The Best in Rome
In the past few years, wine bars have begun to spring up all over Rome. Easily confused with the classic enoteca, an establishment that chooses instead to call itself a "wine bar" will most likely sport a modern decor, serve cocktails as well as wine, attract a younger crowd and often, offer an appetizer buffet during an extended happy hour.
Le Coppelle 52
Recently reopened after an extensive renovation, this "American bar" has long been a favorite hangout for ex-patriates and hip Italians alike, this comfortable bar boasts a warm red interior, and comfortable armchairs for a relaxing apperitivo or after-dinner drink. In the warm months, the crowd spills out onto the charming piazza, nestled behind the Pantheon. Drinks €10, includes an appetizer buffet. The barista is a specialist in signature cocktails such as the ginger or pepper mojito and the melon, kiwi or pineapple caipiroska. Maxi-screen for major sporting events, dj sets. Open daily, 6 pm -2 am
Piazza Le Coppelle 52 tel 349 740 4620
Shaki Wine Bar
Sleek, modern and very attractive, this new wine bar, located on a trendy street full of chic shops and restaurants, has tables that spill outside in warm weather. Happy hour buffet. Affiliated with Shaki Roma, a stylish housewares shop in Piazza di Spagna, and the Shaki Roma wine bar, a popular lunchtime tourist destination in Via Mario dei Fiori.
Via Governo Vecchio 123 (Piazza Navona) tel 06 683 08796
Steps from the American Embassy and the Via Veneto, this slick two-story affair is a modern, yet comfortable Rome wine bar. Sit downstairs, or opt for a table on the balcony, where you can peer down at the proceedings. The small private area has a big flat screen TV for addicts. The wine list is good, and at happy hour there is a nice selection of munchies. Also open for lunch.
Via San Basilio
42/43 tel 06 4782 1058 (Via Veneto)
Femme Cocktail and Wine Bar
This new Rome wine bar done up in beigey-pinks offers a back room with curved walls and low banquettes for lounging over a drink. Stop by at happy hour when the hors d'ouvres buffet is lavish and attractive.
Via del Pellegrino, 14 tel 06 686 4862 (Campo de' Fiori)
Antica Enoteca di Via della Croce
A traditional enoteca, in business for more than 150 years, with a vast selection of wines, several of which are served by the glass. Check the blackboard for the day's offerings. A pre-dinner aperitivo buffet is available for a flat rate.
Via della Croce, 76/b tel. 06. 679 0896 (Trident)
The "it" place for the hip and beautiful when it opened a couple of years ago, Bloom still attacts a stylish Rome crowd at the art deco bar. The restaurant, a minimal, ultra-modern renovation in a former 14th-century chapel, includes a sushi bar on the second floor.
Via del Teatro Pace, 30 tel. 06.688 2029 (Piazza Navona)
A classic Rome enoteca, this historic spot is stocked with an amazing selection of wines. A few tables in the midst of the shop are set up for lunch (every day except Saturday) and dinner (Friday and Saturday only). A great place to buy wines and gourmet specialities as well as to sample them.
Via di Ripetta, 19-20 tel. 06 361254 (Piazza del Popolo)
Designed in a slightly funky, very contemporary style, with a long bar and a few small tables, this Rome neighborhood hangout offers a full selection of alcoholic beverages (including several Cuban rums), a small selection of light meals and a friendly atmosphere.
Piazza San Ruffino, 13 tel. 06.581 6649 (Trastsevere)
Cul de Sac
A serious wine drinker’s heaven, with more than a thousand different labels on offer, this tiny bar at one end of Via del Governo Vecchio near Piazza Navona is the perfect place to stop after a shopping expedition. In addition to the incredible selection of wines, you can snack or lunch on a variety of small dishes. The cream of red lentils is a house speciality. A bit crowded inside, the outdoor tables are a pleasure in warmer months. Attracts an evening crowd. €€
Piazza Pasquino, 73 (near Chiesa Nuova, Piazza Navona) tel. 06.6880 1094
This neighborhood wine bar is open for all sorts of meals and snacks from morning coffee until the final nightcap of the day. They also stock a selection of distilled spirits in unusual bottles. Open until 2 am.
Via Ostilia 4 (Celia)
tel 06 7049 6526
In a quiet street across from vine-covered buildings, this little Rome wine bar makes a pleasant stop for an aperitivo. Tables spill out onto the street in warm weather, while for colder days there’s a classic wooden bar and small tables indoors. The wine list is not overwhelming, but contains many good selections. And the small plates that can be taken with your glass are excellent. Try the bruschetti or go for something more substantial: pasta, polenta, soups.
Open for lunch and for drinks and light meals after 6 p.m.
Via San Eustachio, 5 (Pantheon)
Sitting at an outside table here on a warm Saturday night, you’ll feel like you’re watching a parade, as throngs of people, tourists and Romans alike, make their way down the little Via Lungaretta towards the Piazza Santa Maria in search of Trastevere’s many attractions. Inside, the sixteenth-century building has retained much of its original character with beamed wooden ceilings and terra cotta floors. The wine selection is extensive, including some rare old vintages. Try the degustazione, a tasting menu of select wines and cheeses. Or stop by for lunch or dinner.
Via della Lungaretta, 86 tel. 06. 5659 Closed Wednesday. (Trastevere)
Bar del Fico
In a tiny piazza behind Piazza Navona, the Rome wine bar sits under a big fig tree. Inside, it's funky in a good way. Outside, under the tree at night it's lovely. Open from breakfast until the early morning hours, the crowd changes with the time of day, from locals who come to read the paper and play chess, to stylish Romans and young tourists out on the town who come in for pre-or post-dinner drinks, or stop in for a break in the midst of club-hopping.
Piazza del Fico, 26-8 tel 06.686 5205 Open daily till 2:30 pm (Piazza Navona)
A super-modern wine bar, with a decidedly liquid theme. Some of the seating is on plastic cubes resembling ice, the bar is composed of hundreds of white stones trapped in a wire net, and the walls and ceiling are sculpted to give the impression of an underwater grotto. In the back room, a huge video installation simulates a waterfall. The service is congenial and the wine list is respectable. From 6 to 8 pm, there’s an aperitivo buffet and for the after-dinner set, there’s a dj beginning at 10 pm.
Via del Governo Vecchio 46/47 tel. (Piazza Navona)
A small but pleasant spot, its walls hung with a changing exhibition of work by contemorary artists, Gloss is a gallery, a wine bar and a place to kick back after a long day in Rome. Guest dj's play soul, funk, rare grooves and lounge music. Happy hour includes a buffet from 6:30. Open till 2 am
Via del Monte della Farina, 43 tel 393 3350 185 (Largo Argentina)
'Gusto Wine Bar
The wine bar of this trendy Rome restaurant and mega-plex stays open late and offers up live jazz after ten on Thursday nights.
Via della Frezza, 23 tel.06.322 6273 (Piazza del Popolo)
H Club Doney
The spacious bar at the Excelsior Hotel extends onto the Via Veneto, with red awnings and banquets. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it comes alive at cocktail hour and on into the evening when the dj plays lounge music and it becomes a meeting place for beautiful Romans.
Via V. Veneto, 141 tel. 06.470 82805
No bigger than a living room, this cozy Rome wine bar does its best to make you feel at home. Small tables with embroidered tablecloths, wooden armchairs, vintage lamps. Open from brunch until after dinner, serving light food, wine, coffee. A nice place to hangout, attracting more than its share of English-speaking visitors.
Vicolo della Cancelleria 7 (Piazza Navona-Chiesa Nuova) tel. 333.351 7581
This recently-opened enoteca, a project of the regional argriculture council, specializes in showcasing the products of Lazio, the region that surrounds Rome, including wines, olive oils, cheeses, cured meats. The simple modern decor, with polished wooden tables, makes a nice atmosphere in which to enjoy a glass of wine a while sampling traditional local dishes. Open for lunch and dinner, as well as occasional wine tastings and seminars.
Via Frattina, 94 (Trident)
ReRé Wine Bar
Stepping through the door of this wine bar is a revelation. You find yourself in another world, decorated in red velvet, roses, leopard skin and gold-framed mirrors. Couches, low tables and chairs are arranged to create cozy areas where groups of friends come in to have a cocktail or a glass of wine and relax. At aperitivo time it's always full of stylish people, and late in the evening, the place revs up again as the after dinner crowd takes over. Easily the most stylish place in this part of Rome, it's immensely popular. Your handsome young host, Brando, always impeccably dressed, makes his way among the tables, taking care that everyone is having a good time. Buffet lunch beginning at noon, flows into high tea beginning at three, immediately followed by the happy hour aperitivo buffet which is served from six onwards. Live music Thursdays and Sundays. Sidewalk seating.
Via Flaminia Vecchia, 75 tel. 06.334 0483 (Ponte Milvio)
You have your choice of three restaurant/bars in Rome's Piazza di Pietro, but this is our favorite because of its location, away from traffic in the middle of the square with a view of the Tempio di Adriano, which dates back to the first century BC. The place is terminally trendy — a flat screen with video projections over the bar, walls-lined with style-conscious books on the order of Andy Warhol and Lou Reed coffee-table numbers, comfortable, sixties-style couches. The wait staff is young and beautiful and full of attitude. It’s a pleasant stop for an aperitivo — there’s an appetizer buffet from 7:30 on. And in the mornings they serve a breakfast of coffees, fruit smoothies, quiche and baked goods. Or stop in late —the place stays open until 2 am — and have a stuffed baked potato, soup or salad or a dessert. One of the owners, a Swedish model, has sprinkled the menu with dishes from her native country. €€
Piazza di Pietra, 42 Closed Monday. (Pantheon)
Sud Café Sabir
Just a few steps from the beautiful Piazza di Santa Cecilia, the rooms of this little club are decorated in a style that recalls Morocco, reflecting its “Arabo-Siciliano” theme. Lots of candles, cushioned benches and small, low tables, a wine list heavy on the Sicilian selections, and a buffet that includes both Sicilian and North African specialties. Cozy and unassuming.
Via Santa Cecilia 30/c-d tel. 06.583 34581 Closed Sunday (Trastevere)
Vinoteca Mimi & Coco
This neighborhood wine bar opened just a couple of years ago, with tables stretching out onto the sidewalk. The atmosphere is convivial, snacks arrive with your drink order and you can relax into the dusky hours. In the mornings, the place transforms itself from a wine bar to a café, well-suited to a lazy cappuccino. Open from 8 -2 am.
Via Governo Vecchio 72 tel. 06.682 10845 (Piazza Navona)
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In Rome Now Travel Guide: Rome Italy Wine Bars