Bar del Fico
This cool bar might just be the most legendary watering hole in the city. Nestled in intimate Piazza del Fico, both the square and the bar take their name from the fig tree that grows within the piazza. During the day, the tree provides shade for the Italian men who play chess beneath it, while in the evening the bar is swarmed by young and old alike, both locals and expats. Bar del Fico is a real punto di riferimento, point of reference, in the city and has a tendency to attract a see-and-be-seen crowd. No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at this beloved bar and piazza.
Just around the corner from Bar del Fico is Etablì, a restaurant/wine and cocktail bar that is open from early until late to suit any and all needs. With its rustic shabby-chic décor, hanging chandeliers and leather armchairs, it transmits the feel of a relaxed (albeit hip) living room, inviting you to step inside and stay a while. Its great for after-dinner drinks or an intimate evening.
Mimì e Cocò
Mimì e Cocò is lucky to lie along one of the loveliest streets of Rome. The winding Via del Governo Vecchio curves behind Piazza Navona and is filled with quaint boutiques, eateries and bars. This wine bar is a standout for its atmosphere; with outdoor tables and twinkling fairy lights, there’s a touch of magic surrounding it. Come here for a glass of wine and people watching on the street.
Cul de Sac
Set within Piazza del Pasquino and famed for its talking “Pasquino” statue, Cul de Sac is in the middle of all of the action. Being a restaurant and wine bar that has been around since 1977, it has an extensive menu of homey Roman entrées and has over 1,500 wine labels in its cantina. The interior of the bar is designed to feel like a 1960s train car, with wooden benches and narrow corridors, while the outside seating is plentiful and atmospheric.
Ranked as one of the world’s best bars, Salotto 42 occupies a front-row spot overlooking the 2nd century ruins of the Temple of Hadrian. When in Rome, why not enjoy your spritz with a view? It’s a stylish little “book bar” with delicious drinks, tasty finger foods and cool music. Mingle with an upscale crowd in the evenings or enjoy a more relaxed ambience in the later afternoons and be sure to grab a seat behind the sliding glass door to enjoy the vista.
Osteria delle Coppelle
Another trendy spot on our list is Osteria delle Coppelle. Situated closer to the Pantheon with an enticing location in the middle of Piazza delle Coppelle, Osteria delle Coppelle is a restaurant and cocktail bar. This place is part of a network of hip and ultra-curated bars and restaurants in the city, so the branding is on point. With a sexy and romantic attitude, it excels at special house drinks, such as the marocchino, made with campari, bitters, red wine, egg whites and grapefruit juice.
Rome has a surprising number of Irish bars and located just 2 minutes away from Piazza Navona is one of its best: Abbey Theatre. With traditional dark-wood paneling, Irish brews, live television (on 14 screens) and an all-day menu of comfort food, its everything you’d expect from an Irish pub — and more. With a number of little rooms across two levels, it’s a cozy place to enjoy Irish whiskeys, beers and of course, Guinness.
With its painted white brick walls, mismatched furniture and coffee art, Barnum Cafe might be more suited to morning than night — except for the fact that its lovely atmosphere carries on past sundown, making it one of the better bars to catch an indie-chic vibe in the center. Girly and cosy, Barnum Cafe has creative cocktails, a curated wine list and friendly service for a pleasant evening in good company.
Among the most atmospheric wine bars in Rome, Il Goccetto means the “little drop”, which is only the first of many things that makes it effusively charming. With wine bottles stacked from floor to ceiling, painted wooden beams, a delightful storefront and primarily local patrons, it’s a go-to bar in the center for people in the know. Stop by for a glass of wine and nibbles from the illuminated deli counter that features a variety of cold-cuts, savory tortes and Mediterranean antipasti to tide you over before dinner.
For an extensive range of beer with a real wow factor, head over to Open Baladin and admire its illuminated back-lit wall that’s lined with craft beers beckoning to be tasted. The brainchild of two Italian microbreweries, Birra del Borgo and Baladin, it has over 40 rotating beers on tap and 100 by bottle, covering all flavors and styles. It also serves up tantalizing burgers and hand cut fries if you want a bite to accompany your brew.
By Livia Hengel