I love Italian food and I could eat it anywhere in the world. I love spaghetti, gnocchi, and, of course, tiramisu. But, when in Rome, it’s important to do as the Romans do, and that means eating pizza. Yes, in Rome, you can eat any kind of Italian food you like, and much of it is amazing. But there’s something about the simplicity of pizza, the classic Italian street food, that makes it perfect for the busy city of Rome.
You can eat it in fancy restaurants, by the slice from delis, in cafes and bars, and from street vendors. You can eat it everywhere you go in Rome, but the Trastevere area of the city is especially good for pizza. This is where you’ll find the most and the best pizzerias in Rome. To get you started on where to head to first, in no particular order, here are my 6 favorite places to eat pizza in Rome.
1. Ivo A Trastevere
When this pizza restaurant began its life in Rome, it was much smaller than it is today. In the 1960s, Ivo a Trastevere, owned and run by Ivo, began in one room with one oven. Ivo and his wife, Romana, originally made desserts, which people loved, but with more customers, the more Ivo imagined a bigger business.
He began making pizzas, expanded to four rooms, and the pizzeria you see today was born. It’s busy in the evenings, something that shows in the way the chefs and waiters shout to each other and bustle about the tightly packed tables and chairs. If you like a quiet restaurant, this one isn’t for you. But if you love pizza and you don’t mind a chaotic atmosphere, this is a great place to eat in Rome. A lot of locals eat here, a testament to how good the food is.
What To Order At Ivo A Trastevere
The pizza menu is long and it’s split into red pizzas and white pizzas, which is simply a pizza with a tomato base or a pizza with a cheese base. Of course, you can order a pizza with both tomato and cheese, but it’s the base of the pizza toppings that’s important here. I recommend the zucchini, provola e guanciale pizza, which is zucchini, provola cheese, and bacon.
Ivo a Trastevere doesn’t take bookings, so it’s a case of turning up and waiting for a table. And you probably will have to wait depending on when you arrive. There’s no Wi-Fi here and the emphasis is on having fun, very loud fun!
2. Bonci Pizzarium
The popular Netflix show, Chef’s Table, has made Bonci Pizzarium, a small pizza shop with big ideas, famous. The people of Rome, of course, already knew how good this place was, but now every tourist in town seems to be seeking it out. This means you’ll be faced with a wait, and that can be anything from 20 minutes to an hour.
If you’re looking for traditional Italian pizza, this might not be for you, but if you like modern street food pizza with an enormous choice of toppings, definitely seek out Bonci Pizzarium. The shop is a counter filled with pizza slices of various toppings. You order at the counter and then sit at the tables and chairs outside, or wander Rome with your pizza.
What To Order At Bonci Pizzarium
There are some unusual toppings on the pizzas at Bonci Pizzarium and some stray well away from the traditional. But that’s fine, and while you’re here, you should definitely try something different. I recommend the sausage and potato pizza, which might seem like a modern twist but is actually a very authentic Roman pizza. If you think potato on a pizza is an odd idea, just try it, it really works. You’ll see this in other pizzerias in Rome, as it’s particularly popular in this city.
3. Ristorante Pizzeria Castello
Ristorante Pizzeria Castello is a pretty plain-looking restaurant and you might think it doesn’t look like much when you approach it. Small square tables with rattan chairs and white tablecloths don’t bring much in the way of luxury or atmosphere. But it’s the food people come here for. And the food here is really good.
You can make a reservation here, something you often don’t find in Rome, and you can even book ahead through the website. The Staff is very welcoming and friendly and they go out of their way to make sure you’re happy. After the food, it’s the service that really shines at this restaurant.
What To Order At Ristorante Pizzeria Castello
My recommendation isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you like to try something a little different, and you like fish, try the tuna and onion pizza. This is a red pizza with a tomato base, mozzarella cheese, quality tune, and sliced onion. This is a traditional, and popular, pizza in Italy.
4. Pizzeria La Boccaccia
Pizzeria la Boccaccia is a small pizza shop with a lot of pizza. There are a few tables and chairs inside, but at its heart, this is street food pizza. Once you’ve ordered from the counter stuffed with squares of pizza, you can take away and eat on the go. This is a traditional pizza-and-beer kind of place, where you can pick up a piece of pizza, grab a beer, and enjoy the afternoon in the sun. There are also some benches outside where you can take a minute with your chosen slice. Some of the standout things about this pizza shop are the vegetarian and vegan options. It’s difficult to find vegan pizzas, apart from the marinara in Rome, but this place has some great options if you’re on a plant-based diet.
What To Order At Pizzeria La Boccaccia
There’s such a big choice of toppings at Pizzeria la Boccaccia, choosing which one you want is the only problem you’ll have. The bread base is crusty and flaky and traditionally Italian, while the toppings range from the traditional to the more unusual. I recommend the burrata, eggplant, and spinach pizza. Simple, but really tasty.
5. Taverna 51
Taverna 51, named so because it first opened its doors in 1951, is a traditional Italian restaurant that holds true to its origins and keeps at its heart the respect for the history of Roman food. They use local suppliers as much as they can and the owners are passionate about good quality ingredients for their dishes.
This is a small and intimate restaurant with an authentic atmosphere. There aren’t many tables in the restaurant and some guests might find them placed a little too close together for comfort. Because of the limited seating, you are given a time slot by which to vacate for the next customers to arrive. Some visitors don’t like this, but it seemed reasonable to me, and we were given plenty of time to enjoy our meal.
What To Order At Taverna 51
The food is really good here and the gnocchi is especially good, but when it comes to pizzas, I recommend trying the pizza diavola. This is a simple pizza of tomato, mozzarella, and ventricina, which is an Italian pork sausage, sliced and used as the main topping for the pizza. Also, definitely try a negroni, the cocktails here are very good.
As with most restaurants in the Trastevere area of Rome, this one gets very busy. You can turn up and wait in line for a table, place a reservation online ahead of your visit, or call before you set off to see how busy it is. There’s also a bar next door, attached to the restaurant, where you can have a drink while you wait for it to quieten down.
A modern restaurant and bar, Zerosettantacinque is a vibrant place with an emphasis perhaps a little more on the bar than the restaurant. If you go in the evening, you might experience the resident DJ, and that’s not to everyone’s taste. However, if you like good food in a lively environment, this is a great place for pizza and cocktails. You can make a reservation by phone or by email before you arrive, and the staff here are very friendly and welcoming. The owners are locals and, although they are creating a party atmosphere at times, they really do look after everyone who arrives and they make a point of ensuring your satisfaction.
What To Order At Zerosettantacique
The pizza menu, and the menu in general, is quite short, but it focuses on a few good dishes that are made with great attention to detail. I love the pizza alla norma con melazane, pomodora e ricotta salata. This is a pinsa pizza, a Roman-style pizza made with a mixture of flowers for the base, making it lighter and healthier. This one is topped with aubergines, tomato, and salted ricotta cheese.
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