This is a post about two great places to get pizza al taglio (a kind of square pizza you buy by the slice) and two great places to get some truly excellent gelato in Rome. We selflessly tried out these places on our recent trip, struggling through some of the greatest food we've ever eaten just so we could make sure that if you're ever in the Italian capital you won't miss out.
FORNO CAMPO DE' FIORI
This is a bakery that has been open for over thirty years and their pizza al taglio - while delicious - is just one of their spectacular offerings. They also excel at glossy sweet breads studded with chocolate chips (see the photo below) and fluffy foccacia, soft and saturated with rich olive oil then sprinkled with sea salt. My favourite of their pizza was the caprese, pictured above, with its crunchy, airy base, and excessively creamy buffalo mozzarella on top.
There are little tables inside, but really you want to take this pizza and eat it on the go, preferably walking in the direction of a gelateria...
Open Mon - Sat 7.30am - 2.30pm, 5pm - 10pm
Grom is a chain, and it's growing. Outside of Italy they now have shops in Osaka, Paris, Tokyo, New York and Malibu. But all of those places seem very far away when you're standing in an ancient cobbled street scoffing down tiramisu ice cream and having palpitations at just how great this frozen cream tastes. Grom are all about using the very best raw ingredients, a philosophy that seems to be shared by many Italian chefs and is no doubt what makes their food so famously brilliant. Grom have their own organic farm, use free-range eggs, and approach the preperation of their gelato in a very precise, scientific way which borders on obsession.
It tastes amazing. Find the nearest one to you here.
GELATERIA DEL TEATRO
This is our favourite gelato in Rome, and we go every time we're in the city. They have incredible flavour combinations - lavender anyone? Rosemary and fig? Or why not just play it safe and have the richest, thickest chocolate ice cream you've ever tasted? You have to take a ticket at busy times and then they have a machine that flashes numbers, the same kind you get at delis...or doctors' waiting rooms...but there is a pretty courtyard outside with tables to eat at, and there's also wi-fi, which is a major boon when you've been walking around all day and just want to sit down and check your emails godammit. Don't judge me. We went twice this trip, the second time trying some of their non-gelato products including a sort of Rice Crispie cake, only it was a million times better than anything else ever. And a couple of truffles. I still think about those truffles.
Via di San Simone 70, 00186
Open every day, 12pm - 12am
If you only try one pizza place in Rome (why?!) then do La Renella. This place has been open since 1860, and they burn hazelnut shells in the oven instead of gas or wood. They say it's because it's more sustainable, but I think it's also that it gives their dough this nutty smoky flavour that places their pizza and panini in the highest echelons of taste. I couldn't speak for several minutes after eating, and we each bought a panini for the plane. Even Easyjet is great when you've got a foccacia stuffed with salty parma ham and fontina cheese in your bag. You should also try a slice of their fruit pies (crostata al taglio), which are sold the same way as the pizza - you point out how much of the large rectangle you want to eat. The pies reminded me of a linzer torte, only the fruit was far tangier and the pastry more rich. So good.
Via del Moro 15 (Trastevere)
Open Mon - Sun, 7.30am - 1.30am