Surviving Without Starbucks: Rome Edition

So you are addicted to caffeine. I mean, who isn’t these days? Coffee is a part of your everyday routine, and there is nothing wrong with that. Especially when Starbucks is in the picture. Before you traveled overseas, you were probably worried about how you would get your daily caffeine fix in a city where “Starbucks” is not a household word.(I was born and raised in Seattle—where Starbucks originated—so I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t initially concerned.) Even though Starbucks does not have a presence in Rome, there are tons—and I mean tons—of great cafés where you can order a cup of coffee, hang out with friends, and use Wi-Fi while you study/work. The following spots are some of my all-time favorites, so if you haven’t checked them out yet, make sure to put them on your list!

1) Meccanismo (€€) Piazza Trilussa, 34


Awesome café in Trastevere where the employees feel like family. Everyone is always in a good mood here, and you can order a variety of espresso-based drinks from cappuccinos to iced coffee. There is a lot of open seating as well, so it is the perfect place to catch up on work or meet up with your friends for a bite to eat.

2) Barnum (€) Via del Pellegrino, 87



Great spot near Campo de’ Fiori with amazing food (especially during lunchtime), super friendly staff, and delicious coffee that will make you become a regular after your first visit. When you come here, make sure you order a frozen cappuccino. You will not be able to put it down.

3) Circus (€€€) Via della Vetrina, 15


One of Rome’s best kept secrets. This café is hard to find at first, but once you navigate your way here, you will be glad you did. The menu is pricier than most coffee shops in Rome, but the atmosphere makes it all worth it. There is plenty of space to spread out and study/work, too.

4) Vero (€) Via Vittoria Colonna, 7


Fun (and cheap) café in the Prati area of Rome. You can get everything here—from a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel to a sweet treat or coffee drink. A ton of locals pass through every day, so it is definitely a cool place to check out if you haven’t already.


5) Homebaked (€€) Via Fratelli Bonnet, 21



While this may be a smaller location near Gianicolo Hill, this café is a home away from home. The owners make everyone’s experience amazing. They care about each customer before they even walk through the door and it shows. The food here is something else, too. Everything is made from scratch, and you will leave feeling like you just had the best meal of your life in Grandma’s kitchen.

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