There are the places you go back again and again because of nostalgia, and there are those that you go to because they really are that good. Luckily, Bar del Fico is both of those things to me.
Bar del Fico can be found about a two-minute walk from the center of Piazza Navona, but it has managed to attract and maintain a surprisingly local crowd given its proximity to a major tourist magnet.
It is one of those perfect Roman bars because it is great by day and by night.
When the sun is out, old men sit in the piazza in front of the bar playing games of chess. You can find them right under that fig tree below – which is fico in Italian.
The bar itself is well decorated and has Wi-Fi that (usually) works, so it draws a young crowd with laptops as well.
After the sun goes down? This is where you come to meet up with friends for a drink at the outdoor tables. The ownership at Bar del Fico changed at some point around 2016 and the free-for-all crowd which used to spill into the tiny piazza in front of the doors has been reined in a bit. Despite this, the bar is still a pretty essential stop on any Rome Cocktail Tour.
Like many Rome bars, you simply need to succeed in actually getting a drink in hand.
Be sure to pay at the cash register first, then take your receipt up to the bar where you can collect your mixed drink, beer or wine.
Bar del Fico’s cocktail list has gotten a bit of an upgrade recently. This is where to come for a classic Negroni, but you can also try some of the mescal-based drinks for a change from the usual Roman fare.
Even with the small changes over the years, Bar del Fico is still one of my favorite places to go out in Rome. I am not big on nightclubs, and this bar strikes just the right balance between lively and chill.
If you come around 7 pm, you can also try the simple aperitivo buffet which is included in the price of your drink.
Don’t plan to make a dinner out of it because it pretty much consists of pizza bianca and mortadella.
I’m a fan of both those things, but this is a fairly underwhelming spread for Rome apertivo spreads.
The bar is best on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, though it is popular every night of the week during summer thanks to its central location and outdoor area.
Bar del Fico
Piazza del Fico, 34/35
Rome, Italy (Centro Storico)
+39 06 6889 1373
Open 7:30 am to 2 am every day
Note: The same owners have a restaurant which is also called Bar del Fico. It is large and sometimes full but the bar is better.