Rome’s gelato scene can bring you either great joy or stunning disappoint. With so many gelaterie to chose from, I thought it would be be helpful to put together a Rome gelato guide.
With a climate that rarely dips below freezing, I consider Rome to have perfect gelato weather every day of the year.
While there were a lot of things that I wrongly assumed would magically happen when I moved to Rome (e.g. I would innately know how to ride a vespa, and have a Roman boyfriend, all while mastering Italian cooking techniques), one thing that I was right about was that I do eat gelato pretty much every day. Really.
I do not waste my precious gelato calories on substandard ish. If you want to enjoy the best gelato in Rome, here is where you need to go.
And no excuses about how that one time you had to go to Blue Ice because it was there and looked good. (Actually, it probably did NOT look good. The first indication of good gelato is the appearance. It should not be piled high in the bins- indicating they are using filler and/or making huge batches that are less than fresh. Other clues are flavors like pistachio- which should be a very pale pale green, not vibrant neon. No neon, is a good rule of thumb overall).
There are fantastic gelaterie in every part of the city. (Except, honestly, Testaccio). Here are my top 10 for best gelato in Rome, plus some.
Best Rome Gelato (with even more gelaterie on the map):
- Fatamorgana: has the best quality and flavor combinations right now. There are two central locations – in Monti and in Trastevere.
- Otaleg! This requires a trip outside of the city center, but Otaleg is seriously some of my favorite gelato in Rome. “Gelato” spelled backwards, the workshop of Marco Radicione puts the whole creative process on display. Watch the gelato being made behind the glass at the front of the shop and then make sure to order AT LEAST two scoops. You will not regret it.
- Il gelato di Claudio Torcè: a modern classic, though I miss the central location, the Aventino shop always has a fresh mix of flavors when I need to break out of my pistachio and vanilla chocolate chip rut.
- Frigidarium: In the dead center of Rome, between Piazza Navona and Campo de’ Fiori, I love love love the chocolate candy shell on the perfectly creamy stracciatella.
- Gelateria del Teatro: So happy to see there are now two locations for this gelateria, but I still love the Via dei Coronari outpost best. There are gorgeous sweets (like truffles and candied citrus peels) if you want to take something more… after your gelato, naturally.
- Come il latte: stand out flavors include salted caramel and caffè. Bonus points for the chocolate fountain available to drizzle all over your gelato of choice.
- Gelateria Artigianale Corona: When I want to go crazy and mix it up, I pop into Corona for granita – shaved ice. The watermelon flavor is my stand out.
- Fiocco di Neve: For even more gelato-based diversity, check out fiocco di neve for the best affogato in the city.
- San Crispino: Its fame has gone to its head, resulting in higher prices and smaller cups, but I will still argue that they are making the best fruit flavors in Rome. Try it and see.
- Ciampini: A Roman institution in a gorgeous piazza – centered between Louis Vuitton and Louboutin. You can order a cone to go from a side window. On sunny winter days, settle in for a hot chocolate instead.
- La Romana: Think that line spilling down the block at 1 am in Ostiense is for some exclusive night club? Wrong. It’s for gelato. La Romana is insanely popular with Romans, who will queue up for the cones filled with chocolate and topped with flavored whipped cream.
Updated: 20 December 2016