Bars, cafés and pastry shops in Rome · A little guide

Bars, cafes and pastry shops in Rome are the second home of the Romans at any time of the day. Whether for a small breakfast, for a refreshment, a little hunger in between or something sweet, you will find the right place.

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Bars, cafés and pastry shops in Rome Piazza Venezia
Bar in Piazza Venezia

How do bars, cafes and pastry shops differ in Rome and what do they have in common?

Bars offer basic supplies, often including lotteries and cigarettes. Cafés celebrate the product and the atmosphere. Confectioneries sell their own production and often only consist of the laboratory and the sales room with a few tables.

Bars

In the morning for a coffee and a pastry, during the day for a cold drink, at lunch for a hot sandwich, toast or a small hot plate, bars are on every street corner in Rome. Usually there are different prices for consumption at the bar and at the table.

Coffee is drunk in many different variations, the espresso here is simply called Caffè, with milk it becomes Macchiato – the stained. With a lot of milk it is then latte macchiato or, with more water and less milk, cappuccino.

Gran Caffe Roma Via Veneto
Gran Caffe Roma Via Veneto

You should not order a double coffee. It’s not part of the Roman way of life. It increases your blood pressure and risk of heart attack.

The Roman drinks cappuccino only in the morning. Also, Romans do not understand how to drink cappuccino after a meal. The milk certainly does not help digestion. If you want some kind of filter coffee, you should order a Caffè Americano.

Cafés with tradition

Caffe Greco Front

In central Italy, great craftsmanship is devoted to the production of caffè. Weather conditions, humidity, air pressure, water temperature and quality influence the taste and quality of the final product.

One of the most famous places in Rome is Sant’Eustachio, located in the square of the same name behind the Senate building Palazzo Madama. Here the caffè is served already sugared. The speciality is the “Gran Caffè”. The sugar is stirred until it forms a layer of cream.

Another coffee roastery is Tazza d’Oro near the Pantheon. The Castroni coffee roasting house has several delicatessens in the city center with bars.

A Viennese coffeehouse-style room is offered by Giolitti on Via degli Uffici del Vicario between the Pantheon and Parliament. You can also get pastries and huge sundaes there.

Babingtons

The oldest is the Caffè Greco in the central Via dei Condotti opposite the Spanish Steps.

To the left of the Spanish Steps is Babington’s tea house, which was opened in 1893 by two English young ladies. The British tea tradition is celebrated here, but coffee is also available.

Pastry shops · Pasticcerie

Panella via Merulana
Display at the Panella bakery in Via Merulana

You will find numerous pastry shops in Rome. Very popular in Rome are the “pasticcini”, small pastries with fruit or cream, filled choux pastry, or “Monte biancho”, a mixture of cream, meringue and chestnut mass. The cannoli, filled dough rolls, and cassata, very sweet tartlets made from green marzipan and filled with cream cheese, come from Sicily.

In addition, mostly frozen cakes are offered – otherwise it would be difficult to transport a cream cake on the bumpy streets of Rome.

Our favorite in the center is the Pasticceria Cinque Lune in the square of the same name on Corso di Rinascimento. On one side is the Senate building and behind it the Pantheon, on the other side Piazza Navona. The Pasticceria Cinque Lune is a real insider tip . It has only one small entrance, one door and one window, and there is hardly room for two people next to each other in front of the cake case, but the pastries are about the best you can find in Rome.

In Trastevere, Levain has made a name for itself in Via Luigi Santini. Here you can get very delicate baked goods made from French recipes.

The king of tiramisù in Rome is Pompi with various outlets in the center. There is a street sale of Tiramisù variations at Two Sizes in Via del Governo Vecchio behind Piazza Navona.

Make tiramisù yourself

You can easily make tiramisù yourself. Here is our basic Tiramisù recipe without alcohol.

Quantities for 4 servings: 250gr. Mascarpone, 2 medium-sized eggs, sugar, coffee, pavesini, unsweetened chocolate powder

For the cream: separate the eggs, beat the egg whites until stiff, mix the egg yolks with the mascarpone and 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, carefully fold in the egg whites.

Assembly: moisten the pavesini lightly with coffee, do not soak. Pour a layer on the bottom of four dessert bowls. Spread around 1/3 of the cream on top. Apply a second layer of pavesini, moistened with coffee, and spread the rest of the cream over it. Sprinkle with the chocolate powder and let rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Can also be frozen.

Good Appetite! Most of the recipes use Savoiardi. The pavesini are much finer and we like them much better.

Ice cream parlors

GROM Piazza Navona Detail

A good sundae can replace lunch, especially on hot summer days. In Rome you will find many ice cream parlors that produce a product that is good craftsmanship and rich in variety in their own laboratory.

We love good ice cream and have selected the ice cream parlors for you that we like best. Read the 12 best ice cream parlors in Rome.

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