Coffee in Rome is definitely a thing. Coffee is of the lifeblood running through this beautiful boot of a country. Or is that too dramatic? I think not, says the coffee addict! When you visit Rome be sure to get your coffee fix. Try lots of different cafes. Have it sitting down at a cafe, and standing up at a bar like most locals do. Celebrate the coffee when in Rome! While you’re coffee-tasting your way around the eternal city, be sure to pop into the charming Barnum Cafe. This place rocks.
Discovering Barnum Cafe.
In 2014 I visited Rome for the first time with family from South Africa. Off my mom, gran, sister and I went for an adventure of a lifetime. Rome was our first stop, and my sister had found a fabulous place on Airbnb right by the Campo de’ Fiori market. Rome was as pretty as I’d imagined it. Utterly charming.
The cute little Italian Airbnb apartment was down a street called Via dei Cappellari, meaning ‘the street of the hat-makers’. Many of the streets in this area are named after artisans who had shops on them. Lovely histories all over Rome. This is still my favourite street in Rome – a quiet piece of heaven right in the heart of it all.
Anyway, while staying at this Airbnb on this street for a few nights, we stumbled upon Barnum Cafe. It was my mom, sister and I, and we’re all coffee lovers. Oh yes, this looked like the place for us.
Relaxed, a little groovy, friendly, mismatched vintage seating, good music, creative edge, great coffee, pastries. Done. This was our cafe for the time in Rome.
So that’s how I met Barnum Cafe in 2015.
A couple of years later, now living in Rome, it is still my absolute favourite cafe in Rome. Especially for an extended stay, with multiple coffees and writing or working on the good ol’ laptop.
So if you’re visiting Rome and enjoy visiting cafes, check Barnum out.
Why Barnum is worth a Visit:
There are plenty of reasons to visit Barnum Cafe.
It’s a great neighbourhood – Un bel quartiere!
E un bel quartiere! means It’s a beautiful neighbourhood!
This neighbourhood is ridiculously charming, and in central Rome.
There is something about the area around the Campo de Fiori market, which is partly the Regola District. It’s got such a lovely charm about it, particularly the little side streets that run off the Campo de’ Fiori market. These little side streets are utterly gorgeous. One of them is the above-mentioned Via dei Cappellari. Another one of these gorgeous little streets is Via del Pellegrino (the street of the pilgrims). And that’s where you’ll find Barnum Cafe.
You’re sure to enjoy your coffee.
The coffee at Barnum is yummy and made with care.
Love the coffee cup selection. Even the tables are cool.
A home away from home.
The atmosphere at Barnum is super chilled. That’s the best way to describe it.
A little mismatched, kinda quirky, colourful and easy-going. It’s a feel-good place, with a warmth that’s comforting when you’re in a foreign country and out of your comfort zone.
Oh, how I love friendly faces when I go to a cafe. And I’ve seen the same faces behind the Barnum counter for years!
I love visiting cafes – drinking multiple coffees over a couple hours, writing in my journal (especially morning pages), and people watching. Barnum is pretty friendly and chilled – where you can sit for an extended period of time without feeling obliged to order the entire menu. They leave you to do your thing.
Barnum has wifi which is super useful when travelling if you don’t have data. They usually have the password written on a tiny chalkboard on the counter. Otherwise just ask them for it.
It’s a great spot to stop for a coffee break after missioning around Rome all day. Take a chill pill in between you busy itinerary exploring Rome. Have a coffee and perhaps a slice of the cake of the day. Sit back, relax, and recharge yourself and your phone (there are some plus points). Use the wifi to look up your next stop, or catch up on some messages. Or simply just people watch.
A little time-out from the go-go-go itinerary 🙂
Great any time of the day.
Pop into Barnum for an espresso standing at the bar (like most locals do). You could even take a cornetto (Italian breakfast pastry, an Italian version of a croissant) with you after your coffee and eat while you stroll through the pretty neighbourhood.
You could go for breakfast. They have sweet or savoury breakfast options. And the pastries are tasty and fresh.
You could go for lunch. Although I see Barnum as more of a breakfast or coffee stop, it does have yummy food for lunch. I’ve had a tasty Parmigiana di Melanzane here before – Check it out below. I even deep-etched the background out just to focus your eyes on this tasty dish of food – It’s basically “Eggplant Parmesan”, an Italian dish made with layers of sliced eggplant (also called aubergine), cheese and tomato sauce, then baked. This was Barnum’s version, and it was yum!
So even though I personally visit for breakfast and coffee, it’s a great lunch spot too.
You could even pop in here for evening cocktails. Yip, Barnum also serves very tasty cocktails. A nice change from morning coffee, and yet another excuse to visit this cafe again 🙂
Happy coffee-drinking travellers!
I hope this post has inspired you to pop into Barnum while in Rome. Especially if you’re going to visit the Campo de’ Fiori outdoor market, this is a super convenient spot to get your caffeine fix. Happy exploring!
Ciao for now xx