“Snacking” in Rome

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 in Foodies & Shopaholics, On your own | No Comments

When you travel, you often want to devote most of your time to visits and experiences… food is surely an experience, but a full meal can easily “use” more than an hour of your precious time abroad… that’s why many people ask for quick lunch options, but they do not look for just a “panino” (we have another blog post just for that!). Bars selling sandwiches or “pizza al taglio” (pizza to take away) do not have enough room to sit and rest, which is another need, after walking for hours in town. Nevertheless Rome is one of the best places to just sit outdoor and people-watching while nibbling away at a cornetto&cappuccino or enjoying a glass of wine with cold cuts and local cheese…


Here a short list of addresses to relax and have a bite which is not a proper meal:

  • Babington’s: a traditional English tearoom since 1893! Not cheap at all, but you enter another world and another age and forget the crowds and the noise…
  • La Buvette : elegant cafeteria near the Spanish Steps, perfect for breakfast, a coffee break, a tea party or aperitivo.
  • Café Cafè: a bistro next to the Colosseum, where you can relax with an infuse or tea during the cold months or with a fresh smoothie when the day is hot. They serve a buffet lunch on Sundays and are open from 10 a.m. to late at night.
  • Canova Tadolini: posh cafeteria mid way between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, formerly the atelier of a team of famous sculptors, Antonio Canova and his pupil Adamo Tadolini. You’ll sip your cappucino surrounded by casts, statues and ancient tools!
  • Chiostro del Bramante: a unique cafeteria in a Renaissnace cloister designed by Bramante, few blocks away from Piazza Navona and offering a private special view over the fresco of “The Sybils” by Raffaello in the adjoining church of S.Maria della Pace. Just in Rome….!
  • Etabli: shabby chic environment, a fireplace on during winter, couch  and armchairs …. perfect spot to relax near Piazza Navona. And yes, you can eat too, at any time!
  • Fabrica: perfect for a cup of tea, hot chocolate or a relaxing coffee time in the afternoon of a winter month, but not only! They also serve great cocktails and drinks before and after dinner and a bistrot style menu. Not far from the Vatican.
  • Freni e Frizioni: in Trastevere, a famous place for “aperitivo” mingling with locals and expats from all over the world. Buffet and drinks from 6 p.m.
  • Fresco: few couch  seats and chairs to rest a bit while eating a gourmet “panino”, few dishes of a day, an healthy salad and great wine. Not far from Piazza Navona.
  • Il Goccetto: a nice wine bar, not far from Campo dei Fiori. They serve a cold buffet and 800 labels of wines!
  • Magazzino Scipioni: a winebar of great quality, where you can taste some food to accompany your glass of wine. In the Vatican area.
  • Open Baladin: few steps from Largo Argentina and Campo dei Fiori, open from noon to late night and perfect for craft beer lovers!
  • Cantina Ripagrande: in Trastevere, a small “cellar” to drink some wine and snack cold dishes. Cozy atmosphere.
  • Shari Vari: not far from the Pantheon, you have a club open from breakfast to the first lights of dawn! Perfect for a coffee, a drink, a quick and inexpensive buffet lunch, the ritual of “aperitivo” or a more formal dinner…. especially if you wish to end the night on a dance floor!
  • Tiepolo : a bistrot where you can enjoy a mediterranean creative cuisine, a lot of vegetarian options, a cozy warm atmosphere between Trastevere and the Pantheon/Piazza Venezia.
  • Ai Tre Scalini : “bottiglieria” i.e. a wide choice of beers, wines, spirits but also something to eat while drinking, look at the board for the menu of the day! In the nice ‘hood of Monti, not far from the Colosseum.
  • Vivi Bistrot: Caffè Braschi is a new charming cafeteria serving lunch and dinner, but also delicious desserts for a break overlooking Piazza Navona.  Another location is not far from Trevi fountain and the headquarter is in Villa Pamphili park where they also prepare cute little baskets for a pic-nic on the grass…A new opening is inside the gorgeous Galleria Borghese.

And to conclude… if you wish to satisfy your gluttony and your hunger late at night, maybe after a long walk or a bit of clubbing, you can join the young Romans in this little ritual, the “night cornetto”! Bakeries (or better said “cornetterie”, which only bake cornetti, not bread) work all night to prepare cornetti for the following day and you can buy them hot, when they are just out of the oven and filled in many different ways (Nutella filling is the most popular, but try also the wholemeal cornetto with honey!). You will surely meet young “urban tribes” chatting and indulging in this whim out of those places:



To go back to the eating options, click here.