The best cocktail bars in Rome for some achingly good drinks
Everybody will make their pilgrimage to Rome at least once in their lives. There’s something about the hauntingly beautiful historical buildings. You don’t even need to be religious to appreciate the level of art and craft put into them. But when night falls, it’s time to make a different sort of pilgrimage – to the cocktail bars in Rome.
Sure, there are many other bars in Rome to check out depending on your preference. There are night clubs that the youth favour, beer joints that serve up craft brews, as well as swanky wine bars of the upper echelon.
However, as the cliche saying goes: when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So head to the cocktail bars that the locals hit up, and you’ll be guaranteed a good perspective of what the Romans like to drink, trending bar designs – no prizes for guessing Prohibition-style and hidden bars – as well as the creative cocktails that are going around.
Ready to visit these cocktail bars in Rome? Continue reading below.
One of the many hidden bars in Rome, Argot is moody and a harmonious mix of industrial design with grandma chic – think floral armchairs and doilies juxtaposed against exposed-brick and steel pipes. This bar attracts some of the most popular people in town, so expect to dress your best. As for the cocktails, they are unprecedented – the bartenders go wild in here, experimenting with the craziest and most creative concoctions. But if you’re hankering for a classic, they can do it too.
(Image credit: Facebook/ Argot)
You don’t have to drink like King Kong to get into this bar. Unlike most bars with its vintage and Prohibition-style decor, Drink Kong stands out with its modern vibes and neon signages. Perhaps the only vintage part is the 80s arcade gaming area, but we’ll let it pass in favour of its fun factor. Drinks are artfully crafted after the bartender has managed to determine if you prefer your cocktails with a sweet, dry, or bitter flavour profile. There’s also a Japanese omakase room for private tastings if you’re feeling fancy.
(Image credit: Facebook/ Drink Kong)
Following on the international agave trend, La Punta Expendio de Agave is Rome’s biggest agave bar. It may be a mouthful to say, but we can guarantee a visit to this bar will be worth it. The bar is, naturally, decked out in Mexican details and the menu is even designed to look like a passport. All cocktails are tequila and mezcal-based, so really know what you’re here for. There’s also a Mexican food selection here, perfect for when you tire of having pizza and pasta.
(Image credit: Facebook/ La Punta Expendio de Agave)
La Punta Expendio de Agave
Should you tire of bars that are constantly hidden, underground, or swathed in darkness, then it’s time to pay a visit to Sacripante Gallery. It’s actually an art gallery with a cocktail bar inside, and space is absolutely gorgeous. The grey stone walls are adorned with different paintings, the cement floors are polished, and the cocktail bar is designed to look like an apothecary. This look extends to the glassware, potion bottles, medicine cabinets, and more. Classic cocktails are where it’s at here, and the bar team behind Sacripante Gallery does those extremely well.
(Image credit: Facebook/ Sacripante Gallery)
Salotto42 is one of the bars in Rome that boast a great view without being located at a vantage point. The bar looks out to the columns of the 2nd century Temple of Hardian from within its hole-in-the-wall location. The decoration within the bar is not too shabby too – art pieces decorating the wall as well as stacks of magazines and vinyl records make it seem like someone’s cosy living room. The drinks are equally as excellent, with a team of knowledgeable bartenders raring to whip up some of the most complicated cocktails you desire. If you’re there early in the evening, be sure to sample one (or several) of the bar’s signature Spritzes – there’s a whole menu dedicated to it. It will perhaps come to no surprise that Salotto42 is also in the World’s 50 Best Bars list.
(Image credit: Facebook/ Salotto42)
This bar ticks off all the makings of a hidden bar: a Prohibition-style decor, Chesterfield loungers, and a traditional barbershop fronting the watering hole. Inside, the crowd is equally as a hipster, but the cocktail list keeps things playful. The bartenders are also a friendly bunch, so don’t be afraid to ask them for something that’s off-menu.
(Image credit: Facebook/ The Barber Shop)
The Barber Shop
You can’t go on a cocktail bar tour in Rome without stopping by Jerry Thomas Speakeasy, also known as The Jerry Thomas Project. It’s one of the more serious cocktail bars in town, although the bartenders like to keep things light with their theatrics. Naturally, the place is decked in a 20s Prohibition-style decor and is also a hidden bar, in keeping with the trend.
It may be a members-only bar, but that’s easily fixed. Prior to your trip, go to the bar’s site and sign yourself up as a member, which costs only €5. The website also contains the daily password entrance, as well as an advanced booking option to ensure you won’t turn up disappointed.
The drinks are definitely worth the hassle getting into the bar. There’s a wide variety of gin lined up, quality ingredients, and a ban on vodka. In fact, the bar is so serious about its cocktails that it got into the World’s 50 Best Bars list.
(Image credit: Facebook/ Jerry Thomas Speakeasy)