These artisanal food shops are the best of the best.
For the past four years, Canadian chef Mona Talbott of the American Academy in Rome—and author of the new cookie bible Biscotti (Little Bookroom; $18.95)—has transformed the institution’s dinner table into a model for sustainable dining. For ingredients, Talbott relies on Rome’s best artisanal food shops. Three of her favorites:
Head to the Jewish Ghetto’s Pasticceria Ebraica–Il Boccione for this addictive Roman classic, filled with sweet almond paste.
Baskets of sheep’s ricotta make up the window display at Antica Caciara Trasteverina, in Trastevere.
The family-run Antico Forno Marco Roscioli sells a savory pizza rossa, topped with freshly made tomato sauce.
Pasticceria il Boccione
For 200 years, Pasticceria il Boccione has been baking kosher treats for Rome’s Jewish community. Its repertoire (and customer service) is limited but disregarded by its clientele, especially the almond macaroons and cinnamon almond biscotti, over-stuffed crostata (which the New York Times calls the best in Rome), and signature pizza ebraica. It's not pizza in the traditional sense, but rather like a brick of fruit cake with almonds, pine nuts, raisins, and candied fruit.
Antico Forno Marco Roscioli
Induge in the chewy pizza bianca at Antico Forno Roscioli, by the Campo de Fiori? “Una droga” is how one customer praises this pizza. Using a natural yeast starter for his three-foot-long oblongs, master baker Pierluigi Roscioli also favors cool, long fermentation and a rest under an olive-oil glaze—to develop that upper-crust toastiness. The super-thin rossa shimmers with a red pomodoro sheen; pizza with basil and mozzarella clumps makes an ornamental herbal patch. But bianca is best.