I am an English-speaking, freelance food writer based in Rome. I love writing articles on various aspects of Italian culture.
Tired and Hungry
Leave your luggage behind at your hotel and head out to eat with this handy guide.
I live in Rome, and like most Italians, I am fond of pizza. I dine on pizza at least once a week, and I like discovering new places while traveling around the city. This guide is for anyone who likes the idea of overcoming their fear of restaurant tourist traps and tourist menus. I have personally tried and tested these six places. You'll be able to get good Pizza alla Romana and settle down with the locals, seated indoors or outside ("al fresco").
If you are in the mood to eat Neapolitan-style pizza, the soft and thick kind, check out the last guide tip where you can sample a menu filled with some of the best Naples-style pizza in Rome.
These rustic, family-run restaurants are all easy to reach with access via public transport on ATAC Metro or Tram.
Piazza Di Santa Maria Liberatrice 44 00153 Rome
1. Pizzeria da Remo
One of the best in Rome, located in Testaccio, close to Trastevere, away from the most popular tourist areas. More than anything Testaccio just feels so Italian. There is a lively authentic atmosphere of day to day Roman life in this highly recommended pizza restaurant. You really feel like a Roman local as you cross through the restaurant entrance. The pizza is delicious, it is freshly made in front of the customer as the oven is located in the middle of the restaurant. The setting is complete with outside tables, good local wine and friendly waiters even though very little English is spoken. Pointing at other dinners pizzas and nodding works well enough to communicate your order.
- Transportation: take the ATAC Tram 3 and exit at Via Marmorata
Viale Di Trastevere 53 00153 Rome
2. Pizzeria ai Marmi
Named after its distinctive long marble counter, ai Marmi is one of the most popular and according to the majority of dinners the best Pizzeria in Trastevere.
The atmosphere is lively with a friendly and atmospheric buzz in the air. The only recommendation is to be patient as you could have to wait before being served at busy times during the evening. The tables are arranged in lines so it is easy to chat with other dinners and see what everyone is eating.
Try the four cheese, Quattro Formaggi and ask for Pizza Alla Bismark, a pizza topped with a raw egg, it cooks and comes out runny from the oven.
This area is one of the oldest in Rome and the name literally means "across the river", it has narrow cobble lined streets that are interesting to explore on foot.
- Transportation: take the ATAC Tram 8 and exit Trastevere/Mastai.
Circonvallazione Gianicolense 238 00152 Rome
3. Pizzeria la Gianicolense
Located not far from Villa Doria Pamphili, one of the biggest most beautiful public parks in Rome.
Drop into this place to enjoy a great pizza in an informal setting. A large L-shaped area for restaurant seating guarantees a cosy table space in its wood-paneled interior. Tables are also set up on the long pavement in front of the restaurant during good weather. A large team of waiter staff keeps the food moving to your table from a central pizza oven. Try the Pizza Margherita as it really is thin and crispy but all the pizzas here are of excellent quality as the chef uses a high-quality flour (Five Star Mills) with a 00 rating that gives a good Protein and Carbohydrate mix and gluten to starch properties.
- Transportation: take ATAC Tram 8 and exit at Gianicolense/Ravizza.
4. Pizzeria il Veliero
A nautically themed restaurant with some interesting models of wooden boats in glass cases and some nice classic pizza. It also specialises in catering to those with food allergies and has the option to eat Gluten-free and the option to eat Lactose-free using Mozzarella cheese. Try the Bresaola con Rugala pizza and sample their chilled homemade after-dinner liqueur. When you have finished your meal exit the restaurant and turn right and drop in next door to Alba Dolce to buy or just watch freshly baked croissants come out of the oven in one of Rome's busiest bakeries.
- Transportation: take ATAC Metro A and exit for Re Di Roma.
Via Albalonga 46 00183 Rome
Via degli Equi 13 San Lorenzo Rome
5. Pizzeria Formula 1
A very informal place in a motorsport-themed restaurant decorated with framed pictures and posters of Italy’s past, but not forgotten, famous Ferrari driving racing drivers. Distinctive vaulted ceilings create a cosy restaurant space with tables outside for on pavement dining.
Located close to the main university in Rome it attracts a lively student crowd who come in large groups at the end of the day for the excellent value pizzas that are served very quickly after placing one's order. It has a really long list of menu items, with some classic dessert plates, but two recommended pizza to try are the pizza Capricciosa smothered in cheese and ham and the more unusual Tonno e Cipolla with tomato sauce, mozzarella, tuna fish and onion. Payment by cash only, they still don’t accept bank card payments. Go early in the evening as it is always crowded and busy.
- Transportation: take the ATAC Tram 3 exit Scalo San Lorenzo.
Circonvallazione Gianicolense 145 Rome
6. Pizzeria da Frontoni
This is a favourite with local residents and a historic place dating back to the 1920s. It is one of a global chain of three all run by the same family.
It is popular for the great selection of Pizza al taglio, or sliced pizza and it has an amazing choice of toppings as well as Pizza Bianca Farcita or white pizza stuffed with different kinds of meats, cheeses and vegetables.
A must-try is Pizza ai Funghi Porcini, pizza with a special kind of now famous distinctively flavoured mushroom. Located close to Trastevere and The Villa Pamphili park, it is also open for lunch.
Definitely worth a visit as it often offers a drink with coffee and pizza meal for an all in a set price. Tables on the pavement for outside dining in the shade under the nearby tree-lined avenue.
- Transportation: take the ATAC Tram 8 and exit at San Giovanni Di Dio.
La Gatta Mangiona, Via Federico Ozanam, 30-32, 00152 Rome
7. La Gatta Mangiona
A strange but wonderful eatery that has been awarded a Michelin star for its Naples style pizza. It has an extensive menu and good wines with professional and fast waiting staff.
Many wall-mounted framed painted and printed portraits of cats greet the diner to this rustic and friendly restaurant. Try the Pizza Venezia: Roma with Radicchio a cultivated Chicory leaf. Be prepared to pay slightly more for your pizza and you will find it busy at weekends, tables are arranged outside for dining on the street.
- Transportation: ATAC Tram 8 exit San Giovanni Di Dio.
For Dessert, Try lemon Sorbet and Limoncello
What about finishing your meal with a nice lemon sorbet and Limoncello (20 percent proof) taken affogato style, with the lemon spirit poured over the sorbet?.
This specialty dates back to more than 100 years ago, originally from the south of Italy. The combination of both is really amazing.
ATAC Tram Map Link
Here is a link to the Rome ATAC TRAM MAP with route numbers.
© 2017 Adele Barattelli
Adele Barattelli (author) from L'Aquila, Italy on June 06, 2017:
Thank you for your comment Maria Elizabeth, Rome always a great city for eating out.
Maria Elizabeth from Cheshire/Greater Manchester, UK on June 06, 2017:
This is really helpful and nicely written. I'm going to take this great advice on board when I next visit.