Everyone knows the wonders of the world are best explored caffeinated.
The good news is, you’re in Rome. The possibly not-as-great news is, you may be suffering at the hands of that beast known as jet lag.
Luckily, we have the solution, because you’re in the land of un buon caffè (a good coffee). Below are a list of places to enjoy the best coffee in Rome, all of which are also situated conveniently close to some of the Roman must-sees.
Some, like our first two picks, are must-sees in their own right, and some, like our number five pick, have really great coffee and freshly-made snacks. Jet lag or no, you’ll want to note these down and plan on a visit.
How to order coffee in Rome
We’ve also got you covered on essential coffee vocabulary: just head over to our succinct complete guide to ordering coffee in Italy to brush up, and you’re on your way!
A quick summary:
- Espresso is always a safe go-to if the coffee is good quality, and will come in a teeny-tiny quantity you can sip for that shot of caffeine.
- Macchiato will get you an espresso stained with milk.
- Decaffeinato is, you guessed correctly, decaf (try a caffe d’orzo for a decaf alternative).
- For those hot summer days, you can’t go wrong with a caffè shakerato.
- And yes, a cappuccino is a breakfast beverage—that is a real (but breakable, as long as you don’t mind the judgement) rule.
The 6 best places for coffee in Rome
1. Antico Caffè Greco
The Caffè Greco is a historic landmark. Stunning to behold, it’s been on the Via dei Condotti (one of the fanciest streets in the city) since 1760, and is the oldest bar in Rome. Among the figures who have enjoyed an espresso here are Goethe, Byron and Keats, just to name drop a few.
Local tip: Try to visit when it’s less crowded, around opening and closing time, so that you can really take a good look around and soak in the literary vibes.
2. La Casa del Caffé Tazza d’Oro al Pantheon
This was a serious contender for the number one position, because it has both location (right by the Pantheon) and amazing quality coffee on its side. Like several of the places on this list, Tazza d’Oro can get crowded, so arm yourself with patience and you’ll be well-rewarded with some of the best coffee in Rome.
3. Pergamino Caffè
In Piazza Risorgimento near the Vatican, you’ll find Pergamino, committed to the quality of its coffee and offering lots of different options and grinding techniques. Have a chat with the knowledgeable, friendly staff about what you’re looking for!
4. Roscioli Caffè
Tucked in Trastevere, near Campo de’ Fiori, Roscioli Caffè is perfectly located for an afternoon stroll through a lovely part of the capital. The perfect way to start or end any stroll? Their coffee is fantastic and their mini pastries are a Rome experience all on their own.
Local tip: In the morning Piazza Campo de’ Fiori hosts a local market which is bursting with life and local flavor. Head over to Roscioli early for a morning espresso or cappuccino, and then walk over to the market to chase it with some local color.
5. Sant’ Eustachio il Caffè
A Roman tradition, Sant’ Eustachio is tucked in a tiny piazza near the Pantheon. Grab an espresso to gear up for your adventures in this area.
Local tip: A really cool thing to see nearby (other than the Pantheon) is the Biblioteca Angelica, one of the oldest public libraries in Europe and a stunning place to soak in some history. Be sure to check their opening hours as they are not always open to the public!
6. The local bar
In Italian, a “bar” is a cafe, and honestly, this should be the first place you go for coffee in Rome.
One of the best ways to see Rome, and Italy in general, is to get lost. The little places that you stumble upon are very often the secret treasure troves you’ll think about even once you’re back home. This is true for almost all things in the Italian capital, from caffé to restaurants to neighborhoods.
Now that you know a little bit more about Rome’s cafe culture, it’s time to experience it for yourself. Our first stop on our Testaccio Neighborhood Food & Market Tour just happens to be one of our favorite coffee shops in the city. Here, you’ll indulge in a piping-hot cup of freshly made Italian coffee and a delicious homemade pastry or two—and that’s just the first stop on a morning full of foodie fun. Come hungry!
Born just outside of Rome, Flavia grew up bouncing back and forth between Italy and California, eventually moving back to the Eternal City and confirming her lifelong commitment to real gelato. Today she travels the world working for an international humanitarian organization and spends her free time writing and wandering around her beloved Roma in constant search of bookstores and the perfect espresso. Her debut novel, All the Way to Italy, was published in April 2018. You can find her city blog on Rome at whichwaytorome.com and her portfolio of published writing at flaviinrome.com.