Where to get the best drink at aperitivo time in Rome

Though the Milanesi invented it, the Romans definitely perfected it. What are we talking about here? Aperitivo. It's the Italian version of happy hour and if you haven't been to one yet, you need to hop on the bandwagon! Rome is sprawling with hip, funky little spots where you can jump in on the fun where the alcohol is not the main event. Rather, it's the food. Don't expect to find 2-for-1 drink specials at any of these places. Italians use aperitivo time to stock up on the food and to have good old fashioned conversation with friends. 

So what is an aperitivo you ask? An aperitivo (aperitif) is a before dinner drink that can be alcoholic or non that's taken usually with a plate of snacks, chips, olives and/or finger food. The price of an aperitivo will typically set you back anywhere from 6-12 euros depending on where you go. Some places like Freni and Frizioni put on an elaborate buffet spread (in their case, completely vegetarian) where you can eat all you like for the price of your drink. Other formats like at Rome's newest hotspot, Romeo Chef and Baker, offer a menu of bar snacks you can order to go with your expertly crafted cocktail (think Asian style dumplings and even mini vegetarian tacos). 

For gin lovers, head to The Gin Corner - with over 100 bottles of the stuff on their shelf, you won't leave disappointed and for a stones throw from the Colosseum affair, why not try the deliciously adventurous selection at the super cool Caffe Propaganda

Whether it's a quaint wine bar, rowdy hotspot or swish new venue you're after, here's 10 of Rome's best. 




Put simply, this is one of the cosiest places in Rome for good wine and good food! Right by the Colosseum, you're made to feel at home from the second you walk in. For the warmer Roman nights, there are some outside tables and in the cooler...  Read More



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...  Read More



New York warehouse meets French inspired brasserie in the heart of Rome's Prati district, right by the Vatican City. La Zanzara's offerings are versatile which make it great for an aperitivo, lunch, dinner or after dinner drinks. The kitchen is...  Read More



The latest venture from the brains behind Rome's famed Freni e Frizioni and Jerry Thomas Speakeasy bars, Agaveria La Punta gives you an authentic taste of Mexico in the heart of Trastevere! With an impressive variety of mescal cocktails to...  Read More



Located in one of Rome's most fascinating neighborhoods, the architectural gem of Coppede`, Bell Roma is your one-stop-venue for casual bites or a delicious cocktail. The modern venue is sleek with colorful floor tiles, dark wood furnishings and...  Read More



Many of the latest hotspots in Rome are New York warehouse style eateries, with quite a few located in up-and-coming industrial Ostiense. Porto Fluviale is a bright and cool space and houses several different types of restaurants: a trattoria,...  Read More



It's not easy to find restaurants of real quality a stone's throw from the Colosseum, but Caffe` Propaganda really sets a new benchmark. This New York looking brasserie slash bistrot is all small white tiles, sparkly chandeliers and black and...  Read More

Freni e Frizioni
Photo courtesy of ambernambrose


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...  Read More



Opened in 2013, The Gin Corner was the first bar in Italy completely dedicated to gin. It remains today, the only bar of its kind in Rome and boasts in excess of 100 types of gin on its stylish bar shelf. Located within the boutique Hotel...  Read More



The biggest restaurant Rome has ever seen, now stands proud in the gastronomic heart of the city, Testaccio. Gourmands and the local food and wine sector have been watching closely and waiting as the only female chef in the city with a Michelin...  Read More


Meet Maria Pasquale

Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne.

An award winning food and travel writer, in addition to 10Best USA Today she also...  More About Maria