The ultimate guide to Thanksgiving in Rome
Whether you are an American trying to continue traditions while living in Italy, or an Italian looking to celebrate new festivities, Thanksgiving is the perfect day to gather with friends and family, eat comfort food, and remind ourselves of all the things in life that we are grateful for. While last year it was unfortunately impossible to be within close circles and travel to see family, this year is going to be different, far more traditional. Plenty of restaurants and venues are ready to welcome you and your loved ones on this special day with the classic Thanksgiving dinner in the Eternal City, so you won’t feel like you are missing out one bit! Rome has a lot to offer to begin with, and it can cater to this tradition, too, so you can spend the 25th of November this year in a cosy environment and reminisce on the things you are thankful for.
What to Cook/Eat?
If you are having a massive family get together, or just inviting a few friends over, you need to have a general idea of who is attending your feast to delegate certain meals to different people. Is grandma an expert with turkey? Does your partner have a family pie recipe? You need to figure out a menu and perhaps even get others involved. Want to try something new or incorporate Italian classics into the meal? It is important to make a list of who will cook what – this way you can avoid having people show up with mashed potatoes. But if you prefer to make your Thanksgiving less hectic, you can always take a look at our selection of restaurants and bars ready to serve a full three-course deliciously festive meal for you on the day of this beautiful holiday.
Hunting for Holiday Essentials
Stores like Conad sell pastry dough and cinnamon, but certain ingredients are much more tricky to find. In Italy, it is rare – if not impossible – to walk into the average grocery store and buy pumpkin pie filling, brown sugar, cranberry sauce, or a whole turkey.
Drogheria Innocenzi in Trastevere (Via Natale del Grande, 31) sells just about anything and everything you can imagine: Bisquick mix, canned Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, brown sugar, and Libby’s pumpkin pie filling.
While fresh cranberries do not grow in Italy, sour, red ribes (currants) are a decent substitution. If you are looking to make a fresh simple cranberry (currant) sauce, boil these berries with sugar, cinnamon, and orange juice, and in about 10 minutes, you’ll have a lovely sauce.
Castroni (Via Cola di Rienzo, 196) also sells a variety of imported goods that compose the perfect Thanksgiving meal, including baking mixes, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, canned sweet potatoes, marshmallow fluff, and pumpkin filling.
Sweet potatoes (patate dolci) can be found at various bio/organic grocery stores around the city, though it is often a hit or miss situation. That being said, the Latin American stalls around Piazza Vittorio usually have them.
As for the turkey, many macellerie should be able to provide you with a turkey, but you will have to pre-order a few days ahead of time. Bio Eno on Via Labicana, 112 and the Testaccio market are some excellent options. Bear in mind that your Roman oven is probably much smaller than ovens in the United States, so be specific about the size of your turkey!
If this all sounds like way too much work for you, there are still a few alternatives! [By: Cassidy Slockett]
Restaurants, Pubs, and Clubs Celebrating Giorno del Ringraziamento
It is finally possible to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant, pub or club this year, and we have collected the best and tastiest offers out there in Rome for you to choose from, and perhaps try out if you don’t feel like setting up a whole table and spending the day near the oven.
Il Giardino Ristorante @ Hotel Eden Rome
Via Ludovisi, 49 (Centro Storico)
Feel like celebrating Thanksgiving with a breathtaking view to gaze at? The rooftop on the sixth floor of Hotel Eden is the perfect place for you, and on such a special day, Executive e Chef Fabio Ciervo has created a menu for Il Giardino Ristorante catered around the typical flavours of such a wonderful holiday, with his own twist added to it. For starters a pumpkin and buffalo ricotta ravioli and then the classic Turkey to follow with various veggies topped with Amatrice guanciale (jow) and cranberry sauce. Finishing all of this off with a pumpkin creme brûlée, coffee and various sweet bites. The cost is €70 per person, excluding drinks.
Vivi Bistrot & Le Serre by Vivi
Piazza Navona, 2 (Palazzo Braschi) & Via Decio Filipponi, 1
Vivi Bistrot, a popular organic restaurant with various locations in Rome, among which Le Serre found in Monte Mario, and the Bistrot at Piazza Navona, is offering a Thanksgiving feast on November 25th to share in great company and a lovely environment. At both of these locations, Le Serre by VIVI and VIVI – Piazza Navona, you’ll have the opportunity to taste American classics with an Italian touch for a nuanced Thanksgiving dinner experience – all for €40 per person, excluding drinks. On the menu, we have organic pumpkin cream soup with goat cheese and homemade croutons, as seconds the traditional stuffed turkey with home-made stuffing, flavourful sautéed green beans, and organic mashed potatoes with a side of some home-made cornbread. To finish off on a sweet note, a delicious pumpkin pie with blueberry chutney.
Beverly @ The Hoxton Rome
Largo Benedetto Marcello, 220 (Parioli)
In the heart of the Parioli district, Beverly represents a farm-to-table philosophy inspired by the West Coast, and reminiscent of California, too. One of the perfect choices if you want to keep your Thanksgiving dinner within the tradition, but give it some pizazz and class – great ambience and superb location. They are preparing a special menu for the big day, with a starter of pumpkin and leek soup, to warm and set the scene within this autumn holiday. For the mains, you may choose from the classic turkey leg with gravy or for a veggie take, the spicy roasted cauliflower. The sides, again, classical but delicious, creamy mashed potato and seasonal veggies. It would not be Thanksgiving dinner without a proper pie, and they offer a crunchy streusel-topped deep-dish apple pie with salted caramel ice cream. All of this for €50 per person, water and coffee included.
L’Uliveto Restaurant @ Rome Cavalieri
Via Alberto Cadlolo, 101 (Monte Mario)
L’Uliveto, the restaurant of the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria, is hosting a huge Thanksgiving dinner on November 25th at €110 per person, €50 for children from 7 pm until 11 pm, drinks a la carte. The price may be higher than other offers, but this dinner will be an animated and upbeat experience, as the chefs will be preparing your dishes live from a menu specifically handcrafted by chef Favio Boschero. Alongside the classic turkey, you can expect a New England vongole soup, a pumpkin cream soup, sides of corn, green beans and bacon, mixed salad and much more. Dessert? New York cheesecake, apple crumple, and pumpkin cake from PASTRY by Chef Dario Nuti. Were you thinking of celebrating it at home? They have a takeaway Thanksgiving BOX delivery you can order, here they stock you up with some New England soup with potatoes and bacon, the traditional turkey, brussel sprouts, and much more, including a sweet selection of mignons as desert. Make sure to order before the 24th of November, 7 pm, and remember that delivery will take place in the day of, so the 25th from 12.30 pm.
Hard Rock Cafè
Via Vittorio Veneto, 62/A (Ludovisi)
As tradition, Hard Rock Cafè is going to serve a Thanksgiving feast! This year you will have the opportunity to book and choose between two slots, one from 7 pm to 9 pm, and another from 9.30 pm to 11.30 pm, but the menu will be available until the 28th of November, not just the 25th! You’ll enjoy of a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (€17.95) with slow-roasted turkey breast, roasted fresh vegetables, home-style classic stuffing, creamy sweet potato mash, cranberry sauce finished with traditional turkey gravy. A slice of classic pumpkin pie topped with caramel sauce and house-made whipped cream (€7.00). And an Espresso Martini (€13.25) with Grey Goose Vodka, Kahlúa, fresh brewed espresso shaken until frothy and chilled. What else? There is a bundle promotion for €35 for two people, where you each get dinner and a pumpkin pie to share! Don’t forget to book your table!
Outdoor Thanksgiving Feast with The American Club of Rome
Torretta de’ Massimi, Viale Luigi Moretti
The American Club of Rome is supporting the Sister Club Free Exchange society for their 2021 Edition OUTDOOR Thanksgiving Feast. The picnic lunch will take place on the 28th of November, Thanksgiving Sunday, from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm, but if you prefer, you can opt to only drive-through, instead of staying with everyone else. It will be lovingly catered by Hummustown with traditional recipes, hence why you can book your spot through firstname.lastname@example.org before the 24th of November.
Don’t get too caught up in finding the perfect foods or the perfect restaurant. Friends and family and remembering to be Thankful are the essence of the holiday. Make sure to share what you are thankful for during your Thanksgiving meal.