While Romans aren't big drinkers, they do like to have an occasional cocktail or glass of wine after work or dinner to meet up with friends. In Rome, bars come a dime a dozen and if you don't know where to look you could be missing out on some pretty cool water holes during your vacation. For a mixed bohemian crowd, the artsy and wannabees head to Freni e Frizioni in Trastevere and Libreria Caffè Bohemien in Monti. The vibe at these places is very laid back and is considered to be one of those classic watering holes among the young and hipster locals. For a flashier scene, where Italian college students hang out as do young working professionals, Momart in the Piazza Bologna area is definitely the place to be. For a cultural experience that comes around full circle, head to ReD Restaurant & Design at Rome's Auditorium Parco della Musica where some of the most prestigious concerts are held. Whatever your fancy, 10Best lets you in on its favorite bars around Rome.
'Gusto Wine Bar
The 'Gusto Wine Bar belongs to the Gusto family of eateries which takes up practically the whole square (Piazza Augusto Imperatore) where its pizzeria, osteria, formaggeria and specialty cookware store are all located. The wine bar is the perfect place to come for a laid back evening to share good with good friends. When you step inside the wine bar, it's practically an all-white affair. Further inside, you'll see a cozy seating area, white brick walls and a grand piano and other instruments set up where live music is sometimes played. Admittedly, the aperitivo is slightly higher (around 10 to 12 euros) here than most places. But the selection of fine wines to choose from along with access to the delicious buffet bar is definitely worth it. The appetizer buffet includes bruschetta, mini-sandwiches, pizzette, onion rings, chicken fingers and other tasty treats. BUS: 116, 80, 492. METRO: Spagna, Flaminio. (06.3226273)
Freni e Frizioni
Freni e Frizioni (which literally means shocks and brakes)is perhaps one of the most happening places in all of Trastevere. The mechanic shop-turned hipsters' bar is especially popular during aperitivo time. The place gets jumping from 7pm onwards and features a mixed crowd of shabby chic bohemians, tourists and American college students. This place does up a mean mojito for about 7-8 euros. During aperitivo hour (7-9pm), they also have a nice spread of finger foods and veggies to munch on. Freni e Frizioni stays lively well into the night as well. So if you don't make it for happy hour, grabbing an after-dinner drink here is also a good alternative. BUS:23. TRAM: 8. (06.45497499)
Ai Tre Scalini
If you're planning to paint the town red in Monti, your first stop should be at the enoteca Ai Tre Scalini. It's THE place to be on the weekends around happy hour time (7pm) and is buzzing pretty much any other night of the week as well. This place is a rustic wine bar that's been a trusty fixed staple in the neighborhood since 1895. The atmosphere is laid back and typically packed with an artsy crowd and/or hipsters. The wine bar also serves light dishes including cold cuts, olives and cheese with your wine. BUS: 117, 40, 64. METRO: Cavour (+39 06 48907495)
Conveniently located across from the suggestive Hadrian's Temple, is a tiny sleek bar where locals go to see and be seen. The interior of this venue is modern and fashionable featuring plushy couches and chairs. The walls are adorned with contemporary art and design and fashion books are stacked against the walls. At night, Salotto 42 morphs into a buzzing cocktail bar for the hip, 30-something crowd. Closed in August. BUS: 80, 492, 62, 52, 53. METRO: Spagna. (06-6785804)
Run by the same guys that own the uber-popular Freni e Frizioni is a truly hidden gem tucked away in a quaint and charming little piazzetta. Indeed, Soci�t� Lutece is a punto di ritrovo (meeting place) for those hip bohemian nights in the Italian Capital. Unless you'd heard about it through friends or read about it here, you probably never would have never stumbled upon it. Located near Piazza Navona, this hip little locale reminds you of a Parigian brassiere. The aperitivo here caters mostly to vegetarians featuring a wonderful array of raw veggies with dipping sauces, salads, cold pastas and other finger foods. Though, never fret. There may be a thing or two for the meat-eaters as well. Most nights, there's also a live DJ set playing in the background. Head on over to Soci�t� and you'll thanks us for one of the best Roman nights you've ever had. BUS 40, 64, 492, 30. (06 6830)
Numbs -Corso Trieste
This cute little bar is located in the Salario-Trieste district away from the hustle and bustle of the centro storico and close to Rome's La Sapienza University. If you're looking for a change of pace, Numbs is a nice little wine bar/lounge perfect for grabbing an afternoon or late evening drink. During the spring and summer months, the outdoor seating area that faces the piazza makes for great people watching. Given its location, Numbs is extremely popular with the locals and Italian college students. You won't find too many foreigners here. BUS: 80, 38, 88. (06.93931764)
When it comes to aperitivos in Rome, Momart Cafè; definitely gives you more bang for your buck. There aren't too many places in Rome where you can eat an entire pizza for the price of a drink except for Momart Cafè;. And it's exactly for this reason, that Momart is always insanely crowded. Located in the heart of the university district near Piazza Bologna, Momart Cafè; is one of the best aperitivo spots around town. It's frequented mostly by Italian college students and young working professionals. Come here on any given night of the week and you'll encounter a wait to get in. Why? Well for starters, their generous aperitivo buffet includes wood fire oven pizza. Yum. The owners don't go cheap on the pizza either. They keep churning out the pizza as fast as the customers fill up their plates. The buffet also includes warm and cold pasta dishes, sandwiches, cold cuts and salads. Though the place is huge (three floors), there's almost always a wait to get inside. An aperitivo typically costs 8-10 euros here and is slightly higher on Sundays. Aperitivo ends around 9pm, so make sure you get there before then. Because after that, they begin clearing the way for its restaurant/pizzeria clientele. BUS: 93, 310. METRO: Bologna. (06.86391656)
When it comes to aperitivo time, this bar is one of the best in Rome. Thanks to its posh decor and hip music, this place gets lively around happy hour time (7-9pm), when tourists and locals pack this place in to grab a drink with friends and chow down on their hearty food buffet. Here one can order a glass of wine or prosecco or even one of their uber delicious cocktails made with exotic fruit. It's also the perfect place to come for a late night drink and listening to the music playing from their nightly live DJ set. BUS: 40, 64, 46. (06/6832361)
Libreria Caffe' Bohemien
On Via degli Zignari, there's a bar that gets buzzing with locals (mostly the artsy crowd and hipsters). The bar, Libreria Caffè Bohemien is actually composed of two different locations (one side by side with the other). One location which gives off the feel of being in someone's private library or study room, thanks to the abundance of books lying around on the bookshelves and the comfy couches and chairs. This location is the perfect place to share a bottle of wine with friends and catch up for some good conversation after work. Whilst sipping on a glass of wine here, you're more than welcome to pick up a book from their shelves and well, read. From time to time at this bar, you can also check out an exhibit on display by one of the various local artists. The livelier location, just next door, has music jumping in the background. BUS: 117, 40, 64. METRO: Cavour- (06 89010626)
ReD Restaurant & Design
If you're heading to Rome's Auditiorium Parco della Musica for a concert, make sure to grab a drink or dinner at the sleek design restaurant right next door called ReD Restaurant and Design. Its interior decor is donned with chic red lighting, and plushy couches and blood red-leather chairs. The best seats in the house though, are outside where diners can sip cooly on their cocktails al fresco whilst listening to the sounds of the bands playing at the Auditorium next door on any given night in the summer. ReD does up a smart aperitivo with stylishly put together finger foods that almost look too good to eat. If you wish to stop over for dinner, their menu includes a modern twist of traditional Italian dishes. BUS: M, 53, 52. (06 80691630)
About Nicole Arriaga
A 1999 trip to the Bel Paese and a kiss from an Italian boy made Nicole fall in love with Rome. Not being able to stop thinking about cappuccinos and her Italian amore, Nicole Arriaga packed her bags and left sunny Miami to make Rome her permanent home. Before moving to the Città Eterna in 2003, Nicole did stints in TV news and worked as a producer/writer for the Miami Herald.
Nicole has written for Fodor’s, Insight Guides, Romeing and other travel publications. She currently works as a freelance writer and programs coordinator for an American study-abroad organization in Rome. https://plus.google.com/117783868094323314817/
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