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Rome's Top 10 : Cafés and Gelaterie

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  1. Antico Caffè Greco

    Rome’s 1760 answer to all the famed literary cafés of Paris. Just off the Spanish Steps on the busiest shopping street in town, it is an elegant holdover from yesteryear, its tiny tables tucked into a series of genteel, cosy rooms plastered with photos, prints and other memorabilia from the 19th-century Grand Tour era. The A-list of past customers runs from Goethe to Byron, Casanova to Wagner .

  2. Caffé Sant’Eustachio

    Rome’s most coveted cappuccini come from behind a chrome-plated shield that hides the coffee machine from view so no one can discover the skilled owner’s secret formula. All that is known is that the water comes from an ancient aqueduct and the brew is pre-sweetened. Always crowded .

  3. San Crispino

    Navigate the glut of inferior ice cream parlours infesting the Trevi neighbourhood to reach this elegantly simple little gelateria. The signature ice cream contains honey but there are other velvety varieties made with fresh fruit or nuts and sinful delights laced with liqueurs.

    • Via della Panetteria 42

  4. Tre Scalini

    This café’s claim to fame is Rome’s most decadent tartufo (truffle) ice cream ball, which is almost always packaged in other outlets. Dark chocolate shavings cover the outer layer of chocolate ice cream, with a heart of fudge and cherries.

  5. Giolitti

    This 19th-century café is the best known of Rome’s gelaterie. Touristy but excellent .

    Giolitti

    Giolitti
  6. Gran Caffè Doney

    Still the top café on the famous Via Veneto, but long past its prime as the heart­beat of Rome’s 1950s heyday (along with rival Café de Paris across the road) – when celebrities in sun­glasses hobnobbed with starlets draped over the outdoor tables. The lifestyle was documented in (and in part created by) Fellini’s seminal film La Dolce Vita , whose shutterbug character Paparazzo lent a name to his profession of bloodhound photographers .

  7. Caffè Rosati

    The older, more left-wing of Piazza del Popolo’s rival cafés (the other is Caffè Canova) was founded by two of the Rosati brothers (a third continued to manage the family’s original Via Veneto café). It sports a 1922 Art Nouveau decor and its patrons park their newest Ferrari or Lotus convertibles out front .

  8. Caffè Novecento

    Exuding a cosy, 19th-century teahouse charm, this café contains a series of parlour-like nooks accessorized with antique furniture and serves delicate sweets or light salads, tarts and quiche.

    • Via del Governo Vecchio 12

    • 06 686 5242

    • DA

  9. Gelateria della Palma

    Modern ice cream parlour with more than 100 flavours of gelato plus semifreddi (half-frozen mousse) and frozen yoghurt. It’s open late and constantly thronged with Rome’s young and beautiful. Mere steps from the Pantheon .

  10. La Tazza d’Oro

    Strictly the highest quality Brazilian beans go into the coffee here. There’s nothing fancy in this unassuming place and no touristy gimmicks (despite being just off the Pantheon’s piazza). Just a long, undulating bar counter where regulars enjoy a heavenly espresso that, amazingly, manages to be both among the best and the cheapest in Rome .

    La Tazza d’Oro
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