Da Buffetto, Rome

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Da Buffetto, Rome

Italian Restaurant, Pizzeria - Address: Via del Governo Vecchio 114, Rome, Italy

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Review of "Da Buffetto, Rome"

published 07/08/2006 | LouPapy
Member since : 21/10/2004
Reviews : 16
Members who trust : 1
About me :
Pro The best Pizza in Rome, in Italy? In the world?
Cons You "WILL" have to queue, but it's all part of the fun, Cash only
very helpful
Value for Money
Standard of Menu
Standard of Service

"So that's what a pizza should look like...."

Queing at Baffetto

Queing at Baffetto

When it comes to pizza, you're either Roman (thin base) or Napolitan (thick base).
I enjoy both but with a strong preference for thin base Pizza.
I've learned the differences between the two when last February, my wife and I went to visit some Friends who live in Rome. It was my first time in Italy and I realised that when it comes to food, the Italians are even worse than the French. (Yes it's possible). You have to be careful about what you say, especially when it come to Pizza. Try ordering a thick base Pizza in a Roman pizzeria, and you could end up finishing your meal earlier than expected, probably even before you've seen any food on your table. Same thing if you order a thin Base pizza in Napoli. I exaggerate a bit of course, but there is a strong feeling between the two region about which of the two make the real Pizzas.

Luckily for me, as I prefer thin based Pizza, I was in Rome, so I was not going to offend anyone. My Italian friends we were visiting told us they were going to take us to eat the best Pizza in Rome (that's when I noticed the difference between the Italians and the French, The French would have said the best Pizza in the world).

So it was a Monday evening at the end of February, the weather was fresh but bearable. After a few buses and a bit of walking, we arrived to Piazza Navona, which is a beautiful place, shape like a boat, situated in the old Rome.
You can not go to Rome without going there. And once you're there, you're only a few yards away from Pizzeria Da Baffetto.
We were quite excited to go there, we were in Rome and we were going to the best Pizzeria in Rome.

After a short walk through the narrow streets, we arrive in front of a small pizzeria, looking quite poor really. If it was not for the 20 people queuing in front of the door in winter, I would never have believed that was it…
But yes, it was. This small place just bigger than my local kebab shop, was it! The place where you eat the best Pizza in Rome.

The queuing wasn't a negative point as such. Of course we were hungry, and it was cold outside, but it was actually quite fun. You get to chat with Local and other tourists, and whatever your colour, your religion or which Football club you support, there was no bad feeling, as we were all waiting for the same thing. PIZZA.

So before going in, here are some basic rules for the queuing at Baffetto:

1. You can not avoid it. Tey don't take reservation. The place open at 6.30pm and that's when the queue starts and it closes at 1am and that's when the queue finish. But the earlier the better.
2. If like us you go in the winter, don't try to show off you last Versace shirt, bring a jumper! You could be there a while…
3. If you're in odd number, 3 or 5, you'll be waiting longer than the other, as unfortunately it's not on a first come basis, the owner open the door from time to time shouting "Due" table for two or "quarto" table for four. One solution is to grab someone in the street and invite him or her for a Pizza; or, cheaper version, ditch one of your friends.
4. Trick: We were actually five when we went, but we had a secret weapon, a pregnant woman. Without her we would have queued at least one hour, but instead we were in after 20mn. So girls, bring a pillow.

And finally we're in. The inside is not much better than the outside. Warmer of course, but the deco is very basic, the table are basic, the chairs are basic, and so is the cutlery, the glasses, the plate and even the waiters. It actually reminded me of a school canteen. With its first floor room, I guess you can fit around 50 people in there. You could go with your kids, but it's more a student type than a family type restaurant. Kids would just make you queue longer.

Let me go back to the waiters. I'm not sure how they would handle someone who doesn't speak Italian, we were lucky to be with three Italians, but even they, had problem getting themselves understood, they all agreed that the waiter was thick. I don't want to generalised, perhaps we got the wrong one, but be aware that it might be more difficult than you think to order your food.

The menu:
Here again, simplicity is the word; they have about ten variation of Pizzas and three different sizes. I don't remember seeing anything else than Pizza, a few salads perhaps. But anyway, you would have to be American to queue half an hour in front of a pizzeria in winter and than order something else than a Pizza.
You'll find the usual, Margarita, mushroom, pepperoni but also white (with white sauce instead of tomato), with pasta on it and other variations.
As a rule, the Italians rarely order a pizza with more than three ingredients on it. For them the best one is the margarita, the simplest. As what is good in a pizza, it's the base and the sauce. The rest might ruin the taste.
The large size is very large around 18". But as I was advised at the time, I myself advised you to take small one, but more of them. That night I ate three smalls but felt afterward that it was perhaps a bit too much. 2 ½ is probably the right amount, if you got someone to share the third one. The advantage of taking small one is that you can try different variety.
I personally had a Margarita, and two mushroom and bacon.

The Pizzas:
So what's all the fuss about these pizzas? After all you can find some decent pizza in Asda, so why go there. Well it's all in the base. Imagine a naan bread, cut the bottom of the naan; remove all the fluffy inside and you end up with the very thin crust of the top. Now try to make a pizza on that! They're literally the thinnest Pizza you'll ever see.
Does the fact that they are so thin make a difference? Well believe it or not, it makes a huge difference. When you put a piece under your teeth, it first cracks like a fresh crusty bread and it then melt in your mouth. It's then and only then that you get the full flavour of the heavily spiced tomato sauce. It's not just a Pizza, it's an experience. To put on your list of things to do before you die...

The Dessert:
They do have dessert, but don't take any. They are probably very good and very cheap, but hold it a bit more. Once out of the restaurant, turn right, walk 60 yards and there you have a big ice cream shop which make some of the best home made ice cream. A perfect finish for your stomach. (I'll try to find out the name and I'll add it later.)

The Drinks:
Most of the Italian (Roman anyway) prefer beer with Pizza. But you can order the house wine for £5 and it's Italy not England, for that price you will get wine, not vinegar... (Sorry for the generalisation, I tend to do that a lot…)

The bill:
Talking Prices, it's cheap, it's very cheap.
We shared the total bill between the five of us, three of us had three pizzas and the two others had two. We had one bottle of wine and 6 beers and it worked out to £14/pers.

So unless you're so posh that you only go to very expensive and fancy restaurant, other wise, nothing should stop you to go and try the best Pizzas in Rome.

Closed Sundays November to April/ Closed 2 weeks Aug.
Via del Governo Vecchio, 114, Rome, 186 Italy
Phone: +39 6 686 1617

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Comments on this review

  • toffee19 published 15/07/2007
    Good review i will keep an eye out for the place when i go.
  • garleon published 07/08/2006
    Was there a free toy and crayons with the pizza? I don't do pizza without a toy to play with....or a picture to colour in. gar
  • earlofaldgate published 07/08/2006
    good one
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Product Information : Da Buffetto, Rome

Manufacturer's product description

Italian Restaurant, Pizzeria - Address: Via del Governo Vecchio 114, Rome, Italy

Product Details

Type: Italian; Pizzeria

Address: Via del Governo Vecchio 114, Rome, Italy

Country: Italy

Continent: Europe


Listed on Ciao since: 20/02/2001