espresso cup at cafe in Rome

Lo vuole macchiato: A handbook of the best cafes in Rome

Coffee: Italy is said to be the “spiritual home” of the popular beverage. While the country does not grow coffee, it has a long tradition of brewing and blending coffee, dating back to the 16th century.

Italians being very particular about custom, the European country has come to develop a very intense and intimate daily ritual around the consumption of the beverage.

To partake in the rich tradition of having coffee in Italy, and for an in-depth exploration of Rome in particular, try out the best Vatican City tours.

Italy and the Tradition of Coffee

Italy is where the Espresso drink was concocted for the first time, in the 19th century. Espresso, the drink prepared by forcing almostboiling water through a fistful of finely ground coffee beans, introduced the modern coffee drinking culture to the world. It is only after Espresso came to be invented that the other variants of coffee, like Cappuccino or Café Latte, joined the league.

If you can already smell the coffee beans roasting and the warm brew, then you are ready to peruse this short guide to the best cafes in Rome.

Antico Caffè Greco

If you wish to take a sip of literary history and enjoy a beverage in the same place as Keats, Byron and Goethe did, then, you ought to visit the Antico Caffe Greco. The bar is the oldest in Rome and reportedly the second oldest in Italy, opened as it was in 1760.

Conveniently located near the Spanish Steps, this café is known for its old-world charm and delicious coffee – albeit a bit overpriced if you choose to sit at one of the marble tables and order in food and beverages.

Sant Eustachio IlCaffe

If you have been walking throughout the day and happen to find yourself near the ancient Pantheon, you can slip in the Sant Eustachio Il Caffe to rest and have lunch.

The café, established in 1938, is located in an old roasting plant (fuelled by wood). It roasts coffee beans on its own and makes its own blends. It is not very big or snazzy, but it is extremely original in its décor as well as the food and beverages it serves. You should buy their coffee beans if you happen to stop by.


A great attraction for celebrities, locals and tourists, Giolitti is a very popular cafe known for its quality gelato and coffee. Giolitti, too, is near the Pantheon, making it an easily accessible coffee stop.

The long queues here are usually for gelato. If you are only vying for a cup of coffee, a quick and cheap drink at the bar should not be a problem at all.


Rosati, which was started in the 1920s, is located at the extremely popular and usually crowded Piazza del Popolo. The coffee shop has maintained its old interiors with a great terraced view of the picturesque piazza, the twin churches and several fountains. And it has not compromised on taste at all.

The coffee served here is great, the meals sumptuous and the pastries delectable. The prices, however, are a little high here and a mandatory service charge is levied on the bill.  There are a host of other cafes in Rome, like the Antigua Tazza d’Oro, Tram Depot, Panella and Canova. To discover all of these gastronomic delights, you must make a trip to the Eternal City with the best family tours in Rome.