Blog:  25 spots (and more) where to enjoy a true Roman Aperitivo

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Happy Hour | 0 comments

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Having an Aperitivo before dinner (or even lunch time) is the best way to linger on, unwind and why not to drink and nibble at some kind of yummy food. Rome definitely is plenty of spots where all this can become true.

So here is our updated list of suggested addresses. Not “touristy” destinations but places where Romans (including us!) love spending their Aperitivo time.
Groups by categories are used as in other posts we wrote about brunch and pastries. Choose yours and we really appreciate if you would like to provide us with comments in case you try them or you have additional recommendations to share.

Drinks are often served with food, sometimes with a free buffet some others with a single plate of snacks. It depends on how the venue personalizes the “moment”. For each address we provide you a short description of the food they offer.
Friday and Sunday are the preferred days by Romans for Aperitivo. In addition to these, Thursday is increasing in popularity among us. It could also be a pleasant way to celebrate a birthday with friends.

Unless otherwise specified, food is included in the drink price during “Happy Hour” (usually at least between 7pm and 8pm with a rate around 10-15€).
The following icons helps you to quickly understand the location area:

in Historical Center or within a walking distance (e.g. Trastevere or Termini train station areas)

 

not difficult to get with public transportation (e.g. Vatican and Testaccio areas or with a metro stop nearby)

 

for more adventurous people, requiring a car/taxi ride or a longer trip by bus/metro

 

“A tema”

Theme oriented.

1) CO.SO: the theme is made of the Cocktails, terrific cocktails. It is in Pigneto area and ruled mainly by the famous and former barman (Massimo D’Addezio) of the Hotel De Russie. He has recently set up a venue to give rein to the imagination with cocktails of all kinds. It has also created a “Carbonara” one! To accompany the Aperitivo savory nibbles are served and why not you may add their very tasty “pork-burger” (to be ordered separately).

2) Pescheria Consoli: the theme is made up with fish, fresh fish every day caught off coast of Lazio. More and more shops which sells fish are recently setting up a small kitchen at point of sale for serving an Aperitivo or  other meals prepared with fresh and raw food. Pescheria Consoli is one of these we vey much love.  You could have a glass of wine and a buffet plate to be filled with carpaccio, fried calamari, shrimps and anchovies, “sea” carbonara pasta with smoked swordfish, amatriciana pasta revised with tuna instead of guanciale and so on. It is placed in Tuscolano neighborhood.

3) 20MQ Caffè: the theme is the Design. In Flaminio district nearby MAXXI contemporary art museum. You can sip a glass of wine or a beer, eat organic finger food prepared daily among original and modern listed objects on display. Inside or sitting at outdoor tables equipped on the wide sidewalk that looks at the trams passages.

Alldaylong

From morning to night, drinks and food ready to be served all the time. Special offers may be available at the pre-dinner time.

 

4) Baccano: at few steps from the Trevi Fountain, it is a “neo-bistro” which serves all day meals and also suitable for an Aperitivo into the zone between the wooden furniture and the small outdoor area.  You might drink and nibble at some pleasant savory appetizers made of fried stuff, pies, “bruschette” and yeast stuffed served at the table. Few outdoor seats available too.

5) Romeo Chef&Baker: established from the collaboration of the Michelin-starred chef Cristina Bowerman from Glass Hostaria, her husband Fabio Spada and the Roscioli brothers, famous for their old bakery and wine bar nearby Campo de’ Fiori. You can opt for the stool or the traditional table, wander among the corners of cured meats & cheeses and the one with bakery delicacies, and choose from there or the menu something to accompany the tasty glass of wine or a beer you got.

6) Settembrini: placed near Prati district (piazza Mazzini), it is one of the most loved addresses by Roman foodies. At the Café good wine glasses selection, sparkling spumante or cocktails are served with homemade chips and some appetizers changing every day. Few days ago they started an Aperitivo with Spanish-style tapas menu. In the same street – always owned by Settembrini – the bookshop ‘Set where they organize themed culinary events or private, Beer and Porchetta (which does not need too many words), the Officina for food shopping and the historical restaurant.

“Di Sostanza”

For an indulgent buffet “all you can eat”.

7) Doppio Zeroo: It remains a reference over time for happy hour located away from downtown, in Ostiense area. It offers a rich free buffet mostly based on slices of pizza with traditional ingredients both savory and sweet such as the unavoidable nutella.

8 ) Momart Cafè: in the University area, near to Piazza Bologna, spacious and modern rooms where drinks are accompanied by a buffet, predominantly with pizza and pasta.

9) Panella: it is a well-known and high-end bakery placed in via Merulana (between Piazza Vittorio and Coliseum). Its happy hour consists of a cocktail and a free appetizer buffet prepared from the kitchen and bakery. Don’t miss the fried delicacies and meat or vegetable pies!

10) Rec23: in Testaccio at Piazza dell’Emporio. It promises a quite range of cocktails with access to a rich buffet of salads and vegetarian pasta, Italian focaccia, cured meats, mozzarella and cheeses and so on in a modern atmosphere.

Trendy

The most stylish places to enjoy drinks in a fashion & “chic” environment.

11) eTablì:  it has own characteristic Provencal furniture nearby Piazza Navona. Small plates of appetizers are offered to accompany drinks. Atmosphere can justify price above average and service could sometimes be in a rush.

12) Salotto Locarno: it is a highly popular place with its “Orient Express” interior design environment and amazing courtyard in the lobby of the homonymous hotel in via della Penna, right next to Piazza del Popolo. Free finger-food plates prepared by the hotel restaurant La Scena are served with drinks (quite pricey).

13) Salotto 42: it is another historical “sofa” in Rome placed in historical center in the charming Piazza di Pietra, with its eclectic and northern European atmosphere. It serves organic food and drinks.

14) Sorpasso: It has become a real hangout for many professionals located in Prati neighborhood, both pre-dinner and till the end of the day. Let us suggest to sip your favorite drink with something to taste from the selected set of cured meats and cheeses. Always crowded.

Vintage

Full immersion in ’60s & ’70s setting.

15) Necci dal 1924: it is placed in the “young” and multicultural suburb off the tourist tracks Pigneto and 16) Il baretto in via Garibaldi just above Trastevere. They both offer a small free buffet and we strongly recommend in a mild day owning to their extremely pleasant outdoor space.

Wine

The most finely selected labels available also by the glass together with quality appetizer.

17) Enoteca Provincia Romana: it is an amazing location in front of Colonna Traiana and Fori ruins, owned by the “Provincia” (something similar to the County) of Rome. It is possible to taste local wines and delicacies (not included in the drink rate) from the menu with a good quality/price ratio.

18 ) La Barrique in the evocative Rione Monti not far from Coliseum and 18b ) Remigio  placed far from downtown in Tuscolana area (exactly at via S. Maria Ausiliatrice 15) where French champagne is the “star”. Excellent wine selection available in both venues managed by the same owner, Fabrizio Pagliardi.

19) Il Goccetto: it is an another winebar that lasts well over the years near Via Giulia and Campo de’ Fiori. We consider it a “gem” for the broad quality wine selection and the mouthwatering nibbles offered (not included in the drink price). You may also have some yummy hot dishes at lunch time or dinner prepared with seasonal fresh and raw food.

20) Trimani Wine Bar: it is an historic address in Rome for wine tasting and bottles supply located not far from Termini station. The rate is not included food but you can order few dishes from the menu (it is a restaurant too).

21) Vineria Litro:  it is a recently opening in the Gianicolo Hill (famous for its stunning view on Rome seen also in the Oscar awarded movie The Great Beauty) provided with some nice outdoor tables. Have your Aperitivo with a glass of biodynamic wine, cured meats and regional dairy products to choose from the menu. Before or after you may reach the Belvedere (lookout) on Rome and “Il Fontanone” within a walking distance.

Beer

Total devotion to the beer, mostly crafts.

22) Open Baladin: placed in historical city center (via degli Specchi) it is a pretty place with more or less 40 different kind of draft beer made by the famous Italian producer Baladin and not only. Food must be ordered additionally whereas the choice is among homemade chips, hamburgers and other plates including some fresh and raw slowfood. The main large room after the entrance is vociferous so if you are two persons we suggest to ask for a table upstairs.

23) 4:20: it is a pub and restaurant where everything is based on craft beer located where Porta Portese market is held every Sunday morning. It is a very comfy and cozy atmosphere especially in winter time. Besides, you can chill out in the large terrace during spring and summer. Food have to be ordered and paid additionally to beers.

It certainly is the most promising Aperitivo category judging by the many openings in the city. The artisanal beer is a growing “art” in Italy, more and more people are learning how to produce outstanding samples. Just to point out some new locals Birstrò Pigneto, Hopside always in Ostiense area, Offlicense in Trionfale, Beerland in Trastevere: we haven’t tried them enough time to get a strong opinion and suggest you to have a stop there.

Young

The best ones for under-30 age group.

24) Bottiglieria Pigneto (always in Pigneto district as the name suggests) and 25) Freni e Frizioni in Trastevere nearby Lungotevere, is a meeting point for tourists and Romans since many years. During summer the pedestrian squares – both in Pigneto and Trastevere – become significantly crowded. Happy hour with cocktails, glasses of wine and beers are served with a free-style buffet.

Italian version

Special thanks to intervistedalmondo for the English translation support.

Images: eTablì, Panella, ziofrankie, intervistedalmondo, Tavole Romane.

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Rome's bloggers and Food Tours organizers. For those living in Rome and for those who want to live and eat the way the Romans do.

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