Piazza Sant'Eustachio, 82
in Piazza Navona & the Pantheon
Keywords: Café, Bakeries See all and suggest more
First reviewed by Tablet
Maybe it's the water, reputedly from a Roman-era aqueduct, or simply the Ricci brothers' skills — one way or another the Caffè Sant'Eustachio inspires near-religious devotion among espresso lovers.
Possibly the best coffee in Rome ... or Italy - according to a Milanese friend of mine. Try "il Gran Caffe". My personal favorite is the "moretto" - now you're going to think that I am not a caffe connoisseur and you'll be right ... but I am a snob, I drink coffee only in Italy!The way they get the foam (spuma) to be so creamy is apparently a well kept secret. Since I first went there a few years ago, their fame has got them to do a little merchandising and branding, but the place still looks traditional and unpretentious.
While wandering about Rome, I came to Sant Eustachio, proudly displaying several reprints of a NY Times review extolling it as the best in Rome. So, I stopped to try an espresso. The espresso that came was very sugary - truly horrible for me since I never use sugar. When I went to complain I was first told me I had ordered it with sugar. I told them that was impossible. I was then told me that it was normal for them to add sugar. I argued that this was unlike any other place I had ever been to in Europe. I have traveled all over Europe and NEVER had it served standard with sugar. He became belligerent, jabbed me in the chest and threatened me if I tried to make trouble.I told the owner at my hotel the story and he called them. Their response basically was that sugared espresso was their standard, and as for the treatment they gave me they were not at all apologetic: they were so popular that they really didn't care. My hotel owner was very apologetic at the way I was treated, saying this is not the sort of behavior that was good for tourism.No matter how good their espresso, and I found many throughout Italy that were wonderful, a place that serves with such arrogance should not be recommended.