This blog post was originally posted on April 2, 2019 and was updated on September 17, 2020.
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Honestly, when you’re in Italy, every meal is pretty important. But to make sure your day gets off to the right start, we’re happy to share our picks for the best breakfast in Rome.
The best breakfast in Rome—like a local
Breakfast in Rome is a little different than what you might find at home.
Bacon, eggs, bagels and avocado toast can be found, but they’re far from typical. Sweet carbs take the spotlight on the Italian breakfast table.
A typical breakfast for a Roman looks like a quick coffee and a pastry, eaten standing at the bar. A frothy cappuccino and a warm cornetto is the most common combination. Italian cornetti are sweeter than French croissants and come vuoto (plain) or filled with jam, custard or Nutella.
If you go to an Italian grocery store in search of breakfast items, you’ll notice that the cookie section at most supermarkets is much bigger than the cereal section. Yes—breakfast cookies are a real thing (in Italy, at least)!
Many Italians enjoy cookies for breakfast at home dunked into a cup of milky coffee. We recommend Abracci, a just-barely-sweet, half-vanilla, half-chocolate cookie with the perfect crunch. (Plus, the name means “hugs,” which is too cute to pass up.)
Cake is also an acceptable Roman breakfast. You’ll likely see a ciambella, which is a ring-shaped, pound-cake-style cake, on your hotel breakfast buffet and on lots of Roman bar counters.
So now that you know what to eat, where can you find the best breakfast in Rome? Read on to find out!
Where to eat the best breakfast in Rome
1. Cafe Barberini
This friendly bar in the Testaccio neighborhood makes pastries so elegant, they’re almost too pretty to eat. (But as soon as you take a bite, you’ll be glad you did.)
Pasticceria Barberini is a beloved neighborhood spot that opens early and bakes their flaky cornetti on site. There is a long bar and also booths where you can sit down.
The secret to their incredible baked goods: real butter and a natural starter. It really is that simple!
Barberini makes its coffee with a custom roast. Order it in cappuccino form with a cornetto for the perfect Roman breakfast, and be sure to grab some of their other gorgeous pastries to go.
There is a less common Roman breakfast tradition that only a few places still serve.
Maritozzi con la panna are split yeasted rolls filled with freshly whipped and sweetened cream. The name comes from the word marito, meaning husband. Maritozzi, then, means “almost married”—these sweet, cream-filled buns were traditionally presented by young grooms to their brides just before the wedding.
Regoli has been baking pastries for over a hundred years and still carries on this sweet tradition. Enter through the bakery, order your maritozzi (they come in two sizes here) or whatever other pastry you want, then head to the cafe space to sit down. Soon enough, your pastries will appear!
3. Pasticceria Linari
Sisters Simona and Lenora run Pasticceria Linari, which their parents opened in 1971. Decades of commitment to quality, combined with friendly service that makes you feel like part of the family, have made this spot a Testaccio favorite for nearly 50 years.
In modern Rome, it’s not always easy to find places that make pastries on site. Linari is one of the few that still does, so you can rest assured you’re getting the freshest baked goods possible!
4. Cafe Colbert
Breakfast inside a Mannerist-style villa at the top of the Spanish Steps? Yes please!
Cafe Colbert is on the second floor of the Villa Medici, which is the home of the French Academy. Despite its seemingly touristy location, it’s beloved by Italians as well as visitors. Grab a table near a window for a spectacular view of Rome, and don’t miss a peek at the 16th-century walled garden.
The simple yet delicious offerings here combine the best of Italian classics with a touch of international inspiration. With bread from the legendary Roman bakery Roscioli and excellent coffee to boot, it’s no wonder this is home to some of the best breakfast in Rome.
5. Bar La Licata
You can enjoy your breakfast with a view of the Colosseum at this always-busy bar in the Monti neighborhood.
Bar La Licata opens at 5:30 a.m. for early birds, with a vast morning pastry selection. Their cornetto stuffed with pistachio cream is especially worth waking up early for. This friendly, family-run spot even offers a few American-style options on the breakfast menu.
Can’t make it first thing in the morning? La Licata also offers an excellent selection for lunch, and a respectable beer menu as well.
Insider’s Tip: You can even buy tickets for the bus, concerts, and sports events here.
6. Cafe Farnese
Cafe Farnese (Via de’ Baullari, 20) is referred to many Romans as the friendliest bar in Rome (the headline there translates to “The kindest bartender in all of Rome”).
Angelo is always behind the battered metal bar in his blue jacket, ready to take your order with a smile. There is a small selection of cornetti in a warming case on the counter and a few tables outside if you’d like to sit down.