If there is a world-wide adored Italian habit – it’s aperitivo. Even though it’s known for spreading through all Italy from Milan in 1980’s, all regions of Italy quickly adapted aperitivo in their own unique way and city of Rome is one of them.What actually is an aperitivo? Basically it’s a pre-dinner snack along with meticulously crafted cocktails or a glass of wine. Outside of Italy, you might hear aperitivo as “Italian happy hour” however we can assure you that it is much more than a simple happy hour snack and drink. Attention, it is quite addictive!
The word aperitivo itself actually is there to explain itself. It comes from Latin verb aperire – to open. Aperitivo simply exists to open up your appetite before the dinner and prepare your taste buds for an exquisite journey.
Even though most of the aperitivo buffet tradition comes all the way from Milan, Rome definitely grasped the details and mastered essentials of a true aperitivo. Whether it’s buffet or snack plate service, here are 11 best aperitivo places from Rome.
1. ERCOLI PARIOLI
Ercoli serves as a wine and cocktail bar along with a salumeria and cheese shop inside it. The beauty of this combination is after you finish your cheese or meat board , you can buy whatever you liked from it. Along with a drink you can order a board during aperitivo hour here. The options are endless. Blinis, crudites, perfectly cut cold meats and well-chosen cheese will be served to pair with a glass of wine. You will want to back to this place after your first visit.
Address: Viale Dei Parioli 184
2.FRENI E FRIZIONI
Freni e Frenzoni is a huge hit among the travelers and the locals. It’s very hip and artistic and the crowd here is the proof for these. With an aperitivo, you have an access to many things here: Good music, nice atmosphere, incredible alcohol selection and an open buffet. If inside is crowded you don’t need to worry. Grab your plate and your cocktail then head to the outside. Bar is right next to River Tiber so you can enjoy the cool view of Ponte Sisto with your aperitivo. Their extensive buffet is famous for a variety of vegetarian and vegan options as well!
Address: Via del Politeama, 4 – 6
Phone:+39 06 4549 7499
If you want to take a one step forward than your regular aperitivo, Montemartini is your place. On the recently renovated rooftop of Hotel Palazzo Montemartini, you have this fascinating view of Rome. And don’t worry, you can enjoy this along with your aperitivo here! Even though it’s right in the center, it is a premium spot to escape from the noisy crowd during the day. You will certainly appreciate marvelous Martinis and well-prepared snacks here.
Address: Largo Giovanni Montemartini, Hotel Palazzo Montemartini
Phone: +39 06 45 661
It’s easy to find ordinary aperitivo buffets all around Rome. That’s why your own style decides whether you stand out or not among all those places. Gin Corner surely does. As its name suggests, Gin Corner is a bar committed solely to Gin. It has over 100 kinds of Gin waiting for the guests. The bar is located in Centro Storico so after a long day of visiting museums and historical spots you can come down and sip your Gin during aperitivo. If you’re lucky, you can also catch the live jazz music.
Address: Via di Pallacorda, 2
Phone: +39 06 68802451/2
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Let’s imagine you are looking for a more moderately priced and more dinner-like version of an aperitivo. From outside Doppiozeroo looks pretty pricey and luxurious but the bill doesn’t say so! You can have a hard time selecting what to eat from the open buffet here because it is unbelievably rich in every category. Cold meat cuts, pastas, pizzas, dessert, Roman-style fries and salads are filling the big serving plates. After you finish your aperitivo here, you can move on to some dancing since the area is right next to dance club district in Via Ostense.
Tip: Not in the mood for aperitivo? They offer open buffet brunch during the weekend as well.
Address: Via Ostense, 68
Phone: +39 06 573 019 61
Aside from being a popular a la carte restaurant among locals, fortunately Momart offers an aperitivo buffet. Especially during the summer there is a large open area which you can enjoy with a group of friends or a family. The buffet is quite rich here as well: Fries, seafood, pizza and pasta turn around and staff make sure the buffet is well stocked. It’s all you can eat option so you won’t regret what you’ve paid for. Make sure go there a bit early to not wait in the line.
Address: Viale Ventuno Aprile, 19
Phone:+39 06 8639 1656
7. ROMEO CHEF AND BAKER
Chef Christina Bowerman is the only female in the Rome who holds a Michelin star. She knows the city and she makes sure to bring a fantastic show into a very crowded and well-enjoyed business of aperitivo scene. The interior design and architectural touches of the place is like a reflection of Bowerman’s self: Provocative yet ultra sophisticated. Romeo offers you more than a random aperitivo, it’s an experience filled with charming and delicious food and drinks that comes with a style.
Address: Piazza dell’Emporio, 28
Phone:+39 06 32110120
8. GRAZIA E GRAZIELLA
Another beautiful find in gastronomic heart of the city in Trastevere. Either for a lunch, dinner or in this case for an aperitivo Grazia e Graziella well worth its reputation for the nicest atmosphere and yummiest dishes. You won’t have the open buffet option here but rather small plates of snack food such as types of bruschetta, olives, foccacia and fancy nuts. Make sure you come back for a meal as well.
Address: L.go M.D. Fumasoni Biondi , 5
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9.AI TRE SCALINI
Ai Tre Scalini is actually a enoteca – which means wine shop and bar in Italian. That means , here your aperitivo drink should be a regional wine or local approved Italian wine. The place is not new to the area – after all it has been around since 1895. The locals well appreciate this wine bar, as you can see it is never empty. It feels like wine bar is isolated from city – with ivies covering the signboard of the place- in its very own heart. No need worry for the accompaniments to your wine – it’s one of the best in town.
Address: Via Panisperna, 251
Leather armchairs, black walls and dazzling bar instruments: Garbatella is here to conquer the scene. However it leaves the pretentious attitudes behind the bar counter. In Latteria Garbatella, a high quality service awaits you. It doesn’t offer an open buffet option but what they serve you with precisely made cocktails is far more luscious than you’ll have in a buffet. Also you have to know – this bar completely designed and built with recycled materials.
Address: Piazza Geremia Bonomelli ,9
Phone:+39 06 512 3913
11.MIMI E COCO
Mimi e Coco might be on one of the busiest streets in the historical center of the Rome yet they probably serve the best tomato bruschetta here. Choose your drink, either an Aperol Spritz or a house wine and let them speak for themselves. The good part is if aperitivo snacks are light for you here you can always add up a cheese or deli board to share among the table.