Updated winter 2018 - Where to find the best gelato in Rome? The gelato scene in Rome continues to evolve. For the better!
Since moving to Rome in 2001, I have made it my mission to seek out the best gelato in Rome . . . I am still on that mission. In fact, I often go back to my favorite spots for a lot of taste-testing and quality control. A lot.
But I am also always on the lookout for new, wonderful flavours, and better yet, new and fabulous gelaterias in Rome.
And I will be sharing all that I find here. It's hard work but someone's gotta do it. You're welcome!
How do you define "the best gelato"? Here's how I define it, and how I choose my top ten list of the best gelato in Rome.
It must be quality gelato, made from scratch, with all fresh, all natural ingredients. (Even better, when I can see the laboratory on site., even though, believe it or not, that is not always an indicator of truly artisanal gelato!)
When I taste it, I want to taste the exact flavor I ordered, nothing artificial.
If I want to go back to a gelateria over and over, to try more flavors, or sometimes just to have one of my favorite go-to flavors, that's a sign of the best gelato in Rome.
Finally, when I bring friends, family and clients, they all swoon as much as I do, that to me is what constitutes the best gelato in Rome.
Now that there is some excellent gelato in Rome, it's gotten difficult to pick the 10 best. In fact, you will find plenty of superb gelato in a lot of suburbs and local neighborhoods. Most Romans can tell you where to get the best gelato in Rome in their hood, which may be far from the historic/touristic center.
I am listing what for me are really the top 10, in gelaterie that are either easy for you to get to, or worth making the trip for.
Just below are my top 10 places for best gelato in Rome, followed by where I think are some more good options for gelato, even if they are not in my top ten.
Click here to jump to the bottom of this page, where you will find a map of these gelaterie.
This list of my favorite gelato in Rome is not in any particular order. I love them all.
Neve di Latte is in a class by itself. I lied when I said these are not in order. This one is tops (sorry next 9!)
A real working laboratory is right there so you can see the gelato being made.
Also, the master gelato maker himself, Simone Romano, is often on hand to tell you all about the gelato, if you ask.
But you can tell just by looking at the gelato in the bins, what high quality it is.
They use the best quality ingredients (milk from Piemonte, Parisi eggs, Amadei chocolate), and like at Gelateria Otaleg (number 9 below), you can see these ingredients on display.
But it's not just the ingredients: there is something about the way it's made that gives it a smoothness, consistency of texture and flavor, and creaminess, that is perfect and irresistible. You cannot stop eating it and when you are done, you want more.
The gelato at Neve di Latte is worth going out of your way for (it's not far from Piazza del Popolo, and right near the wonderful modern art museum Maxxi and the Rome Auditorium.)
Location: Via Luigi Poletti, 6 (Tram 2 from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza Mancini)
A perfect stop before or after visiting Maxxi Museum. Closed Tuesdays.
At I Caruso, they have very few flavors, but whatever they have is always amazing. I sometimes try to get their "flavor of the day", but often find myself getting the simplest ones, because my mouth starts watering for them when I go in: pistachio and fior di panna.
They make the “perfect” pistachio: nutty, more brown-green than green, and super rich and creamy without being heavy. And it tastes just like smooth cold pistacchio nuts, as it should!
Fior di panna is not a flavor you find in every gelateria in Rome. Just the very good ones. And here, it's one of the best.
This is also the only gelateria in Rome where I will get the strawberry gelato (in season only). It is not pink and milky, it's deep red and juicy and tastes like a bowl of frozen strawberries. It's simply outstanding.
At i Caruso, like many artisanal gelaterie, they also sell frozen gelato treats, like these chocolate-covered gelato popsicles.
Location: Via Collina, 13-15, just off via XX Settembre or via Piave, near Piazza Fiume. Metro line A Termini or Repubblica. Open daily.
By now I have become a huge fan of this gelato by maestro Günther Rohregger. It has become Alessandro's new favorite gelato in Rome (unlike me, he is not a gelato maniac, preferring pizza and fried goodies, but he loves this place, which says a lot!)
Everything here is wonderful, but the flavors that grab me the most are the buffalo milk gelato with pink pepper corns from Madagascar (yes, trust me!!); the caramel with Himalayan salt; and OMG the Indonesian cinnamon! I never knew I could be such a huge cinnamon gelato fan! Oh yeah, and the buffalo milk with chocolate nibs and black cherry.
I first discovered how amazing this gelato is when I was invited to a (press-event) "vertical gelato tasting" there - yes that is as decadent as it sounds!
We started with the non-milk products, which were pretty much fruit sorbets (although there was a pistacchio and also a chocolate non-milk gelato, too.) Then we worked our way up to the creamier, denser and more complex flavors. I think I tasted over 25 flavors (they were little bites but still!)
Why is this some of the best gelato in Rome? As Günther Rohregger explained: he is from the very north of Italy, and this is where the best milk and the best water are from. He uses only those products, and the very best ingredients to make his gelato.
One of the most amazing things about this gelato is their website: There, you can browse the flavors. Once you pick one that sounds good to you, they will actually tell you what other flavors go with the one you chose! It's really genius and unique! (Site is only in Italian but it's full of photos so easy to figure out.)
Lucky for us, there are 3 locations in central Rome!
Location near Pantheon (called "Punto Gelato"): Piazza Sant Eustachio 47
Location near Campo dei Fiori (called "Punto Gelato"): via dei Pettinari 43
Location near Spanish Steps (called "The Taste"): via Due Macelli 108
Fatamorgana is a local chain of gelato in Rome. They are in tucked away in little spots all over the city, thank goodness! That way I can multiply the number of times I can visit them.
I do a lot of taste-testing at Fatamorgana in January, when there is (almost) nobody else there. One winter I tried the seasonal flavor of panettone (typical Italian Christmas cake), which was a bid odd - it tasted exactly like panettone and frankly by January I am done with Christmas cakes. But that's an interesting concept and at Fatamorgana they are always experimenting and coming up with fascinating flavors.
Another neat flavor is banana-lime: holy-wow! Both the banana and the lime jump out in one bite. A keeper.
Recently I tried these two gelato flavors together: baklava (the greek/middle-eastern honey-nut pastry), and seadas (a traditional Sardinian dessert, which is a cheese filled pastry, fried and covered in honey, o.m.g.) Both flavors were swoon-worthy by themselves. Together, it was heaven in a cone!
And if you want to be adventurous (and have tried just about all the other flavors so are open to experimenting), go for some of the not-sweet flavors. On another evening outing I sampled these two flavors: Olive taggiasche (black olives), and basil-walnut-honey. The flavors were perfect! It felt like I was having a cold aperitivo. Was only missing a nice aperol spritz to go with it!
Of course I always love their nutty flavors like almond or pistacchio. And their Madagascar chocolate is just as delicious as it sounds. (I have yet to venture to try the wintery "Kentucky" flavor of chocolate and tobacco. Maybe I will one day.)
Monti location (near Colosseum and Cavour Metro B stop): Piazza degli Zingari 5
Trastevere location (near viale Trastevere tram line): via Roma Libera 11
Piazza del Popolo/Spanish Steps location (Metro A stop Popolo or Spagna): via Laurina 10
Vatican location (Metro lina A Ottaviano): Via Leone IV, 50
Campo dei Fiori location opening soon (winter 2018?): Via dei Chiavari, 37 (TBD!)
Check the Fatamorgana website for all their locations.
I used to think that Gelateria dei Gracchi was a bit too out of my way to get to enough. But as it turns out, two things happened since I discovered them several years ago:
Now there are three locations in central Rome and I get there as often as I can.
So now let's talk about why. The gelato. It's amazing. All made from scratch daily, with all fresh ingredients. The kind of gelateria that always has a line out the door, and people willing to wait. Try it, you will see.
There is a fourth location on Viale Regina Margherita, 212, a more local Rome neighborhood.
When you first approach Gelateria del Teatro, you can already see why it's going to be good. There is a window on via dei Coronari, with many of the fresh ingredients used in their gelato, on display. Then you can see a guy right there chopping ingredients to make the gelato. The laboratory takes up half the store and you just know they are making serious gelato in here.
I love this gelateria because they have some of the best of my go-to taste-test nut flavors: pistacchio, almond, hazelnut.
But they also get creative, with wonderful success. So sometimes I try their seasonal or experimental flavors and am always happy I did. (Although the pumpkin flavor in January was a bit too Thanksgiving-y for me by then.)
Let's talk about their white chocolate with fresh basil. It's sublime. The basil gets cooked down so it's not sharp, and so you can taste both the herb and the white chocolate side by side. This is one of those gelato flavors that actually does have a bright green color, but naturally, not from any dye or additive. Truly artistic gelato in Rome!
In summer, I've also tried their lavender and white peach gelato, and fig almond. Um, yeah both those flavors are as outrageous as they sound!. If you are here at the end of summer, and they have these flavors, give them a try.
Location: Via dei Coronari, 65 (between Piazza Navona and the Tiber River.)
There is a second, smaller location on Lungotevere dei Vallati 25, not far from the Isola Tiberina.
Claudio Torcè is known among Rome foodies (I really don't like this overused term but what else to call all the people who seriously follow and write about food in Rome?) as the head honcho of gelato.
I first visited his flagship store several years ago in EUR (a city/suburb just south of Rome), by chance, before I even knew how special it was. This was also before the new trend of treating gelato like a gourmet food.
I was amazed at the flavors listed there: wasabi; rice with cinnamon and honey (this was yummy, even if mild); cashew and beer (I will have to try that another time), and so many more, sweet, savoury, spicy, cheesy, you name it! They also have many classic flavours, but in huge varieties. There are more chocolate flavors than even I know what to do with!
He's really the one who put interesting gelato on the map, going to new lengths to create new, strange and wonderful flavors that didn't seem feasible.
Only at Claudio Torcè can you try the gelato flavor of hotdog (wurstel), ketchup and mayonnaise (no I have not brought myself to try that one yet.)
What I can tell you is that when you see a gelato flavor here, like carbonara, expect the gelato to taste Just. Like. That.
Location 1: Viale Aventìno, 59 (Metro B Circo Massimo)
Location 2: Piazza del Risorgimento 51 (Metro A Ottaviano, just near the Vatican)
For more locations a little more outside Rome center, visit their website.
You know how they say that a 3-star Michelin restaurant means it's worth taking the trip to go eat there?
Otaleg ("gelato" spelled backward), may be one of the most out-of-the-way gelaterie on this list. But it has to be here because it is worth taking time out of your day to go here.
The master gelataio (gelato-maker) Marco Radicioni has taken gelato-creation to new heights of inventiveness and outrageous deliciousness. If you are looking for parmesan + balsamic gelato, you've come to the right place. Along with the other maestro of gelato, Claudio Torcè, these may be the two most interesting gelaterie in Rome if you really want to take taste-testing to another level.
Or, you can just have a cup of pecan gelato and salty hazelnut honey crunch gelato, topped with freshly whipped panna, like I did on my last visit. Swoon city.
Location: Viale dei Colli Portuensi 594. Getting here is not easy, but lots of buses come this way, depending on where you are coming from. Check ATAC for directions. Open daily.
Ciampini has long been the secret vice of Romans in the know. After a recent renovation, they've expanded and now have a second gelateria, literally a stone's throw from the first.
You may want to pop into the where-everyone-knows-your-name cafe (if you're a local, that is!) right on the piazza.
Or, you can visit the dedicated Ciampini Lab, just on the corner. Either way, you will be treated to gelato at its simplest and at its finest.
Even if you are not staying anywhere near this gelateria, find a way to go out of your way.
Like Neve di Latte and Otaleg, La Gourmandise is not in the historic or touristic center of Rome. And like those two, it's unlike any other gelato you will try.
It's not just that the ingredients are the best quality possible, like Maltese goat's milk (which makes their milky gelato flavors easier to digest than gelato made with cow's or sheep's milk), and Valrhona chocolate. It's not just that they make special flavors, using fruits and herbs in season.
It's the way they combine these flavors, in unique and surprising ways that produces gelato flavors you wouldn't have thought possible.
Not to mention their scrumptious little parfait cups and gelato bon-bons, which alone are worth the trip.
Location: via Felice Cavallotti 36B, Rome, Italy +39 0696039081
In Monteverde Vecchio, just a bit past the hustle and bustle of Trastevere, a 20-minute walk from Santa Maria in Trastevere (there are also buses that reach it.)
As I've said above, opinions about the best gelato in Rome abound, especially among Romans, who know where to find the best in their neighborhood.
There is a lot of excellent gelato out there now. And if I've left off your favorite, please let me know and I'll be glad to check it out! All in the name of research of course.
Did I mention I do a lot of gelato tasting in Rome? The below are places I like, that have good gelato even if not all of them are truly artigianale. (As much as I love and appreciate genuine gelato, I am not a complete gelato snob.)
I don't go out of my way for these gelaterie. But if I am nearby and need a gelato (yes I am addicted), and one of my above faves is not right at hand, then I will stop at one of these.
On a recent visit to Neve di Latte (numero uno of my top ten, above), I asked the gelato maestro (is that a thing?) there, Simone Romano, where else besides his gelateria has superb gelato.
He told me that one of his disciples (again, is that a thing? Can you be a gelato disciple?) had opened a small gelateria just behind Piazza Navona. It's called Ice cRome. So off I went. And Simone was right!
The gelato here is gorgeous, and it's also delicious! And the gelato-maestro himself, Salvo Villaggio, is always at hand, to help you decide which flavor you want (just in case you cannot make up your mind which seems to be my problem here.) Via del Governo Vecchio, 85
Gelateria La Romana has several locations around Rome.
And be prepared to wait in line, at each and every one of them. Even in January.
No, this is not truly artisinal gelato (despite the huge sign back there, and big machines on site.) But the gelato is very appealing and it's one of the few gelateria that has places to sit. And I think this is one reason there is always a line. But it is also yummy! So indulge.
Termini/Porta Pia: Via XX Settembre, 60 (Metro A, Termini or Repubblica)
Ostiense/Garbatella: Via Ostiense, 48 (Metro B, Piramide)
Vatican: Via Cola di Rienzo, 2 (Metro A, Lepanto)
If you happen to be in this part of Monti neighborhood, il Gelatone gelateria is an excellent option for gelato.
I don’t easily find green mint chip gelato in Rome, but they have it here and even though it's a bit too bright green (not entirely natural), it’s creamy and divine. Via dei Serpenti 28.
Nope, Frigidarium is not artigianale.
But yes, it's creamy and yummy. And if you happen to be on this side of Piazza Navona, it's a nice break in summer. Just expect massive crowds and lots of tourists. Via del Governo Vecchio, 112.
Luckily I live very close to Riva Reno gelato in Rome, so I am able to do a lot of taste-testing here. There is only one in Rome, although it is an Italian franchise. They tell you on their site why their gelato is so good: they use whole milk from the north of Italy, the Piemonte region. They store their gelato in steel bins, below the counter, to keep air out and freshness in.
Love their classics (and they have dark chocolate and EXTRA dark chocolate, what more could you want?) but they also have some interesting and unexpected flavors too, like theContessa flavor, full of Sicilian almonds, amaretti biscuits, hazelnuts and caramelised almonds.
And while I try to adhere to eat American food only when I am in the US, it’s comforting to know that if I want to, at Riva Reno, I could get the “New York – New York” flavor, which is essentially butter-pecan. But butter pecan gelato. Even better! via Magna Grecia 25. Metro A San Giovanni. The best gelato in Rome in the San Giovanni neighborhood.
Tre Scalini is not a gelateria per se.
It is a bar/café, and it’s right on Piazza Navona so a pretty touristy spot. But just because something is touristy does not mean it’s bad.
There is only one thing to get here: the chocolate tartufo.
I always get mine inside, standing at the bar (sitting on Piazza Navona and having one of these will cost you dearly). And I always share it with at least one other person.
It’s not entirely made of gelato, but has layer upon layer of varying smooth, creamy, crunchy, crispy, cold and melty chocolate things.
And a surprise in the middle.
Let’s just say that if you are a chocoholic, you must have this. Piazza Navona 30-35.
Wait, isn't this some of the best gelato in Rome: Fassi, Giolitti, Gelateria della Palma? And how about Grom and San Crispino?
I don’t want to be negative about any gelato but those gelaterie to me are over-rated.
Fassi (also called "Il Palazzo del Freddo") are reputed to be the first Sicilian gelateria in Rome. The gelato is fine but missing a dimension. There are also some pretty unnatural colors in there. Giolitti has been an icon for gelato in Rome for decades but I just don’t love it. It's also a chaotic scene there. Della Palma is worth going into, to see the mountains of gelato, and even the rest of the shop which is like a candy bazaar. But the gelato there is just ok.
The following gelaterie indeed (presumably) were famed for making fresh gelato from scratch. It has come to light that this is not entirely true. But they are both high on everyone's lists for the best gelato in Rome. But that doesn't mean I love them:
Grom? I don’t understand why this is so popular. It’s an international chain (I just saw one in New York), and apparently very popular. I tried four different flavors, each one more banal than the next.
San Crispino - Well I used to think they had the best gelato in Rome. Sorry but no longer. The gelato there is still good, but with such amazing and inventive places as Fatamorgana, Il Gelato di Claudio Torce, Gelateria del Teatro, I no longer seek out or even think much about San Crispino. And now that I know better, I find them over-priced for what you get. And they got a little too full of themselves, no longer allowing tastes, and with staff much less friendly than before.
I've included in this map the ten gelaterie named in my 10 Best Gelato in Rome list above. I also added some of the other good places for gelato in Rome (you can view the two lists separately.)
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