Did you know that the espresso was invented in Italy? So you can bet the Italians know how to make good coffee. There’ll be no drip coffee, misleading cup sizes (seriously Starbucks how is tall a small?!) or pumps of sugary syrup here. This list of 6 of the best coffee bars in Rome, Italy shares where to get exquisite coffee in Rome that’s served with a slice of rich history and a dusting of potential for creative content for your blog, Instagram, TikTok – whatever your creative outlet.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Rome a couple of times (throwing three coins in the fountain really worked). The first time was before I started Postcards from Hawaii and it was very much geared towards hitting up all the tourist hot spots with little focus on quality of food and beverages. This past time – October 2021 – was a different trip altogether as content creation was at the forefront of our mind. Not only did we brush up our knowledge of the classic tourist attractions, we also prioritised restaurants, cocktail bars and coffee shops as well as seeking out museums, which takes me onto this blog post.
Together with Michael, my live-in coffee snob, we’ve created a list of good coffee shops, dare I say some of the best in Rome along with a few things to know before you order one. The focus on this list of coffee shops is primarily on their quality of espresso but I’m also sharing a bit about their history and how good they look in a photo. So there’s something in here for content creators and self proclaimed coffee connoisseurs.
Before I share 6 of the best coffee bars in Rome (if you haven’t skipped ahead yet) and why you should visit each one let, me share 3 useful things you need to know about ordering coffee in Rome.
1. Order a caffè in a bar
Unlike the English language which uses cafe/café as the name of a coffee shop or tearoom that also serves cakes, pastries and light bites, “caffè” and its variations across the romance languages (café and cafea) always means coffee, the actual drinks commonly served across those establishments.
2. Standing room only
Following on from above, if you did want to find coffee near you in Rome (though you should be using this list…) you want to look for a “bar”.
Traditionally espressos are drank at a standing bar, though every drop is savoured it is a short drink that doesn’t waste time which is ideal when you’re a busy person with things to do and places to be.
Personally I love how coffee is served at a standing bar in Italy, not only does it save time but it is also better for the planet. No single-use here, simply sip from the reusable cup and go so it can be washed for the next person. You’ll rarely see a single-use coffee cup in Rome unless it’s a tourist holding one the size of their forearm and has Starbucks plastered on the side.
3. That’s the ticket
Coffee is an art and the artist rarely handles the transaction, in bars across Italy you order and pay for your coffee at a separate counter to the one where you receive your beverage.
Once you’ve paid for your order you are given a ticket which you then hand over to the barista so that they can make and present you with your coffee.
6 best coffee bars in Rome, Italy and where to find them
Ok, let’s get to the good part!
1. Sant’Eustachio il Caffè
Sant’Eustachio il Caffè has been wood roasting their blend of 100% Arabica beans since 1938.
Located next to the Pantheon, Sant’Eustachio il Caffè is super convenient for a pick-me-up when visiting this main attraction.
Sant’Eustachio il Caffè is the best coffee bar on this list for purchasing some souvenirs or gifts for coffee lovers back home. The shelves insides are brimming with chocolates, coffee cups, compostable coffee pods and their beans.
What to order from Sant’Eustachio il Caffè
Sant’Eustachio il Caffè’s Gran Caffè is their speciality. It’s a large espresso with sugar whipped in to create a foam you would not usually find in a drink this short.
Where to find Sant’Eustachio il Caffè
Piazza di S. Eustachio, 82, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Sant’Eustachio il Caffè is a 2 minute walk from the Pantheon.
2. Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria
The Roscioli group have 3 different eateries across Rome and Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria is their coffee and pastry shop.
Take a seat on the terrace for a lunch date with a cappuccino and one of their popular club sandwiches or if you have somewhere to be you can pause for an espresso with one of their delicate pastries at the bar inside.
I also highly recommend going to their restaurant, Salumeria Roscioli Restaurant, for the most divine selection of cheeses you could ever imagine. This grocery-store-come-restaurant seats you next to the cheese counter or within the cellar and makes for unique photos. Oh and my goodness their Cacio e Pepe is heavenly.
What to order from Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria
Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria’s cannoli are out out of this world.
Where to find Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria
Piazza Benedetto Cairoli, 16, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
3. La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro
La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro pride themselves on using the same artisan methods for roasting as they did back at their start in 1944. Their goal is to focus on the craft, taste and experience of the customer which includes a low price because they believe that everyone deserve high quality coffee.
La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro has direct contact with their growers ensuring they receive fair way, an education and have a safe working environment.
Speaking of education, La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro also run educational programmes which trains small coffee producers from Central and South America, Asia and Africa to make the most of their beans.
What to order from La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro
Granita al caffè con panna which is much like an iced coffee slushy served with whipped cream on top.
Where to find La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro
Via degli Orfani, 84, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D’oro is a 1 minute walk from the Pantheon.
4. Canova Tadolini
Canova Tadolini is the most unique coffee bar/restaurant on this list as it is located with a museum, to be more precise, the museum of Italian sculptor Adamo Tadolini.
This atelier on Via de Babuino has served as a home to over 150 years worth of sculptures crafted from marble and bronze.
Unlike most museums, the artwork within Canova Tadolini is scattered throughout the building with no intentional order thus making you feel like you’ve come home to a large family at Christmas where the room is full of all sorts of characters. There are the ones that make you smile, the ones you’re slightly concerned for, the ones who look like they know a good time and others whose judging eyes you try best to avoid.
It’s truly a unique experience to enjoy a coffee amongst century old sculptures.
What to order from Canova Tadolini
A cappuccino, the Italian way to start the day, so you can take in the sculptures that surround you.
Where to find Canova Tadolini
Via del Babuino, 150/a, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Canova Tadolini is a 4 minute walk from the Spanish Steps.
5. Antico Caffè Greco
Antico Caffè Greco has been serving Greek coffee (Greco translates to Greek) since the mid-1700s which makes it the oldest coffee bar in Rome and the second oldest in all of Italy.
As you can imagine Antico Caffè Grecco has been frequented by many notable customers over the centuries including poets Keats and Byron, author Hans Christian Anderson and the infamous womaniser, Casanova.
What to order from Antico Caffè Greco
Literally anything from Antico Caffè Greco, you can’t go wrong here, they clearly know what they’re doing.
Where to find Antico Caffè Greco
Via dei Condotti, 86, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Antico Caffè Greco is a 1 minute walk from the Spanish Steps.
6. Stravinskij Bar at Hotel de Russie
Stravinskij Bar at Hotel de Russie was my personal favourite based on its location. Hidden from view of the busy shopping streets of Rome is a courtyard much like an oasis that feels like a vacation from your vacation. The breathtaking garden within Hotel de Russie climbs the back wall and is a festival of luscious greenery and stone water features, serving as the backdrop to Stravinskij Bar.
After your breakfast take a leisurely stroll up through the gardens and pause for a moment to soak in the soothing sounds of running water and he rustle of the palms as a gentle breeze blows through.
What to order from Stravinskij Bar
An espresso accompanied by their jam-filled mini croissants baked fresh that morning.
Where to find Stravinskij Bar
Via del Babuino, 9, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Stravinskij Bar is located within Hotel de Russie which is a 2 minute walk from Piazza del Popolo.
Do more on & for the planet, Gabriella.