Did you know that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has a favorite restaurant in the Vatican?
Pope Francis’ predecessor loves going to Cantina Tirolese near the Vatican when he was serving as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The two-storey restaurant has been serving traditional German and Austrian dishes since 1971—and through the years, it was able to gain a lot of loyal clients, particularly cardinals like the then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio! (Read: The Bergoglio Family Kitchen)
If you haven’t heard of Cantina Tirolese, then this is the perfect time to Google it and mark it for your next Vatican visit. And while you’re at it, why don’t you check out these three restaurants—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—that are more or less a stone’s throw away from the Vatican itself?
For Breakfast at the Vatican: Sciascia Caffè
The Sciascia Caffè serves one of the best coffees in Rome. The charming and cozy atmosphere without paying extra (apparently a big deal in Rome!) is one of the perks of this restaurant and cafe. Have breakfast here and you’re sure to be fueled for your exciting day at the Vatican. It is a 12-15 minute walk to the Vatican Museums and is open every day, except Sundays from 7 AM to 8 PM. (Read: A Peek Inside the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican)
For Lunch at the Vatican: Pizzarium Di Gabriele Bonci
Around lunchtime, you’ll want to grab a quick bite—plus it gets pretty crowded everywhere around this time. If you want to eat well and for a fair price near the Vatican, try Pizzarium Di Gabriele Bonci for an amazing slice of pizza. The dough is perfectly light and the toppings are among the tastiest and most interesting you will find in Rome. Take note, however, that this place gets full at lunchtime and there is hardly any place to sit down. It’s open from Monday to Saturday from 11 AM to 10 PM, Sunday noon to 4 PM, then 6 PM to 10 PM. It’s less than a 10-minute walk to the Vatican Museums. (Read: Here’s An Exclusive Tour of The Vatican Gardens)
For Dinner at the Vatican: La Tradizione Restaurant
If you want to eat gourmet food at affordable prices, go to La Tradizione—a deli just 15 minutes away from the Vatican Museums. You can have traditional Roman specialties like classic pasta dishes, trippa alla Romana, or grilled lamb chops. They also have a delectable wine list and a friendly and knowledgeable staff which will make your dinner the most enjoyable one. It’s open every Tuesday to Saturday at 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM for lunch, and 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM for dinner. They are closed for Sunday dinner and every Monday.