Here in Rome, there are two kinds of pizza. Pizza al taglio that is bought by the slice and eaten on the go and the classic round pizza baked in a wood-fired oven and eaten sitting down at a table in a restaurant. Sounds simple right? We are in Rome so that means it is simple but not easy and there are a few things you need to know.
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Roman pizza has a thin crispy crust and charred edges
Most pizzerias are only open for dinner
Romans often have something deep-fried as an appetizer. I love fiori di zucca (zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies)
Everyone orders their own pizza that is roughly the size of a 12-inch record.
Pepperoni here means red bell peppers. If you want spicy salami ask for a diavolo
Pizza al taglio is sold by weight and you can order as big or small a slice as you like
Pizza bianca is topped with olive oil & salt. Pizza rosso has just tomato sauce.
The best Roman snack is pizza mortadella; pizza bianca is split and filled with super thin slices of mortadella. It tastes best when you are leaning against a 16th-century fountain in a sunny piazza
Alle Carrette is my neighborhood spot. Order a plate of fried artichokes and a carbonara pizza. It is also open for lunch.
Sit outside on the viale Trastevere or squeeze in at one of the marble-topped tables inside at Ai Marimi and watch the pizzaioli turn out pizzas by the second. We always order a plate of the slow-cooked fagioli all’uccelletto.
Pizzeria Emma is another rare pizza spot that is open for lunch. many of the toppings here are from the Salumeria Roscioli deli so command a higher price.
Pizza for breakfast is always a good idea. In the Mercato di Testaccio start with a tiny round of dough topped with a Tropea onion from Da Artenio (box 90) before moving on to a slice or two of one Casamanco (box22) divine creations like mushroom, lemon zest, and chili.
Antico Forno Campo de Fiori makes my pizza bianca ideal. Salty, crunchy, chewy. Get in line, it is worth the wait.
Pinsere is technically not pizza but its ancient Roman predecessor. They are individual-sized with a soft chewy crust and fresh, inventive toppings. My favorite is Tropea onion, N'Duja, and mozzarella. There is a new second location near Piazza Venezia at the Mercato Plebiscito.
Trapizzino is also not really pizza but a delicious hybrid. It is a triangle of crunchy pizza dough filled with things like hearty Roman stews or burrata & anchovies. There are a few locations. The one in Trastevere has an interesting Lazio focused wine list and many a family train journey begins or ends with a stop at Mercato Centrale.