The culture of aperitivo in Italy is rooted in tradition and is one of my favorite aspects of life here. It's the idea of "preparing" your stomach for dinner with a pre-dinner drink and light snacks. Usually. It's really taken on a life of its own in Rome, however, and you can find aperitivo's with more food than light snacks. Aperitivo can be a substitute for dinner or a light drink before something heavier. Either way, it's a fantastic way to spend time with friends, at cool locations in the city. And depending on the spot, you can get a beer, glass of wine (maybe a prosecco) and always the famous Italian aperitivo drink, the spritz. I like mine light on the aperol, with plenty of fruit garnishes.
I do plan on writing up a more comprehensive guide to aperitvo's in Rome, but for today, I'm giving an overview of a famous aperitivo location in Rome, Momart Cafè. This restaurant/bar is well established among locals and is known for its unlimited and abundant buffet and beautifully-made cocktails. This is not your typical potato chips and nuts situation: Momart has an entire room full of food platters, with a separate dessert station and pizza oven that cranks out pizza for the masses. It's always full, there's always a line and you always leave feeling stuffed. Momart Cafe is one of the best aperitivo spots in Rome for the quantity/variety of foods and creative cocktail choices.
From 6:00 to 10:30, you can try out the aperitivo at this restaurant, starting at €10 for a drink and unlimited food. Getting "apericena" or aperitivo/dinner is a great option to save money and find food around the city at earlier dining hours. Aperitivo starts around 5 or 6 in the afternoon in Italy, while dinner won't be served until 7 or 8.
Momart has a beautiful terrace, which is heated in the winter and is all outdoors, surrounding by plants. There's also plenty of seating indoors, where you can watch the feast as it happens.
The main room has a large table with pasta dishes, salads, sides, meats and cheese and a separate pizza oven with slices of different pizzas. The dessert booth changes frequently but when I was there, I tried a deconstructed tiramisu, with different flavored-creams.
If you're in the city, you need to try this to experience one of the best aperitivo in Rome. It's a great way to see another side to the Italian culture of large lunches and late dinners. Aperitivo is where Romans meet up to chat after work and just appreciate the "vita bella" that they live.
Monday-Sunday 12:00 pm-2:00 am
Viale Ventuno Aprile, 19, 00162