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Cafe Reviews

Cerulli Caffe, Via Giosue Carducci 14, 00187 Roma

The Cerulli Caffè is in the Sallustiano Rione of Rome, a skip away from Termini station, and a skip away from a dozen other cafes, like all places of Rome. What sets this place apart from some of the other sandwich type places in this area is that it’s got a big seating and restaurant type area. Besides this, it was decked with a 1980s type mirror and wood paneling décor, that is reflective of Rome’s 1970s-80s bar boom period.

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CARRA CAFFÈ, VIA 20 SETTEMBRE 24, 00187 ROMA

The Carra Caffè, or more commonly known by locals as the ‘Snack Bar Tabacchi’, or the ultra generic name for ‘café’ here in Rome, is right next door to a newer and preppier, and for some, cooler café. But whatever, it means that the younger, preppier, and wannabe yuppies of Rome go there, and the normal working folk go here. I walked in and I got very nice courteous service. It’s a mono-locale, with a shallow space inside. You walk in and you almost run into the counter. Here you have a counter with lots of food and two baristas kicking out the sandwiches and cafes.

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Caffetteria Genova, Via Genova 11, 00184 Roma Coffee In Rome

This is one of those places that one passes by about 100 times and always puts a mental note saying ‘go in there next time’. The Caffetteria Genova is right off the Via Nazionale, and always buzzing with people. However, what kept me at bay was the big Illy Caffè sign on it’s façade. In my mind, it would be just another one of the hundreds of cafes serving this industrial stuff… was I wrong! 

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Faro Caffe 2.jpg

Well, it’s official, if up until a week ago the Third Wave Specialty Coffee scene in Rome might have been a bit ambiguous, a bit ‘nascent’ and maybe a little weak, well… that phase is officially over now. Third Wave Coffee is definitely here in Rome and boy am I glad to report that it’s here in such a cool way. Just this past Saturday 17th of December the Faro Luminari del Caffè (or in English, ‘Lighthouse, Luminaries of Coffee’) held it’s gran opening. The opening of this café has been brewing for quite some time and it’s finally a reality. Spearheaded by veteran Specialty Coffee barista connoisseur Dario Fociani and PR Consultant Dafne Spadavecchia, the Faro Caffè has all the trappings of a really excellent mainstream specialty coffee establishment.

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Dei fumetti Bar caffe Coffee in Rome

Now moving on to the other en of Rome, the Western side of Rome, hugging the ‘Grande Raccordo Anulare’ or the circle freeway that encloses and divides Rome as no stupid medieval or ancient city wall did, is the Caffè Bar dei Fumetti. It’s a small locale in a newish shopping center and it’s filled with lots of comic book paraphernalia (as the name implies). It’s got a wall full of Marvel and DC plastic dolls (large size figures) a very 1950s diner area with red plastic booth seats and fun pop music blaring from it’s interior. The barista was a younger woman full of fun tattoos and what seemed to be the owner, was a very tall buff older guy unafraid about his addiction to comic books.

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shot Casina Esedra

The small kiosk, Casina Esedra Caffè, sits just north west of Termini station. It’s a small kiosk with an adjunct seating area that’s covered by a makeshift tent. When I walked in there were the usual tourists struggling to communicate with the barista in English. It wasn’t the tourist’s who couldn’t communicate, but the barista. Either way, when I ordered my coffee in my fake Italian, he seemed to ease up and started talking about the recent earthquakes. Since I’m from California, yeah, I know a little about these stupid natural events. Either way, the barista was a very nice extremely soft spoken guy who seemed t exude a relaxed air about him that was very nice. From earthquakes we went on to talk about life in general, as always happens when you talk shop at a bar.

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Caffetteria - Mercato Centrale Roma Termini Coffee in Rome

Rating: Third wave coffee in Rome

If you ever had the chance to walk southwards from Termini’s entrance down the Via Giovanni Giolitti street I’m sure you couldn’t have missed seeing this amazing, and gargantuan closed up hanger-like area of Termini station. It’s a huge, beautiful hall that is at least 5 stories high, decorated by an all open brick work and with an imposing central furnace-like chimney head made out of deep purple-read marble. I must have imagined to myself hundreds of times what a locale using this space must have felt like- and now, fortunately, you can.

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Due Fontane Bar Caffe, PIazza Perin Del Vaga 13, 00196 Roma Coffee In RomeAugust 15th is a famous day here in Italy, it is ‘Ferragosto’, the middle of August, a public holiday which is also the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and whatnot, whatever, people go hit the beach, the cafes, and the streets, and don’t want to be home. I had the fortunate experience of visiting the Due Fontane Bar Caffè recently (Instagram here), and was simply delighted. ​

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NERO VANIGLIA CAFFÈ, CIRCONVALLAZIONE OSTIENSE 201, 00154 ROMA

If you find your way on the Circonvallazione Ostience, a bustling avenue in the Garbatella district, you might just pass up the Nero Vaniglia Caffè & Pastry shop. It’s on a corner, totally unassuming, and nothing to compare with the other 3 dozen cafes on this avenue. No chairs line its outside area, and all you can see from the street is the old ‘Pasticceria’ sign that adorns this historic locale, that was once home to the Pasticceria Gori that inhabited this space since the late 1950s. I read on the Italian food digest ‘Gambero Rosso’ article that this place was a ‘specialty coffee’ locale. Just a few days earlier than the article, Marjani Coffee roaster told me also that there was a place in Circonvallazione Ostiense doing drip coffee.

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PERGAMINO CAFFÈ, PIAZZA RISORGIMENTO 7, 00192 ROMA

Funny how things are, but a little less than a few weeks ago a local third wave coffee enthusiast here in Rome told me about the Pergamino Caffè. It had just opened up and was brewing coffee in all crazy kinds of ways. I had intentions of going there with him when I got notice that the Pergamino Caffè was having a grand opening (happened yesterday, 19 Sunday June 2016). The place on the Piazza Risorgimento, right next to the Vatican (and those that are going to go to the museum should stop by here before standing in the crazy long line). It is a small mono-locale, with open brick interior. A long sit down counter against the left wall, and then of course a very long bar, the setup is very impressive and we’ll see it below. Either way, the grand opening was great, tons of coffee tasting all on the house. There were three baristas cranking out the coffee and two or more waiters that were bringing out food and other things. As you'll see, it was packed.

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