Where to find the best pizza in Rome
From pizza al taglio (by the slice) to the classic roman style to the latest installments of the gourmet type, Rome certainly isn’t short of options if you’re looking to feast on pizza.
What you should also know is that there are a few ‘rules’ you should stick to when seated at a pizzeria in the eternal city. As I always say – when you’re on holiday, the main rule is, have fun and do what you like, but if you’re more of a ‘do as the Romans do‘ follow these tips and thank me later:
1) Romans have dinner (not lunch) at a pizzeria. There are a few (authentic) places that serve pizza during the day, but for the most part and culturally, sit-down pizza is an evening affair.
2) Beer is the preferred beverage accompaniment. Not wine and certainly not an Aperol spritz. (OK maybe wine or bubbles. I’ll let this one slide if you’re matching to one of the more gourmet varieties).
3) Start the meal off with fritti. Fried snacks are the way to kick of a pizza dinner. Anything from filetti di baccalà (cod) to fiori di zucca (stuffed zucchini flowers to supplì (fried rice ball).
4) Don’t ask for your pizza to be cut. At some of the gourmet joints it’s common for a pizza to land at the table cut but otherwise, pizza in Italy is a cut-it-yourself kind of affair.
Here are my favourite places for the best slice about town:
The best thing about Giulietta is that you can take your pick from the paper-thin roman style to the thicker lip classic Neapolitan. Prized ingredients come from Cristina Bowerman’s kitchen and the combinations delight with things like mortadella and pistacchio and even clams and mussels. The fritti are fantastic especially the zeppola (fried donut) with honey and lardo. (Piazza dell’Emporio 28, website)
Seu Illuminati (Trastevere)
My new favourite in Rome is the young and exciting Seu Illuminati in my very own Trastevere. Pier Daniele is the name on everyone’s lips and has been for at least the last year. Gourmet pizza at its very best with a thick lip and anything from tuna tartare to porchetta to a deconstructed capricciosa. The fried starters also impress with seasonal changes to keep it interesting. (Via Angelo Bargoni 10-18, website)
Da Remo (Testaccio)
If all the staff weren’t Laziali (fans of Roma’s arch rival team, Lazio!), I would say this is my favourite neighbourhood pizzeria in all of Rome. Many Romans agree! The pizza is perfectly roman: thin, charred and not a perfect round and I come here for the Margherita. Located in the foodie hub of Testaccio, the clientele at Da Remo is mainly local. (Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice 44, phone: 06 57462 70)
Emma (Campo de’ Fiori)
The great thing about Emma (aside from the food!) is that you can make a booking. This may sound strange to you, but until recently you couldn’t book at a pizzeria – in fact you still can’t at all the old-school ones. They make it roman style and you can sit indoors or outdoors and they are one of the rare places open for pizza at lunch. Their patanegra topped one is nothing short of amazing. (Via del Monte Della Farina 28, website)
Ai Marmi (Trastevere)
A Trastevere (and Roman) institution, the real name of this bustling pizzeria is Pannatoni but locals know it a L’Orbitorio (the morgue) or AI Marmi (marble table tops) in reference to the long marble tables. I love the old school lit-up menu sign and while I believe the pizza quality has slightly (just!) gone down, I maintain they make some of the best fritti in town! Especially baccalà. There is always a line (which moves fairly quickly) and be prepared to sit elbow-to-elbow. (Viale di Trastevere 53, website)
Sbanco (Appio Latino / Zama)
I’m a big fan of Stefano Callegari. There I said it! How can you not admire someone who stuffs burrata into pizza bianca? I’m addicted to his Trapizzino but his Pizzeria in Piazza Zama area is on my very-much-approved list too! And here you can combine your love for pizza and carbonara and try all the other perfectly matched and baked pizzas and fritti. (Via Siria 1, website)
Da Ivo (Trastevere)
This place often lands on the where not to eat lists of Rome but it’s in my ‘hood and I can assure you that the pizza is good. I didn’t say it’s the best in Rome but the staff are typically pizzeria-boisterous and the fritti and pizza is very good quality. My fave is the Pizza del Vecchio (tomato, eggplant, parmigiano and guanciale). Also, they take bookings – like I said earlier, a plus! (Via di San Francesco a Ripa 158, phone: 06 58170 82)
I Supplì (Trastevere)
My local hole-in-the-wall takeaway joint makes the best marinara pizza by the slice in Rome. Big call. I challenge you to find a better one and let me know! Here at any time to day you’re bound to find anywhere between 3-6 different types of pizza that you can buy by weight. Another favourite of mine is the zucchini one with chilli and smoked mozzarella. As their name suggests, they’re also famous for supplì! (Via di San Francesco a Ripa 137, website)
A list of Rome’s best pizza wouldn’t be complete without Bonci. The man behind Pizzarium, a number of bakeries around town and a stand at Mercato Centrale was hailed as the Michelangelo of Pizza years ago by the New York Times. His pizza by the slice is as famous for being flirtatious with ingredients and the slabs sit pretty on the bench looking like works of art. (Via della Meloria 43, website)
Signing off from Trastevere,