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Rome 101: 5 Roman cafes for a traditional breakfast

Published on September 24, 2018 by C. P.

Traditional breakfast in Rome

When you land in Rome, you’re usually dreaming of having meals that are traditional to the city, or even to the whole of Italy: lots of pasta, of course, as well as pizza, desserts like tiramisù or meat-based dishes like saltimbocca, Fiorentina steak, polenta and so many other delicacies. The list could go on forever!

Notice how breakfast is just not in the list above?

Obviously, Italian pastries or croissants don’t even cross your mind when you visit. The thing is, though – you’re missing out. While it may be true that Italian breakfasts simply don’t compare to their Anglo-Saxon counterparts, if you’re willing to experiment with every other meal in your Roman day, why not give in to the deliciousness of a fragrant, hot-from-the-oven cornetto and a hot beverage from the counter of one of From Home to Rome’s favourites cafes in the city? Consider the whole thing as a sort of ceremony of sorts – what’s more inherently Italian than sitting at a cafe, starting your day in Rome with some peoplewatching?

Breakfast, the Italian way

It’s often said that Italians do breakfast in a hurry, or skip it altogether. That may be true for many of them, but it’s not always the case. Italy’s breakfasts are more on the sweet side rather than savoury and resemble continental ones: you’ve got your fare of juices, toasted bread with jam, cookies with milk or chocolate milk, cake, a bowl of yogurt with granola (or not!).

And obviously, croissants of various types and shapes along with many variations of coffee-based concoctions. While you can’t have many of the above at a café, something you’re always sure to find is croissants, or cornetti. Other options include ciambelle, the local doughnut, bombe (deep fried puff pastries filled with either cream or chocolate) and maritozzi (sweet buns). Watch this space, as we’ll be devoting more space to the different type of pastries you can have at cafes in Rome!

Many locals, as a matter of fact, rush out of the house to get to their favourite hangout and have their breakfast there. If you try the cafes we have selected for you below, you’ll know exactly why that is!

Five addresses, but there’s so much more to discover!

Benaco – an unassuming neighborhood hangout by Piazza Verbano in the Trieste district, close to Villa Ada Park, very worth the commute from central Rome and famous for its “mini-croissants” – half the size (if that) of ordinary cornetto, they’re to die for and given they’re so small you won’t feel guilty for having two or three of them in one sitting! Via Benaco, 13.

Le Levain – Rome is home to a number of French cafes-cum-pastry-shops, and Le Levain, smack dab in the middle of Trastevere, is one of them. You can have authentic French croissants here, along with a selection of other sweet (think: eclairs!) and savoury treats from the other side of the Alps! Via Luigi Santini, 22 (around the corner from our managed apartment at Casa di Fenizio).

Romoli – located midway between the subway stations at Libia and Santa Emerenziana, this pastry shop and café has a bit of everything for everyone: from savoury treats to gelato in the summer season. Prepare for big crowds here – a sign of excellence, around these parts – and be on the lookout for pastries you’ve never seen before! Viale Eritrea, 142.

Coromandel a one stop shop if you’re looking for a place where to have breakfast as well as a Sunday brunch or a quick meal, this place around the corner from our very own Monte degli Orsini is renowned for the quality of their Italian-style breakfast (and everything else they serve, really). Via di Monte Giordano, 60/61

Panificio BonciDid you know that this famed baker doesn’t only make some of Rome’s best bread and pizza? Find his bakery, a short walk or bus ride from the Vatican Museums, to taste his butter-y, expensive (but oh so completely worth it!) croissants. Via Trionfale, 36.

Want more suggestions? Make sure you ask when you’re checking in at one of our properties: we’ll be glad to give you more recommendations!

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