Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Tips and guides


Unusual restaurants and cocktail bars in Rome

Let’s eat in Rome. But let’s do it strangely.

Rome is full of restaurants, but some of them are unique, weird, bizarre, with an incredible atmosphere; particular and unusual restaurants, able to offer you an unforgettable experience.

It isn’t that hard to find particular alternatives in Rome if you are looking for an “out-of-ordinary” dinner. If you are in the Italian capital, you are starving and want to spend a different evening, what you have to do is to go to one of these unique restaurants and cocktail bars.

Here is a not-exhaustive, but for sure great-to-start, list of unusual places in Rome:

1. “Betto e Mary”

“One of those old-fashioned trattorias”. This is Betto e Mary, a place near the Pigneto neighborhood where you will not find old noble maids with an attitude, those women that used to follow Gigi Proietti (a Roman actor) at the time of his experimental theater. Loud and Spartan waiters saying the menu at the speed of light, a really rustic setting, “cojoni di toro” (bull’s testicles in batter), coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stew), pajata (intestine of a young calf) and everything that most of the Capitoline restaurants have set aside even if with a little embarrassed. Betto e Mary is one of those hyper-typical restaurants, capable of restoring a Roman style that is in extinction and for this reason authentic-nostalgic. One of those restaurants that the guides do not even consider and which is difficult to hear outside Rome, where Betto e Mary is a real legend. Difficult – allow us to self-praise for a moment – for all guides except one, FoodiesTrip. Our foodies have reviewed it for what it is (typical, authentic, a folkloric experience but, objectively, not an example of architectural care and beauty).

Ristorante Betto e Mary
Via Dei Savorgnan 99
Tel.: +39 06 6477 1096

2. Cocktail bar “Ice Club”

At the Monti neighborhood in Rome, one of the hottest cities in Italy, there is a place whose temperature is always -20°C below zero. It is the Ice Club, a place completely built with ice and to get in you will need a thermal suit. What do you drink? Mainly vodka. What else? Something cool?

Cocktail bar Ice Club
Via della Madonna Dei Monti 18/19
Tel.: +39 06 9784 5581

3. Ristorante “Cencio – La parolaccia”

Ok, you really need to get ready for what you’re going to experience in the Parolaccia restaurant. That’s the reason why we decided to add this link in order to prepare yourself.

Ristorante Cencio – La Parolaccia
Vicolo del Cinque 3

4. Ristorante “La leggenda di Avalon”

This is how one of the most authentic Roman families, whose shop of ‘Wines and Oli’ was born in 1946, can transform its business into a “crazy” restaurant, as they say in Rome. The website of ‘La Leggenda di Avalon’ explains it. After some family griefs the current owner Sabrina, with her husband Massimo and her mother Vittoria, takes advantage of the passion for the Middle Ages and relaunches the activity with a themed restaurant, where everything reminds a castle and the libations of that time. Theme nights and a medieval menu complete the dive into the past. Passing from the San Giovanni metro in Rome to the roundtable of Arthur crossing just a threshold is an unsettling experience, to try at least once.

Ristorante La leggenda di Avalon

Via Terni 21

5. Cocktail bar “Jerry Thomas”

Among the best bars in Italy, Jerry Thomas Speakeasy is entirely dedicated to the mixology, as also underlines its name. Jerry Thomas, in fact, was the first bartender in history, and you won’t miss him with the Roman speakeasy. The specialties of the house are, of course, cocktails, and the air you breathe is that of the prohibition of the 1920s, a period in which the speakeasy flourished in the USA. Borsalino, beard, and grease are just a side dish to some of the best cocktails in the capital. However, the password is required to enter. On the other hand, the rotating walls are missing:

Cocktail bar Jerry Thomas

Vicolo Cellini 30
Tel.: +39 06 96845937

6. Ristorante “Museo Canova Tadolini”

Antonio Canova was the greatest artist of the Italian neoclassicism and one of the greatest sculptors in history. In 1818, Canova left his studio-atelier to the student Adamo Tadolini, and his descendants took care of it until 1967, continuing to sculpt. Romanticism, Neoclassicism, and Intimism have been gathered in this study as excrescences that today hang from the walls, lay on the shelves without apparent order, populate corners and clutter shelves, endowed as they are with a search for beauty. The wonder is that such a place can not only be visited by anyone but is even livable for a few hours. Inside, in fact, a “restaurart”, restaurant and coffee palpitates, the higher value goes beyond the food itself. In those rooms, among those statues, one of the greatest artists of Italian history has walked and created. It can be enough, do not you believe?

Ristorante Museo Canova Tadolini

Via del Babuino 150A/B
Tel.: +39 06 3211 0702

7. Cocktail bar “The Race Club Speakeasy”

And who said that bikers only like beer? Without exploring the many types of bikers, The Race Club is an exclusive club but not too much (everyone can ask for the “license” required to enter), whose main themes are the quality mixology, the engines, the ’30s. The restaurant unfolds in two distinct but complementary areas: you enter the shop, where a motorcycle and vintage objects linked to the motorcycle mechanics make a beautiful display, before moving into the real place. The two owners, just thirty years old, Diego and Dario Ferracani, opened the club in 2014 and took care of it maniacally. For their high-quality cocktailsthe two brothers use syrups that they get from the fruit bought daily at the market, and they always try to meet the palate of their customers. In short, just a few steps away from the Colosseum, the Race Club is a sheltered corner to enjoy an out-of-ordinary pit-stop.

Cocktail bar The Race Club Speakeasy
Via Labicana 52
Tel.: +39 06 9604 4048

Now, you only have to try and tell us what you think about it. According to our foodies, it doesn’t matter if you are in Rome for vacation or just for the weekend if you want to live a unique experience you must visit one of these restaurants or cocktail bars.


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This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Ambra Del Moro
My name is Ambra Del Moro, to be fair. I hold a master's degree in Modern Languages and for ten years I've been citizen of the world as I lived in Germany, United States, Belgium and Disneyland. For the moment it seems I found my place. In the joyful Foodiestrip Republic.