This post contains a list and a description of the best cafes in Rome, or rather, the ones with a cute environment and a wifi connection, where you’ll easily spend the day chilling or working at your laptop. But first, a foreword for all the digital nomads and travelers visiting the capital of Italy for the first time. Before diving into the current list of my favorite places to get coffee and also work, consider the cultural frame of the city I was born in. The locals have preserved their coffee culture for decades. It’s good to have in mind this set of habits that, although it has just started giving way to change, still represents the mainstream. If a local in Rome has coffee at a café during a weekday, it’s usually to gobble and go.
WHAT WILL MAKE YOU MISS STARBUCKS IN ROME
Breakfast at a café in Rome (which we commonly call “bar” or “caffetteria”) means having cappuccino and cornetto or other breakfast treats, standing at the counter. This is the most shocking part for newcomers to Rome, as you’ve seen in the well-known travel movie with Julia Roberts, in the Rome café scene.
BEST CAFES TO CHILL OUT AND SPEND THE AFTERNOON IN A CITY THAT INVITES YOU TO GOBBLE AND GO
Most of the coffee places in Rome, kind of expect you follow the mainstream. They are not so used to see customers dropping by with their laptop, sitting on their own with coffee… In some shops, especially if it’s not clear immediately that you are a “tourist”, they might think that something’s wrong with you. They don’t see digital nomads often. Rome locals avoid drinking coffee or eating on their own. You might not find under table plugs and wifi being the priority. There might be any kind of music when the place is silent: Italians love it loud … They might easily ask you to leave the table if you do not consume or if you’ve done with your coffee. Café bars are usually small, coffee is cheap, the economy is rolling. They need you to leave the table to other customers. But this is something that hardly happens in the best cafes in Rome!
BEST CAFES IN ROME FOR TRAVELERS AND GETTING WORK DONE
So… what to do? Should you renounce to sit and chill at a café in romantic Rome without feeling like a weirdo? No. Here we go with my list of friendly coffee bars. These are surely different from the cafés you’ve known at home, but they will love you to stay there, and that’s something. And they all have wifi. Just one more thing to keep in mind before I reveal my favorite coffee places in Rome. A few of these are also restaurants. They might require you to order something to eat if you sit there at lunch/dinner time. You will find out quickly because they’ll start setting the tables with glasses and everything.
1. MATERIA CAFE’ – AT THE TOP OF MY BEST CAFES IN ROME’S LIST
Via Andrea Provana, 7
This coffee shop hasn’t been around for long, but it has won my heart immediately. The environment is casual but stylish and it is divided into three spaces. The atmosphere is warm and relaxed, and quite a few people are studying there, but there’s also light music on the background. Coffee and teas, a couple of cakes and a real Italian kitchen with dishes if you want to have a real meal. Bonus if you stay through the evening: each night is tapas night or fried delicacies (one of Rome’s typical foods) night. And after the food, you will probably find live music and lively chatter.
2. CAFFE’ LETTERARIO – SPACIOUS, INDUSTRIAL STYLE CAFE’ WITH WIFI IN ROME
address: Via Ostiense, 95
working hours: Tue-Fri 10-02 Sat-Sun 16-02
Caffé Letterario is at the top of my list of the best cafes in Rome for a reason. It hosts a small public library, and therefore it is the favorite spot for digital nomads in the area. There are co-working spaces and a stage to host cultural conferences. It is loved by the university students in the area since the faculties are only a walk away from it, but it’s never too crowded. Feel at home on comfy couches or at long, study tables. The space has wifi and budget lunch and dinner options in buffet style. I never felt pushed to drink or eat by the staff, but they surely love it if you have at least an espresso. The style is industrial, colors are deep. Before being a cafe, it was a garage.
3. FOR VEGANS: ROMEOW CAT BISTROT – THE FIRST CAT CAFE’ IN ROME
Via Francesco Negri, 15
working hours: Wed-Sun 11-23
Romeow Cat Bistrot is a vegan café and restaurant in Ostiense area, close to Caffé Letterario. I love to go there because they have delicious, unexpected vegan dishes, and the atmosphere is relaxed. There are a few cats chilling around, I feel happy and focused only looking at them! Well, I’m a cat-person. It’s like working at home for me… This is also a juice-bar. Don’t miss this place if you find yourself nearby. If you’d like to have a vegan gelato instead, have a look at my post “Rome vegan gelato“.
4. GIUFA’ LIBRERIA CAFFE’ – HAVE COFFEE OR CAKE SURROUNDED BY INDEPENDENT GRAPHIC NOVELS
Via degli Aurunci, 38
working hours: Mon 10-00; Tue-Sat 10-01 Sun 15-23
As the 2 previous café, this one is in a university area, but in a different district, San Lorenzo. The district is next to the two of the main train stations in Rome, that are Termini and Tiburtina. San Lorenzo district can get very loud with students and drinkers at night but is calm during the day. Giufa’ Libreria Café is an independent café book shop. It specializes in graphic novels, comics, contemporary literature. Thousands of books in a tiny space with a few coffee tables and brownies. Sit there and let creativity surround you. Giufà hosts book presentations,readings, and small exhibitions. You can even take a book and gently browse it at your table. if you’d like to have lunch there or dinner, there’s always a meal of the day, organic local wines and beer. Giufa’ coffee shop also has the most delicious brownies, compared to the other best cafes in Rome.
5. TOMO COFFEE BOOKSHOP – SIP AND READ IN FRONT OF THE UNIVERSITY
Via degli Etruschi, 4
wh: Mon. thru Sat. 09-22. Sun. 15-21
A two-storey coffee-bookshop in the San Lorenzo student area, roughly one and a half km from the central train station Termini. One room is dedicated to the books while the other has a bar and tables to sit. In the basement, a cozy room with a long conference-style table where you can work and sip coffee. This place is very colorful and represents a catalyzer for the surroundings, not to miss!
6. VIVI BISTROT – SIT IN THE HEART OF ROME’S MOST CHARMING PUBLIC PARK
Via Vitellia, 102
Working hours: Tue-Sun 8-18
One and only Cafeteria inside our most beautiful city park “Villa Pamphili”! It lays in the most panoramic point of the park, surrounded by lawns and Italian stone pines. The food is perfect for vegan and vegetarians, and there are a lot of yummy cakes, coffees, and teas available. In the warmest days, it will be difficult to find a table during the meals’ hours. Free classes of yoga are offered weekly during the summer: a delight for everyone who’s spending the summer in Rome. Tables in and outside.
7. BAR MONTI – CLASSY COFFEE SHOP IN THE MONTI NEIGHBORHOOD
Via Urbana, 93
working hours: Mon-Thu 7-23; Fri-Sun. 7-24
This cafè is located in the heart of the Monti neighborhood, which is probably the local’s top choice to spend a pleasant evening in the historical center. Just a short walk away from the Colosseum, Bar Monti reminds of the cafes in Montmartre, Paris. Dim lamps, walls covered in small frames, comfy wooden chairs. This place is elegantly relaxed and casual. Perfect for working, chatting with a friend, resting after a long walk inside the Roman Forum. They serve both coffee and drinks.
8. ANTICAFE’ – PAY BY THE HOUR AND GET NO-STOP COFFEE AND SNACKS
Via Veio, 4
working hours: Mon-Fry 9-21 Sat-Sun 10-21
This is the first and only cafè of its kind in Rome. The Anticafé is more of a coworking space with the look of a cute coffee shop. You can sit as long as you pay your time, €4/ hour, €14/day, €100/month. Usually, it is very silent inside, everybody is working or studying, there are a few couches and a dozen of tables with chairs. Since you pay per hour, you don’t need to buy anything inside. There’s a buffet of refreshments, coffee, teas, juices, cakes, biscuits, and water of course. It is a very relaxing place where to concentrate and probably the best cafe in Rome where to get your work done.
9. LUMIERE PRATI – TRENDY CAFE’ NEAR THE VATICAN
Via Cicerone, 25
working hours: Mon-Fry 6:45-02; Sat 7-02; Sun 11:30-02
At a walking distance from two attractions like Castel Sant’Angelo and Saint Peter Cathedral lays Caffé Lumiere. This place transforms into a restaurant at mealtime and cocktail bar in the night. During the day I haven’t seen many customers, therefore it might be the right place for you and your laptop. Visit their page on FB.
10. NECCI DAL 1924 – CAFE’ WITH GARDEN IN THE HIPSTER NEIGHBORHOOD OF PIGNETO
Via Fanfulla da Lodi, 68
working hours: Mon-Thu 8-01; Fry-Sat 8-02; Sun 8-01
Bar Necci is a historic café in the popular district Pigneto. It is famous among Rome’s educated people because one of the favorite cafes of a Roman, rebel contemporary writer, now passed away. I like to visit anytime because the staff is very kind, the coffee good, and there is a good choice of sweet and savory treats to go with your coffee. You can sit outside, in the courtyard, lots of tables with heating columns in a jolly atmosphere. This is the best cafe in Rome‘s Pigneto district.
11. THE BRITISH CORNER – LOSE YOURSELF AMONG CAKES AND ANTIQUE TEA-SETS
Via del Pigneto, 112
working hours: Wed through Mon 16-01
This tea room is in the Pigneto district, not far from Bar Necci. The British Corner takes great pride in their collection of classic tea sets and retro interior. Have tea with home-made cakes served in vintage porcelain in a vintage-style environment.
12. LA FELTRINELLI RED – COFFEE BOOKSHOP NEAR VIA DEL CORSO SHOPPING STREET
Via Tomacelli, 26
Working hours: Mon-Fri 8-23; Sat and Sun 10-23
One of the biggest publishers in Italy, Feltrinelli owns several bookshops in Rome and is the local’s preferred place to leaf through and get books. This one hosts a coffee shop with tables on a charming terrace that you just can’t miss if you pass by before or after your shopping tour in Via del Corso, which is just around the corner.
13. LE STORIE BISTROT BOOKSHOP
Via Giulio Rocco, 37/39
working hours: Mon-Fry 8-19:30
Another book-shop café at the heart of a university area. Here you’ll find a friendly atmosphere and lots of focus in front of bookshelves and a cup of coffee.
14. BARNUM CAFE – EXPATS’ FAVORITE COFFEE NEAR NAVONA SQUARE
Via del Pellegrino, 87
Working hours: Mon thru Sat 09 AM – 02 AM
Ask an expat living in Rome what are the best cafes in Rome and a good chance he will put the Barnum at the top of the list. The locals say it has the best coffee in the area, and it also has nice brunch options and drinks. There’s a nice wooden table in the room next to the bar, a little bit tight, so go early if you want to find a sit. They offer all kinds of food, from juices to dinner and salads.
15. THE CAFE INSIDE AN EXHIBITION GALLERY – MERULANA CAFE
Via Merulana, 121.
This cafe lies quietly off-the-tourist-track, on the ground floor of the Palazzo Merulana. You don’t need to get a ticket to visit the art gallery in order to sit at the cafe. The entrance is free, as is the WIFI. The cafe has a high ceiling, spacious windows, elegant travertine columns, and a few sculptures that make it a classy environment. Besides coffee, you can get anything, from breakfast to aperitivo, and all the dishes are fresh. There is an outdoor space with tables and benches, so even the smokers will love this cafe in between the Termini station and the San Giovanni area. If you need a distraction, you can reach the small bookshop on the side of the cafè and browse pages. If you love modern and contemporary Italian art, you can get inside the exhibition area and admire the Cerasi collection which includes Sironi, De Chirico, Balla, and many more.
If you are a newcomer in Rome, you might be interested in these articles:
Did you find this article about the best cafes in Rome useful? Or maybe you’ve found one more beautiful coffee shop in Rome? Let me know in the comments 😉