Best Lunch Spots in the Vatican

On your trip to the Vatican, you can walk miles, with kilometres of museum to explore and 320 steps up to climb at St Peter’s, you’re sure to work up an appetite.

The Vatican City is a rare and precious heirloom of another time. Its attraction lies in its differences from the outside world, which is forever changing and developing. In comparison, the Vatican City, though the smallest sovereign state in the world, holds fast in its religious and historical traditions. Its glorious architecture stands bold and magnificent against the test of time and the evolving traditions of the modern day.

Inside the Vatican’s walls tourists abide these traditions so they too can marvel at famous masterpieces by world-renown artists, and feed their thirst for a classical civilisation which remains in the surrounding religious and historic artwork. With so much to see and do in this holy emblem, you can walk up to 5 miles or more on your visit to the Vatican, with kilometres of the museum to cover, and all those 320 steps up to St Peter’s Dome. All this walking is sure to work up an appetite, so we have created the perfect list of lunch spots to fuel your visit.

Please note, there are no restaurants in the Vatican City itself, so the food spots listed here are a selection of ones located just outside the city. Still within walking distance, there is plenty of choice, from street food to fine dining.

  • Pizzarium Bonci

    Situated just outside the city’s walls, this eat-on-the-go pizza place is perfect for someone taking a day tour of the Vatican and is looking to make the most of their time. Served in large rectangular slices, with meat and vegetarian options available, choose from a selection of delicious toppings and flavours. In combination with their soft Italian dough these pizzas are sure to fill you up, ready for the next attraction on your Vatican list.

  • Borghiciana Pastificio Artigianale

    Keeping with this Roman theme, this small little restaurant spot is a must if you want to experience real, authentic, homemade pasta. Just around the corner from the Vatican, this cosy place offers a handful of seats to relax in, creating a cosy atmosphere and a taste of the real Italian cuisine. The quality ingredients are handled by skilled and friendly staff who make up for the rustic and informal seating, although this adds to its charm and character. Definitely worth a visit!

  • Panificio Bonci

    If you’d rather save the Italian cuisine for dinner, then head to Panificio bakery which serves an even wider selection of assorted goods outside of the common pizza slice. Made with knowledge and passion, every bit of food is made fresh from the oven, so you need only follow your nose to find yourself with a number of breads, pizzas, pastries, cakes and more to choose from. If that doesn’t get your mouth watering, we don’t know what will. Give yourself a little extra time to visit as Panificio is popular with locals and tourists alike, but it’s worth the wait.

  • Papa Rex

    A fifteen-minute walk from the Vatican square, this local gem of a restaurant is perfect for lunch or dinner serving a colourful array of food ready to ignite your tastebuds and leave you wanting more. Beautifully laid tables, with the option to seat inside or out, complement the unusual interior which mirrors the historical artwork and stone architecture of the Vatican. Try their cold platters of meat and cheese, their perfected pasta dishes, or treat yourself to their lobster and steak. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available, it’s hard to find a person Papa Rex can’t cater for. The range of food and attentive staff ensure an unforgettable experience to add to your list of Vatican memories.

  • Lemongrass Gelato

    Offering a slightly different, but equally tasty option, is this little gelato café close to the Basilica. Enthusiastic staff are on hand to accommodate to all your weird and wonderful gelato flavours and less fun food allergies. From chocolate orange to pistachio and hazelnut, their innovative list of flavours of handcrafted ice cream offers an organic and fresh taste to perk you up on your walk around the city. The perfect way to cool down on a hot day or satisfy your sweet tooth cravings in a light and modern space. Take a seat and enjoy.

  • L’Arcangelo

    Get ahead of the other tourists and join the Italian locals for a prestigious night of delicious food. Renown for their carbonara dish, L’Arcangelo restaurant is a real treat, serving the best food, service and warming atmosphere creating a memorable fine dining experience. More expensive in comparison to some of the other lunch spots on this list, and for good reason, the close-knit staff show a true passion for the food and overall experience, meaning every detail of your visit is made special down to the final touches. Make sure to take pictures of your beautifully presented dishes so you can savour every mouthful again after you leave.

  • Jetlag 64

    A bar and restaurant serving large portions of food for a reasonable price. If you’ve had so much Italian food on your trip already you could burst, then head to Jetlag 64 for a refresh. Serving burgers, chips, salad, calamari and more, as well as hot drinks and desserts, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly offering the perfect wind-down after a day of ancient history. Very close to the Vatican, we recommend stopping here if you’re in need of a break from the many miles of walking.

There’s nothing worse than exerting yourself on an empty stomach. So pick your favourite lunch spot, or save a few for later, and explore the Vatican with a full, satisfied belly.

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