Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rome, Italy - Pizzeria Al Leoncino and Salsamenteria

We sat outside here

Tucked away on a quaint little street behind the Fendi flagship store, Pizzeria Al Leoncino (on Via Leoncino) is an unassuming restaurant with some of the best crispy, thin crust wood brick oven pizzas in Rome. We sat at one of the handful of tables outside on Via dell'Arancio and watched the locals pour in for lunch. This spot was recommended by a Roman woman from whom we bought three pairs of very stylish eyeglasses that morning at Ottica Efrati near the Spanish Steps. I always find that Italy has sunglasses/eyeglasses that you can never find anywhere else, so go to Ottica Efrati if you need a new pair (they provide glasses for the actors to wear in most of the movies filmed in Rome).  
Pizza ai funghi, or with mushrooms
The classic pizza margherita
Funghi e salsiccia or mushroom and sausage

The staff are friendly and charismatic, and only Italian speaking. Don't worry, you will make do. Our favorite was the signora pictured below who was in charge of all of the outdoor tables, including ours. I just love old Italian ladies!

Not to be missed is the sandwich shop two doors down from the pizzeria. We kept seeing local Romans on their hourly lunch break rounding the corner with these amazing cold cut sandwiches nestled between fresh focaccia bread and wrapped in red and white paper and finally figured out that they were coming from here:

After a long morning of shopping near Via Condotti and the Spanish Steps, you can't go wrong with recharging at either of these eateries.

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