Rome has its great nightlife spots from Testaccio to Trastevere, but the real magic lies in drinking great wine and cocktails with great company. So gather your best group of buds and check out these top picks. We promise you'll be hook'd! 

Otto MilLimetri

Located in the center of the historical center of Trastevere, Otto Millimetri has got great cocktails mixed with funky and thought provoking street art on the walls. Have a go at their foosball table with friends or hang around for a chill cocktail on a Sunday. 

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AkBar, Trastevere

A cool 'ancient roman chic' bar in the side piece of Trastevere that tourists seem to overlook.... Be sure to try one of their great cocktails here! The aperitivo is fresh and local as well.

The Bar

Mr. Brown, Trastevere

Laid back and close to home, swing over (literally, because there is a swing inside) for a late night drink and some funky decor. 

The Famous Swing

The Famous Swing

Almalu, Trastevere

Even closer to home, this spot is super fun and the bartenders will mix up (literally) exactly what you want. Like strong and spicy? How about sweet and fruity? No matter what combo your heart desires, these guys will whip it up. Don't forget to check out their line of Harry Potter themed shots (pictured below) which are only one euro on Wednesday nights!

Go wild. ;)

 Harry Potter shots

 Harry Potter shots

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AuthorLindsey Hook

Aperitivo is the best thing that will happen to your study abroad experience. From about 6-9pm every night, restaurants open up this Italian happy hour. That means, when you buy a drink for €8-€10, you get access to a buffet full of different Italian appetizers from Bruschetta to Risotto.

Got a low budget? I'll let you in on a secret. While a handful of bars charge extra for plate refills, some places just don't care how many seconds (or thirds) you get. That means, for €10 or under, you can grab dinner and a drink with friends and save that extra cash for shopping or travel. 

Here are some of our favorite aperitivi in Rome. We know you're already Hook'd.

Fluid, Piazza Navona 

Aperi-cena (Aperitivo/Dinner) alert! You can fill up here as much as you want, it's the biggest aperitivo I've ever seen in Rome. There's even dessert!

Aperol Spritz - The Aperitivo Drink

Faifuiche, Monti

This spot charges €3 per extra plate but don't let that turn you away. They have a fabulous selection of wines and a very high quality and unique selection of Italian food from all regions.

La Prosciutteria, Trastevere

At La Prosciutteria, they serve a slightly different aperitivo. At €5 a head plus a glass of wine for about €4-€5, you get a large cheese and meat board to share with friends. It's a great way to try new cuts of meat and cheese you've never had before. They also have house made spreads that are to die for, and lucky for you, available to buy by the jar. 

I suggest the Lambrusco (sparkling red wine) here! *Bonus: water is free!*

Tagliere for five.

Freni e Frizioni

This is a very cool and popular aperitivo and nightlife bar in Trastevere. Be sure to stop by, as it's a great place to see local Italians.

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La. Vi., Spanish Steps

This bar is a more upscale aperitivo, with drinks starting at €15. However, it is totally worth it. It is definitely a place to fill your plate a couple of times, because their selection is huge! Be sure to also check out their rooftop space in the warmer months.

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AuthorLindsey Hook

The biggest food danger you should be aware of in Rome are the tourist traps. If there are waiters outside trying to lure you in, don't go. If you see anything even remotely similar to "touch menu", don't go. Is the menu tabbed in 15 different languages? Don't go. You get the point.

The best way to find great eats in foreign cities is to just walk. Find a pretty neighborhood, get lost going down all the little side streets and I promise you will find a gem.

Here are our top dinner picks. Get Hook'd!

Esatto, Jewish Ghetto

Esatto is easily in my top 3 favorite restaurants in Rome. I discovered it by, guess what, wandering through the Jewish Ghetto district and spotted it out of the corner of my eye. The food here is Italian with a modern spin and super fresh ingredients. It's the fine dining experience without the crazy price. They charge by plate here, rather then by item. One plate (chosen from any course) is €15, two plates are €25, and three plates are €30. Keep an eye out for our restaurant feature on them!

Must Tries:

  • Filet Mignon
  • Amatriciana Di Mare - Large Pastas with Octopus and Pancetta

La Via Emilia, Prati

This little place is tucked away in a residential neighborhood near the Vatican. It is owned by the sweetest Northern Italian couple you've ever met, and if the food doesn't keep you coming every week, they surely will. This place specializes in the Northern classic, Piadine, which could be described sort of as an Italian style quesadilla. They can be stuffed with anything from Tomato and Mozzarella to Prosciutto and Truffle spread. La Via Emilia also serves, in my humble opinion, the best Lambrusco in Rome. I order it every time, because no other wine goes so perfectly with every single dish they serve. Another great perk is that you can bring your healthy friends here without complaints because they have one of the best salad selections in the city.

Must Tries:

  • Lambrusco
  • Gnocchi Fritti (Fried Gnocchi served with mixed meats and cheeses for stuffing)
  • Piadina special of the day
  • Every salad on the menu

Piadine and Salad with Tigelle

Porto, Prati

Another gem in Prati, Porto is a prime place to satisfy your seafood craving while also satisfying your wallet. Filled with fresh seafood and refreshing white wines, Porto is a summer must try. In the mood for something meaty? Try their sister restaurant Quarto next door. They serve nothing but burgers. Be sure to reserve either of these places on the weekends! 

Must Tries:

  • House white wine
  • Polpo and Pesto Potatoes
  • Fried Calamari and Shrimp
  • Plate of Mixed Grilled Fish

           Fish and Chips, Polpo and Pesto Potatoes, Fried Calamari and Shrimp, Sesame Tuna.

Jaipur, Trastevere

Trust me, I know Italian food can get old after a few weeks of nothing but pasta when you first arrive. Close by to school, and budget friendly for students, Jaipur is right off of Viale Di Trastevere and holds a treasure trove of indian food to share with friends. I suggest getting as many dishes as appeal to you and share them all! 

Must Tries:

  • Lentil Dahl
  • Mixed Appetizers like Samosas and Chickpea Batter fried Vegetables
  • Garlic Naan

Lentil Dahl and Spinach and Peas Entrees with Garlic Naan.

Urbana 47

This restaurant is part of the Italian "0 km Movement" where all of their ingredients come from within less than 1 kilometer, or about 1.6 miles. Although its slightly pricier than your typical Italian eatery, it is more than worth it thanks to the quality and creativity of the dishes and their ingredients.

Must Tries:

  • Carbonara with Zucchini
  • "Padella" pasta which is served right in the pan
  • Tortelli stuffed with Ricotta and Thyme with Organic Lamb
  • House White Wine - It's crisp and refreshing and perfect for a hot day!

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Felice, Testaccio

Although one of the most famous restaurants in Rome, this place never fails to please with it's Roman classics. Definitely make a reservation!

Must Tries:

  • Cacio E Pepe (Made Tableside!)
  • Carbonara
  • Tiramisu

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AuthorLindsey Hook