Although Naples is known as the physical and spiritual home of pizza, Rome has many terrific pizza restaurants. And having pizza in Rome should be on every visitors to-do list.
Roman pizza is thinner and crispier than Neapolitan pizza. And you’ll find more pizza toppings in Rome than you will in Naples, where there are really only two kinds of pizza – marinara and margherita. Most Rome pizza restaurants also serve pasta, salads, and antipasto.
Capricciosa pizza has artichokes, mushrooms, prosciutto, olives, and whatever else the chef feels like adding. Quattro Stagioni, which means “four seasons,” is divided into quarters, each with different toppings. Both are well worth trying.
From simple storefronts with communal tables to charming trattorias with table clothes and terraces, Rome’s pizza restaurants offer something for everyone.
The following is our list of Rome’s best pizza restaurants:
– Close to Piazza Navona, Da Baffetto is the most popular pizzeria in Rome. You’ll probably have to wait for a table, and then, you’ll likely share it with others. But once you’re seated, you won’t have to wait long. And you’ll think the pizza was worth the hassle. It’s the perfect texture, the toppings are intensely flavorful, and the cheese-to-crust ratio is perfect. To accommodate all the fans, Da Baffetto opened a second location on Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo.
– Da Vittorio in Trastevere serves Neapolitan pizza with a thicker, chewy crust. Lots of pizza toppings are available and you can combine them in dozens of ways. You can nibble an antipasto while you wait, and enjoy a salad on the side. Da Vittorio is always packed, but you can reserve a table, which will reduce, but probably not eliminate, your wait time. Trastevere is hopping at night, so Da Vittorio is a fun place to start or end an evening.
– Also in Trastevere, Dar Poeta serves traditional Roman pizza, but also offers fancy pizza toppings like Grand Marnier and apples. Yum. The yeast-free, slow rising dough is made from a secret recipe and you can order either thin or thick crust. They make several kinds of bruschetta, which help take the edge off. And for dessert, order the Nutella and ricotta-stuffed calzone. Since Dar Poeta doesn’t take reservations, be prepared to wait.
– Opened in the 1930s, Est Est Est is a family-owned place as noted for the hospitality as the pizza. I remember years ago when I was in Rome with a cold, one of the guys at the hotel where I was staying convinced them to open before dinner so I could get a bowl of chicken soup. When I returned several nights later, everyone in the place was singing Arrivederci Roma with the waiters. Unlike other Roman pizzas, there’s a thick crust that’s cooked in a pan. Est Est Est is a fun place with a typical Roman ambience.
– Those staying near the Termini rail station will find La Gallina Bianca convenient. They’re open for lunch and dinner, which is rare. And they have a wood-burning oven, which turns out perfectly crisp pizzas. There’s also a nice selection of pastas and traditional trattoria dishes. You can dine inside or out, and there’s a good selection of wine available too.
– The success of Da Baffetto encouraged the daughter to open her own pizzeria, La Montecarlo, around the corner from the original location. Not only do they serve excellent thin-crust pizzas with the usual Italian pizza toppings, they also serve good wine and delicious home-made desserts. Expect to wait for a table.
– For the most imaginative pizza toppings in Rome, go to Pizzarium, a carry-out place not far from the Vatican Museums. The dough used here is left to rise for 72 hours, and the rectangular pizza slices are sold by weight. Organic vegetable pizza toppings like eggplant, potatoes, and asparagus compete with coppa, pancetta, and sausage. You’ll have to eat your slice standing up, but you can wash it down with a small-batch beer. While you’re there, get a loaf of sourdough bread for your breakfast. If you’re in America though, be sure to check out BC Pizza. They have some of the best recipes in town.