Bar San Calisto
A classic. Bar San Calisto is a cafe-bar that is open at all hours of the day and is quintessentially Roman. It attracts a mixed crowd of hipsters, blue-collar workers, unassuming tourists, young people and old people. It is a truly mixed bag, and that is its greatest charm. San Calisto is inexpensive and no-frills, so don’t come here for elaborate cocktails. Peroni beer is the drink of choice, though you can order a spritz or gin tonic if that’s your preference. You’ll be lucky if you can snag one of the coveted tables outside which make for a convivial atmosphere. Otherwise, you’ll have to enjoy your drink like the Romans: leaning up against the parked vespas in the square.
Bar San Calisto, Piazza di San Calisto 4, Rome, Italy, +39 06 583 5869
Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà
Perhaps the greatest beer bar in Rome, the title translates as “What did you come here for, anyways?” It is a hole-in-the-wall spot that has about a dozen international beers on tap, ranging from ales and triples to lagers and stouts. This place is no-frills. You’re wise to opt for the plastic cup so you can people-watch while you enjoy your brew outside at one of Trastevere’s most teeming junctures.
Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà, Via di Benedetta 25, Rome, Italy, +39 06 6456 2046
Freni e Frizioni
A Trastevere classic, Freni e Frizioni is one of the neighborhood’s liveliest places for an aperitivo and a great place to enjoy delicious cocktails in a convivial setting. The bar was once a mechanic’s shop – hence the name, which means ‘Tires and Clutches’. It spills out onto an enormous piazza, meaning most patrons take a seat along the wall or stand, mingling with friends. Hip but casual, it’s a great place to enjoy long summer nights. Don’t miss the mojito, one of the best in the city.
Freni e Frizioni, Via del Politeama 4/6, Rome, Italy, +39 06 4549 7499
If crowded and rambunctious isn’t your scene, head to Niji. You’ll need to sign up for a membership card to enter, but it’s worth it for the touch of allure and the intimate ambiance. With its speakeasy-style attitude and warm interior, it’s a welcome respite from the noise of the neighborhood. This place has a creative list of cocktails covering all spirits and styles.
Niji, Via dei Vascellari 35, Rome, Italy, +39 06 581 9520
Coffee Pot is new on the scene in Trastevere (they also have a location near Piazza Bologna). It offers five-star drinks in a trendy atmosphere. Billed as a tapas, sushi, and mezcal restaurant-bar, the spot excels with its tequila concoctions. With its hanging plants, moody lighting, and industrial interiors, it’s sure to appeal to aesthetes and cocktail connoisseurs alike.
Coffe Pot Trastevere, Via del Politeama 12, Rome, Italy, +39 347 282 0618
If vino is more your style, Enoteca Ferrara is a great bet. This restaurant-cum-wine bar has a Bible-sized wine list with plenty of labels to choose from. However, you can’t go wrong with their wines by the glass. Enoteca Ferrara specializes in Italian wines but features some international bottles as well. You pay for quality here, but the service and selection is worth the price.
Enoteca Ferrara, Piazza Trilussa 41, Rome, Italy, +39 06 5833 3920
You won’t be left unsatisfied with Baylon Café, worth a visit at any hour of the day. Whether you want to enjoy brunch alongside a mimosa or drop by for after-dinner drinks, the atmosphere here is always contemporary, cool and relaxed. It is spacious inside and has a dozen tables outfitted with fairy lights outside for warm evenings. Bonus: you probably came for cocktails, but Babylon whips up some delicious fruit juices that are difficult to resist.
Babylon Café, Via di San Francesco a Ripa 151, Rome, Italy, +39 06 581 4275
A drop-in hangout that attracts a local crowd, Big Star is a friendly pub that plays classic rock, hosts live shows, and has a Sunday-night indie movie club during the cooler months. If you prefer alternative to chic, this is the perfect place to visit for a laid-back evening away from all the tourists.
Big Star, Via Goffredo Mameli 25, Rome, Italy, +39 380 340 5948