Updated August 2020
Originally invented in Naples, pizza comes served in a variety of styles throughout the country: round, square, thick, thin, fried, gourmet, traditional. The Eternal City is famous for thin crust Roman pizzas and pizza al taglio, or pizza by the slice. There’s also a lesser-known variant native to Rome called the Pinsa Romana, which is oblong in shape, and there are a growing number of pizzerias that serve Neapolitan-style pies with a raised, doughier crust. After eating my way through many margheritas in the city, I’m happy to share my guide to the very best pizza in Rome.
A few notes on how to enjoy pizza the local way. When it comes to toppings, less is more. Pizzas are served either rossa, with tomato sauce, or bianca, without tomato sauce, and are usually topped with one or two ingredients. The one exception is the capricciosa which is loaded with prosciutto, artichokes, mushrooms, black olives and an egg. It’s a popular pizza, but you’ll never go wrong ordering a classic margherita (my favorite).
In Italy you traditionally eat round pizzas at dinner because the wood-fire ovens take hours to heat up, so many historic restaurants are only open in the evenings (though it’s becoming increasingly easy to find pizza served at lunchtime as well). Pizza al taglio, on the other hand, can be enjoyed at any time of the day: it’s a perfect mid-morning snack, quick lunch or afternoon bite – and many pizza al taglio places stay open past midnight.
Italians usually pair pizza with beer, not wine (although sparkling wines are beginning to have a moment with pizza), and always start with a plate of mixed fritti (fried foods) for the table to share: supplì, fiori di zucca, olive ascolane and baccalà are the usual suspects.
Thin Roman-Style Pizza
Pizza in Rome is cracker-thin and often served with a charred crust, giving it a satisfying crunch as you bite into each slice. The baked dough is also remarkably resilient, serving as a sturdy base for your ingredients despite the weight of the pie.
Da Remo: Arguably Rome’s most beloved pizza and a neighborhood favorite in Testaccio, Da Remo is a perennial favorite so show up early or be prepared to wait. The atmosphere is cozy, the food is great and the service is very Roman. Don’t miss the supplì which are excellent.
Nuovo Mondo: If Da Remo is too busy to get in, you’re in luck – Nuovo Mondo is another great pizzeria and it’s located just around the corner. Most people prefer Da Remo but I personally like the pizzas equally, though the ambiance here is a bit colder and less homey.
Ai Marmi: Similar in vibe to Nuovo Mondo, Ai Marmi is a classic Roman pizzeria with fluorescent lighting and cold marble tables (it feels a bit like a morgue but not necessarily in a bad way?!). It lies along Trastevere’s main street so it’s convenient and has a boisterous atmosphere, plus plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
Ivo a Trastevere: Another great pizzeria in the neighborhood, Ivo a Trastevere serves thin pies as well as an array of appetizers and Roman pasta dishes. Sit outside for a quintessential Roman dining experience.
Da Francesco: Conveniently located right next to Bar del Fico (one of the most popular bars in Rome), Da Francesco is always busy because there’s nothing better than a margherita after a spritz. Put your name on the list while you sip your drink and join a game of chess below the fig tree while you wait for the restaurant to call you up.
Baffetto: Baffetto is one of Rome’s most famous Roman pizzerias and the long lines are a testament to the fact that it’s featured in every single guidebook about the city. I like Baffetto and the pizza is good – super thin, quick and cheap – but I’d recommend stopping by for a late lunch rather than dinner because the atmosphere feels rushed and very casual (if you arrive at 2:30pm, you’ll miss the worst of the crowds and easily find a seat).
L’Archetto: When I worked in Prati, l’Archetto was my go-to pizzeria. This spot is just a few blocks from the Vatican and prepares a wonderful pizza that’s slightly thicker than the traditional Roman crust – it’s never charred but it’s not spongey like the Neapolitan style. I usually opt for margherita con buffala e funghi and am never disappointed. Don’t confuse this pizzeria with Spaghetteria L’Archetto, a different restaurant near the Trevi Fountain.
Giacomelli: Giacomelli is one of Rome’s best-kept secrets. This pizzeria is extremely popular with locals-in-the-know but largely undiscovered by travelers and expats because it’s located north of the Vatican in a residential area.
Li Rioni: If you’re wondering where to have a good, local meal near the Colosseum, swing by the contemporary enoteca Wine Concept for some vino and then head over to Li Rioni a Santiquattro for a delicious Roman pizza (it’s only open for dinner).
Alle Carrette: I always have trouble eating at Monti’s restaurants (I don’t find them to offer a great price/value and they tend to be overhyped) so I often head to Alle Carette for a sure-fire satisfying meal. I’ve eaten here more times than I can count and love the cozy tavern feel, especially on chilly winter evenings. Don’t miss the olive ascolane and fried artichokes to start.
Fiammetta: This gem is one of my very favorite restaurants in Rome – it’s in a great location just around the corner from Piazza Navona (without being overrun by tourists), has an extensive menu and low-key outdoor seating. Fiammetta also has a wood-fire oven and serves up great pizzas. Although I almost always opt for red pizzas, my favorite pizza here is a piazza bianca topped with mozzarella and verdure ripassate: a white pizza with juicy mozzarella covered in salty, spicy cicoria.
Er Panonto: I love Garbatella and am always happy to have an excuse to head to this charming southern neighborhood. If you’re in the area, don’t miss dining beneath the shady pergola at Er Panonto, a neighborhood pizzeria that makes you feel transported to a small town in the Italian countryside.
Naples is the birthplace of pizza, an art form that has even been recognized by UNESCO – a well-deserved honor for my favorite food city in Italy. Neapolitan pizza is very different from Roman pizza: the crust is thicker, fluffier and the whole pizza is more moist due to extra water in the dough and the buffalo milk mozzarella that is usually served on top. In Naples, the most common pizzas are margherita or marinara (a simple tomato & garlic pizza, no cheese). In Rome, Neapolitan pizza often has gourmet variations.
See More: Where To Find The Best Pizza In Naples
Seu Pizza Illuminati: One of Rome’s most popular recent openings, Seu Pizza Illuminati is located near Porta Portese in Trastevere and offers a modern, minimalist dining experience in the city. The fritti here are superb (try the “parmiggggianina”, a deep-fried slice of eggplant parmesan) and the pizzas are tantalizing as well, with quality ingredients and a satisfying crust.
La Gatta Mangiona: This cat-themed Neapolitan pizzeria in Trastevere has long been lauded as one of the best in the city and it’s worth the trek across town to try. La Gatta Mangiona has a huge variety of pizzas and an extensive drinks list, including dozens of Italian wines and craft beers. You can also find pastas and meat dishes here.
Piccolo Buco: It’s hard to find good restaurants near the city’s main attractions so Piccolo Buco is a welcome exception. This Neapolitan pizzeria is one of the few decent places to dine near the Trevi Fountain. Like it’s name suggests, it’s a small spot and makes for a good meal in one of the most touristy neighborhoods of the city.
Sbanco: I fell in love with Sbanco from the first bite of my lemony pizza back in 2016. Owned by Stefano Callegari, one of the master pizzaiolos in the city (not to mention the owner of Trapizzino and Sorpasso, two of my other favorite places to eat in Rome), Sbanco has delicious pies with creative ingredients and a great beer list. My absolute favorite is the Tropeana with buffalo mozzarella, red onions from Tropea, olives and lemon zest.
Sforno: Another pizzeria owned by Stefano Callegari, Sforno introduced cacio e pepe pizza to Rome and for that I will always be grateful. This special pizza comes served with a pepper mill in the center and heaps of pecorino on each slice. The secret? Baking the dough with an ice cube and then topping it with grated cheese so it stays powdery rather than melting on the pizza. Sforno is located near Cinecittà so it’s a good spot to check out after a tour of the iconic film studio in south Rome.
Pro Loco Pinciano: Pro Loco Pinciano is a gourmet deli, restaurant and pizzeria in the elegant Piazza Fiume neighborhood, meaning you’ll find well-suited locals gathering for business lunches or dinner dates at this inviting establishment. The menu has lots of tasty options and a dozen pizzas that are impossibly light and fluffy. It also serves up some great pizzas with fruit (unusual ingredient pairings for Rome) like the Quattro Formaggi with fig compote and the Autumn Pizza with persimmon.
Sorbillo: It can be hard to recreate an authentic Neapolitan pizza in Rome so I was thrilled to discover that the margherita at Sorbillo Lievito Mare in Rome is every bit as excellent as the pizza you’ll find at the pizzeria in Naples. Located right near the Ara Pacis, it’s also conveniently located close to Via del Corso and the Spanish Steps. Sorbillo doesn’t take reservations so show up early during peak hours.
Pizza al Taglio
Pizza by the slice is one of Rome’s classic street foods and a popular snack at any hour of the day or night. The toppings have gotten very experimental in the past few years and pizza masters like Gabriele Bonci has become household names in the city for their creative pairings and quality ingredients. The best tip I can give you is to order several small slices of pizza so you can try a variety of flavors – and you can’t go wrong with ordering whatever has just come fresh out of the oven.
CasaManco: A newcomer to the scene, CasaManco now officially serves the best pizza al taglio in Rome. First opened as a small-stand in the Testaccio Market in 2018, it recently added a second location on Via di San Cosimato in Trastevere. The dough here is made with organic flour and is left to rise for 100 hours, making it light, crunchy and full of flavor (not to mention, nutritious!). And the toppings and flavor combinations are excellent, using carefully-sourced seasonal produce. My personal favorite is the Pizza Regina with dice tomatoes, capers, olives and onions.
Antico Forno Roscioli: Roscioli is a venerated business in Rome, with a restaurant, cafe, wine bar and bakery to its name – all of them excellent. Try the pizza al taglio at the bakery (Antico Forno Roscioli) for a taste of Rome in a bite. Pro tip: order some slices of pizza bianca and pizza rossa to go and head over to Il Vinaietto for a glass of wine – it’s the perfect cheap and casual aperitivo with locals.
Forno Campo de’ Fiori: Another traditional bakery, the Forno Campo de’ Fiori has some of the best pizza bianca in the city. There are two shop fronts – the main one in the piazza with the large “FORNO” sign, and a more discreet location to the left on Vicolo del Gallo 14. I love stopping by this second spot for delicious focaccia sandwiches stuffed with spinach and mozzarella.
La Renella: You’ll smell La Renella before you see it because the scent of freshly baked pizza emanates from the forno and wafts out onto the streets of Trastevere, luring you in to order a slice or two whether you’re hungry or not. This is a favorite late-night place and has a wide variety of pizzas.
La Boccaccia: La Boccaccia has been sprouting up all over the city and for that I am grateful: this pizza al taglio spot always has lots of great flavor combinations and the dough is the perfect consistency – soft but crispy. I recently tried pizza with pumpkin and gorgonzola and it was excellent.
Pizzarium: Now that we’ve covered the more classic pizza al taglio spots, it’s time to move on to Pizzarium which has developed a sort of cult following in the city. Created by master pizzaiolo Gabriele Bonci, it offers a very different pizza-by-the-slice experience than the others. This gourmet spot uses unique ingredients, like artichokes, oxtail, persimmons and more, and the higher price tag reflects the quality. The potato pizza here is a standout.
Panificio Bonci: Panificio Bonci is a small bakery that also serves Bonci’s famous pizza by the slice, although it offers fewer variations than the other spots. This is also a nice place to stop by for breakfast croissants, cakes or seasonal baked goods, like Panettone at Christmas time.
VIP Pizza: I have wanted to tell the world about VIP Pizza for a long time because I love the pizza here (and love rooting for an underdog). VIP stands for “Very Italian Pizza”, which is a terrible name, and it stays upon until 5:00am, meaning it attracts a late-night crowd. But the pizza is so good, I can never resist stopping by for a slice of pizza filled with spicy panfried leafy green vegetables like broccoletti and cicoria.
Pinsa & Others
Rome’s culinary scene is particularly vibrant at the moment, which means lots of new openings, fusion eateries and more. That means the city’s pizzerias are also getting more experimental – and not just the toppings. You’ll find pizza of different shapes, sizes and styles in Rome, whether that’s a pinsa to-go, a smaller round pie enjoyed as street food rather than sit-down, or artisanal products that don’t fall neatly within the other categories.
Pinsere: Hailed as a healthier alternative to traditional pizza, the Pinsa Romana is a Roman tradition. It comes shaped like an oval and the dough is made from wheat, rice and soy and features a higher water ratio than traditional pizza. Apparently this means the final product has less sugar, fat and cholesterol, though it has a similar flavor to normal pizza. One of the best places to try the pinsa is at Pinsere, a casual eatery located halfway between Villa Borghese and Termini Train Station.
La Pratolina: Locals love this cozy, rustic restaurant so book well in advance if you want to dine here. La Pratolina opened in 2001 and bills itself as the first modern pinseria in the city. Locals love this cozy, rustic restaurant tasty pinsas with or without tomato sauce. Try the “Sapore di Bosco” with tomato sauce, sautéed porcini mushrooms, rocket and ricotta salata.
Trieste Pizza: Trieste Pizza is a street-food joint born in the seaside city of Pescara back in 1958 and has a number of franchises in Italy and abroad, including one in the heart of Monti. Trieste Pizza serves 6″ (16cm) personal pizzas, or pizzette, topped with quality, organic ingredients. I have to admit the pizza crust tastes a little bit like those I used to have at Pizza Hut but in a comforting way – and certainly a much healthier alternative.
Berberè: Another franchise in the city, this one hails from foodie capital Bologna. Berberè makes delicious artisanal pizzas with a wonderful sourdough crust that stays soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside – and the pizzas come served sliced into 8 pieces so they’re perfect for sharing. The menu changes seasonally and this spot gets bonus points for its cool retro decor.