Rome’s historic center is home to many of its greatest attractions: Piazza Navona, Campo de’ Fiori, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. On a visit to the city, you’re likely to spend most of your time wandering down its winding streets, popping into shops and eating a meal at one of its many fabulous restaurants. Wondering where to head pre or post dinner for a drink? Read on to find out where to enjoy the best wine, beer and cocktails in the Eternal City.
Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Italian, $$$
Salotto 42 has one of the most evocative positions in the city; lying in Piazza di Pietro, it overlooks the 2nd century ruins of the Temple of Hadrian which is composed of a dozen columns, making it a truly unique spot. When in Rome, why not enjoy your spritz with a view? This stylish little ‘book bar’ has delicious drinks, tasty finger foods and cool music. Mingle with an upscale crowd in the evenings or enjoy a more relaxed ambience in the later afternoons and be sure to grab a seat behind the sliding glass door to enjoy the vista. In addition to being one of the nicest bars in the city, it is also considered one of the best bars in the world.
With its painted white brick walls, mismatched furniture and coffee art, Barnum Café might be more suited to morning than night — except for the fact that its lovely atmosphere carries on past sundown, making it one of the better bars to catch an indie-chic vibe in the center. Girly and cozy, Barnum Cafe has creative cocktails, a curated wine list and friendly service for an evening in good company.
Bar, Italian, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Vegetarian, Fast Food, $$$
Il Goccetto, a name that translates to ‘the little drop’ is a delightful enoteca that packs a great atmosphere and bottles of wine prominently displayed in a cozy space. Housed in a rustic and evocative 16th-century palazzo, this bar is replete with a frescoed wooden roof, medieval chandeliers and 800 different labels of Italian and French wines lining its walls. It also has a glowing deli of cheeses, vegetables and cold cuts to pair with your vino for the perfect pre-dinner aperitivo.
Bar del Fico is perhaps the most legendary watering hole in the city. Nestled in intimate Piazza del Fico close to Piazza Navona, 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. 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.
Tucked away in a little piazza beside Campo de’ Fiori, Verso Sera is a hidden jewel and quality locale that couldn’t be more central. Featuring plenty of outdoor seating and lots of rustic charm, it’s a great place for a drink and some nibbles or a full-fledged dinner. This enoteca has an extensive list of wines and offers plenty of food options to suit all appetites, from cheese plates and bruschetta to pastas and meats. Located in a charming piazza, Verso Sera is a perfect place for a spritz on a warm afternoon.
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