Bars in Rome

bars in Rome Drinks in a Roman bar (photo: Eleanor Murkett)

Bars tend to operate a tab system, whereby you order your drinks and over the course of the evening they are totted up on a slip of paper which is either kept behind the bar or given to you. At the end of the night, you take it to the cashier and pay. As with all other public indoor spaces in Rome, you aren't allowed to smoke in bars, but you'll probably find a few tables either at the pavement outside, or in a garden at the back. Failing that, there's usually a sociable congregation of smokers hovering just outside the door with their drinks.

To sample Italian beers, you could do worse than visit Open Baladin, a new venue in the centre of the city, run by the Baladin brewery.

Aperitivo

Early in the evening, usually starting between six and seven pm, many bars across Rome begin serving aperitivo. For an extra couple of euros on your first drink, you can help yourself to a buffet of light snacks and finger food. The quality of the food on offer varies from bar to bar: it could be little more than selections of olives and cheese, or there could be enough there to put together an acceptable meal.

Recommended

Harry's Bar
(Via Vittorio Veneto 150, Tel. 06 484643 / 06 4742103.) This upmarket cocktail bar bears no official relation to its famous Venetian namesake (which was one of Hemingway's favourite haunts). However, over the years it has acquired its own heritage, and the drinks and service are excellent - and priced accordingly.

British / Irish Pubs

The Abbey Theatre: one of Rome's Irish pubs The Abbey Theatre, near Piazza Navona, is one of Rome's Irish pubs.

Italian wine can be delicious and inexpensive, and one of the great pleasures of a holiday in Rome is sitting at a table outside a traditional Italian bar and watching the world go by. However, there are still times when only a pub will do. A cool, dark room, where the beer (preferably Guinness) comes by the pint, there's football on the TV screen and the staff all come from Manchester. Fortunately, there are plenty of pubs in Rome that fit this description.

Recommended

Scholars Lounge

Via del Plebiscito, 101/b
Tel. 06 69202208.
Possibly the most central of the Irish bars, Scholars Lounge is just round the corner from Piazza Venezia, and almost next door to Berlusconi's Rome apartment. Billing itself as an 'Irish bar & club', it's open until 3.30am.

The Albert

Via del Traforo 132
Tel. 06 4818795.

Druid's Den

Via San Martino ai Monti 28
Tel. 06 48904781.
A popular pub with a familiar mascot on their sign. Just a few minutes' walk from Termini station, down Via Cavour.

The Abbey Theatre

Via del Governo Vecchio 51-53
Tel. 06 6861341.

The Abbey Theatre: one of Rome's Irish pubs The Abbey Theatre, near Piazza Navona, is one of Rome's Irish pubs.

Italian wine can be delicious and inexpensive, and one of the great pleasures of a holiday in Rome is sitting at a table outside a traditional Italian bar and watching the world go by. However, there are still times when only a pub will do. A cool, dark room, where the beer (preferably Guinness) comes by the pint, there's football on the TV screen and the staff all come from Manchester. Fortunately, there are plenty of pubs in Rome that fit this description.

Recommended

Scholars Lounge

Via del Plebiscito, 101/b
Tel. 06 69202208.
Possibly the most central of the Irish bars, Scholars Lounge is just round the corner from Piazza Venezia, and almost next door to Berlusconi's Rome apartment. Billing itself as an 'Irish bar & club', it's open until 3.30am.

The Albert

Via del Traforo 132
Tel. 06 4818795.

Druid's Den

Via San Martino ai Monti 28
Tel. 06 48904781.
A popular pub with a familiar mascot on their sign. Just a few minutes' walk from Termini station, down Via Cavour.

The Abbey Theatre

Via del Governo Vecchio 51-53
Tel. 06 6861341.