Rome’s Prati district is certainly one of its lesser-known gems. Elegant and demure with tree-lined boulevards, grand residential buildings and thriving businesses, it’s a local neighborhood with cosmopolitan flair just next door to the Vatican. Just south of its main thoroughfare Via Cola di Rienzo lies Borgo Pio, a medieval hamlet with charming streets and plenty of shops selling religious mementos. With plenty of tourism and lots of locals, Prati and Borgo Pio are great locations to enjoy an evening meal and drinks; check out our favorite bars in the area.
Il Sorpasso is one of the best drinking and dining experiences in all of Rome. Part of the charm of Il Sorpasso is its perfect fusion of modern and rustic aesthetics; it features hanging meat shanks on display at a charcuterie station, vaulted brick ceilings and plenty of wine barrels, juxtaposed with industrial-chic elements such as warehouse windows, a marble top bar and suspended light bulbs. It has creative menu items and an extensive list of wines, beers and cocktails. Open from morning ’till late, you can stop by for a cappuccino at breakfast, a leisurely lunch after a visit to the Vatican museums, or a glass of wine with the locals during aperitivo hour and post dinner.
One street away from Il Sorpasso and with the same ownership, Passaguai is another quaint chic-rustic gem that has excellent drinks and delicious daily specials. It is a smaller space with a more limited menu but a great option for a laidback atmosphere and less bustle than its popular neighbor. The kitchen is limited to entrées consisting of cold-cuts, salads and finger foods, so it’s better for lunch or aperitivo as opposed to dinner.
For a more elegant experience, wine enthusiasts should head to Del Frate, a wine bar and restaurant with hundreds of bottles to choose from. The decor recalls a classic wine cellar with exposed brick walls, low-hanging industrial lamps and shelves stocked with bottles. Del Frate is a historic locale that has been around since 1922, and it prides itself on stocking the best Italian and international wines, along with quality cheeses and other products. It is one of the best restaurants in Prati but you can also stop by for just a drink before or after dinner. At aperitivo hour, it offers a classy sampling of crudites and finger foods to accompany your drink.
This venue is one of the classiest places in all of Rome and attracts a seriously chic crowd. Located near the large roundabout at Piazza Mazzini, Settembrini is an exclusively local spot with plenty of artistic flair and elegant design. Open from morning until late, it combines a restaurant, bar, café and bookstore and is worth a stop for anything from a cup of tea to an expertly crafted cocktail. Stop by in the evenings to mingle with the well-heeled crowd of north Rome.
Baratolo is a charming little bookstore and bar best known for serving its drinks (and entrées) in hip mason jars. The bartenders are extremely friendly and passionate about mixology, ever eager to whip up one-of-a-kind drinks with plenty of flavor; think vodka with pineapple juice, vanilla and sage or a mojito with fresh tomatoes and basil. The price point is excellent and there’s also an extensive menu of food, including pastas, couscous and its famous tiramisu in a jar. Stop by for a break from the traditional checkered tablecloth restaurants. By Livia Hengel