Where to Get the Best Pizza in Rome

If you're visiting Italy, it's likely that 1.) you're visiting Rome, and 2.) you'll be wanting to eat as much pasta, gelato, and of course pizza as possible. But much like gelaterie here in Rome however, not all pizzerie are created equal. Below are some of my tips when it comes to pizza, as well as some of my favorite pizzerie here in the capital. 

A few things to know about eating pizza in Rome:


Forget everything you thought you knew about pizza. If you're from the U.S (and most anywhere else, I imagine) the pizza in Italy will be nothing like the supersize, take-away pizzas you'll find at Dominos. When it comes to the Italian pizza, less is more. The ingredients are fresh, which is not exactly a given when it comes to pizza back home. Sauce is made with fresh tomatoes, and if you're getting a Margherita pizza, there will probably be fresh basil. The cheeses are all "real," not quite like the stretchy, chewy cheese you'll find on you average delivery pizza, and the dough is far lighter and easier to digest than that of the usual American pizza. 

Roman pizza: Roman-style pizza always has a very thin crust. If you're looking for a thicker crust you are better off with Neapolitan-style pizza, which can also be found in certain pizzerie in Rome.

Pizza al taglio: Pizza in Italy is either tonda (round) and cooked in a wood burning oven, or it is pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice,) which is baked in an electric oven. When eating pizza al taglio, remember that the pizza should never be pre-cut. Rather, the person behind the counter should ask you how much you want of each type of pizza, cut a piece of it off for you, then weigh it. The price is determined by the weight of the pizza.

You get your own pizza!: In the U.S and in many other countries, one pizza is ordered to then be divided into 8 or so slices. In Italy, you get your own pizza -- that's right, you get your own, individual pizza, no sharing. While this could seem overwhelming (how can one eat a whole pizza?! you may be wondering) I can assure you that it is actually very easy. As I mentioned above, in Italy the ingredients are fresh, light, and not overdone, and while you may be full by the time you finish your pizza, you won't be stuffed like you would be if eating a whole delivery pizza.

Types of pizza: The toppings on Italian pizzas tend to be rather traditional. You will never find Hawaiian pizza or barbecue chicken pizza in Italy, and you will not find pepperoni pizza either (peperoni in Italian means bell peppers. If you want pepperoni pizza, your best bet is pizza alla diavola, which has spicy salami). If you want cheese pizza, order a Margherita, which has tomato, basil, and mozzarella.

Pizza rossa vs pizza bianca: 
In Italy you will find pizzas on the menu that are made both with sauce (una pizza rossa, meaning a red pizza) or without sauce (una pizza bianca, or a white pizza). Quattro formaggi (four cheese) pizza for example is usually a pizza bianca, while a Margherita pizza will always be a pizza rossa. If you prefer your pizza with sauce, make sure that it is listed under "Pizze rosse" or that pomodoro (tomato) is listed as an ingredient. If you want your pizza without sauce, make sure it is listed under "Pizze bianche" or that pomodoro is not listed as an ingredient. 

Fritti: Pizzas in Rome are often preceded by an appetizer of fritti, like suppli' (fried balls of rice stuffed with cheese,) fried baccala' (cod fish) or fiori di zucca fritti (fried zucchini flowers). Order a few to try while you wait for your pizza. 

Beer, not wine: Pizza in Italy is traditionally enjoyed with beer, not wine, as many tourists I've encountered tend to think. 
  


My Favorite Pizzerie in Rome


Pizzeria Ai Marmi

If you ask a Roman where they go to get pizza, it is very likely that the answer will be Pizzeria Ai Marmi. Located in Trastevere, Marmi is practically a Roman institution that, as you can probably guess, offers classic Roman pizza. The set up here is on the casual side -- diners are seated at long tables (you will almost certainly end up elbow to elbow with strangers while enjoying your pizza) that are covered in paper to make for easy clean up, and the place is always packed. The pizza here is a thin and crispy crust and the topping are always fresh and delicious. The only downside to this pizzeria is that you often have to wait quite a bit for your pizza, but Marmi has particularly good fritti, so order a few suppli' to enjoy while you wait.
Address: Viale Trastevere 53 
Hours: 6:30pm-2:30am on MondayThursdayFriday, weekend. 6:30pm-midnight on Tuesday. Closed Wednesdays
Phone number: 065800919


Pizzeria da Remo 

Located in Testaccio, once the working class neighborhood of Rome, Remo is another great option if you're looking for classic Roman pizza. The pizza crust here is the thinnest I've ever had, which means it is only capable of supporting a few ingredients. The simpler pizzas here are thus the best ones and easier to eat (the Margherita con bufala, below, is fantastic). The menu at Da Remo consists of a list of the different types of pizzas and appetizers, and you simply check off which ones you want before handing it back to your waiter. You can start your meal with a variety of the above mentioned fritti, or if you want to try something a bit different, a plate of beans, a very traditionally Roman starter. Like most great pizzerie, the line here can be quite long (unless you arrive right at 7:30) but the pizzas arrive quickly, so it all balances out. Note that when the weather is nice there is outdoor seating at Da Remo as well.  Bonus: If you have room for the dessert, the sorbetto al limone (lemon sorbet) is really good here.
Address: Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice 44 
Hours: 7pm-midnight, Monday-Saturday.ed Sunday.
Phone number: 065746270
Do-it-yourself menu at Pizzeria Da Remo
Margherita con bufala pizza at Da Remo

La Pratolina

Located a short walk from the Vatican, La Pratolina is a safe bet if you're looking for delicious, good quality food in what can be a tourist-y area. You'll notice that the pizza here is referred to as pinse, which comes from the "tpinsa" or "tpansa," the past participle of the Latin verb "pinsere," which can be translated as "to pound," "to mash," or "to press," referring to the way that the pizza dough was prepared. These pinse are not your average Roman pizzas; the shape is different than your usual round pizza (they are more oval, as you can see from the photo below) and the crust is on the thicker side, more similar to a Neapolitan pizza, and super fluffy, making it seem light despite the thickness. I usually stick with the classics here -- the Margherita pizza is to die for. Remember to reserve your table -- I usually find that if I call to make a reservation the day before the restaurant is already booked, so call two days in advance to be on the safe side. Bonus: the staff here brings you a glass of complementary prosecco to enjoy while you take a look at the menu. 
Address: Via degli Scipioni 248 (Prati)
Hours: 7:30pm-1:00am
Phone number: 0636004409

Pinsa (pizza) at Pratolina


Pizzarium

Unlike the other pizzerie on this list, Pizzarium sells pizza al taglio (see my note above). Pizzarium is run and owned by Gabriele Bonci, the reigning king of pizza in Rome, who refers to his pizzas as "inventions." Indeed, Pizzarium specializes in creative pizza toppings (consider it the Fatamorgana of the pizza world) that change daily -- the day's offerings are decided every morning by Bonci himself along with his team. While you can find Margherita pizza or more standard toppings here, you're more likely to find unusual combinations. For example: pizza with zucchini, ricotta, and pink pepper; pizza with pumpkin cream, pancetta, and smoked provolone; pizza with gorgonzola and grapes; or pizza with broccoli, sausage, and caciocavallo cheese. I've even seen pizza with roast pigeon and pizza with tripe on the menu. The crust of Pizzarium pizza is also special, made with different varieties of organic flour, soft and fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. In addition to fantastic pizza, Pizzarium also offers delicious and creative supplithat change daily -- some of my favorites have been suppli' with gorgonzola and figs, or suppli' with pumpkin and parmesan. 

Do note that there is no seating inside Pizzarium -- you can either take your pizza to go, or try and grab one of the benches or stand around one of the small tables outside. Be prepared as well to spend a bit more than you normally would for pizza by the slice -- Pizzarium can be a bit on the pricey side, but is well worth it.  Bonus: Pizzarium is located a 20 minute or so walk from the Vatican, and is right near the Metro Cipro, so it is extremely easy to get to (this means that it is also, like Lattoteca Elvirinalocated only a few minutes from my apartment...dinner at Pizzarium and dessert at Lattoteca Elvirina, anyone?)
Address: Via della Meloria 43 (Prati)
Hours: 11am-10pm
Phone number: 0639745416

Pizzarium! 
Pizza al taglio at Pizzarium
Pumpkin and parmesan suppli' from Pizzarium 


Dar Poeta

If I had to choose my last meal on earth, a Bufala pizza -- pizza with cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella di bufala --from Dar Poeta would be a very strong contender. This is hands down the best pizza that I have ever tried, in Rome or anywhere. Located in Trastevere (arguably the most picturesque neighborhood in all of Rome,) Dar Poeta's pizza does not have the classic Roman thin crust. Rather, it is a cross between the Roman and Neapolitan styles, medium in thickness, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. In addition to the Bufala pizza, I also recommend the Parmigiana pizza (mozzarella and eggplant,) as well as the Lingua di fuoco pizza (mozzarella with spicy salami). Note that you won't find the usual fritti on the menu here for antipasto (see note above) but Dar Poeta does offer a fantastic assortment of bruschette.  The only downside to this place is that it is almost always packed, so if you want to avoid waiting in line it is best to arrive around 12:00 for lunch or 19:30 for dinner -- keep in mind that they usually do not seat you until everyone in your group has arrived. Bonus: Dar Poeta offers Nutella and ricotta calzones for dessert. Enough said.
Address: Vicolo del Bologna 45 (Trastevere)
Hours: 12:00-midnight
Phone number: 065880516

Bufala pizza at Dar Poeta

Parmigiana pizza at Dar Poeta
Ricotta and Nutella calzone at Dar Poeta
More Ricotta and Nutella calzone...
Gnam.

Other pizzerie that guarantee delicious pizza:

Da Francesco, Piazza del Fico 29 (not far from Piazza Navona)
I Fratelli, Via degli Umbri 14 (San Lorenzo)
Il Leoncino, Via del Leoncino 28 (not far from Piazza di Spagna)
Li Rioni, Via dei SS Quattro 24
Sforno, Via Statilio Ottato 110-116 






1 comment :

  1. Omgosh!!!!! I love this list!!!!!!! Those pointers on authentic Roman pizza are priceless!!! I can't wait to be back in Rome and go to ALLLLL of these places!!!

    ReplyDelete