Rome prides itself on being the culinary birthplace of several dishes, including cacio e pepe and carbonara. Naturally, the city also lays claim to a kind of bread – la rosetta. Named for its rose-like shape, the sections have a chewy crust and a soft, air-filled interior. There is something exceptionally satisfying about the combination of resistance and give when you bite into a rosetta panino, which has no doubt contributed to the bun’s staying power. Even though the bread is common, I wouldn’t describe it as omnipresent. It is more a bread for home than one you find on lots of menus, which is what makes Zia Rosetta the perfect stop for a truly Roman snack.
Zia Rosetta opened its street food storefront in the Monti neighborhood in 2012. The tiny space, with a counter and few seats sells more than just panini. You can also find salads, fresh juices, and a few hot meals on the menu. However, the rosette are the reason to add this to your Rome-must-eat list.
The rosette come in mini and classic sizes, and I prefer to order several small rosette to sample as wide a selection as possible. Of course you will find some traditional fillings but almost everything comes with a twist. Take the Peggy Rockefeller rosetta for example. Yes, of course there is prosciutto, but it is layered with a crunchy parmigiano disc, and grilled eggplant. A small of this flavor is €2.5, while the classic size is €5.
I like to get the Harry meets Sally – with pastrami, pickles, tomato, and mustard. A taste of home with a Roman touch, ringing in at €3 for a mini or €7 for the classic size.
There is always a new innoventive flavor of the month, as well. These usually incorporate seasonal ingredients and might only be around for a few weeks, so add them to the order.
Zia Rosetta is located right now Via Urbana and offers great people watching while you nibble mini panini and sip a spritz. But if there are no seats left, take the rosette to go find a space in the piazza to indulge in all the flavors of Rome.
Via Urbana, 54
Rome, Italy (Monti neighborhood)
Open: Monday-Friday 11 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 4:30 pm; 6 pm – 10 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 10 pm