Nothing gets Italians riled up like debates on food, and pizza is one of the most contentious subjects of all. While Neapolitans have cornered the international market, regional rivalries within Italy are as strong as with any other dish. Even within Rome, you have different traditions, with crispy bases, squares al taglio, and oval pinse all vying for top spot in the Eternal City.
As we never want to miss out on something delicious, we see no reason to discriminate between styles, so we’ll include a little bit of everything. Of course, the best pizzeria is the one that you stumble across just as you feel like you’ll collapse with hunger, drawing you in with the scent of wood-fired ovens, wine and a friendly pizzaiolo, but we reckon these are good places to start.
Rows of marble tables accommodate the pizza-lovers who flock to this Trastevere institution. Don’t go expecting a quiet night – it’s always and packed, and turnover is high – but if you want to avoid the noise bouncing off the stone, you can always sit on the tables outside.
Testaccio’s known as the belly of the city, so it makes sense that you’d find some pretty decent pizza around. Da Remo might not seem like much from the outside, but the evening crowd, queueing to get their hands on the wafer-thin base, would beg to differ. A triumph of substance over style.
Ivo a Trastevere
Ivo’s might have been discovered by the tourists, but there’s a reason so many people are desperate to eat here. Even as the clientele has expanded, the place has barely changed in the forty years it’s been around, and if there’s anything more Italian than having the football on the in the corner of the pizzeria, we’d like to know about it.
Tucked behind the Colosseum, you wouldn’t imagine that the residential streets around Li Rioni could hide such a bustling pizzeria. As there are only two waiters, the service can take a while, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pizza from a simple, neighbourhood restaurant.
It’s not particularly groundbreaking to include Pizzarium on a list of places to eat in Rome, but it thoroughly deserves the recognition it gets. Tourists, gourmets, and locals all make the trek past the Vatican City to get their hands on the squares of slow-risen dough. It’s not cheap, nor is it some hidden gem, but it is one of the best pizzas you’ll ever eat.
Forno Campo de’ Fiori
While the market itself is something you shouldn’t miss, it’s even more important not to miss the pizza at the bakeries that skirt the square. Forno Campo de’ Fiori specialises in pizza bianca, without tomato sauce, and is widely seen as the best place for it in the city.
Antico Forno Roscioli
What Forno Campo de’ Fiori is to pizza bianca, Roscioli is to pizza rossa. This isn’t about the wackiest toppings, or the most artisanal dough, it’s just about the beautifully simple tomato sauce. You can experiment with additional toppings, or just stick with the classic. What you can’t do is go wrong.
Source: Panificio Beti
A challenger to Roscioli’s dominance in the pizza rossa stakes, Beti seems like an unassuming family bakery and grocer’s, in the not-very-touristed district of Monteverde. The lines betray its quality though – you’ll often see them snaking along the street – and you’d do well to join them.
It takes guts to mess with traditional food in Italy, but superstar pizzaiolo Stefano Callegari did just that when he introduced the Trapizzino about ten years ago. A pocket of dough, sliced open and stuffed with any number of ingredients, it’s portable, it’s instagrammable, but most importantly it’s delicious.
Sourdough pizza caught on abroad far quicker than it did in Italy, but Berberè have been fully behind the trend since they opened their first restaurant in Bologna in 2010. They now have places in several cities across Italy, so popular have their slow-risen doughs become.
Romans might have little time for Neapolitan pizza in general, but when it’s this good, even they can make an exception. Sforno is another of Stefano Callegari’s offerings, boasting chewy crusts, traditional toppings, and bases so soft you can cut them with a fork.