Freni e Frizioni is a great excuse to take a wander around Trastevere – as if you needed an excuse. Once a mechanics shop, this upmarket eatery has come a long way from oil stains and greasy rags, transforming into a modern space with contemporary art and classy furniture. The (mostly vegetarian) food is good, but the main draw here is the delicious cocktails. Come during the aperitivo time from 7 PM to 10 PM for access to a free buffet of nibbles with your freshly made cocktail. Seating is on a lovely, atmospheric patio or in the small and busy interior of Freni e Frizioni Rome. Or if there’s a wait, take your cocktail perched on the low wall outside with the locals.
It’s nothing fancy, but it does decent food at a fair price in the historic center – a Godsend if you’re traveling with kids and an excellent place to try the traditional Roman cuisine.