After I checked in at the Roma Boutique Hotel, I had a few hours before my room was available since I arrived Rome very early in the morning. Roomie was still arriving later in the evening, and I was famished from the long flight. I walked around for a caffe that would be open near the area.

Caffe San Marco aka Giansy S.r.l.

I was expecting a traditional Italian coffee shop with lots of stuffy decor and classic espresso-bar appeal. Boy, was I wrong.

Caffe San Marco, or street name Giansy, is an extension of the Pizzeria San Marco in Via Sardegna about 2 blocks from Roma Boutique Hotel. From the outside, it looks like a dim restaurant, but inside it is modern, artisanal and very up to the times. The walls are graffiti’d with colored chalkboard writings. The extensive wine wall tells me that, after sunset, this coffee shop doubles as a wine bar.

The Wine, este, Coffee Bar, is exposed and invited diners to watch the baristas do their magic. During the day, it serves espressos and tea for breakfast, at night it becomes a wine bar and birreria for those who prefer to unwind with some vino.

The coffee bar is a showcase of delectable pastries and finger sandwiches to go with your drink of choice.

Italians on the go do not do the to-go cup. Instead, they stand at the bar and sip their espresso while making small talk with the bartender.

My breakfast snack

Cioccolato brioche

The cup is a beautiful rich cup of espresso with warm milk foam. Ahh, one sip and I knew I was in Rome.

It felt like a joint I would have loved to come to after a good meal for drinks or for some apertivo in the afternoon. I wasn’t expecting a chic and graphic stop for my first meal in Italy, but then again, when in Rome… just enjoy where your appetite takes you.

Discover Caffe San Marco