Classic Roman pizza, made with a thin crust
Pizzerias are everywhere in Rome, and can be an inexpensive and delicious dinner option.
A traditional Roman pizza has a very thin crust, and should set you back from €5 to €8 depending on the pizzeria and your choice of toppings. Sadly, it's getting harder to find good traditional Roman pizzas: many pizzerias are now selling thicker bases, closer to the Neapolitan style. Others sell thin-crust pizzas, but without the delicious crack of a well-made base.
Pizzerias fall in and out of favour all the time, so it may be best to try a few during your stay in Rome, and deciding on your favourite pizzerias and base styles for yourself.
As with any sort of eating out in Rome, it pays to avoid the typical tourist places and find a pizzeria that the Romans go to, with a wood-burning oven where the pizzas are cooked to perfection in just a couple of minutes. This may involve leaving the tourist centre.
As well as the pizza itself, pizzerias also sell a variety of fritti, deep fried snacks to eat as starters, that include fiori di zucca (courgette flowers fried with mozarella and anchovy), suppli (fried balls of rice in tomato sauce, with a chunk of mozarella in the middle), olive ascolane (olives fried with pork meat, delicious if made fresh), and other house specialities.
When to visit a pizzeria
Pizzas served whole are almost always an evening meal in Rome. It's best not to go out too early (before say 8 or 8:30), as pizza ovens take a while to heat up to the ideal temperature: pizza served earlier in the evening is less likely to be crisp and have the charred edges of a perfect Roman pizza.
Pizza al taglio
For pizza earlier in the day, you'll want to visit a pizzeria al taglio. These are usually small shops with long counters, primarily for takeaway but often with a couple of stools as well. The pizzas here are long and narrow, with a slightly thicker crust, and a range of fritti is usually available too. You buy your pizza by the slice which is then either cut into strips to eat on the premises, or folded over into a sort of pizza sandwich and wrapped in paper so that you can eat as you wander; although if you plan to eat on the move, watch out for new laws about street food in the historic centre.
Alle Carrette - Via della Madonna dei Monti 95. Tel. 06 6792770. A handy pizzeria at the bottom of Via Cavour, offering a good choice of pizzas and some delicious starters. Only open in the evenings, 19.30-midnight. Closed Mondays.
Pizzeria da Baffetto - Via del Governo Vecchio 114. Tel. 06 6861617. Near Piazza Navona. Although quite touristy, this place seems to feature on everybody's lists of the best pizza in Rome. Open 19.00-midnight.