What to Eat in Rome for Breakfast (and where to get it)

An Italian morning meal can be a bit of a disappointment if you stumble into the day blindly. Burnt espresso and a pre-made cornetto? Nope. No thanks. Better to know what to eat in Rome for breakfast – and exactly where to get it.

Mornings in Rome begin with coffee, usually accompanied by a sweet pastry. So skip the sad cold cut buffet at your hotel, and definitely pass on the fette biscottate that are in the cabinet at your Airbnb rental – and join the locals for breakfast.

What to Eat in Rome for Breakfast

If you want to go full Roman, you have to get a maritozzo for breakfast. These barely sweet yeasted buns are a city specialty.

traditional Roman pastry a maritozzo for breakfast

The bun itself is light and easily inhaled – but the panna/whipped cream? That is what makes a maritozzo such a morning commitment. You can do it. I believe in you.  Get the best ones at Pasticceria Regoli, Il Maritozzaro (which is named for this monstrous AM treat), and/or Roscioli Caffe.

Want the most traditional breakfast in Rome? Then it has to be a cornetto. Shaped like a croissant, these pastries are often made with oil instead of butter and have a slightly sweetened flavor.

Cornetti can be “semplice” (plain), or filled with jams (marmellata) or cream (crema). If you want to be a bit healthier, go for a “cornetto integrale” which has more whole grains and is often filled with honey.

If I am going to really eat a great cornetto, I go to Panificio Bonci in Prati. Unfortunately, they don’t do coffee so you probably want to get this first. The best in the neighborhood is at Pergamino Caffè (Piazza del Risorgimento, 7). Tram Depot in Testaccio also has fantastic cornetti, and Pasticceria Barberini (which sits across the street) is known for their great pastries made with real butter.

 

Craving a donut? We don’t really have those for breakfast in Rome but we do have something even better: ciambella.

The fried dough is doused in crystals of sugar which add a nice crunch and a lot of sweetness to the golden fluffy pastry. The best in the city? Well, if I walk into Linari (Via Nicola Zabaglia, 9) and see a just-fried try being carried out to the bar, there is NO WAY I am going to pass on that kind of perfection.

While those are the classic pastries to eat in Rome for breakfast, there are also plenty of others to appeal to any palate.

A bombolone, perhaps? It is fried and filled with pastry cream.

Or you can get a danese, or a slice of crostata, or these delicious apple and almond creations from Roscioli Caffe Pasticerria – which is a fabulous place to go for breakfast in Rome if you are in the center. It is in between Campo de’ Fiori and the Jewish Ghetto. In my opinion, the prices for breakfast are too steep if you sit in the back at the large, family-style table. However, it is worth it to squeeze into the bar area for their excellent pastries and specialty coffee.

If you want a savory breakfast in Rome, many people opt for tramezzini. I simply cannot support the white bread and mayo sandwiches. I know they don’t look that bad, but they are.

For sit down savory morning meals, Coromandel (Via di Monte Giordano, 60) makes a great breakfast but the menu is not traditionally Roman.

The best newcomer on the Rome breakfast scene is without a doubt Marigold Roma (Via Giovanni da Empoli, 37). The restaurant and micro-bakery has homemade bread, delicious (but not too sweet) cinnamon twists, organic yogurt with their signature toasted granola plus seasonal fruit, pancakes, and the unmissable avocado toast with a poached egg and pepperoncino. The specialty coffee and long list of teas are also wonderful.

close up of avocado toast with egg

Is there anything else you like to eat in Rome for breakfast?

29 thoughts on “What to Eat in Rome for Breakfast (and where to get it)

    • Natalie says:

      Such an excellent suggestion! And I actually do eat this for breakfast a lot because baby G and I always stop by to say hello to Artenio on our morning market runs!

  1. Angel says:

    Any suggestions on the best places for breakfast in the San Giovanni neighborhood? My son and I will be on a week vacation there in early May and we rented an Airbnb apartment there and I would love to try all your suggestions!!! Thanks for helping me think of the dilemma of breakfast!!!

  2. Janice says:

    Hi Natalie, some how got a link to your site while researching for an upcoming trip to Rome. Love it ,amazing and love that you update it ! We are staying in an apartment on Via Sant Erasmo,an you tell me what neighbourhood this falls in. I am having a hard time figuring it out. Will be purchasing your app!

    • Natalie says:

      Hi Janice! I am so glad you found the blog and it has been helpful! I would say that Via di Sant’Erasmo is in Celio – close to Monti but also San Giovanni. I hope you have an amazing time there!

  3. Jay says:

    Last March we stayed a week at an apartment overlooking Campo de’ Fiori, and each morning I’d shop at the open-air market for grapes, blood oranges, strawberries, not local but from Sicily or Basilicata, then walk to a salumeria for some speck or prosciutto, a little cheese and then maybe a short walk to Roscioli’s Forno for a few pastries. With some Lavazza coffee bought at the grocery, heat some water and use the Melitta cone filter, that would be our morning’s breakfast, and would sustain us for most of the day. Wonderful!

  4. Jennifer Creech says:

    Hi, I will be staying near the Vatican in August and also staying near Roma Termini at the end of the trip, any ideas for places around these areas? I appreciate any helpful advice, thank you.

  5. Tony Staffaroni says:

    This is the best way to start the day, a coffee and a cornetto alla crema for me…nothing better! Ah, I miss it so much.

  6. Michel says:

    Hi my son and I will be visiting Rome for the first time in a few weeks any suggestions on places near the Vatican museums. We plan to do a lot of walking so may suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Kayla says:

    Wait, you don’t like tramezzini? I go crazy for them! My boyfriend is from Mestre, near Venice, and there’s a bar there that has *the* softest bread, I could eat a trillion of those sandwiches.

  8. Jeremy says:

    Just when I thought no-one else had discovered
    Pasticceria 5 Lune for pastries! We think they are simply the best….tried many others, of course.

  9. Vicki says:

    is it possible to get tea at these places? I don’t like coffee, but I still need a hit of caffeine. When I go to the South U.S. it’s sometimes unavailable on the road.

    • Natalie says:

      Yes! It is called “tè” but the selection might not be amazing. Tisane is more an infusion but probably does not have the caffeine you are looking for.

  10. Mariana says:

    Hi! I loved your post! Thank you for explaining things!! I am visiting Rome for the first time and we are staying at an airbnb by galleria Borghese. I would love to try one of the Cornetto’s you speak of in your article but the yummy places you mention seem to be too far away from where we will be staying.
    Is there any chance you could recommend a place to get a morning pastry near the villa Borghese?
    I don’t know the name of the neighborhood but the airbnb is near the corner of via Monte Brianzo and Piaza Nicosia.
    Thank you so much!!!
    Mariana

  11. Jeff says:

    I’m heading to Rome in a couple of weeks. I don’t eat bread and don’t drink coffee, so what are my other options? Is there a place to get omelettes and the like in Rome? I understand Italians aren’t big on breakfast, but I don’t function well without a substantial one. Would appreciate any clues.

    • Natalie says:

      Are you staying in a hotel? The breakfast buffet may be the best bet for non-carb options. Coromandel (suggested above) is also very good.

  12. Paola says:

    Thank you for your post. I am traveling with my husband and 3 teenage boys. We are staying in an AirBnb in Trastevere, can you offer suggestions for breakfast and best pizza?

  13. Sarah says:

    Thank you for this post. Headed to Rome in two weeks with my kids (ages 6 and 8.) Trying to nail down a breakfast spot for our first day since we land at 8 am (from the US.) From past experience I know we will be tired and starving! We are staying at the Westin Excelsior (Via Veneto). Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.