Romans use the after‐work, before‐dinner drink as the perfect transition to the second – more lively – half of the day. The city encourages this habit with a constantly expanding range of options. Here are our top five:
Freni e Frizioni – Trastevere
You’ll know Freni e Frizioni from the groups of millennials spilling out onto the piazza out front on any given evening. People come for the friendly bartenders, well‐mixed cocktails, people watching and free finger food that includes several vegetarian options.
Doppio Zero – Ostiense/Testaccio
With its industrial interior, Doppio Zero is edgier than the average Roman bar. But the drinks and buffet stick to the tried and trusted: classic cocktails (try the mojito) and Roman fare that includes dishes hearty enough to pass for dinner.
Queen Makeda Grand Pub – San Saba
Queen Makeda attracts beer lovers with its rotating menu of over 40 craft ales on tap. Every evening from 6pm to 9pm, you can sit at the bar, sip your beer and choose from a parade of international appetizers circulating on a conveyer belt. Alternatively, you can enjoy your drink and snack in the bamboo garden out back.
La Bottega del Caffè – Monti
La Bottega del Caffè is the best place to take in Piazza della Madonna dei Monti, heart of the hip Monti neighbourhood. The bar offers the basics – decent wine and simple snacks. But you go for the atmosphere, which is created by the other beautiful people sipping their drinks on the shaded terrace, and the Romans who meet up at the piazza’s fountain for a gossip before heading out for a night on the town.
Panella – Esquilino
Dating from 1929, Panella is the grande dame of Roman aperitivo bars, attracting a classy crowd. From 6:30pm to 10pm, Panella serves up inventive cocktails with daily specials like pecorino and black pepper involtini (roulade), savoury mousses and deep‐fried veggies. Panella is famous for its bakery and pastry shop, so don’t forget to grab a sweet treat on the way out. Reserve ahead if you want a table on the outdoor terrace.
For more information on things to do and places to stay in Rome, visit our destination guide.