Best bars in Rome

Rome’s best bars

While most bars in Rome are traditionally enjoyed during the day, there’s now plenty of after-dark bars and pubs that everyone can enjoy. Old-fashioned wine bars are called enoteche, and are a very popular choice; and the Milanese aperitivo (a drink before dinner) goes down as well as its drinks. Wherever you choose to base yourself in Rome, plenty of bars stay open until late, around 1am if not later - but if you’re looking for the liveliest areas and districts in the city centre, head to Campo de’ Fiori, Centro Storico (near Piazza Navona), and Trastevere, Testaccio and Pigneto.

  1. Vinaietto
  2. Antica Enoteca
  3. Ai Tre Scalini
  4. Bar del Fico
  5. Jerry Thomas Project
  6. Locarno
  7. Black Market
  8. Coming Out
  9. Oasi della Birra
  10. Freni & Frizioni

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Vinaietto

There’s only a cluster of tables in this tiny enoteca (wine bar), but most choose to take their glasses outside on the cobbles, anyway. You can try a range of wines by the glass, and buy any bottles that take your fancy - Vinaietto is also a wine shop.

Best for: Wine by the glass or bottle

Address: Via del Monti della Farina 38.

2. Antica Enoteca

Although Antica Enoteca is in prime Spanish Steps-area, this high-ceilinged enoteca is very atmospheric inside, with fresco-like stencils and a sociable curved round bar. As well as being a pleasant spot for a drink, you can also pick at a range of hot and cold dishes, either inside or at one of their outside tables.

Best for: Rustic delights

Address: Via della Croce 76b.

3. Ai Tre Scalini

This ancient winery is easy to miss with green ivy blanketing most of its honey-coloured exterior. As well as offering a decent wine list, it’s also a good spot for beer, too. Wash it all down with a cheese and salami plate, and you’re all set.

Best for: A lively evening.

Address: Via Panisperna 251

4. Bar del Fico

With a rustic interior better-suited to diners, enjoy an al-fresco evening on their terrace and embrace being in the urban heart of Rome. The drinks may be slightly more expensive than other Rome bars, but you are in the Centro Storico area, after all - so soak it all up and drink it all in.

Best for: Being in the heart of the action

Address:Piazza del Fico 26.

5. Jerry Thomas Project

It doesn’t sound particularly Roman, but the Jerry Thomas Project is a one-of-its-kind in Rome, with its speakeasy-style setting and delicious cocktail menu. The place is named after Jerry Thomas, who wrote the first cocktail-making guide in 1862. Sometimes, you need a password to enter, but that only encourages its popularity - best to book a table in advance.

Best for: Vintage galore

Address: Vicolo Cellini 30

6. Locarno

This hotel bar is seriously stylish, with green foliage almost taking over the decadent stone terrace. Popular with artists, fashionistas and, most importantly, ordinary folk, this is one of the best bars in Rome to sip a cocktail in.

Best for: Everything stylish

Address: Via della Penna 22

7. Black Market

This bar’s name might sound a little daunting, but there’s simply more than meets the eye - it’s not just a bar, but an art gallery and tearoom, too. It’s styled with vintage furniture of all shapes and sizes, and is a fab place for a cocktail by candlelight. You can swing by for an aperitivo buffet between 6.30pm-9pm - the price includes a drink - and there’s live music on Friday and Saturday nights. If you’re considering cheap holidays to Rome, the Italian tradition of aperitivo is a great way to keep costs down - your drink entitles you to small plates of food from the buffet.

Best for: Oddities and curios - decor and punters alike.

Address: Via Panisperna 101

8. Coming Out

Coming Out is possibly Rome’s best gay bar, with a lively schedule of events despite its laidback atmosphere. Come here for karaoke nights and live music performances; they also serve food if you need to recharge your batteries after belting out some Beyonce.

Best for: Superstar-wannabes

Address: Via San Giovanni in Laterano 8

9. Oasi della Birra

Oasi della Birra is set in the basement beneath a wine bar in the Aventine Hill area. It’s a cosy affair with an international selection of beers - 500 of them, in fact - and there’s an extensive wine list, too. You can also choose from various cold plates, from bruschetta to cheese and salami.

Best for: Best of beer

Address: Piazza Testaccio 41.

10. Freni & Frizioni

Freni & Frizoni (“Brakes & Clutches” - the building was a former mechanic’s workshop) is one of the best bars in Rome. You might have to jostle for space as you move towards the beer-bottled lined wall behind the bar, but there are plenty of tables outside to enjoy your drinks from. They also have a decent aperitivo buffet - it’s worth getting here earlier before the thirstier crowds arrive.

Best for: Lively atmosphere.

Address: Via del Politeama 4/6.

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