Originating in England during the 19th century, brunch is a term that combines breakfast and lunch and refers to a meal that is typically eaten between 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. In the 1930s, this meal became popular in the United States and has since become a tradition in the nation’s dining scene. More often than not, a brunch meal is accompanied by some sort of alcoholic beverage (usually cocktails or champagne).
As a nation that’s set in its ways when it comes to cuisine, Italy isn’t exactly known for its brunch scene. In its capital city of Rome, you will probably always hear about the traditional Italian breakfast as opposed to the typical brunch meal. However, the Italian capital is slowly filling up with cafés and eateries that offer brunch meals that can satisfy the cravings of both locals looking to start their day right as well as foreigners looking for a taste of home.
Because it is a relatively new concept, note that brunch in Rome might not look like the brunch that you’re used to; Italian brunch often comes in buffet style and is almost always exclusively offered during the weekends. Moreover, like all things in Rome, brunch starts fashionably late, particularly at around noon.
Despite these slight differences, there are still plenty of things to love about having brunch in Rome. If you’re looking to experience this dining tradition in the Eternal City, we’ve put together this guide to the best brunch in Rome. These chosen spots serve a range of dishes – from American-style breakfast to vegetarian options. For the best time at a casual terrace or fine dining restaurant, drop any shopping bags or backpacks at a luggage storage locker in Rome before stopping for your delicious brunch.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to enjoy a Sunday brunch in Rome, then Dolce is an excellent option for you. Situated in the African Quarter, this elegant and sweet bistro serves brunch only on Sundays, from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Dolce has an American-inspired a la carte brunch menu, offering items such as bagels, omelets, pancakes, French toast and a wide range of breakfast sandwiches. Their pasticceria also has a wide range of homemade sugar-filled creations for those looking for a sweet treat.
With multiple locations across Rome, it’s almost impossible not to come across Vivi Bistrot, especially if you’re looking to enjoy brunch in Rome. Committed to serving healthy meals made out of organic ingredients, this restaurant serves brunch during the weekends from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. Enjoy a lazy breakfast from the à la carte menu at Vivi Bistrot, featuring dishes such as organic scrambled eggs, pancakes with maple syrup, yogurt with granola, smoothie bowls, American-style coffee and fresh juices.
Babington’s Tea Rooms
Situated right at the foot of the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps), Babington’s Tea Rooms is a historic brunch spot that has been serving the city of Rome since 1893. Founded by two English women, the restaurant serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday and is perhaps the only place in Rome where you can get an authentic English breakfast.
As expected, the afternoon tea is extremely popular among diners at Babington’s, where you can sample a broad range of international teas that pair perfectly with their freshly-baked scones. Additionally, some of the bestsellers from their à la carte menu include a proper Eggs Benedict with ham or Scottish salmon, English muffins, and their traditional English breakfast spread with crispy Irish bacon and poached eggs. For those looking for something sweet, their homemade cheesecake is one to try!
With its central location and extensive brunch menu, it’s no wonder that Coromandel has established a reputation for being one of the best brunch places in Rome. Situated a few steps away from the Piazza Navona, this spot is one of the first restaurants to in the city to offer non-Italian breakfast options; they offer brunch during the weekends from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Instead, you can pick from a broad selection of brunch staples such as French toast, pancakes, omelets, bacon and eggs, Croque madame, eggs Benedict, avocado toast and, bagels. Their dishes are extremely affordable despite its central location and are served in dainty and patterned porcelain plates, making it true brunch heaven and must-try when in Rome.
Forget the rather sparse Italian breakfast that you commonly see and head over to one of the many locations of Bakery House for a hearty American-style brunch. While the owner, Viviana Lorenzini, is a native of Rome, the idea of putting up the restaurant was inspired by her trips to the United States, where she was introduced to the brunch tradition and the different dishes offered.
Starting at 9:30 AM and finishing up at 4:00 PM every Saturday and Sunday, brunch here includes an American-influenced menu that features favorites such as fluffy scrambled eggs with bacon, French toast, a variety of pancakes (imagine classic maple syrup or banana with Nutella), ham and cheese omelet, hash browns, bagels and much more. They also serve American coffee or freshly pressed juice with your meal.
Note that Bakery House is extremely popular not just among the tourists but also with locals who are looking to enjoy a wide variety of breakfast meals, which means you can expect all three locations to be full during the weekends. It's best to call ahead and reserve a table before your visit.
Located off the famous Via del Corso shopping street, in one of Rome’s busiest neighborhoods, Gusto is a modern restaurant with an indulgent buffet consisting of brunch options – from American-style meals to Italian cuisine. Open on weekdays from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Gusto’s buffet features dishes such as bacon and eggs, pizza, pasta, Italian style raw seafood and more; they also have vegan and vegetarian dishes for plant-based diners. To end your meal on a sweet note, don’t forget to try their range of baked goods, including cheesecake, carrot cake, cupcakes and doughnuts.
Housed inside a former warehouse in the industrial neighborhood of Ostiense, Porto Fluviale is a chic spot that has a great brunch menu served alongside a typical Italian lunch. Exuding an American diner vibe, the restaurant offers affordable brunch from 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM on weekends. This fabulous brunch selection consists of several mini-courses of both mostly Italian dishes and a few American choices.
Some of the must-try brunch savory dishes at Porto Fluviale include their cold dishes of cured pasta, range of cheeses, cured meats, fish, raw vegetables, pizza, soups and even hot focaccia. Save room for the impressive selection of tasty desserts, including their signature tiramisu.
La Veranda is a sophisticated restaurant located in Borgo Santo Spirito where you can have a hearty Sunday brunch from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM. At the restaurant, you can choose from a range of brunch menus that feature both sweet and savory dishes, namely the Big Brunch, Light Brunch, Vegetarian Brunch and Baby Brunch (for kids). The contents of the menu changes weekly, according to the chef’s plans.
Their most popular menu is the Big Brunch, which usually consists of bread, jam and butter, a roast beef sandwich with horseradish sauce and tomatoes, omelet with vegetables and pecorino cheese, potato with bacon and cheese, pancakes with chocolate, apples and bananas, a lemon meringue pie and paired with orange juice and American coffee. Yes, you can get all of these in one sitting!
Situated in the neighborhood of Testaccio, Ketumbar is a beloved restaurant that champions healthy dining by offering organic and sustainable food. Serving brunch every Saturday and Sunday between 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM, Ketumbar features a buffet of healthy food items, such as couscous, salad, pastas, hummus, soups and other vegetable dishes. They also offer organic desserts and gluten-free options. Ketumbar is also extremely family-friendly. Bring the family to enjoy a Kids’ Menu and special children’s seats as well as toys and kid-friendly activities.
Although a relative newcomer in Rome’s brunch scene, Marigold has immediately made a name for itself as one of the top spots in Rome for a proper brunch. Established in 2018 in Rome’s Ostiense district, the restaurant is best known for its homemade bread and baked goods. Some of the absolute bestsellers from their bakery include sourdough loaves and Scandinavian-style rye bread.
In addition, Marigold serves up brunch dishes from their à la carte menu, including classics like buttermilk pancakes, avocado on rye bread and homemade granola. Brunch at Marigold is available every Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. In case you miss brunch, you can always buy their loaf of bread and homemade granola to go.
Located just a short distance from the Piazza del Popolo, Babette is a charming bistro that specializes in homemade pastries. Boasting an outdoor courtyard where you can dine during the warmer season, the restaurant makes delectable pastries such as doughnuts and croissants. If you’re looking for a heavier meal, you can choose from their a la carte menu of brunch offerings, including their eggs in however way you want them served, as well as their Italian colazione. They also have an extensive wine menu if you want your brunch to be a bit boozy.
If you’re looking for a delicious brunch that is completely vegan, then Écru is the place for you. Situated near Via Giulia, the vegetarian restaurant and bakery is known for its raw food philosophy and use of all-organic and gluten-free ingredients. They offer Sunday brunch from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, where you can choose from two options.
The first one is a menu consisting of sushi or breakfast sandwich, chia pudding or yogurt with fruit, bread with hummus or raw jam and a choice of drink. The second menu consists of veggie crisps, dips with crackers, soup or vegetable spaghetti and your choice of drink. If you happen to be at Écru from 2:00 PM onward, you also get to enjoy the live music performance held here every day.
Ex Circus is a modern restaurant and cocktail bar located in Navona, just a short distance from the Vatican, where you can have a nice Sunday brunch. Available from 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM, the restaurant's a la carte menu includes both American and Italian classics, such as bagels, pancakes with syrup and fruit, yogurt with granola, prosciutto, cheeses and more. Because of its delicious selection and strategic location, Ex Circus is a definite candidate for the best brunch in Rome.
Serving brunch from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM on Sundays, Camillo B. has the traditional buffet seen in Rome with a weekly set of dishes, including items such as savory tarts, baked potatoes, fried eggs with bacon, omelets, chicken curry, meatballs and more. For their dessert selection, you can choose from options such as tarts and muffins.
In Rome, enjoy an a la carte brunch menu
Brunch in Rome may be different from what you are used to but it is equally impressive, if not more. No trip to the Italian capital would be complete without sampling some of the finest brunch spots that the city has to offer. From a sunset bar with live pasta cooking stations to a terrace restaurant serving truffled roast potatoes, every style and taste is satisfied in Rome!