“Snacking” in Rome

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 in Foodies & Shopaholics

[revised February 2024] 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” (i.e. take away pizza) do not have enough room to sit and rest, which is another need, after walking for hours in town. And Rome is one of the best places to just sit outdoors 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:

  • Avocado bar: something different than the usual Roman cuisine, especially suited for a summer lunch near the archaeological area.
  • 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…
  • Café Cafè: a bistro next to the Colosseum, where you can relax with a tea during the cold months or with a fresh smoothie when the day is hot. They serve a some dishes at lunch time and a buffet lunch on Sundays.
  • Canova Tadolini: posh cafeteria mid way between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, formerly the atelier of a team of famous sculptors, the family Tadolini, pupils of the famous Antonio Canova. 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….!
  • The Drunken Ship: an american pub in Rome, on Campo de’Fiori, where you can sit down and order any type of drinks, but they also allow you to bring at the table some food bought at the market of the piazza or in the nearby bakery, the historical Forno
  • Esco Sazio: Juice bar and organic food not far from Campo de’ fiori. Something different and maybe lighthier!
  • 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.
  • Makasar: near the Vatican, this place is good for a light lunch, an afternoon tea or a drink after dinner…
  • Open Baladin: few steps from Largo Argentina and Campo dei Fiori, open from noon to late night and perfect for craft beer lovers!
  • I Pizzicaroli: not far from Piazza Navona, a little space to sit down for a tray of cold cuts and cheese or bruschetta with a glass of wine
  • Cantina Ripagrande: in Trastevere, a small “cellar” to drink some wine and snack cold dishes. Cozy atmosphere.
  • Romeow: have you ever been in a “cat bistrot”? Well, cats are special pets in Rome and this is their realm. But you can also eat there. And if you are looking for a vegan experience, that’s the place to go! It’s in Ostiense, not far from Metro B Piramide.
  • 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 at Palazzo Bonaparte, on Piazza Venezia and the first one is in Villa Pamphili park where they also prepare cute little baskets for a pic-nic on the grass…
  • 100% Bio: feeling tired of pasta, pizza, steaks, desserts…. ? Are you longing for an informal healthy meal? This is the place for you, near the Pyramid (metro B Piramide), with a daily buffet serving 30 different dishes every day, mostly based on vegetables and organic food.

To go back to the eating options, click here.