When I look back on my time in Rome, there’s a good chance that the first thing that will come to mind is my obsession with pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice). I may as well have a sign that reads “will walk for pizza.” Because that’s what I do most days for lunch: pick a place that serves pizza al taglio, walk there, eat pizza, then get to doing whatever other business is on the docket for the day.
I just love the whole concept of pizza al taglio. You walk up to the counter, survey the available pizzas, then tell the person behind the counter how much of it you want. He then slices it off from the pie, using his giant knife like an axe, weighs your selection, and then one of two things happens: either he’ll fold it over and wrap it up in parchment for you or he’ll heat it in the oven, cut it into strips with scissors and serve it to you on a tray.
It’s hard to say which way I like better. Mainy because both serving methods seem so nice, as silly as that sounds. Service in many restaurants in Rome is gruff, at best. But when you get your pizza al taglio, it’s almost like the person working the counter is making a thoughtful gesture as he serves you your slice. When it’s served in parchment, I feel as if he’s wrapping the pizza up like a little present. A present which makes it much neater for me to eat.
When it’s snipped into (big) bite sized pieces, I’m always reminded of a mother slicing a meat dish for a child in a restaurant. Thanks, counter guy, for making my pizza-eating experience so much easier!
Here are my favorite places for pizza al taglio (so far).
Pizzarium serves creatively topped slices by Rome food celebrity Gabriele Bonci. He’s known dramatically as the “Michelangelo of pizza,” and he offers a 2 day pizza making course for 170 Euros. A bit rich for my blood, so I’ll stick to buying his pizza for lunch.
Zaza is right near the Pantheon and has tables! Sounds like a ridiculous selling point, but most pizza al taglio spots are standing room only. It’s also right across from the famous coffee bar Sant’Eustachio Il Caffe.
Forno Campo de Fiori is one of the most famous pizza al taglio spots in the Eternal City, and there’s always a line out the door. It moves quickly, and it’s worth the wait. Plus, it’s fun to check out the farmers’ market in Campo de Fiori afterwards.
Antico Forno Roscioli is the bakery arm of the Roscioli family, who also runs a nearby restaurant, Roscioli, which you may remember that I love. It’s a very reliable bet for an excellent slice of pizza.
If you have any favorites for pizza al taglio in Rome, please comment. I will walk anywhere to try it!