Nothing captures the local spirit like the traditional European Cafe
I could have started my first Cafe Life post with a review of Paris cafes. After all nothing is more iconic then the Paris Cafe. However the best coffee is an espresso and no one has made caffe as much as an art form as the Italians. And so I begin in the Eternal City of Rome…
Sant Eustachio Il Caffe
The best coffee for actual taste and flavour can be found at a small coffee shop just off the Piazza della Rotonda, by the Pantheon. A very unassuming place consisting of counter space and pounds of coffee, Sant Eustachio’s espresso is legendary. The coffee here is made in secret behind a partition behind the counter and comes out with a thick coffee ‘froth’ on top. As in most cafes in Italy you must pay at the till first then go to the counter where it is important to tell them before they make your cup of coffee that you want sugar added -should you want it sweetened. Sip at the counter like the locals and buy a bag of coffee beans on the way out for the perfect Roman souvenir.
Sant Eustachio Il Caffe – Piazza di Sant Eustachio, 82, Roma
Caffe della Pace
On a quiet street behind the noisy and frantic Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s prettiest cafes, the Caffe della Pace. Ivy cascades down the front of the exterior creating an oasis on the street for patrons. If you can resist it though, inside with its old world style parlor and dark wood bar is a real treat. Small and cozy it is a bit whimsical like that of a grandmother’s sitting room, piano in the corner and some lamps. But before you think ‘stuffy,’ this bar caffe is quite hip with a stylish Roman clientele and lounge music piping inside and out. This place is quite the scene in the evenings. Yet during the day it makes for a nice rest spot for people watching with espresso. Try it for aperitivo too.
Caffe della Pace – Via della Pace 3/7, Roma
Antico Caffe Greco
One of Rome’s oldest cafes, and once a stop on the Grand Tour, is the Antico Caffe Greco. A stone’s throw from the Spanish Steps and on Rome’s most fashionable shopping street, to step into Caffe Greco is to step back in time. Red walls and golden trim, waiters in formal coats, it really is an experience to sit and be transported to another era. Except for the tourists in the track suit in the corner that is. If you prefer a bit faster service, there is a counter where the coffee is equally as good. And try the pastries as they are delicious!
Antico Caffe Greco – Via Condotti, 86, Roma