Gourmet pizza is definitely a big food trend in Rome, so it’s something for the bucket list when visiting the Eternal City. While there are hundreds of classic pizzerias in this city, there is also a new wave of gourmet pizza specialists who serve exciting and unusual toppings.
As you might expect, the starters and fried sides can also be out of this world, while the gold standard for gourmet pizza in Rome is a perfectly leavened crust, usually from a sourdough starter.
Read on for three new options for gourmet pizza in Rome, and don’t forget to drop your thoughts in the comments!
Gourmet pizza in Rome: Pizzeria Extremis at Pietralata
Gourmet pizza in Rome doesn’t get much more extreme that the eponymously named Extremis, in the north Rome neighbourhood of Pietralata.
Pietralata is known for its clubs and casual restaurants, but was really lacking a gourmet pizzeria this side of Rome, so the arrival of Extremis is most welcome.
From its fried ‘ingots’ to its feather-light dough and inventive toppings – not to mention the modern decor – Extremis is like no other restaurant serving gourmet pizza in Rome.
That starts with its location in the semi-rural neighbourhood of Pietralata. Extremis is on the ground floor of a newly constructed luxury apartment block, and thus boasts a lovely veranda for early evening drinks or for dining in the summer months.
The locals often come for the pleasant aperitivo hour, but whatever you do, make sure you stay for dinner!
Our meal started with the house special, dubbed ‘lingotti’ or ‘ingots’, which are fried, golden cubes with mouthwateringly melty insides. I really recommend the cheese and nduja variety which is gooey and spicy, all at the same time! Other fried starters include classic suppli and little dishes of savoury, crumbly goodness called fritti al cucchiaio, including a dazzling array of meaty and vegetable flavours.
The pizzas have a delicate base and puffy crust typical of a Neapolitan-style pizza, but the sourdough is so perfectly leavened that the whole thing melts in the mouth and is light on the digestion. Look out for what Extremis call ‘remakes’ – riffs on classic pizzas – as well as their house, Extremis pizzas, for which the chef has really gone to town. ‘Tonnnno’ (sic) combines red tuna tartare with ginger, capers and more, while ‘Porchetta alla Pechinese’ is literally Peking-style porchetta, with an extraordinary depth of flavour. Expect to pay a reasonable €9 to €14 for the pizzas.
Don’t miss the desserts too, especially the darkest of dark chocolate Extremisu. This is quite a night out! Check out the full, bonkers menu here.
Extremis, Via del Casale Rocchi, 22, Rome Tel +39 06 8780 9051
Brucio: gourmet pizza in Rome by the Pantheon & in Testaccio
I love being about to give quality recommendations for restaurants in the centre of Rome, and Brucio is a worthy new entrant in the list of gourmet pizzerias in Rome.
This gourmet pizza family includes a restaurant situated in Rome’s piazza delle Coppelle, a charming if at times busy cobbled square just minutes from the Pantheon in the heart of old Rome. It is full of restaurants and bars and has created a lovely, buzzy scene in the capital.
Like other neighbourhoods, however, it was really missing a gourmet pizza restaurant serving seriously good pizza – and that’s where Brucio comes in.
My dinner at Brucio started with some gourmet fried starters such as a remix of Roman-style oxtail combining a cube of coda alla vaccinara with a delicate foam, plus another bite sized treat combining octupus and potato. The classic suppli are good too, and look out for a refried pasta cake inspired by the Roman spring dish, vignarola.
Expect an imaginative range of gourmet pizzas, inspired by Roman and Italian flavours, but with a gourmet twist. Roman-style toppings including a saltimbocca pizza, plus another riffing on peas and squid. The Brucio Margherita is a handsome pizza uniting classic flavours.
If you want something a bit unusual, there is a vegan pizza combining shitake mushrooms, tofu and mustard greens, while fans of the Neapolitan sauce, Genovese, should try the pizza of that name, with its satisfying savoury depths. Finally, if you love cheese, you can’t miss Brucio’s SIX cheese pizza. This is a great gourmet pizza option, right in the heart of Rome!
Brucio has also recently opened a branch in Testaccio, which is great if you want to enjoy a gourmet pizza in Trastevere or Testaccio without going into the centre of Rome.
Brucio, Piazza delle Coppelle, 8, Rome Tel +39 06 89024862
Brucio Testaccio, Via degli Stradivari 1, Rome Tel +39 06 83082083
Baccio e i Gradini: Gourmet pizzeria in Rome near Circus Maximus
Baccio e i Gradini, a new pizzeria on Viale Aventino, is the ideal neighbourhood pizza joint. Hitting the sweet spot between an easy, casual diner and a gourmet, high-quality experience, expect first rate pizzas and prime seasonal, ingredients. At the same time, owner Fabio Spada and pizza chef Giovanni Lombardi with his Neapolitan-inspired dough are genial hosts, welcoming customers with a big smile.
This pizzeria may be new, but it has already captured the hearts of locals. So much so that you should expect queues and sold-out tables at weekends (always best to book ahead). Why is it so popular? Because the food is great, and the prices are really reasonable.
Before you get to the pizza course, don’t forget to try a tasty fried starter – such as refried pasta bites – or a gradino, a “step”, a crostino topped with sumptuous ingredients, that is something between a bruschetta and a focaccia (€4).
Moving onto the pizzas, Baccio e i Gradini offers six different types of Margherita alone, the ultimate Italian pizza, so I recommend that you give one of them a try. The Margherita Laziale, topped with flecks of fresh mint, is a delightful remix priced at just €9.
Another surprising pizza worth your attention is the Marinara, with velvety layers of tomato in pieces and Cetara anchovies, topped with olives from Gaeta. It’s still only €8 but this is really deluxe take on an Italian pizza staple. Look out too for a multi-dimensional four cheese pizza, plus a couple of rare fish-topped pizzas, with tuna and baccala.
I like the fact that sweet courses include the Napoli-born baba, another sign of Spada’s originality. Try one to finish your dinner in style. Highly recommended!
Bacio + Gradini, Viale della Piramide Cestia, 25 – Tel +39 351 8823737