Le Carré Français is one of the best French restaurants in Rome, situated between the Spanish Steps and the Vatican in the Prati neighbourhood.

To call it ‘only’ a restaurant however is rather reductive, as Le Carré Français is an all-day, one stop shop celebrating French cuisine, selling speciality cheeses and wines, as well as acting as a coffee shop, bakery, wine bar and more.

Pop in to Le Carré Français from 8am for an informal breakfast, including freshly baked croissants and morning goods, to start your day in the French mood. While you’re here, don’t forget to pick up fresh French bread, cheeses, wines, cakes, and patés to fill your store cupboard when in Rome.

French restaurants in Rome: Le Carre Francais offers all-day dining near the Vatican

In terms of brunch here, you’re also spoilt for choice. Once a week, the lazy Sunday brunch at Le Carré Français comprises a right royal bottomless brunch including cheeses, pastries, gallettes, croque madame, croque monsieur, fresh juices, coffee and more for €32, served 9-12.

Lunch at Le Carré Français

Lunch, aperitif and dinner follow every day at Le Carré Français, featuring French regional and seasonal specialities. Owner Jildaz Mahé hails from Brittany, so don’t miss a taste of the sea with excellent seafood, including oysters and other raw delicacies. And of course, this is one of the best wine bars in Rome and a great wine store, selling a wonderful range of French wines and champagnes.

If you come to Le Carré Français for a bite to eat, Breton galettes, buckwheat pancakes filled with savoury and sweet ingredients, make a wonderful informal lunch.

Or perhaps you’re in the mood for one of the great classics of French cuisine. In that case, you could opt for pan-fried scallops (€22), a handsome fish soup (€26), Boeuf Bourguignon (€22) or duck breast served with red fruits (€22). I tried the magnificent Tournedos Rossini (€26) and was not disappointed. This dish combines a 200g beef fillet steak, served with a chunk of foie gras, foie gras salsa and truffles on a disc of bread.

Le Carre Francais - classic French cuisine in Rome

Classic and seasonal desserts follow, baked and prepared by the expert hands of in-house pastry chef, Giancarlo Bruno.

Situated in Prati, it’s easy to reach Le Carré Français from the historical centre by walking over the bridge Ponte Cavour, which is a natural extension from Via Tomacelli, not far from Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

Le Carré Français at Epiphany, 6 January

Le Carré Français is most definitely a French restaurant in Rome for all seasons: but it’s worth marking your calendar for a few seasonal specialities as the year turns.

The restaurant marks all of the major festivals, including Easter, with some unique dishes. Plan on celebrating the new wine or Beaujolais Nouveau at Le Carré Français as well, with a special menu featuring the first wines in November, plus gift sets on sale including the wine.

Le Carre Francais sells and serves traditional French Christmas food

Le Carré Français is one of the places which does an incredible amount of business in the Christmas and holiday season, culminating with a special cake for Epiphany, 6 January. Prepared by Le Carré Français’s in-house pastry chef, Giancarlo Bruno, the Galette de Rois, the King’s cake, is a traditional sweet tart made with frangipane and flaky pastry. By tradition, a small ceramic treasure is hidden inside the tart, and whomever finds the prize is crowned ‘King for the day’.

This wonderful cake is available for just a few short weeks, so it’s a good idea to try it when on offer, either by ordering an entire Galette de Rois to take home, or by stopping by for a slice of cake and a coffee when in the Prati neighbourhood.

The Galette de Rois follows a series of classic desserts for the Christmas season. As well as serving traditional lunches on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, Le Carré Français also charts the festive season with a series of mouthwatering sweets. Starting with the typical Advent desserts of Kouglof and Pavlova, the menu moves on to the French take on a yule log, Bûche de Nöel, before culminating in the magnificent Epiphany tart, Galette de Rois.

However, you really don’t need an excuse to visit Le Carré Français. Any time of year is good! For the latest opening times, keep the website bookmarked or check out details on the Le Carré Français Facebook page. The restaurant and store are usually open all day, but are currently obliged to limit the hours in line with local lockdowns.

Highly recommended!

Le Carré Français | Via Vittoria Colonna 30 | Rome | Tel 06 6476 0625

Read next: Brunch in Rome: 20+ breakfast options for 2021