eat dinner alone in Rome?
All the better! Farewell, long conversations about what’s for dinner that end in hangry arguments. When you’re eating alone in Rome, you get to decide what sounds good.
And if you’re nervous about your solo dinner, don’t be! You aren’t the first person restaurant staff and your fellow diners have seen eating alone, and you won’t be the last. But to help you walk through those restaurant doors with confidence, we put together this list of great spots for dining alone in Rome plus tips to help you navigate the experience with ease.
Grab a seat at the bar
There are numerous restaurants in Rome that boast seats at the bar, and they’re the best places to immediately feel comfortable on your own. Plus you can easily strike up a conversation with those seated next to you if you’re open to that, or just chat with the bartenders and chefs behind the counter.
If you’re strolling in the historic center in between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, get yourself to Retrobottega—a delicious restaurant continuously open from midday to midnight. Apart from their phenomenal twist on Roman cuisine, they offer a unique seating concept: “social tables” where you’ll get to know those around you or the “Chef’s Counter” where you’re in direct contact with the kitchen.
If you’re in the area of Trastevere, Eggs has to be on your radar. This gourmet restaurant emphasizes quality ingredients and a mix between tradition and innovation. Here you’ll find a trendy setting as well as a counter where you can sit back, enjoy a glass of red and order one of the best carbonaras in the city, all without feeling uncomfortable.
Indulge in Roman street food
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And when it comes to eating alone in Rome, the Romans do street food. From heavenly fried rice balls with stringy mozzarella known as supplì to the famous trapizzino—a mix between a sandwich and a slice of pizza filled with the sauce of your choice—Rome is a great place for food on the go.
For some of the best supplì in the city, get yourself to Supplizio near Piazza Navona. Don’t expect just your classic supplì here, they have some special twists too, from carbonara supplì to an amatriciana one.
For trapizzino, you can’t do better than the namesake restaurant and its locations across Rome, from Trastevere to Testaccio to the famous Mercato Centrale at Termini Station.
Speaking of markets, Rome’s food markets are the perfect street food stop when you’re not sure what exactly you want. The reassuring hustle and bustle of shoppers is fun for solo diners to get lost in, too.
Roam the stalls until you see something you can’t resist. A couple of our favorites are the pasta to go at Le Mani in Pasta (box 58) and the sandwiches from Mordi e Vai (box 15), both in the Mercato di Testaccio.
Grab a slice of pizza al taglio for lunch
Pizza lovers, we’ve got great news. If the thought of eating alone in Rome at a sit-down restaurant still makes you nervous, you can simply pop by a pizzeria al taglio and order pizza by the slice. All you have to do is choose your pizza, how many slices you want, have the pizza weighed and pay. Easy peasy!
RELATED: The Pizza Lover’s Guide to Rome
Snack on gelato or tiramisù
Gelaterias and tiramisù shops are perfect for solo travelers: all you have to do is get your ticket, order your gelato or tiramisù, and enjoy it on the go!
You can find our favorite gelaterias in Rome here.
Find friends on a food tour
Solo travel—and eating alone!—are great. But you can only say “tavolo per uno” so many times before it gets old.
For those times: a food tour!
Here’s how we’d do it: book a tour towards the beginning of your stay to learn the essentials of the Italian dining scene and stock up on tips before going it on your own. Put what you’ve learned to use over the next few days dining solo and if you get lonely, come hang out with us again! Break up the meal monotony with tour #2 (and enjoy the 10% discount you’ll get for signing up after your first tour!).
From exploring Testaccio, one of Rome’s ultimate foodie districts, to immersing yourself in the Roman ritual of aperitivo in Trastevere, we’ve got you covered. Our only hard-and-fast rule: come hungry!