While Rome may not be as famous for pizza as Naples, there is still an abundance of amazing pizzerias to get your fix during your visit to the Eternal City. Firstly, there is the classic Romana pizza, with its thin and crispy crust. There’s the more well-known Neapolitan style pizza which has a soft, fluffy, and chewy crust and soft, sloppy centre. In this blog post, I highlight the best pizzerias in Rome, serving pizza tonda (classic round pizzas in sit-down restaurants). Some of these are very traditional, whereas others are contemporary, offering experimental flavour combinations. Buon appetito!
This lively, local pizzeria specialises in thin and crispy pizza Romana. You can find all the classics like margherita and capricciosa, along with some seasonal dishes you will only find in Rome. One of my favourites is a margherita topped with puntarelle alla Romana; a traditional Roman dish of chicory shoots, garlic, anchovies, and vinegar. Sadly, it is only available when in season (typically November to April). Pizzeria Ostiense also makes some delicious fritti (fried food) to start with, including filetti di baccalà (deep fried salt cod) and fiore di zucca (deep fried zucchini flowers).
Price range: €5.50 to 10 a pizza.
Sbanco is a modern pizzeria from chef Stefano Callegari (the man behind the best street food in Rome; Trappazino) so you know it’s going to be good. The pizzas served here are visually like Neapolitan pizzas, but also have a good crunch to them. As with many modern pizzerias, more unusual flavour combinations are available in addition to the tried and tested classics. This includes their well-known cacio e pepe pizza, which arrives pre-sliced and comes with a pepper mill in the centre so you can add as much as you want. Due to its delicious saltiness and richness, it might be a bit much for one person, but is great for sharing with friends.
What’s more, Sbanco offers an excellent selection of craft beers on tap, and the suppli (deep-fried rice balls) are a must – especially the prosciutto and fig one.
Price range: €6.50 to 13 a pizza
Pizzeria Remo is another bustling and popular pizzeria serving inexpensive pizza Romana, and is located just off of Piazza Testaccio, one of the best piazzas for people-watching and enjoying a post-dinner gelato. This Testaccio institution has been around for years, serving delicious pizza rossa and pizza bianco to locals and tourists alike. It can get a bit cramped inside, but it has a good sized al fresco dining area so you can enjoy your pizza and vino outside on a pleasant Rome evening. Expect a queue.
Price range: €6 to 10 a pizza.
Opening in early 2018, Seu Pizza Illuminati is a relative newcomer to the Rome pizza scene, but has already achieved a spot in the top 10 pizzerias in Italy. Located in Trastevere, Seu illuminati is known for its fun and creative toppings. For example, when I went the menu included a pizza with prosciutto, melon carpaccio, and melon gel on it. However, these wacky combinations aren’t just there as a gimmick. Should the more experimental toppings not take your fancy, there are plenty of more traditional pizzas available.
When your pizza arrives at your table you may think that the dough looks heavy and dense, but due to the two-day fermentation period, the crust is beautifully light, airy, and chewy. This luckily means you will have room for one of the tasty homemade desserts on offer. It also has a good selection of craft beers on tap and a carefully selected wine list.
Price range: €8 to 16 a pizza.
L’Osteria di Birra del Borgo is not specifically a pizzeria, but rather a gastropub from an excellent local brewer that also serves fantastic pizzas. Just like Seu Illuminati, the pizza tonda here are more on the untraditional side, with creative toppings such as tuna carpaccio, fermented onions and mint, or pizza with zucchini done 3 ways (crema di zucchini, marinated zucchini, and zucchini alla scapece) topped with grated cocoa bean.
The dough itself is beautifully charred, airy, chewy, and digestible, and perfectly complements the many tasty beers on tap. Or if you are feeling experimental, try one of the beer-based cocktails. The dining area is very sleek, and there are some tables located by the pizza making station so you can watch the pizzaioli work their magic.
Price range: €8 to 18 a pizza.
This rustic pizzeria in the Monteverde neighbourhood has an old school, whimsical vibe to it, with wooden furniture and checked tablecloths. In keeping with the name, it is also decorated with dozens of framed pictures and paintings of cats. Even the menu has cats on it! As a lover of all things feline, this is perfectly fine with me. As for the pizza, this place has earned its reputation as one of the best pizzerias in Rome. They are light and fluffy, with top quality ingredients on top. While this restaurant isn’t as experimental as others mentioned, there are plenty of excellent pizzas to choose from – especially the margherita. Unfortunately, the beer list is relatively limited, but what’s available does the job.
Price range: €8 to 13 a pizza.
Emma is a great choice for those staying in or exploring the historic centre. Emma serves crispy “up market” Roman style pizzas. They are more expensive than other pizzerias due to the exceptionally high-quality ingredients – the origins of which are displayed on the menu. As well as traditional pizzas, Emma also has a “special pizzas” section which have toppings such as chorizo, aged pata negro jamon, and scallops.
Price range: €8 to 20 a pizza
I hope this list has given you some ideas about where to find fantastic pizza in Rome. The list is not exhaustive as new pizzerias open in Rome very often. During my next visit, I want to visit 180grammi Pizzeria Romana and Antica Friggitoria La Masardona Roma, as well as revisiting many of the eateries mentioned above. If I haven’t mentioned one of your favourites, please share it in the comments.
Ciao for now
The Curious Sparrow