On The Rox, Rome
I came here a lot once I had been introduced to it by a local. It has a great ambience, with nice outside tables and sofas. I liked the sofas.
It has a bouncer. When I went there it had a German bouncer who was really on the ball and was also great to chat to. I had had my bag snatched at an Irish pub - which had no bouncer -so I appreciated the security. I have been told American students come here because of the bouncer.
Happy hour is late. Rome is a city that wakes up late. It was something like 8pm-9pm. Locals start to arrive about 10pm.
They often had no food, but once they were experimenting with aperativo nibbles.
There is a disco downstairs on Friday nights but that also starts late. I seem to remember it starts at midnight.
It is in a quiet side street off the main drag in Testaccio - and if you are there about 10pm you will see the Roman cab horses heading eagerly to their stables just around the corner.
They have a great range of cocktails - I was slowly working my way through their menu - but I didn't make it so will have to go back.
I liked all the staff that I met. I asked one girl for an ashtray - a portecenere - and she made an extravagant gesture to the whole world and said - "Tutti portecenere!" Most amusing.
A very pleasant, laid back sort of place.
Dress Code: Seemed cool about the dress code.
This pub, owned by two funny Danish brothers and managed by people of all sorts of nationality, is one of the brightest stars of the Testaccio nightlife.
Never too quiet, and never too crowded (except for a few Saturdays), it retains a laid-back atmosphere that makes it very easy to meet new people. It also has a good mix of Italians and foreigners, and a bunch of regulars that you'll find almost every night in there.
In the summer it has a very pleasant terrace, where you can get served at the table for an extra fee.
The quick and polite barmen will prepare you cocktails of all sorts from the almost endless list of hard booze. They also have a few decent wine bottles and four beers by the draught, including the excellent Peroni Gran Riserva, an Italian double malt lager.
They can also make you hot dogs or sandwiches, though some of Rome's best restaurants (including the adjacent Da Pecorino - see my tip) are only metres away.
Overall, a very nice place. The only bad mark goes to the toilets, which regularly lack soap and leave a lot to be desired as per cleanliness.
Dress Code: Take it easy.