Let’s start by clarifying what a “wine bar” is on the peninsula. In Italy, a “bar” is what in America or France may be referred to as a “cafè,” offering coffee, alcohol and small food items. “Wine bar” means it is a space specifically devoted to drinking wine. You can order by the glass or bottle, usually with an assortment of labels. Pair them with snacks like cured meats and artisanal cheese. These charming places are often called an “enoteca”, which literally means “wine store”. Now, with our help, you can discover charming enoteche (plural for enoteca) and characteristic wine bars hidden around the Eternal City.
1. Al Vino Al Vino
2. Beppe e i suoi formaggi
3. Il Goccetto
4. Bibenda Wine Concept
5. Enoteca Il Piccolo dal 1980
6. Il Sori
7. Enoteca del Frate
Al Vino Al Vino is an absolute favorite. This small and friendly wine bar is conveniently located in the heart of Monti. The wine list at Al Vino Al Vino is large, but the daily wine offerings by the glass are always very good. It is recommended to go early in the evening to start with a snack with your choice of wine. Insider tip: Call ahead if you prefer a seat by the window, but no worries at all if the front is full as there is more seating available in the back. (Address: Via dei Serpente, 19).
Beppe e i suoi formaggi is a special location all about cheese. Just to clarify, wine and cheese. Upon entering the shop in Rome’s Jewish Quarter, you are greeted by a splendid long cheese counter. Cheese is displayed in fridges and there are beautifully stocked shelves with specialty gastronomic ingredients. Insider tip: Explain to the hospitable staff the kind of wines and cheeses you prefer so they can pour you a delightful glass and be sure to enjoy a sampling platter. (Address: Via di Santa Maria del Pianto, 9A/11).
Il Goccetto is located off Via Giulia in one of the most beautiful parts of Rome. The tiny space always has a tinkle, as neighbors and friends meet to reconnect over a nice € 5 wine or a bold Chianti and light snacks. The menu offers small bites, not full meals. During summer, pick a spot on the steps outside – perfect for some people watching. Insider Tip: When available, we certainly recommend the apple salad with “new cheese” and pine nuts. Customers also go crazy for the “cipolline lampascioni” – sweet and sour onions. (Address: Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 14)
Bibenda Wine Concept is a nice, bright, modern enoteca specializing in natural wines. Found in the small neighborhood just a bit beyond the iconic Colosseum, the location is quite central and unbeatable. Ask for a few olives or salted chips and peanuts to munch on. Insider Tip: Feel free to stop in for a drink or ask a sommelier to help you pick out a beautiful bottle of Italian vino to enjoy with friends. (Address: Via Capo d’Africa, 21)
Enoteca Il Piccolo dal 1980 had to be on our list. Locals love that this small (piccolo in Italian) wine bar stays so true to its name. Get super cozy inside, sitting on a mixture of mismatched chairs and tables with a glass of Vino Cesanese. Or enjoy some fennel taralli (crackers) sitting at a table outside on the cobblestones where the locals and regulars chat the night away. This spot is super down-to-earth and relaxing. Insider Tip: Il Piccolo is just a short walk from one of the most beautiful piazzas in Rome: Piazza Navona. (Address: Via del Governo Vecchio, 74).
l Sori is an intimate, nice spot with just a few seats. The staff know their wines and will be happy to recommend labels according to your own tastes. You’ll be happy to know that the meats and cheeses provided are produced by dairy companies personally visited by the owner to guarantee top quality products made with tradition and lots of love. Insider Tip: Some nights you can meet and chat with the producers, participate in themed evenings and other special events with manufacturers. (Address: Via dei Volsci, 51)
Enoteca del Frate is a local favorite that has been around for almost a hundred years in the Prati district. Upon entering the historic Roman wine cellar, you are wrapped by the divine aroma of wines, showcased nicely on the many shelves that beautifully fill the room. The helpful staff, warm and comfy space, thanks to the soft lights, make it a lovely atmosphere for wine tasting. This place is also perfect for an evening aperitif or dinner. Insider Tip: We love that the gastronomic products are available based on seasonality, following the natural course of the seasons, respecting the land and Italian territories.
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