HOME > Chowhound > Italy >


best gelato in Rome....please!!

  • a

Leaving in two days....please tell me your favorite gelateria (sp?) and their must-have flavors. TIA>

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. san crispino, definitely. my fave was one with bits of meringue .

    8 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      My favorite, too (altho based on limited experience), but certainly the one with the best rep. And a website, too!

      Link: http://www.ilgelatodisancrispino.com/...

      1. re: jen kalb

        san crispino for me too. I still dream of the gelato with the bits of meringue.

        1. re: JonH

          which flavor has bits of merinque in it?

          1. re: a
            Jeremy Cherfas

            There are a couple. Meringa alla nociola, with hazelnet, is my favorite. There's also a vanilla (crema) and sometimes a chocolate.

        2. re: jen kalb

          San Crispino - BEST. GELATO. EVER.

          1. re: jen kalb
            Jeremy Cherfas

            At Last! You can get arguments in Rome about best coffee (San Eustachio) and just about everything else, but in my entirely non-humble opinion no other ice cream beats San Crispino. There's one near Trevi, one in San Giovanni, and one somewhere else. The cinnamon and ginger is perfect right now. So is the pear.

            1. re: jen kalb

              San Crispino it is then, thanks, will be there in July. Meringue bits?, how wonderful.

            2. There is an incredible gelato shop on Via della Fontinella, between Via Babuino and Via del Corso. It's run by Sicilians and has the most exquisite flavors: pine nut, fresh fig, coffee!, dark chocolate!! Via della Fontinella is just a short block south of Piazza del Popolo.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mnosyne

                Any name or more specific info on this one?

              2. Buon Viaggio!! I remember Rick Steves (the travel dude)
                saying the best gelato is in Piazza Navona, also a great
                after-dinner hang-out,with two huge fountains and lots
                of italians to people watch...you cant miss with
                pistachio and nocciola (hazelnut). mangia bene!

                1. Gelateria Duse - on Via Eleonora Duse in Parioli, between Piazza Ungheria and Piazza delle Muse. Hole in the wall on a small street in a residential neighborhood, teeming with Romans every night. Fruit flavors are sublime - limone, lampone, melone, mirtilli, fragola. Cioccolato fondente, gianduia, and baci are also not half bad.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jeremy M

                    Second that. From one who has tried many, many including San Crispino. Relatively less touristy than others

                  2. Can't quite remember the name of the gelateria, but it's on Via M. Colonna right next to Mondo Arancina (a Sicilian rotisserie worth a stop in its own right) a couple of blocks south of the Lepanto metro station (not too far from the Vatican). Try the cinnamon, pistacchio, or chocolate with chilly pepper.

                    1. Just in case you get to Milan and are passionate about chocolate gelato: best ever in entire world, especially the several types of dark chocolates, Chocolate Gelato in Milan.

                      1. Just in case you get to Milan and are passionate about chocolate gelato: best ever in entire world, especially the several types of dark chocolates, Chocolate Gelato in Milan.

                        1. It looks like there are a lot of fans of SAN CRISPINO. I agree it is one of the best in the city; the ice creams taste like an intense dose of the ingredients. The plum and pear flavors are delicious, almost like eating the fruit. But the "best" gelateria ultimately depends on which flavor you want. I don't think San Crispino has the best lemon gelato, for example.

                          Gelateria generally tend to be better at 'creamy' or 'fruity,' usually not both. I rarely eat creamy or nut flavors and I don't like chocolate ice cream, so my preferences are skewed to the ones that make dreamy fruit flavors.

                          Two outstanding gelateria in Rome:

                          GELATERIA FASSI / Palazzo del Freddo (near Termini)
                          My favorite all around. I usually get coconut paired with a fruit flavor. Strawberry and lemon are also delicious. The pistachio is tasty, too.

                          GIOLITTI (near the Pantheon)
                          Lives up to its reputation. The best coconut and stracciatella. I think it is better on the creamy variety. For fruit flavors, I prefer Fassi or San Crispino.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: janeeyoo

                            Giolitti has seen better days, but Fassi is very, very good.

                            1. re: condiment

                              Giolitti is interesting for its history, location, architecture and server theatrics. The gelato is ok.

                          2. I Tri Scalini on Piazza Navona has the best tartufo (chocolate and cherries). Save a bundle by eating your tartufo standing up at the bar.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: chowbunny

                              My vote for best gelato just off Piazza Navona goes to La Gelateria Frigidarium. It's on the Via del Governo Vecchio. We frequently stroll there after supper at home. The base ice cream is very good, the fruit/nut gelatos are superb. Freshness, sourcing the best ingredients is key. They pay a lot of attention to detail in this little stand.

                            2. Since we stay at a hotel near the Pantheon, our after-dinner strolls and gelato eating tends to center on the area around the Piazza della Rotunda. Here are some of our experiences:

                              Giolitti: (Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40) This shop makes all the lists of recommended places but I don't share the enthusiasm. The gelato is very good, but it doesn't warrant the effort and chaos of actually buying something compared to other places. Their system works this way: First customers stand in line at the cash register to pay for their intended purchase. Then, ticket in hand, they go to the ice-counter to select their flavors. We first tried Gioliotti in the mid-afternoon. I estimate the line to pay involved a twenty minute wait and I won't predict the additional wait to get served so we left. The crowds on our second trip in the evening were smaller so we gave this place a try.

                              Della Palma: (Via della Maddalena 20/23) If you have trouble making decisions do not patronize this gelateria. We've heard this gelateria features more than 100 flavors and we won't dispute that. The array of choices is amazing, but the gelato itself is too sweet for my taste.

                              Cremeria Monteforte: (Via della Rotonda 22) This tiny, tiny gelateria features relatively few flavors, but comes out on top by producing a very high quality product. I'm a particular fan of nut-flavored gelato and their pistachio sets the standard. My husband was a huge fan of their chocolate chip (stracciatella). Since the gelateria looks like nothing much, this place escapes the crush of crowds at some of the bigger, glitzier places. It is only when you go inside the gelateria that you see the articles about their awards.

                              Fiocco di Neve: (Via del Pantheon 51) I'm a particular fan of their dark, intense not-too-sweet chocolate.

                              Gelateria San Crispino: (Via della Panetteria 42). This gelato place is located near the Trevi fountain. It is known equally for its superior product and its authoritarian attitude. (Articles have mentioned that the shop will not combine flavors in a single order if they don't feel those flavors will go together well.) The flavors are amazingly intense. Definitely a must-visit.

                              1. I love both the caffe and gelato at I Dolci del Checco in Trastevere on Via Benedetta. Just of Piazza Trilussa. They own a superb restaurant in the same block.

                                1. Just returned from Rome and San Crispino is my only recommendation for gelato. It is simply superior to the rest. The freshness of the ingredients is super evident and the texture is just perfect. We had a great time kidding with the staff also. Thought the 10-year-old NY Times article on the sandwich board in front was a bit much though!

                                  1. My vote for the best in Rome is Gelateria del Teatro, Piazza S. Simeone 22a, just off the Via dei Coronari on the other side of the Piazza Navona from almost all the rest. It's tucked away on a tiny dead-end off the piazza. It's run by Stefano, who is a native Roman (grew up in Trastevere) and his wife Silvia who is Peruvian. Stefano and I had several long conversations about his gelato. He takes great pride in his work, and says the most important thing in gelato after quality ingredients is "passione"! (We communicated in Spanish. His English and my Italian are poor.)

                                    He proudly showed me the pistachios he uses from Sicily and the almonds from Bari. (I hope I don't have those reversed.) He invited me back to watch him prepare the Mandorla (almond) which he was making the next day, though unfortunately I couldn't make it at that time. His "puro" chocolate is 80% cacao, and the "pera e caramelo" (pear and caramel, with a dash of clove) tastes like God's own pear. He also does a sesame flavor, about which I was sceptical (expecting Halva flavor or something) but it was superb.

                                    We ate gelato all over Rome, despite it being December. I take my research seriously! ;) Runners-up were Gelateria San Crispino and Cremeria Monteforte (who also had a spectacular hot chocolate), but we kept coming back to Stefano's place. I could taste the "passione"!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: kate7047

                                      I second Del Teatro.
                                      "e ate gelato all over Rome, despite it being December. I take my research seriously! ;) Runners-up were Gelateria San Crispino and Cremeria Monteforte (who also had a spectacular hot chocolate), but we kept coming back to Stefano's place. I could taste the "passione"!"
                                      Exactly like us, LOL.

                                    2. Oops. I got the address wrong. It is Vicolo di S. Simone, 70, just off Via dei Coronari near Piazza San Salvatore in Lauro. Phone # is 06 45474880. Sorry for any confusion.

                                      1. For the middle of town: Giolitti is the best, pure and simple, the Mecca and Holy Grail of gelatto. You may not like the service; you can't complain about the ice cream.

                                        1. GELATERIA DEL TEATRO : the best in Rome, only natural ingredients, for an unique gelato , Pistachio from Bronte the best pistacchio in the world, nocciola from "Langhe" , Cioccolate from belgium, Stefano the owner buy the fresh fruit everyday and trasform it in superb icecream. Taste dark chocolate incredible!!!,
                                          The local in V. Di San Simone 70, ( just off V. Dei Coronari) is delicious and Stefano is very friendly, you will love this place

                                          1. GIOLITTI is Rome's oldest Gelateria. It's by Piazza Navona. Ask the info desk on the corner of Piazza Navona

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Campania

                                              Whoops! I think you're confusing Tre Scalini with Giolitti. Tre Scalini -- of tartufo fame -- is located on Piazza Navonna. Giolitti is located north of the Pantheon (Piazza Rotonda). I don't know Giolitti is officially considered in the Tridente area -- could be since it's between two of the main streets that radiate out from Piazza del Popolo, However, it's most definitely not by the Piazza Navona.

                                            2. First of all we want to thank you mentioning our location.
                                              In order to clear the confusion, we post correct data of our restaurant with the official website, that has also an english version.

                                              Tre Scalini
                                              Piazza Navona 28
                                              Hoping to host you again in our Restaurant when in Rome, please accept our best regards.

                                              The Management

                                              Tre Scalini
                                              Piazza Navona, Roma, Lazio 00186, IT

                                              1. Giolotto's Sour Cherry is amazing! and the Della Palma Baci is Beautiful too

                                                1. I have been in Rome for almost three weeks now, and have been scouring every website and blog out there for "best gelato in Rome" and making a point to try from as many as possible. When I went last week to San Crispino, which I feared would be overrated, it made it impossible to try gelato anywhere else--it all just even looked less good. The miele (San Crispino flavor) was incredible, as were the others I tried the next day not being able to bear going anywhere else....until I tried Gelateria del Teatro, which I thought was at least as good, if not better, than San Crispino. I tried the Chocolate Orange, Ricotta-Fig-Almond, and Sage Raspberry, and the flavors and textures and aromas were pure and perfect. Today I tried the Pistacchio and Stracciatella at Fior de Luna in Trastevere, another highly recommended/pure ingredient gelateria, and while it was good, it didn't make me swoon like Teatro. The other great thing about Teatro is that it's hidden away, so you get to see new stores and restaurants off the beaten track but are still in the Piazza Navona area. We have 2 nights left here, and I can't wait to take my husband and daughter to Teatro. One more bonus: the prices are the same as everywhere else, unlike at San Crispino, where you pay a premium for less gelato, which I have no problem with (and think it's justified for their quality), but Teatro could do the same but doesn't charge more. Can't recommend it enough.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: dginMaine

                                                    I totally agree with you. Our past two visits to Rome convinced us to avoid San Cripino (s) - both locations exhibit how markedly SC has gone downhill. Have they grown too fast, did the brothers sell out, are they listening to others pressing for increased quantity at the expense of quality for their once-renown gelato? Threw my last filled cup out on the way out the door for the branch near the Pantheon - not good at all.

                                                    On the other hand, I can't wait to return to Del Teatro this fall. Superb gelato!

                                                    1. re: dginMaine

                                                      The current "in" favourite in the Rome blogosphere is Il Gelato di Claudio Torce, now with a branch in Piazza Monte d'Oro in the historic center. I understand he does more expected gelato flavours as well as flavours like celery and carrot.

                                                      1. re: zerlina

                                                        Torce' (this is the name of the owner) has about 100 favours! He started initially in south Rome and progressively expanded. The opening in the historic center is a great news, especially for tourists. Don't miss it!

                                                        I'd add also other two recent openings:
                                                        - the famous Grom in via della Maddalena close to Pantheon, just in front of another very famous place for ice creams addicted, Giolitti.
                                                        - Neve di Latte, a must if you will visit MAXXI musuem (or Auditorium with a short walking). It is the new ice cream from the eclectic Ermanno di Pomponio that became famous (also for prices) with the previous "Il mio gelato naturale" shop in Balduina.

                                                        Concerning Gelateria del Teatro I fully agree with the positive comment by dginMaine (and that is much better than San Crispino too) but actually its price is higher than average of natural ice creams in Rome: it's 25€/kg compared to 18-20€/kg for other "top" places. It will not change your travel budget of course but I think it is good to know.

                                                        The OP is very old and I could add many other suggestions but I preferred to focus on the last news.
                                                        After all do you have any doubt that Rome is the worldwide ice cream Capital?

                                                        1. re: tavoleromane

                                                          I figure this post will be getting action for a while to come. I love Torce'- any of his or his understudies places. Gelateria del Teatro is definitely up there and well worth the extra money.

                                                          Gori Gelato in Montesacro is fabulous as is the more easily reached Al Settimo Gelo in Prati on Via Vodice 21.

                                                    2. Driving through Rome last night we passed by Old Bridge Gelato a couple of times which had lines that extended down the street and around the corner. We saw this at 11 at night and at 5 in the afternoon. Does anyone know anything about it? Our local friends say it's always like that and they never have the patience to wait in line to see what the fuss is about.

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: ambra

                                                        a tourist favorite. I find it despicable (tried once, years ago).

                                                        1. re: vinoroma

                                                          Vinny, is there a Gelateria that you do like????

                                                          1. re: ospreycove

                                                            hmm, you replied to my post but I am not Vinny... if you meant me, vinoroma - yes, there are some - Torce and fata morgana are faves, ciampini and gracchi for certain flavors, vice and neve di latte are good but somehow i don't make it to them too often (out of my way), won't say no to teatro del gelato, either.
                                                            I do not like the bad-quality/industrial mix using but much hyped places like Giolitti, Fassi, San Crispino. Can't say Grom uses industrial stuff, but still don't like the consistency of their icecream and find the flavors muted. Don't even want to talk about blue ice chain.

                                                            1. re: vinoroma

                                                              Vin, I find Grom a bit too much on the creamy end, to suit my tastes; I assume with all the locs. that this is centrally supplied too.
                                                              Thanks for your recs.

                                                              1. re: ospreycove

                                                                You are welcome. Please don't call me neither Vin, nor Vinny, as neither are my name. And no, it is not vino either. If vinoroma is too long to type, just leave it out - a reply already shows it is directed at me. Some of us who know each other personally sometimes refer to each other with first names on chow (Katie, Maureen, Elizabeth, etc.) but in my case you can't deduct my first name from my nick.

                                                                1. re: ospreycove

                                                                  Hi ospreycove,

                                                                  Katie, Maureen, Elizabeth are all widely published authors and are more than willing to share their (considerable) knowledge with visitors through blogs, apps, books and tours.

                                                                  Vino Roma is a small band of wine lovers (with excellent language skills/pedigree) founded by Hande Leimer. They do the same.

                                                                  With very few exception, the Italy board is a solid source of information.

                                                                  Edited to add: I kind of like "vin" for vinoroma. It doesn't diminish the brand and somehow makes the group more approachable. Let the record show that I''m merely a frequent visitor to Rome with no blog, app, books, whatever.

                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                    Steve h....... Some of us are more sensitive to monikers than others; "A ciascuno il suno"!

                                                                    Thanks for the info/heads up.