Whoever said the best pizza can only be found in Naples was certainly mistaken. Contrary to common belief, some of Italy’s most delicious pizza can be found in Rome. And with gourmet outlets like Seu Pizza Illuminati, it’s never been a more exciting time to sample some of the best in the Eternal City.
Roman pizza is the paper-thin and crispy crust variety, and while it is the norm here, innovative flavor combinations are popping up everywhere. You can also find the classic Neapolitan style if that’s what you like (but as we say, “when in Rome…”).
If it’s a sit-down pizzeria meal you’re craving, do as the Romans do and start off by ordering fritti. These are fried treats and generally include suppli (rice ball), potato croquettes, stuffed zucchini flowers and salt cod fish (baccala). In Rome, it’s customary to accompany your pizza with beer, and more and more pizzerias are including craft beers on their menus.
For a modern setting and where the pizza rarely disappoints, Emma is right in the historical heart of the city. If it’s a truly authentic Roman pizza experience you’re in the market for, head to Ai Marmi (Pannatoni) in Trastevere – you will most likely have to wait for a table and then sit elbow to elbow with other diners, but it’s worth it. For the best pizza margherita in town, go to Da Remo in Testaccio and for a little different lunchtime snack, try Il Pinsere.
Rome’s favorite street food pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) is more and more popular, and for slices that won’t disappoint, head to Bonci’s Pizzarium or I Suppli in Trastevere. Here, they bake their pizzas in old-style thin trays and their marinara is one of the best in town.
Whatever your taste or budget, Rome has got all pizza lovers covered.
La Gatta Mangiona is located in the Monteverde neighborhood, completely away from the historical center and tourist area but close enough and easy to reach. Most of the clientele are locals here and you will truly feel you’ve ticked ‘authentic local experience’ off your Rome to-do list. The fritti, including the fried zucchini flowers and potato croquettes, are delicious and the daily specials for pizza change daily with inventive and seasonal combinations. Desserts are all homemade and the panna cotta with fresh strawberries is divine.
Recommended for Pizza because: Away from all the tourists, you’ll feel like a local eating your pizza at La Gatta Mangiona.
Maria’s expert tip: If you decide you’re ordering to share, let your wait staff know. They always kindly cut and portion your pizza accordingly.
Il Pinsere is a hole-in-the-wall pizza shop located a short distance from Termini station and Piazza della Repubblica. Frequented by locals and people who work in the area, the lunchtime rush is madness but a lot of fun. Unlike most pizza al taglio places in Rome, here you order by the pizza, but they’re rounder and smaller than your regular pizza. Featuring toppings like zucchini flowers, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted vegetables, buffalo mozzarella, pork sausage and pancetta, you won’t be at all disappointed or hungry afterwards. There is a small bench area outside, but the food is really made for stand-up eating or takeaway.
Recommended for Pizza because: Il Pinsere is a fantastic lunch option for that extra special pizza when you’re on the run.
Maria’s expert tip: If you can, get there by 12 midday before the lunchtime rush, which is madness.
Gabrielle Bonci has been dubbed the “Michelangelo of pizza making” and he deserves every accolade. Baker-turned-pizza magician, he’s famed for his experimental toppings (he is said to use 1,500 ingredients per year ranging from melon to licorice) and championing slow-rise dough. This tiny spot features his daily changing pizza by-the-slice creations with their subversively fluffy dough and fresh seasonal toppings. Bonci’s bread is made with the same flour and yeast as his pizza and this is available for purchase, too. There’s craft beer as well, to provide the perfect pairing to the most perfect pizza slice.
Recommended for Pizza because: Pizzarium is one of the best pizza al taglio shops in the city.
Maria’s expert tip: Sold by weight, the prices can mount up if you’re not careful. Tell the server your budget and they’ll work with you.
Surrounded by dozens of tourist trap restaurants in Trastevere, Da Ivo remains a bustling neighborhood pizzeria, authentic in both its service and menu. Like many of the Rome old guard pizza joints, you can stand at the counter and watch the pizza makers fire your pizza together with the hundreds they keep turning over throughout the night. Roman-style, thin crust pizza is on the menu here as well as the basics of cucina romana (everything from artichoke and fried starters to carbonara and main courses, saltimbocca alla romana). Expect service to be a little slow but your pizza to be on point.
Recommended for Pizza because: Da Ivo is the perfect option for pizza and pasta lovers and is a real Roman neighborhood experience.
Maria’s expert tip: Try the Gricia pizza â” oozing with pecorino cheese and guanciale (pork cheek).
Located in the heart of the working class district of Testaccio, Remo’s pizza is pretty hard to top. This pizza place is most famous for its paper-thin (literally) pizza. Menus don’t exactly exist here, so be prepared to have in mind what kind of toppings you’ll pick out for your pizza. A waiter will come around with a scorecard of sorts where you will check off the ingredients for your pizza pie and other items to go along with your dinner order. Outdoor tables available, but expect to wait in line for a bit if you arrive late.
Recommended for Pizza because: Testaccio is the beating food heart of Rome and with its quality Roman-style pizza, Da Remo remains an institution.
Nicole’s expert tip: Keep it simple. The pizza margherita here is epic.
This popular pizzeria located in the cuore of Trastevere is one of the best when it comes to serving up that perfect Roman pizza: light, thin and crispy crust. It’s extremely sought after not only by tourists but by locals themselves. For years, Romans have been calling this pizza joint “l’obitorio” (the morgue) and “ai marmi” because of its characteristic long marble table tops. Aside from the pizza being so good, locals also come here to devour their famous supplì and fritti as appetizers. Their pizza is certainly not the cheapest by any means, but is absolutely reliable and consistent. Rest assured, you will always eat well here every single time.
Recommended for Pizza because: Panattoni (known to Romans as Ai Marmi) is one of the liveliest pizzeria in all of Rome and the pizza is amazing.
Nicole’s expert tip: While you wait for your pizza, make sure to order their famous fiori di zucca (anchovy and mozzarella stuffed zucchini flowers) and olive ascolane (fried olives stuffed with meat).
Unlike real Roman pizzerias, Emma is open during the day; every day and every night for that matter. With an array of prized and gourmet ingredients on the menu, all expertly selected by the passionate owners, the venue has fast become a favorite for locals and foreigners alike. In a large and modern dining space, smack in the city center (just a few minutes walk from Campo de Fiori), Emma is also a trattoria with all your Roman classics on the menu. All your regular pizzas make the list too, but with a few gourmet add-ons (including bases with wholemeal and organic grains) and the wine list is extensive. Great for small or large groups, the food, wine and service rarely disappoint.
Recommended for Pizza because: Emma is open at lunch and dinner and bookings can be made which is rare for pizzerias in Rome.
Maria’s expert tip: Ask for an outdoor table in the warmer months and try the pata negra pizza at least once and thank us later.
Trapizzino is the home to the ‘trapizzino’. Created by award winning Roman pizzamaker Stefano Calegari it is a cross between a sandwich and a pizza – a pizza pocket if you like. Located also in Testaccio, the Ponte Milvio branch is the latest installment to the brand. These delicious pizza pockets are filled with all sorts of goodness from quinto quarto (the roman slang for offal), to chicken cacciatore and traditional meat balls in a rich tomato sauce. Rome’s favorite street-food – the suppli (a rice ball fried to golden perfection) are also on the menu. (Testaccio) METRO: Piramide, BUS: 23, 3, 75, 44. (Trastevere) TRAM: 3, 8, BUS: 23, 3, 75.
Recommended for Pizza because: An innovative take on pizza and roman cuisine rolled into one.
Maria’s expert tip: Be sure to try the suppli – the ever changing combinations keep you on your toes!
This hole-in-the-wall take-out joint is a Trastevere institution. Suppl? were the poor man’s dish created to recycle old risotto rice, and it’s amazingly delicious. While many other places sell bland fried balls in the name of suppli, these are the real thing. Join the queue and don’t expect to linger long in indecision. Their pizza al taglio is cooked the old way, is delicious and is crispy thin. The mushroom is great, but the pizza marinara (fresh tomato and garlic) is the real standout. They also serve up different pasta dishes each day including the traditional gnocchi with tomato sauce on a Thursday.
Recommended for Pizza because: I Suppli always has a line out the door which means one thing: the food is fantastic.
Maria’s expert tip: While the pizza is amazing, if you’re in Rome on a Thursday, head here for gnocchi. Served with classic tomato sauce, you better get in early for lunch so you don’t miss out!
Everyone in Rome is talking about Pier Daniele Seu – Rome’s pizza maker of the minute. His pizza, dough and leavening education started with Gabriele Bonci (touted by foreign press as Rome’s ‘Michelangelo of pizza’) but he has carved his own way. His is a gourmet pizza and he plays with the format too â” pizzas cut in corners and a degustation style whereby one pizza at a time comes out to the table so diners get to share. All the classics are on the menu (margherita, marinara, etc.) but Seu flirts with ingredients and you’ll find anything from a deconstructed capricciosa pizza to one with tuna tartare and burrata. A variety of seasonal and prized ingredients like chicory, yellow tomatoes, walnuts and cocoa powder all make appearances on the extensive list of his signature creations â” on a pizza base that has a thicker crust than the traditional Roman style. The fritti (fried treats) are divine, especially the suppli stuffed with a silky carbonara filling. Vegan and vegetarian options, desserts, craft beer and local wines are on the menu too.
Recommended for Pizza because: Pier Daniele Seu is currently being touted one of Italy’s best young pizza makers and doesn’t disappoint.
Maria’s expert tip: Challenge Italian pizza tradition and go with the tasting format where pizzas come to the table one at a time.