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 24th 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 and other locations throughout Rome) 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, Eataly in Ostiense 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!
Restaurants, Pubs, and Clubs Celebrating Thanksgiving in Rome
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.
Vivi – Piazza Navona & Vivi – Le Serre
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 Vivi – Piazza Navona at Palazzo Braschi, is offering a Thanksgiving feast on November 24th 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 €45 per person, excluding drinks. On the menu, we have organic pumpkin cream with goat cheese and homemade croutons, as seconds the traditional stuffed turkey with home-made stuffing accompanied by delicious gravy, flavourful sautéed green beans with garlic, ginger and sesame seeds and organic mashed potatoes, homemade 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, and for the occasion the name of the celebration has been changed in “Friendsgiving“, to give the idea of a day to spend with friends with a dedicated menu! With a Mantovana pumpkin soup with amaretti and black cabbage to warm and set the scene within this autumn holiday; as second, filled turkey breast, chestnuts, local sausage, blueberries sauce, accompanied by sweet potato gratin with hazelnuts and sage. It would not be Thanksgiving dinner without a proper pie, and they offer an apple pie with vanilla and Marsala ice cream and salted caramel. All of this for €60 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 24th at €95 per person, €40 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 Fabio Boschero. Alongside the classic turkey, you can expect a pumpkin cream soup and maple syrup croûtons, New England clam chowder, Pumpkin ravioli pasta with butter and sage, Canadian baked salmon with sour cream and chervil sauce and steamed corn with salted butter, green beans and bacon.Dessert? Pecan pie, NY cheescake, Pumpkin pie, Apple crumble, Corn pie and much more!
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 dessert. Make sure to order in time, and remember that delivery will take place in the day of, so the 24th from 11.30am.
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. You’ll enjoy of a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (€26,40) with slow-roasted turkey breast, roasted fresh vegetables, home-style classic stuffing, creamy sweet potato mash, cranberry sauce finished with a traditional turkey gravy. As dessert, a slice of classic pumpkin pie topped with caramel sauce and house-made whipped cream.
What else? There is a bundle promotion for €37,90 for two people, where you each get dinner and a pumpkin pie to share! Don’t forget to book your table!
Thanksgiving Dinner with The American Club of Rome
Emme Restaurant, Via Margutta, 19
The American Club in Rome invites you to eat the Thanksgiving Dinner all together at Emme Restaurant (Via Margutta, 19), with a welcome drink (glass of Franciacorta or wine & snacks sponsored by First Med). Check the menù out: pumpkin soup with pumpkin seeds, homemade ravioli filled with pumpkin, amaretto gravy, traditional turkey with chestnut and cornbread stuffing. As sides brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes, and for dessert pumpkin pie with cinnamon and home made whipped cream. Dinner will start at 7pm, tickets are €50 each, including wine, water, and coffee.
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.
There will be a Thanksgiving Day Mass at St Patrick’s – America’s Catholic church in Rome – on Via Boncompagni 31 (near Via Veneto) at 10.30am on 24th of November.
I wish i can be in Rome for Thanksgiving, everything sounds so delicious xo
With our new home, I look forward to someday actually hosting a Thanksgiving party with family and friends. Thanksgiving in Rome looks like so much fun.
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia but I think any time you invite friends and family over to share a meal is a good time
You did a marvelous job to pull together such a great Thanksgiving abroad