Although Rome is better known for its wine bars than its cocktail bars, the drinking scene is evolving and a variety of new watering holes have cropped up in the Eternal City championing beverages that are shaken, muddled and stirred. From swanky rooftop bars and secret garden locales to intimate speakeasies and local favorites, Rome has a wide variety of venues that will please cocktail lovers of all stripes.
Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Italian, $$$
Ranked as one of the world’s best bars, Salotto 42 has an enviable front-row spot overlooking the 2nd-century ruins of the Temple of Hadrian. When in Rome, why not enjoy your spritz with a view? It’s a stylish little ‘book bar’ with delicious drinks, tasty finger foods and cool music. Mingle with an upscale crowd in the evenings or enjoy a more relaxed ambience in the later afternoons and be sure to grab a seat outside or just behind the sliding glass door to enjoy the vista.
Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Pub Grub, Italian, $$$
Blackmarket San Lorenzo, one of three Blackmarket venues in Rome, is an atmospheric cocktail bar with carefully curated aesthetics and an extensive list of mixed drinks that pay nod to the Roaring ’20s. The menu features a number of signature cocktails, inspired by barman Alessandro’s time spent in London, and variations on classic drinks, though the team is happy to whip up personalized beverages for guests. The interior décor is quirky and cool, with exposed brick walls, vintage sofas and cozy candlelight – complementing the bar’s warm and friendly service.
One of Rome’s most exclusive locations is the Stravinskij Bar nestled within Hotel de Russie marvelous private garden: a truly verdant oasis just steps from Piazza del Popolo. Perched upon a private terrace designed by neoclassical architect Giuseppe Valadier, you can enjoy a wide range of signature cocktails while people-watching and soaking in the beautiful landscape around you. Hotel de Russie is a favorite hotel with celebrities and the well-heeled crowd so you never know who you may spot into while sipping your G&T.
Rome’s most famous late-night speakeasy, The Jerry Thomas Project is a cocktail bar straight out of the Prohibition Era. Located behind an unassuming doorway in the heart of Rome, you’ll need to answer a riddle on the website to receive the secret password to enter the speakeasy and reservations are encouraged. Intimate, dimly lit and with great decor, Jerry Thomas creates a great atmosphere and offers top-notch cocktails to boot.
Bar, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Pub Grub, Italian, $$$
A Trastevere favorite, 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.
Located in Rome’s gritty but gentrifying Pigneto neighborhood, Co.So. is a surprisingly upscale diamond in the rough. Short for Cocktails & Social, Co.So. features typewritten menus delivered to your table in Manila envelopes, bubble wrap coasters, an all-you-can-eat popcorn machine, and gummy bears to snack on while you sip on your bespoke cocktails. Each drink is carefully crafted and served in a unique glass, and this may be the only place where you can sample a carbonara sour: the secret ingredient is guanciale-infused vodka which adds a savory flavor to the citrus classic.