In the Eternal city there is no shortage of good coffee, but would you know where to go for the best coffee in Rome? We do! This is our selection of the best coffee places in town.
I love coffee.
I loved it before it became fashionable, before it became an ‘experience’ and before people started talking about it as part of the expression ‘coffee culture’.
I love its taste, its smell, the kick you get from that first sip and I blame this love on my hometown: Rome.
Rome has some amazing coffee and I believe this high quality is what made me a coffee aficionado. However, this doesn’t mean that all cups of coffee in Rome are created equal: they are very much not so.
To get seriously amazing coffee in Rome, you need to know where to go and this is my quick guide to help you: my tried and tested addressed for a coffee fix in Rome.
Know your coffee: Italian/ English coffee mini dictionary
The first step to ordering good coffee in Rome is to know what’s what and get your order right.
Italians use the word caffe’ to order what abroad is usually referred to as ‘espresso’. This comes in a small cup and it is what abroad is often called a ‘single shot’.
It is usually served very hot, with an option of adding sugar and /or milk and often is accompanies by a glass of tap water
An espresso but with a little more water in it: the machine is left to run a little longer so that the drink is a little ‘taller’. This is still served in a small express cup
The opposite of caffe’ lungo: espresso with as little water as possible for an extra punch of flavor
Espresso with a drop of milk. ‘Macchiato freddo’ has cold milk and ‘macchiato caldo’ has hot milk. Macchiato in Italian means ‘stained and some confusion sometimes arise as you can stain coffee with milk but also milk with coffee…
This fun guide will help you find your way between macchiato and cappuccino so you can feel fully prepared for your order!
Espresso with hot milk and foam on top. Usually served in the morning, this is usually a breakfast drink although it is commonly served up until lunchtime.
Many articles I find on the web like to claim that Italians do not drink cappuccino after 11 but I can tell you that this is not true.
You can drink cappuccino any time of the day however, Italians do not drink it as a lunch beverage so, if you want to blend in, get water or wine with your meal and top is off with espresso – it is easier on the digestion than a milky drink!
The best espresso in Rome: Caffe’ Sant’Eustachio
According to locals, the best coffee in Rome can be found at Cafe Sant’Eustachio, a traditional establishment in the square by the same name
Famous for being one of the best places in Rome for coffee and considered by many the absolute best espresso in town, the Eustachio cafe started as a small family establishment and soon became the favorite mid-morning stop for the members of the Senate, nearby.
The Ricci brothers, now running the caffe’, are passionate about the quality of what they serve and over the years have developed a secret recipe that makes their coffee blend absolutely unique.
Buying only high-quality coffee from certified fair trade farms around the world, they carry out the roasting of the beans in-house using a traditional roasting technique that uses no preservatives and enhances the quality of the coffee.
Their roasting machine has been in use since 1948 and can be seen through a glass in the space at the back of the shop: definitely something worth seeing!
Here you can get your espresso at the bar or bring home a slice of coffee heaven buying a bag of their famous coffee beans.
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More delicious coffee granita in Rome: Caffe Tazza D’oro
In the middle of the summer, a great alternative to espresso is granita di caffe’, a type of iced coffee.
Granita is a very special treat indeed. Rather than being just coffee with some ice cubes dunked in, it is a proper dessert made of ice, coffee and, depending on the specific recipes, additional ingredients such as sugar and whipped cream.
The best granita in Rome is from Caffe’ Tazza d’oro in front of the Pantheon: it is served with whipped cream and it to die for!
Best cappuccino in Rome
Cappuccino has been my coffee beverage of choice for many years and the one that gets my vote in Rome is the one by Cannolieria Siciliana.
This is a Sicilian pastry and food shop I regularly go to for their mini cannoli (perfect with coffee!) and has an absolutely wonderful cappuccino.
They have several locations around Rome including Piazza Re di Roma, 10, Corso Trieste, 100 e Piazzale degli Eroi, 24
Best affogato al caffe’
Affogato is a mix of two of the things that Rome dies best: gelato and coffee.
With affogato, you get a large cup of vanilla ice cream ‘drowned’ in espresso and the result is every bit as delicious as you can imagine.
A great lace for it is Panella, historical coffee hang out in via Merulana, 54 (Termini area) where you can also get a great cappuccino topped with Chantilly cream.
If you are in the mood for a treat, this is a great address to have!
Best Tiramisu in Rome (Coffee based)
Coffee in Italy comes in many forms and one of the most delicious of all for those with a sweet tooth is Tiramisu, a coffee base delight now of worldwide fame.
The places to taste tiramisu in Rome and Pompi and Zum, both in the city center.
Pompi didn’t start off as a big brand but rather as a gelateria in the 1960s who came up with an especially delicious take on tiramisu to then become a well known international name with several branches in the city.
Its dominance over any other tiramisu place in the city has been undisputed for decades but in the last few years a new name has arisen to stardom: Zum
When it comes to tiramisu battles, I believe the only way it to go and test out yourself what makes your taste buds sing louder: they are both in the centre so a tiramisu face off is easy to arrange.
Pompi address: Via della Croce 82
Zum address: Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo, 20
I hope you enjoyed this selection of the very best coffee specialties in Rome. Safe travels!